French language software firm Edulang is now offering its four of its web-based applications on a 'pay what you want' basis, with fifty per cent of the proceeds going to charity. There is a minimum one-dollar/euro transaction charge (payable by PayPal or credit card), but this still looks like a fantastic deal. One of the applications is TOEIC Simulator, which we already have installed on our school computer system. Unfortunately, students can't use the software outside the school, so this offer should be of interest to them. You can find out more about the offer here and subscribe here.
The 'Pay What You Want' pricing model seems to be catching on. Radiohead famously offered their 'In Rainbows' album on a PWYW basis. You might wonder why a company like Edulang would allow people to pay virtually nothing for a product that previously cost upward of 50 euros. This is what Wikipedia has to say:
Giving buyers the freedom to pay what you want may seem to not make much sense for a seller, but in some situations it can be very successful. This is because it eliminates many disadvantages of conventional pricing. It is obviously attractive to buyers to be able to pay whatever they want, for reasons that include eliminating fear of whether a product is worthwhile at a given set price and the related risk of disappointment or “buyer's remorse.” For sellers it obviates the challenging and sometimes costly task of setting the “right” price (which may vary for different market segments). For both, it changes an adversarial conflict into a friendly exchange, and addresses the fact that value perceptions and price sensitivities can vary widely among buyers.
Of course, a successful operation from the seller's point of view depends on a percentage of the buyers paying more than the minimum price. It would be interesting to know how much, on average, cash-strapped students are prepared to pay.