Low App Prices are Preemptive Excuses

Developers see the bugs and problems of their products, and thus they are prone to not charge a high price instinctively.

The price of an app signals its value or worth to the prospective customer looking at the price tag. Jordan Morgen shares this from the Spend Stack days:

It’s a $2.99 app. Though, when we price something, we are also inherently telling a story before anybody ever downloads it: “It’s worth this much.” (My emphasis)

Jordan relates this to the line “we accept the love we think we deserve” from the movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. A direct transfer would be:

You accept the price you think you deserve for this app.

Or: You accept the price you find the app is worth.

For a recent project, Jordan picked a much higher price than he instinctively would, noting that most of the time, he just sees the “holes” and “missing features”.

I boldly said to users that they should pay me $40 a year for it, or $10 a month or $149.99 for a one-off payment.

Now, three months later, I think I underpriced myself. But, when I look at my own app - all I see are the holes. The missing features. The rough edges. The animation that, after hours of tweaking, still just doesn’t feel quite right. (My emphasis)

If you focus on what’s not right with the app, how short it falls from perfection and your vision, then you will pick a lower price naturally to offset this.

A pre-emptive excuse, so to speak: “Sorry this doesn’t do everything I believe you might want, but I’m taking only a little money in return.”

I’d love to end this on a positive note and a quick fix to take away from all this. But at the moment, all I can point out that this is probably a very natural reaction for many. Developers’ takes on a fair price for the thing they made probably isn’t the best. (Ideally, ask friends who work in sales.)