Alibre’s $99 Offer Continues

After terminating their $99 offer with the release of Alibre Design V12, Alibre has decided to revive it again through their Refer A Friend referral program. The way this works is pretty interesting. Alibre has decided to “authorize” its current customers to “offer” Alibre Design V11.2 (not the new V12) to their friends for $99. So I guess this makes Alibre one of the few companies that continue to sell an older version of their product even after releasing a newer version.

Each customer can refer up to ten friends. For every friend that a customer refers (and who eventually buys a license)  the customer gets two months of maintenance for free. For every five referrals the customer gets a year of maintenance for free, provided that the customer is currently on maintenance. And if he is not on maintenance then he needs to refer five friends and ends up getting a year of maintenance for free. So basically Alibre’s $99 offer on Alibre Design V11.2 Standard is back, the only difference being that you simply need to be referred by an existing customer.

I ran some numbers and began to wonder what this all means for Alibre. With yearly maintenace priced at $299, a month of maintenace costs $25. So for every referral of V11.2 Alibre earns $99 – $50 (2 months) = $49. If a customer refers five friends, Alibre gets $99 x 5 – $299 (1 year) = $196, which turns out to be $39 per license of V11.2. So if you were among the people who wondered how Alibre could afford to sell V11.2 for $99 earlier, you now need to wonder how they can afford to do it at $49 or $39.

But the goodness does not end there. Running parallel to this referral program is another Special Offer for the new V12. A whopping $900 off on any version of Alibre Design (Standard, Professional or Expert) provided that you purchase maintenance as well. When you do the math for V12 Standard the number turns out to be $398. So again taking maintenance at $299, the price of V12 Standard turns out to $99.

Hence the title of this post: “Alibre’s $99 Offer Continues”. Basically Alibre is selling V11.2 and V12 Standard for $99. The special offer page does not mention when it ends. But CEO Paul Grayson writes on his blog that the offer ends along with October. I am now beginning to wonder whether we will see Alibre Design Standard back at $999 in November, where I believe it belongs, or will we see another continuation of the $99 offer?