Buy where you shop

Some time ago I have read this short article from O’Reilly: Buy where you shop. It points out few important aspects of on-line selling and situation of the people who are in the business.

I think there is an analogy here, when it comes to buying digital content on-line. At the moment you have loots of options to buy digital products, but you should choose them wisely. App Store is a probably one of the biggest market for OS X software. That’s why people tend to choose it as the source of the applications. However, there are few drawbacks associated with App Store:

– if you buy at App Store, your purchases are final – there is no option to be refunded by the developer
– if you buy at App Store, developers are charged loots of additional costs just to make you happy: annual subscription, price share with Apple, money transfer costs, etc. And be noticed that paying Apple doesn’t mean you have paid developer. There are amount limits before Apple transfers the money to developer. Thus, you basically increment Apple’s intrest income until they transfer money to developer
– if you buy at App Store you have no option to upgrade applications. Basically you will have to buy new version with the same price as previous one, unless upgrades are published free of charge.
– if you buy at App Store, you risk that you won’t get most recent upgrades as soon as they appear. Review process takes time while publishing new version by developer on it’s own pages triggers no time costs at all
– you risk that developer will simply avoid publishing new version at App Store because of new requirements from the Review Process. Keeping up to date with Apple’s requirements may consume much more time than developing new features in the app itself.

I always try to buy applications directly from the developers. This way, I am sure that money go directly to their pocket, and I am sure that I will be provided with new versions with some sort of upgrade options.

And there is one more thing – this Sandbox stuff. It makes really cool apps totally useless – just take a look at applications like SourceTree, TextMate, or anything else that requires more control over your machine, but at the same time provides you with more powers and is basically better suited tool.

Choice is yours.