Explain how the prices I see on the base package product pages work

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Colin | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Oct 10 2016 12:49 AM
I don't want to be alarmist but here's the new to me section of Logos 7 std Gold library:
  • English BiblesValue if sold separately
The New Testament: Translated from the Critical Text of Von Tischendorf; With an Introduction on the Criticism, Translation, and Interpretation of the Book $9.99
  • Biblical Commentaries
Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture Complete Set Updated Edition (ACCS) (29 vols.) (Expand) Owned
  • Audiobooks
All of Grace (Audio) $12.99
The Imitation of Christ (Audio) * $13.99
The Pilgrim’s Progress (Audio) * $4.99
  • Preaching and Teaching
Baker Sermon Outlines Collection (50 vols.) (Expand) $305.99
* Your purchase includes this resource, which isn’t available yet. The resource will automatically download to Logos once it’s available.
  •  Total value if sold separately: $3,132.55
Sorry if the above cut and paste didn't come out as well as I had hoped. I've been upgrading my Logos 7 libraries and always like to see how much I'm saving. I've been buying some smaller denominational libraries which don't cost me much to upgrade because of dynamic pricing. As a result, it's been easier for me to see the lack of correspondence between what I'm getting and how much it would cost me if not part of a library. As can be seen above, the 'total value if sold separately' is hugely inflated. I know others have mentioned the problem where something is marked as 'owned' if you have even part of a series but in this case my 'owned' ACCS would cost $231 to buy separately. Thus my 'total value if sold separately' figure should be $578.95 - not $3132.55. Even if I disregard my academic discount for the ACCS (which has no dynamic pricing) the total would be $655.94.  The issue came up when Logos 7 first came out but I expected that it would be resolved by now.  When I add it to the cart, I see that the normal price for this base package is $187.11 without my Logos now and academic discount. This is a lower level of discount than I expected - 65-70% I think, depending which of the 2 totals I use.  Does this mean we're all paying too much for our base packages? Why is the total value figure unrelated to the combined price of the resources we are getting?   Colin. 
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Yasmin Stephen | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 10 2016 7:46 AM

Colin:
I don't want to be alarmist ...

Well, the title ["Massive flaw ..."] took care of that! Stick out tongue

There is certainly a problem somewhere - I looked up Standard Gold in an incognito page (which means it doesn't take into account the resources l own), copied the contents into a spreadsheet and I'm only getting about $9,500.00 for total value if sold separately, though the product page is showing $13,863.11. Checking it where it takes into account my owned resources, the page shows the total value if sold separately as $5,614.88, but my spreadsheet says it's only about $1,300.00. Weird.

I've only been buying small L7 libraries, and before I do that I load everything up in a spreadsheet and add up the total value of the individual resources to see if the total adds up to what the site is showing (doesn't always match but the difference was usually negligible). My dynamic price has always been enough of an overwhelming value that I don't feel apprehensive about the mismatch. I'm wondering if these wide variances only show up with the bigger libraries, like Gold and up.

Posts 234
Colin | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 10 2016 7:57 AM

Good point about the title!  I just wanted to be specific - so many people come on and use a title like 'Help me! ' something. 

Anyhow, I saw Mark Barnes posting on an earlier thread about the pasting into a spreadsheet approach but it seemed too much like hard work! I thought it would be sorted by now.

Unfortunately it's  not just the bigger libraries  - I noticed it with bronze too.

Colin 

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 10 2016 8:00 AM

It gets to be goofy when one signs out and compare the value if sold separately with that when one is signed in. In my case, the latter was almost double of the first! 

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 10 2016 8:20 AM

The "Total value if sold separately" does not reflect what it is supposed to mean, especially considering the hover info next to it that says "Current dynamic sale price of all new-to-you resources, data sets, and media collections."

For example, the Baptist Starter Library (no feature set included) contains 43 new resources, which, when totaled separately, come to $821.68.

Yet the "Total value if sold separately" for that library always shows $1546.19, regardless of whether show "All" or show "new to you" is selected.

The total at the bottom is not new-to-you resources, but some different value which includes more than what is new, despite what the hover info says.

Posts 959
Yasmin Stephen | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 10 2016 8:28 AM

PetahChristian:

The total at the bottom is not new-to-you resources, but some different value which includes more than what is new, despite what the hover info says.

That was my thinking at first but even when I calculated it with all resources, the total is still off. When I had done similar exercises in the past with L6 packages, the figures were always on point for the ones I checked, IIRC.

