Logos 9 discounts?

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 28 2020 4:54 PM

Mike Pettit:
I do not think that logos is being transparent and could be seen as exploiting (in a marvellously marxist sense) its biggest customers.

I think the price tooltip is fairly transparent. There's not much more they could reveal about the package pricing.

As for "could be seen as exploiting their biggest customers," I'd think many more customers buy the smaller libraries or base packages, so the biggest number of customers may be saving a little more on average. We should be thankful for that, rather than seeing things in a negative light.

Thanks to FL for including Carta and a Hebrew audio bible in Logos 9!

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Armin | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 28 2020 5:16 PM

Some have been reluctant to mention how much they saved using this step-wise upgrade. However, even without mentioning a dollar value, would you be willing to share the percentage that you saved through this approach? 

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 28 2020 5:24 PM

Kolen Cheung:
it probably is not exactly the dynamic pricing formula.

A simpler calculation may be the likely calculation, to minimize the memory/cpu load on the back end. But no, I've never had an interest in approximating, never mind exactly reproducing a package's dynamic price. 

Kolen Cheung:
you can parse the HTML itself and then do it computationally

Can you skip parsing the HTML by querying the API? Even so, I wouldn't want to code something that might impact or abuse the site, even if it's within the acceptable number of calls per address.

Thanks to FL for including Carta and a Hebrew audio bible in Logos 9!

Posts 1046
Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 28 2020 6:41 PM

PetahChristian:

Kolen Cheung:
it probably is not exactly the dynamic pricing formula.

A simpler calculation may be the likely calculation, to minimize the memory/cpu load on the back end. But no, I've never had an interest in approximating, never mind exactly reproducing a package's dynamic price.

The Affine Transformation formula I said is very cheap to calculate. It is computationally as expensive to calculate as the most naïve formula. (May be theoretically a bit less if you exploit the fact that the constants are the same and pull that out. But in virtually makes no difference in computer time. As the CPU finishes the calculation in no time and the memory latency is your bottleneck. We are not talking about computational intensive BLAS3 level calculation, and even in that case it should be very cheap as your matrix is very small. Memory latency is the one taking most time.)

Kolen Cheung:
you can parse the HTML itself and then do it computationally

Can you skip parsing the HTML by querying the API? Even so, I wouldn't want to code something that might impact or abuse the site, even if it's within the acceptable number of calls per address.

They recently changed the API and AFAIK I cannot get that info from the API directly. If anyone knows please let me know in a private message. Thanks.

I've talked with the staff in the past and they are ok with it as long as it is within the API call limit (and if you go beyond that it will automatically block you.)

I'm a bit sad to see their API changes because that is how I build up Collections (Checkout the public document from me such as "Collection—Logos 8 Academic Professional" for example.) But I am guessing that API is making it too easy for me to reverse engineer their dynamic pricing and they want to keep it a secret (remember not only you need a formula but also data. A correct formula is useless without the access to the data including the "parent-children" relationship and their individual prices.) Or may be for other reasons. But I really hope they can communicate it more publicly. API doesn't reveal any more information than available from the web site itself. Making the API handicap just encourage people to crawl their website directly and that's pain for both parties...

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Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 28 2020 6:57 PM

Other reasons that the dynamic formula pricing might not be as simple, and price optimization might not be an easy problem:

1. (already mentioned) cases where buying a free package without adding resources will lower prices of other packages

2. Consider the non-trivial path of buying 2 overlapping but not strictly inclusive packages (say standard and academic). One has more discount, another have less. It is possible that you can save more by buying more. (I have done this in the past.)

3. counter example given by one above, that buying the steepest discount one first doesn't lower the difference of the price of a larger package.

But, all being said, probably the above given algorithm is a good heuristics. Just don't be surprised or feel sad that it may not be the cheapest possible way to buy a package. i.e. you are approximating the true minimization solution.

Just tell you my example, during Logos 8 launch I was able to lower the price of a package substantially by buying it with another one on sale. So essentially not only I paid less I own much more resources than I would have been.

