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Renewals FAQ


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1) No one renews.

This was... not great. Ideally renewals are constant and end-users understand that the renewals provide support and further development and features but that never seems to be the case.

Over the multi-year lifetime of an app/plugin in the IPS Marketplace, users never renewed unless they were absolutely required. That meant breaking-changes in Invision Community things forcing upgrades to compatible 3rd-party wares. IPS even experiences this with people skipping renewals for significant amounts of time and then punching upgrades years later (and I'm guilty of that as well for one rather static site of mine). If you were to put me on the spot, I'd say across all my stuff maybe 5%-10% of purchasers regularly renewed on schedule. And? I'd take the under on that.

2) The IPS Marketplace did not let us apply adjusted renewal fees to prior purchases.

This was rough. Things I made that had serious expanded features in later versions were being renewed for a couple of bucks in some cases and many people skipped those renewals even at that low amount. Not entirely sure why this was the case as IPS adjusted pricing and renewals a few times on their products but alas that never applied to our things. Might have been (is?) a limitation of INVCOM Downloads. I should look one day...

3) This will work but actually no it won't.

So, now that I'm handling everything on this side, I've wrestled with how to manage this conundrum. At first I was going to price purchases a little higher (chargebacks and all that are on me now so...) and then set renewals less than before but at 4-month intervals and then craft up a checking mechanism such that if you missed x-amount of renewals you would need to re-buy.

That, after some further thought, does not solve the problem I was trying to fix. Higher purchase prices would discourage buys and even forcing re-buys with too many missed renewals, the lower renewal prices would still see people gaming the system and hitting renewals every 3rd or 4th time to not have to re-buy. 

Also I'd have to write something to monitor renewals and all that and I got enough to work on already.

4) So it's come to this...

My solution: lower prices to buy, higher prices (than before) to renew, retain the shorter renewal period. People will still skip renewals but the shorter renewal period and higher renewal costs will mitigate skips. This "flattens" the whole thing. Not quite re-buy every time but sort-of, kind-of near that. Instead of waiting a year or more to upgrade and getting patches and new features for $5, now you will have to pay more for the upgrades and there will mostly be no getting around that. I still do not expect people to regularly renew, though it would very much be appreciated if you did. If you are running a corporate or well-funded site it would be rather nice...

Longer term, building out a descending renewal platform is at least a glimmer in my eye. JetBrains does this now with their software: purchase price, then a yearly renewal. If you keep up with renewals, each subsequent renewal decreases to an eventual base line. Skip any renewals and it's a re-buy. It's a very nice carrot, with an obvious stick behind it. Right now not do-able with the INVCOM Downloads/Commerce platform as-is.

None of this is ideal, but neither is people giving me $5 every two years.

5) You don't expect us to renew?

Yes and no. If you can, please do, regularly.

Otherwise, for years the renewal pattern has been only when necessary or a new wanted feature appears.

When I defaulted to six months, I would get a renewal every year or two years per license. Push me on that and I would take the over. Compatability with new INVCOM versions was the primary driver.

So now I'm dropping the purchase prices but also shortening the renewal terms and increasing those prices at the same time. Just like I said above.

Reminder: 4x things will not transfer to 5x. Everybody will need buy the new stuff. Given the relative nearness of initial 5x things the prices of all 4x premium stuff has been reduced.

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