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 10 2016 9:16 AM
Yasmin Stephen:
That was my thinking at first but even when I calculated it with all resources, the total is still off. When I had done similar exercises in the past with L6 packages, the figures were always on point for the ones I checked, IIRC.
I think the pricing difference probably has something to do with "Only some resources from this collection are included" sets. If you add in the value of the resources that aren't included, does that number match up with the total?
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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 10 2016 9:20 AM

PetahChristian:
I think the pricing difference probably has something to do with "Only some resources from this collection are included" sets. If you add in the value of the resources that aren't included, does that number match up with the total?

I think you may be on to something there.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 959
Yasmin Stephen | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 10 2016 9:44 AM

PetahChristian:
I think the pricing difference probably has something to do with "Only some resources from this collection are included" sets. If you add in the value of the resources that aren't included, does that number match up with the total?

For such sets, I expanded the lists and copied the individual resources (with the corresponding prices) into the spreadsheet, so my figures do take into consideration the resources that are included.  However, I didn't take into consideration resources that aren't included. Good thinking; that may well account for the mismatch, in which case the figures are definitely screwy and inflated. A resource that is not included is of no value to me and its cost should not be included in the overall figure.

Posts 234
Colin | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 10 2016 9:51 AM

Yasmin Stephen:
the figures are definitely screwy and inflated. A resource that is not included is of no value to me and its cost should not be included in the overall figure.

This is my worry. 

The reason this was worth posting about is not just because it points to some kind of coding glitch but because it seems to have implications for the price we are paying for these libraries. I read on the Logos blog a post which, while admittedly focusing on Platinum, suggests that the savings in a Logos 7 Library are in the region of 90%. In fact it is plastered in a huge font halfway down the article. 

https://blog.logos.com/2016/09/900-reasons-to-consider-logos-7-base-package/ 

This is what we had come to expect with Logos 6. However, as my figures about showed, the savings for me to upgrade to Standard Gold (without taking Now and academic discounts into account) come to less than 75%. 

Colin. 

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Yasmin Stephen | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 10 2016 10:17 AM

Yasmin Stephen:

However, I didn't take into consideration resources that aren't included. Good thinking; that may well account for the mismatch, in which case the figures are definitely screwy and inflated. A resource that is not included is of no value to me and its cost should not be included in the overall figure.

I just tested this with the Reformed Starter library (because it's small and familiar) and it doesn't explain the problem. Here's the breakdown:

A. Product page shows the total value of the individual resources as $1,832.33

B. Excel spreadsheet shows the actual total value as $1,565.22

C. Adding the resources that were not included in particular sets shows the total value as $2,658.76

Mystery Hmm

Posts 234
Colin | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 10 2016 11:10 AM

Thanks for checking that Yasmin. 

You mentioned my title earlier. I did consider carefully before writing the 'massive' word but did it in the end because:

1) the difference between what the website reported and what I could calculate for the figure was so vast - about $2500 

2) I hoped it might attract the attention of a Faithlife emoployee like Glenn who could come on and give some kind of explanation/assurance to us.

Colin. 

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 10 2016 11:19 AM

Yasmin Stephen:

Mystery Hmm

Thanks for taking the time to try to determine the reason for the price discrepancy.

I hope FL will fix this issue quickly, as it's misleading to make it seem like we're getting $x,xxx of resources for $yyy, when the true cost of purchasing the resources separately is (significantly) less than what they say.

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Glenn Airoldi (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 10 2016 5:08 PM

Hi everyone,

Appreciate you bringing this up. You did call out something here that needs to be fixed, and we will address it on the site in the coming days/weeks.

I'd like to take a moment to let everyone know that there is no flaw in the pricing model, customers are being charged appropriately for the Logos 7 libraries they are purchasing.

Clearly defining the prices in the resource lists that are meant to assist in making a helpful evaluation of the value of the is where there is room for improvement.

There are two very different values we're trying to communicate on these pages:


1 - The value of all the resources included in the library (think SRP or "Regular price"). This is very helpful in establishing the value of the library, even when not on sale. This is where you find the ~90% discount on resources when purchased in a "base package".

2 - What you would pay for all the resources in the library if you were to purchase them today (think today's dynamic sale price of each resource or collection in the library). This is is useful when trying to make sure that current sales or offers don't make purchasing resources a'la carte a better deal. It's rare that this is true in the context of base packages, but it does happen, so we expose it here.


What you are seeing on the product detail pages Library Resources section is meant to be a helpful inventory of both what the product contains, and what is new to you.