Now consider the cases that you want something from package A as well as some others from package B. The optimization problem is now more complicated to ask when is the cheapest path to obtain both.

More realistically, you want resource A and B, say you want TOTC and TDOT for example. What is the cheapest way for you to obtain both? Denote this by P(A, B). How about throwing one more resource C, say NAC, what is P(A, B, C)?

I think in real life this is the problem you want to solve. We don't want packages. We want some titles. And often a certain packages has a lot of the titles you want in it. And you don't mind having those "junk" accompanied as long as the total price is lower than buying them individually. The point of base packages in the beginning is to give you exactly that. But now with the exponentially more combinations of packages it is like 2 steps forward 1 step back, that you are now much less confident the path you take (by buying a package) is the cheapest possible way to get the resources you need.

I'm an optimization person, and just thinking about that makes myself uneasy. Don't overthink it. You don't want to share the mental pain (and believe me it is not something I can control. It is a curse.) Just buy, and know that you may not have the cheapest deal. Like how you buy a car or an iPhone or air ticket(!), there's always other deal that is steeper then the one you're getting.

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Bryce Hufford | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 28 2020 7:48 PM

I’m a connect subscriber and would like to get the platinum library.  My price with connect discount is around $600.  I just did a chat with sales to ask what the cheapest upgrade path was: a) upgrade directly to platinum for $600 or b) do multiple upgrades like starter, bronze, silver, gold, then platinum.  The sales person told me that the route wouldn’t make a difference and would be only pennies difference.  I don’t believe this and I think he was either too lazy to run the numbers or didn’t know how to run the numbers.  Is this a reasonable request that others have been able to get clear answers on or am I asking for something unreasonable?  

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Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 28 2020 8:01 PM

Bryce Hufford:
I don’t believe this and I think he was either too lazy to run the numbers or didn’t know how to run the numbers.

From my past experience, I don't think they can just "run" the numbers. They somehow need to change your database directly (i.e. by pretending you really owned a package and check your next dynamic pricing.)

BUT, it was from Logos 8 launch, they might have updated their backends such that that was not needed. I recently online chat with them and seems like they didn't need to change my database directly to see the would-be price of a certain action.

You can try to call in / online chat later to connect to another agent and they might be doing better.

I don't think it was lazy. Some might just not know that much. So yes sometimes they can told you some misinformation but is not intentional. I experienced this in Logos 8 launch as well.

I also met one that is kind of rude. But that was just before 12am and I bet they are exhausted. That made me felt hesitate to online chat with them. But they are just humans, and we ain't all saints.

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David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 28 2020 8:41 PM

I do remember buying a combo of Anglican + Ordinariate 8 a few months back, I asked them (via the chat app) how much the dynamic price would be for one if I bought the other. It took them awhile to calculate. So I imagine it isn't easy information at their fingertips either.

WIN 10 i7 9750H, RTX 2060, 16GB RAM | iPad Air 3
Verbum 9 Ultimate

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Dale E Heath | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 28 2020 10:20 PM

mike:

Okay. I just completed the chores.

Buying straight to Ultimate vs. buying from the ground up saves me around $320.

I could've gotten better if I didn't mess up on the earlier steps.

There you go peeps.

OK, I'll share my numbers and add a few more comments, now that the brain fog has cleared. My original price for Ultimate, including all the Full Feature & 2 or 3 other upgrades, was $1,533.49. By buying in 52 steps, I saved $334.33, or about 21%. The exact method I used was to compare the price and discount for all upgrades of every library. The 3 Verbum libraries are on a different section than Logos, so you're dealing with 2 different sets of web pages. At each step, I chose the lowest price and the highest discount. Then I would start all over and go through the entire routine again. It's important to go back to the beginning because each purchase changes the dynamics of all the pricing. Sometimes, not often, a gold baptist might be a little cheaper than a silver baptist, or just a few cents more. Take advantage of that. It's important to ignore the persuasion when you're comparing prices. You only care about the cheapest price and the highest discount, regardless of persuasion. If a price was 1.23 with a 98%, I would take the price of 1.27 with a 99%. The Verbum packages only affected the Logos packages early in the process and vice versa. They became completely independant near the end. I had to switch to a different Verbum webpage near the end as the original wasn't showing the larger packages. The prices at the beginning were very small and became a little larger as I went along. I added a feature upgrade when it was available. I only checked my progress of the Utimate price about every 5 to 7 steps.

