Discounts on Software

Category: 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,, and Google Shopping to see who has the best price. often has several vendors offering different prices on any given software package.
Discount Software

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 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, 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.

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Most recent comments on "Discounts on Software"

Posted by:

06 Jan 2011

I've found it sometimes gets a discount for you if you e-mail the appropriate 'sales' and 'support' functions for the software you want. Mention what competitive product if any you currently use, whether you're a student or senior, and any other demographic that well might get you an unadvertised discount.

Posted by:

Walter T
06 Jan 2011

Another good source of free commercial software is

At this web site, software vendors give away (by free download) a piece of software that is normally not free. Each program is only available for one day, and you must download and install the software that day. A different program every day. In the past, they have offered all sorts of useful utilities and tools. There is also a forum when people can ask questions and make comments on the packages, to help you decide if the download is worthwhile.

Posted by:

Lee McIntyre
06 Jan 2011

Hi Bob, You wrote, "Just make sure you are getting a fully licensed retail package, not a pirated copy burned onto a homemade CD." Um, exactly how do you do that?

Typically you pay before you get the disc, and someone dishonest enough to sell you pirated software will probably not be honest enough to give you a refund when you catch him at it, don't you think?

EDITOR'S NOTE: True, but if you buy from eBay sellers with good reputation and feedback, it should be safe.

Posted by:

John Palmer
06 Jan 2011

For a totally free Office Suite, there's OpenOffice from Oracle. For details, go to:

" 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose."

Posted by:

Gordon / Sarala Lee
06 Jan 2011

Since we are in Australia the only information we can use are the general hints - what a pity!

Posted by:

Bob Greene
07 Jan 2011

Why don't the majors like Microsoft and Adobe sell older versions (remaindered stock) of popular items? It simply does not make sense all older versions are exported to a giant shredder.

Because most older software is destroyed, new versions cost more-- all to compensate for unsold, destroyed inventory. Put to more effective use, instead, that older stock could generate profits from those who did not buy into latest versions.

The only conceivable objection from software publishers is they have enough trouble selling expensive new versions on the merits of just a few truly valuable features. They fear older versions would pose too much competition.

Which, of course, is why more people do not buy anything at all-- upgrades offer no real improvement, but come at a much higher price.

Posted by:

John Burrows
07 Jan 2011

Be sure to check out for outstanding free open source software. It's not just for developers. There are equivalents for many commercially available programs. Two of my favorites are Audacity, an excellent multi-track audio editor and recorder, and Inkscape, which rivals Adobe Illustrator.

Posted by:

07 Jan 2011

I use a program called Gimp from .

It works quite well and has a lot of great tools, rivaling Photoshop. Best of all it’s totally free. Check it out. I think you'll like it.

Posted by:

Steven Latus
09 Jan 2011

Regarding sales tax on Internet or catalog sales, what most people may not realize is that, even if the vendor does not collect SALES TAX from you (since they may not have "nexus", e.g., employees or a physical presence, in your state of residence that requires them to do so), you are still liable for an equivalent USE TAX to your state (if your state has a sales and use tax). Some states, like NY, even have a line on their individual income tax returns where you list that liability.

Posted by:

13 Jan 2011

One addendum to the use of Open Office - remember to save your files as their MS Office counterpart versions (i.e. .xls, .doc, .ppt, etc) if you may be emailing the file or if it will otherwise be opened on another computer at any time, since most people are not using Open Office.

On that note, it is also convenient to save any file, be it an Open Office or MS Office file as the "97-2003" Office version, since many people did not update to MS Office 2010 when then beta expired. You may lose some fonts or formatting, but I have found that to be quite minimal and not a deal breaker.

Posted by:

14 Jan 2011

I use
It has heaps of codes for many various sites. People submit codes that they find or get and upload them to the site. All you have to do is type in the site and then the codes are all displayed.

Posted by:

Chuckin NJ
14 Jan 2011 is great place, but if you want certain popular mag. software you can check You'll be suprised at the prices.
The site is ok, I've ordered several different programs and they live up to what the advertise.

Posted by:

15 Jan 2011

just fyi: you can purchase tons of software from Microsoft for one low price $199. Purchase a one year TechNet Standard subscription. The software is licensed for evaluation purposes only—not for use in production environments. But, if it's for your and you want to try Windows 3 or Windows 7 Enterprise or Office 2010 you can try all of it and use it on your personal PC for that one payment. And once you have the license (you get 2 licenses per software, it use to be 10) it's good even if you don't renew your subscription after that first year:

Posted by:

16 May 2011

There are various sites from where we can purchase the software at discount rates.Avid shop is offering student version at high discount rate.

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