ThemeForest Raises Prices…Again

published on June 18, 2012 | tagged in:

Nobody likes price increases. No one except probably the vendor. Pricing is one of the trickiest things to peg in any business especially if it involves non-tangible products, creative work, or services that are hard to put value on. No matter how valid the reasons behind a price increase, vendors and service providers need to give the market time to adjust. Can you imagine people jumping for joy because a popular product’s price increased by 15%? I think the normal consumer response is to initially resist the change. People resist change – any change – most especially changes in product prices. But, once the dust settles, and all the noise dies down, people still recognize value for money and will still pay top dollar for products that are proven to be excellent and of high quality no matter how expensive they may be. It all boils down to getting your money’s worth.

ThemeForest’s recent price increase was not exempt from the mixed reactions of both their authors and customers. Customers who were eyeing themes to purchase were surprised at the sudden price jump on the themes they were planning to purchase. Authors were wary whether sales would dramatically drop and if they would suffer from low or zero sales eventually.

A few comments on the issue:

There is a courtesy to notify people about the price increase. I was unable to decide between two themes and then postponed my decision. Now I see an increase of $10. I feel like cheated. And people who are saying its JUST $10 and themes at $60 are a bargain, please do rememeber that not everyone earns and spend in dollars. For you it a cup of coffee may cost $5 but for several others like us we can buy 50 cups in the same price. An unfair decision.

A. Prakash (Customer)

I’m still concerned about my latest theme – it sold just twice from yesterday despite the fact that it’s featured and gained 5x more traffic than previous days when sales number was 3-7x per day. It’s niche theme, people generally buy it for their own use, not to resale for clients, and I’m afraid that 50$ might be too much for them. On the other side sales of my other themes which are 45$ are on the same level as before. Maybe 50$ is that psychological barrier.

PureThemes (Author)

At the end of the day, it boils down to a trust and loyalty issue. The possibility of people taking their business elsewhere is always a risk with or without a price increase. But if buyers perceive that they are more than just dollar ($) signs in somebody’s pocket and if authors and developers take really good care of their concerns, cost will no longer be a primary issue. Loyalty kicks in and you gain customers for life.

Overall, how does this affect everyone?

  • There will be less impulse buying on the part of the consumers. Buyers will be more deliberate and selective with their purchases.
  • Quality, uniqueness and outstanding customer support will separate the mediocre from the best.
  • Authors will be “forced” to deliver superior products and stellar customer support to keep their present customer base and win over those who are on the edge.
  • Buyers get a better product and Authors, especially those whose themes are undervalued, will be well-compensated and rewarded for their efforts.

In the grander scheme, if ThemeForest comes out with better products, their competitors will have to step up their game sooner or later. At the end of the day, it’s still a win-win situation and the whole WordPress community stands to benefit from it all.