I have been using bundles and 1-day sales as a useful way to increase the exposure for my visual planning software. I have had positive experiences with BitsDuJour, Macupdate and BundleHunt. Once you put your software in one bundle you inevitably get approached by people who run other bundle promotions. I was approached by Bundlefox and agreed to put Hyper Plan in their Mac software bundle. I wish I hadn’t. It has been a pretty miserable experience from start to finish. In brief:
- I never knew when the promotion was going to start or end. I was told it was going to start on 27th February, but it eventually started on 20th April. It was supposed to run for 3 weeks, but actually ran for 6 weeks. This is a problem, because it means you can’t put your software in other sale or bundle that require an exclusive discount.
- Communication was poor. They generally took several days to reply to emails.
- The number of licenses sold was very low, especially compared with sales of Hyper Plan on BundleHunt.
- Worst of all, they only paid me 60% of what I was expecting per license. When I queried this they emailed me back “It’s **% revenue share after fees, most of the sales came in through affiliates and we had to pay them off before sharing the revenue”. I went back through their emails and their ‘Vendor Manual’ and there is no mention of affiliate fees being subtracted. It just says “You would receive a percentage of the total payments received for the bundle minus PayPal fees”. In fact I had emailed them “So if you sell 2000 bundles for $12 of which 500 choose Hyper Plan, I get **% of $12×500 = $***?” and they replied “Your calculation is correct”. I feel deceived.
- The low number of licenses sold and the low payout per license means that it wasn’t worth the effort to setup.
I don’t know what Bundlefox are like to deal with as buyer, but I recommend vendors give them a wide berth.
Thanks for the warning. Let me add one of my own about a similar experience with Creatable bundle:
1. Ever-changing dates and duration — check.
2. Poor communication — check (not informing about changes etc.).
3. Poor sales — check. Signed my up with talk about this being their $1M-level bundle; in reality sold 5-10% of that total (depending on options split, lower end seems more realistic).
4. Payout is not yet known, because they still didn’t pay almost 2 months after.
5. Didn’t even pay for the time spent on it — check.
I made an order-of-magnitude mistake above that I have to correct: it wasn’t $1M, it was “$100K+”, and a more accurate estimate (using a reasonable mix of the $39 & $99 variants) of the actual totals would be 35-50% of that. That’s still bad, but not shockingly bad, my apologies for the mistake.
Vslavik, Thanks for sharing. I will avoid them as well!
I think that having a subscription plan is the most ‘guaranteed’ model in the software industry. Problem is that customers might get discouraged about renewing the service every when and then. what do you think, based on your experience?
I think it depends on the product/service. Subscription makes a lot of sense for SaaS products.