So Adobe Creative Suite 3 has been officially announced. Shipping in April. Great. Hundreds of thousands Mac users have been waiting for this like nothing else. Universal Binary. As smoke from the press conference settles, prices for this industry standard start popping up in online stores. Although Photoshop is my main tool, I do use other parts of the Creative Suite regularly enough to consider buying the Design Premium bundle. All I can think to need. Problem between me and CS3DP (abbreviation is my own, not Adobe’s) is money. It’s costs almost £1600 ($3100). That is a lot of money. No matter which way you look at it.
But this should not be a big deal. As Adobe’s Chief Executive Bruce Chizen said:
CS3’s prices may seem steep compared to other shrink-wrapped software. But Adobe customers — particularly graphic and video artists with deep-pocketed corporate clients — spend money relatively liberally compared with average software buyers. Via NY Times
And he is right. I guess. It’s always the customer who pays in the end.
Problem is that I’m in the start of my career in the creative industries. I don’t have that many deep-pocketed corporate clients, yet. I need to find a way around. I’m still working at the UCCA until this Friday so I would qualify for the lecturers edition. Or I could always find a student to order it for me. Respective prices for these two options are £230 for the student edition and £540 for the lecturers edition. Very tempting as an idea. Get the program for fraction of the price. Obviously this would be too good to be true. EULA for these editions says that you can’t use them for commercial work. So that’s not gonna work.
There is one way to save money on buying Adobe software (actually applies to just about everything else, too), fly to the US. Compare these prices on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Madness. Almost the same amount of money, only one is in Sterling and the other in USD.
$1,780.99 or £1,592.99. Quite embarrassing. That’s $1,355.60 difference.
Of course you must take in count that UK price includes 17.5% VAT but the US price doesn’t have the sales tax which, as far as I can remember correctly, is 8% in NYC. If you calculate that in, the difference comes to only $1,213.11. Bargain.
Conclution: the cheapest way to get the suite is to fly to NYC (£170), get a hotel for few nights (£70), buy the suite (£900) and fly back.
I don’t really understand why this is. It would be more understandable if we were talking about something like this paper machine, shipping and handling cost are clearly high. But no, it’s only a box size of a small box. I really do appreciate all the hard work that the brilliant software engineers put into this product. Functionality of this piece of software makes my life easier every day. But I don’t think we should be punished for having such a strong economy. After all, if we pay $1600 for something, it’s still $1600 when you take the cash back to States.
Side note 1: I really like the public beta of Photoshop 10.
Side note 2: This sort of corners the fact that it’s cheaper to fly than take the train, even short distances. Appalling. Doesn’t make any sense.
Side note 3: Back in 2003, when I was planning on buying my first Mac, it would have been cheaper to fly to NYC to get it than buy it here in the UK. Including staying in a hotel, eating great meals, seeing the Empire State Building and flying back. And possibly even paying the VAT at customs when you fly back.
[update]: As I was writing this yesterday, Adobe’s Product Selector wasn’t working. I had tried it before with some interesting results. Now that it’s back online I can show what I got. Here’s what I selected:
And here’s what I should be buying:
Interesting. It tells me to get the Master Collection although I wouldn’t touch Premier for video editing. And actually, the selections I made, wouldn’t necessarily force me to take Photoshop Extended either.