Sick and tired of international price gauging

I’m long past the software piracy age – I’m willing to pay for software I like and use, and that includes software in the price range of a few hundred dollars if it’s good enough. I’ve bought Apple’s Aperture 3 and a few plugins (Hydra HDR, PTLens etc.). I used to work with Nikon’s Capture NX2, which is why I’m looking at buying Nik Software’s Viveza 2 now. I’ve hesitated for a few months, mainly because of Nik’s inability (or willingness) to provide a 64bit version that will allow me to use Aperture’s full potential. Unfortunately it’s that good (and the good people at Nik Software have hinted at a 64bit version “real soon now” on Twitter) that I’m willing to switch Aperture to 32bit for the time being.

Nik’s plugins are anything but cheap, so of course I’m looking for the best deal. Nik’s german site has – as an example – the Complete Collection for Aperture for EUR 299,–

Let’s forget for a second that the price for the download version is the same as for the boxed version – at least it’s not more expensive as in the Adobe case.

Now I’m googling for a coupon code, and there is one for 15%! Not bad, but there is no coupon field on the german site.
Let’s check the US site instead:

Not bad, that’s quite a bit cheaper! If I pick the right country on checkout, no taxes apply and that’s the final price. I’m not even sure about the legality of that – would that be tax evasion?

Anyway, even if I add 19% german sales tax and a assume a final price of $305, it’s still A LOT cheaper than in germany, and it’s the same product!

I’m really sick of that. Before the internet, regional pricing may have served the cause of financing regional distributors, but for downloadable products with no delivery cost at all this is a slap in the face of the customer. Let’s make the download price the same worldwide, add taxes if you must, but stop gauging international customers!

One comment

  1. Sadly it's not all about the Einfuhrumsatzsteuer (or whatever the pendant to the in-country 19% Mehrwertsteuer is called), but you will have to pay additional custom fees for importing into the EU.

    There is a tax allowance of 150 Euro (including packaging but excluding postage, which would not apply for downloadable software).

    Though I don't know if and how this applies to importing software by download.

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