Flex Builder 2 UK Pricing – Groan

For a company that is so good technically and creatively, I am dissapointed by Adobe’s pricing policy to customers in the UK. I don’t necessarily expect the UK price to be set directly relative to the US price, but the UK mark-up seems to me to be excessive. I think the following facts speak for them selves (Flex Builder 2 with Charting)…

  • Before tax, UK price is US price +29%
  • US online store price $749 before tax
  • Current $:£ = 1.9744 translates this price to equivalent of £379.36
  • UK online store price £489 before VAT
  • Therefore a pre-tax Markup of £109.64 or 29%.
  • Equivalent US Price would be $965.48

The explanation:

The price of software in EMEA (Europe, middle East and Africa) reflects both the additional expense to develop and test Adobe’s applications for local markets and operating systems, as well as for the delivery of complimentary Warranty support.

On top of the base price, EU customers have to pay VAT. Most businesses can claim this back, but smaller companies and individuals cannot. The VAT rate in the UK is 17.5%, and there is this little gem for UK customers of the UK online store…

The store indicates VAT inclusive prices for the shipped boxed product at £574.58, and the download actually more expensive at £591.69.

The explanation:

Since our server is based in the Republic of Ireland where VAT is charged at 21% our downloads are more expensive than boxed goods which are shipped locally from the UK


Back to the main issue of pricing outside the US, of-course I am not the only one to notice this, and Adobe are not the only company to operate this way as the articles published here describe…

Posted by creacog

Product Owner/Manager; Digital Project Manager, ex-Developer Available for Product Owner roles


Stefan Richter

I got to defend Adobe here because this is by no means an issue that affects software alone. It’s the same with hardware. It’s the same with clothing. It’s the same with food. The same with virtually all goods.
Godo to see that Vonage for example has reduced its prices, for example the F1000 was £89.95 until a few days ago, and $89.95 in the US… Now it’s more in line but still $20 more in the UK: http://www.vonage.co.uk/device.php?type=F1000
Check Vonage’s UK pricing though for its services and compare to the US. A joke.

One could get wound up about it but instead I try to find ways to buy my goods in the US…

I agree there is a wider issue – with plenty of examples of ‘rip-off Britain’ throughout recent years, some described in the articles I link to. It is/was my issue of the day as I’m about to part with cash!

I think It stands out more for a downloadable product with no obvious additional supply chain cost, where I can’t see the localisation which is claimed to be a factor (though I am happy to be corrected), and then to be charged more for the download than for a physical product seems to me to be nuts!

It would be better if we were in a position to commend Adobe for leading the way in leveling prices than have to defend them for doing the same as the rest. There were rumors about a year ago that this would happen. But not so far.

Of course the fees will continue to be charged at what the market will pay. Now, where’s my credit-card…

“I can’t see the localisation which is claimed to be a factor (though I am happy to be corrected)”

I can’t see that either. I mean the fact that it is localized must cost them more money, but surely thats covered buy the fact that they get to sell the product in these markets.

Having now moved to Canada, I’ve realised all prices are relative, so you feel almost as much out of pocket buying here as in the UK.

I reckon I earn 1.5 times the figure in Canadian dollars I was earning in the UK, but it’s now 2.3 times less money than the pound, so I’m actually earning a lot less in terms of pounds over here. Still, my purchasing power is about the same.

Although I don’t see why us Brits have to suffer based on the fact the dollar’s now worth peanuts – 100 quid could buy you a Wii over here. I’m takings orders now 😉

I suspect the extra couple of hundred dollars for the UK version have paid for Ted’s free pizza and wii. 😉


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