Discounts on Software
I need to purchase software for graphic design and word processing. But it's so expensive! Where can I find discounts on popular software packages?
Where to Find Cheap Software
A bit of forethought and a lot of research can save you hundreds of dollars on software purchases - or thousands, if you buy for a school, business, or other large organization. Even if you only buy one copy of a popular software program, you can get it for a fraction of the MSRP. Here are some tips for getting cheap software:
Buy online, saving the cost of a brick-and-mortar store's overhead and sales tax (if you live in a state where the online vendor has no physical presence). Shipping costs are minimal on most software packages, and free shipping offers are easy to find. Sometimes you can download a software package for free that would cost money to ship on CD or DVD.
Don't go to only the best-known online software vendors. Often it's the lesser-known, small vendors who offer bigger discounts to compete on price instead of name recognition. Use comparison-shopping sites such as PriceGrabber.com, Shopzilla.com, and Google Shopping to see who has the best price. Amazon.com often has several vendors offering different prices on any given software package.
A slightly older version of the software you want often sells for much less than the current version. If the older version works for you, fine. Upgrades are sometimes free or cost less than the difference in price between older and current versions. Look for used software packages on Amazon, Craigslist, eBay, and other consumer-to-consumer sales sites. Just make sure you are getting a fully licensed retail package, not a pirated copy burned onto a homemade CD.
Software Coupons and Discounts
Search for "coupon code" in conjunction with the name of the software you want. Coupon codes can be entered along with your order info to redeem a limited-time discount offer.
Search for "academic software" if you are buying for a student or staff member of a school. Academic discounts are usually substantial, and the only limitation is that you cannot use the software for commercial purposes.
Volume discounts are not just for Fortune 500 companies and wholesale software distributors. If you're buying multiple copies for a small business, price breaks may kick in when you buy just 5 to 10 copies of a software package.
If you've downloaded and used a trial version of a software package, you may get emailed discount offers from the developer as the trial period comes to an end. If you are patient, you may get bigger discount offers the longer you wait to buy.
Special discount software offers are issued periodically by software review sites such as NirmalTV.com. Subscribe to the site's RSS feed to learn about cool new apps, and keep your eyes peeled for discounts and free giveaway promotions for popular software packages.
Sometimes there's even a free alternative to a popular commercial software package. OpenOffice, for example, is a free office suite with word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, graphics, and database components that are compatible with Microsoft Office file formats. Similarly, a Google search for "free alternatives to adobe photoshop" will turn up quite a few options. And don't forget about free online software, such as Mint.com, which can help you manage your finances.
The bottom line is that no one should pay retail list prices for software. Cheap software offers are available in stores, online, and even at garage sales. Just know what you're looking for, and where to find the best deals.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 6 Jan 2011
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Discounts on Software (Posted: 6 Jan 2011)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved