Over the weekend, Linda Formichelli wrote an article for Copyblogger in which she reported the success of her venture into the world of Pay What You Want. She allowed people to pay what they wanted for her Write for Magazines e-course, and was surprised to find that on average customers paid $14 more than the minimum.
Pay What You Want pricing is in vogue this year, and is seen by some as a way to sidestep the ‘brutality’ of the clear and simple price tag. It seems at times as if some people are nervous about demanding a certain price for a service or product; instead, they want to personalise the transaction process and create a greater sense of goodwill between provider and consumer.
Personally, I see this less as a success for the Pay What You Want system and more as a success for tiered payment options. We’ve seen with services like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo that customers can pay different amounts and get different levels of perks. This works for books: for example, 99 cents might get you the ebook, but $2.99 would get you the ebook and some bonus titles, while those who pay top-dollar, e.g. $9.99, might get a bonus physical copy.