Blatant Profiteering?

The Autodesk discussion group is a good place to find angry Autodesk customers giving vent to their feelings. Recently I came across this post on the Autodesk VIZ discussion group.

“Why is Viz so expensive in the UK & Europe? I am about to upgrade from Viz 2005 to 2007. In the UK this will cost me around £700 whilst the Autodesk web site shows the price as $445, this is currently around £220. What is the justification for this? Is there anything to stop me from getting a friend in the US to buy the upgrade and sending it to me? At a third of the price the it hardly seems necessary to purchase a subscription which is another £230. Is there anything we can do about this blatant profiteering?”

I can understand Autodesk pricing their software relatively cheaper in emerging economies, such as India and China, for many reasons, disparity in income levels being the main reason. So does Autodesk consider Americans paupers as compared to Europeans or do they think that Europeans are more loaded than Americans? Same difference.

  • Anonymous

    It is most liukely due to many reasons such as exchange rate protection, licensing differences for third party components of the software which can cost more, smaller distribution areas thus higher costs, and many lovely VAT and taxes imposed by other countries.

  • Anonymous

    It is most liukely due to many reasons such as exchange rate protection, licensing differences for third party components of the software which can cost more, smaller distribution areas thus higher costs, and many lovely VAT and taxes imposed by other countries.

  • ralphg

    It does seem unfair, but software is sold at whatever price the market will bare. Traditonally, in Europe, expensive tradesman tools were considered prestigious. I recall in the 1990s Lotus 1-2-3 being sold in Europe for double the American price.

    Here in Canada, we pay much more for software than in the USA, even allowing for difference in exchange rate and taxes. Microsoft Canada, for example, set the price of XP Home Upgrade (until recently, with Vista on the way) at at a never-discounted $149, when the Canadian price should have been around $115.

    OTOH, I think that German cars are price much higher in the USA than in Europe. Prestige.

  • ralphg

    It does seem unfair, but software is sold at whatever price the market will bare. Traditonally, in Europe, expensive tradesman tools were considered prestigious. I recall in the 1990s Lotus 1-2-3 being sold in Europe for double the American price.Here in Canada, we pay much more for software than in the USA, even allowing for difference in exchange rate and taxes. Microsoft Canada, for example, set the price of XP Home Upgrade (until recently, with Vista on the way) at at a never-discounted $149, when the Canadian price should have been around $115.OTOH, I think that German cars are price much higher in the USA than in Europe. Prestige.

  • R. Paul Waddington.

    “Is there anything to stop me from getting a friend in the US to buy the upgrade and sending it to me?”

    YES there is; the licence contract, if it is similar to other Autodesk products, will not allow the licence to be used outside the jurisdiction it was purchased!

  • R. Paul Waddington.

    “Is there anything to stop me from getting a friend in the US to buy the upgrade and sending it to me?”YES there is; the licence contract, if it is similar to other Autodesk products, will not allow the licence to be used outside the jurisdiction it was purchased!

  • Stefan Boeykens

    It is quite similar with other vendors. ArchiCAD is priced much higher in Europe then in the USA.
    We pay about EUR 6300 + Taxes, which are 21% in Belgium. From discussions with people from Graphisoft, I learned that the price is what the market is prepared to pay.

    AutoCAD in Belgium is about EUR 4750 (standalone license) without taxes.

  • Stefan Boeykens

    It is quite similar with other vendors. ArchiCAD is priced much higher in Europe then in the USA.We pay about EUR 6300 + Taxes, which are 21% in Belgium. From discussions with people from Graphisoft, I learned that the price is what the market is prepared to pay.AutoCAD in Belgium is about EUR 4750 (standalone license) without taxes.

  • JanH

    Dear Ralph, you are not right, those “prestige” european cars are much more expensive in the Europe than in the USA – what is also interesting, this comparison is between the price of car with basic equipment (Europe) while in the US with “full” equipment. If you are interested, see the comparing table on

    http://www.autorevue.cz/default.aspx?
    section=17&server=1&article=10754

    Although it is in Czech language and comparing in CZK, you´ll see the differences.

    Finally CZ-EN, voclabulary in short 🙂

    Cena v USD = Price in USD
    Cena v Kč = Price in CZK
    Rozdíl = The difference

    1 USD = about 21 CZK

    For example that wonderful Mercedes Benz S500 costs 2,753,000 CZK, while “only” 1,808,373 CZK (conversion) in the USA.

    And I am sorry to say, that situation about prices of software is similar 🙁

  • JanH

    Dear Ralph, you are not right, those “prestige” european cars are much more expensive in the Europe than in the USA – what is also interesting, this comparison is between the price of car with basic equipment (Europe) while in the US with “full” equipment. If you are interested, see the comparing table onhttp://www.autorevue.cz/default.aspx?section=17&server;=1&article;=10754Although it is in Czech language and comparing in CZK, you´ll see the differences. Finally CZ-EN, voclabulary in short :-)Cena v USD = Price in USDCena v Kč = Price in CZKRozdíl = The difference1 USD = about 21 CZKFor example that wonderful Mercedes Benz S500 costs 2,753,000 CZK, while “only” 1,808,373 CZK (conversion) in the USA.And I am sorry to say, that situation about prices of software is similar 🙁

  • BillF

    In any other industry, selling a product at a lower price into a foreign market is called “dumping”, and is often illegal under international agreements.

    In addition, it would seem to me that selling design software at a lower price to foreign competitors is not going to do much to help domestic industries to remain competitive.

    The obvious solution is to lower the domestic price. The increased sales should offset the lower profit margins.

  • BillF

    In any other industry, selling a product at a lower price into a foreign market is called “dumping”, and is often illegal under international agreements.In addition, it would seem to me that selling design software at a lower price to foreign competitors is not going to do much to help domestic industries to remain competitive.The obvious solution is to lower the domestic price. The increased sales should offset the lower profit margins.