But, the chart serves double duty, by providing context around the value of the resources that are included in the library. Since we define value in different ways, as outlined above, I'll try to explain the nuances here, for anyone who wants to read beyond the "we'll improve it" commitment.

Resource - A thing that has a license that can be granted to an account. These typically have an associated Suggested Retail Price. The Pulpit Commentary 1 Chronicles is an example of a resource included in SDA Platinum. SRP is $9.99

Collection - A number of resources clumped together in a way that allows licenses to multiple things to be transferred to a user via a single transactional SKU. Collections typically have a calculated SRP, which is the sum of the SRP of the resources they contain. The SDA Platinum Library is a collection where the sum of the SRP of the resources is $18,446.32. The Pulpit Commentary is a collection where the sum of the SRP of the resources is $868.59. 

Product - A product is something we sell (as opposed to something we license). Every product has either an attached resource or an attached collection. The resource licenses are the things you own after purchasing a product. Products allow us to organize in a way meaningful to customers. Product pages represent products. Search results deliver products.

SKUs - A SKU defines the form of the product we sell, and is the thing that carries the price a customer pays. SKUs can be priced and discounted independently. The SDA Platinum library SKU has a price of $1,888.89 when sold as a download product, but there is (theoretically) a different SDA Platinum library SKU that has a price of $1,914.99.

So, here's what you're seeing on the Library Resources section of the product page:

The list is an inventory of all the individual resources included in the library. The line item price we display is dynamic sale price (or academic role price if it happens to be better) of the download SKU variation of the product that is backed by the resource being licensed.

The Collections are displayed as a convenience.  We don't actually sell collections inside collections.  A base package library collection is built from individual resources.  Listing the collection those resources are included helps users identify what those resources are a part of.  If we share a price on a collection, you'll notice that we don't show the price of the resources it includes. You'll also note that if we don't share the price on a collection, we do show the price of the resources it includes. (This happens when only part of a collection is included in the library.)  

At the bottom of the list, we display "Total value if sold separately". This price is the sum of the SRP of the resources you don't own. It's NOT a sum of the dynamic sale price of the SKUs listed above. This is improperly labeled in our tooltip, and definitely not consistent the prior behavior of being a "sum of the item prices above". We'll work out a way to better display these pieces of information.

Colin, with your permission, I'd like to rename this thread "Explain how the prices I see on the base package product pages work".

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 10 2016 6:08 PM

Thanks, Glenn, for the extremely detailed answer explaining how a total value is determined.

I understand why the Pulpit Commentary product page itself might want to show its SRP, or total value if (each of the 77 items in the collection were) sold separately, so the buyer might be persuaded to think, "Hey, I'm getting $868 of resources for $170."

BUT when that product is itemized on the base package page, its item price is shown as 169.99. If the customer bought the Pulpit commentary separately, it would cost $169.99, not $868.59.

I think the notion of using the SRP for the total base package price is still misleading, since we rarely pay the SRP for a collection from the package.

The value at the bottom of the package product page should be based on the true cost to buy the separate products/collections in the package, not some inflated (SRP) cost which no one would actually have to pay (because people rarely would buy a 77-volume commentary set item by item, and end up actually paying $868 for it.)

When it comes to a package, I think the mentality would be, "This packaged item costs $170," not $868, when we are determining the savings by buying the items as part of a package. 

In that light, I think the library total value should be based on the itemized (best dynamic, discounted, or sale) prices, not the SRP prices.

Using the SRP for the total value of a library vastly misrepresents the cost of the library, because the cost to buy the items separately is significantly less than the value. Whether we are talking about a $700 discrepancy for a Starter package, or a $2500 discrepancy for a Gold package, people should be able to trust the total at the bottom as being a true, accurate cost to buy items separately.

Please consider switching base packages to use the true cost, not an SRP value, when computing the package total, as this is a more accurate representation of the true savings, based on the individual costs when sold separately.

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 10 2016 6:24 PM

Glenn Airoldi:
The Collections are displayed as a convenience.  We don't actually sell collections inside collections.

This is the key to SRP logic behind your math. In short, "we're not selling you a collection. We're selling you every item, so we represent the total value as the cost of each separate item."

I think this is where the misrepresentation happens, creating an inconsistency in how the itemized total is determined.

Posts 234
Colin | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 10 2016 11:47 PM

Hi Glenn, 

Thanks for taking time to give such a detailed reply. I really appreciate the way you do that on the forums.  I'm happy for you to rename the thread if that is possible, and I see how your title would also have got your attention which is part of what I was trying to do.  

I'll read your post more carefully later and perhaps ask a follow-up question or two. 

Colin

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