My marketing rep of a few years ago had a tool that allowed him to simulate this step by step buying, but it was time and labor intensive. We only did it once, on a collection with several smaller bundles. We wanted to prove that step by step made a difference, and it did. He said it wasn't available to customers. I believe FL will eventually have to step up to this. I hope this works for you if you enjoy this type of a challenge. It's not for everyone. I got pretty rummy several times. Take a break, you don't need to hurry.

Posts 1046
Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2020 12:11 AM

Dale E Heath:
My marketing rep of a few years ago had a tool that allowed him to simulate this step by step buying, but it was time and labor intensive.

It shouldn't be if done correctly, especially if one is an employee that can access any info they want.

(I run truly time and labor intensive simulations on supercomputer for scientific computing. While I don't know everything an employee does, from the problem statement itself it is really not intensive at all, especially that you can demonstrate that by running a single path, and not exhaustive search by running over all possible paths.)

Dale E Heath:
I believe FL will eventually have to step up to this. I hope this works for you if you enjoy this type of a challenge. It's not for everyone. I got pretty rummy several times. Take a break, you don't need to hurry.

If I have Faithlife's blessing, I don't mind writing a tool to do this automatically. Recently their API has made changes to hold back some necessary information. If it is really their intension to allow us to do that, it will be great if they start putting back that information in their APIs.

Posts 979
Kiyah | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2020 6:00 AM

Kiyah:

Kolen Cheung:

You could contact customer support for a refund. In their website a simple email request suffices.

IMO it is not unethical to do that, but do know that you only have 1 single chance of refund per product.

I'm happy with what I got for the $13 bucks I spent so no need. I'll just wait until they add more features and see if it's beneficial for me to upgrade at some later point. Phil mentioned that they would be adding more over the next 6 months. I don't preach or do counseling so the Sermon Manager and Counseling guide add no value for me, and I don't need more books right now. Usually you can grab some great books or reference works you've been wanting for a while, and sometimes they're even in the lower packages like bronze. The bronze packages don't look as attractive to me and I don't have the money for Silver right now.

I wish they would go back to have just 3 feature set levels. That worked really well for Logos 8 and was less confusing. It's bad enough they have two sets of feature sets (one for Logos, one for Verbum) and now they have the Academic feature sets. 10 feature sets total. Too complicated. and when the dynamic pricing doesn't work as expected that makes it worse.

So after more investigation into the actual features in the packages and figuring out what's finished and what's not, and after watching Morris Procter's webinar (he sold me on the Bible Books Explorer), I decided to get a refund for Lutheran Starter and purchase Verbum Academic Essentials, which has the Verbum Academic feature set. I got the new Factbook (of course), the Bible Books Explorer, the Sermon Manager, the NET Bible 2nd edition (still in production), some new reverse interlinears (NET, NET2, LES2), and the new lexicons and some of the other resources that feed into the Factbook. The Factbook works a lot better now, especially for lemmas. This seemed liked the best value in terms of features vs. price, which was pretty cheap for me and cheaper than all the Bronze packages which don't have many of these features. I'm happy with the upgrade. All is well.

Posts 199
Tony Walker | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2020 8:12 AM

As a youth pastor (making youth pastor wages) and a seminary student using loans... this thread makes my brain numb :) 

On one hand, I want to be understanding since I don't know what all goes into computer program, running numbers, etc. But on the other hand, in my situation, what some people call a few bucks could be a lot of bucks to me. It would be nice to know what is the best price and the best way to get it in each package.

Posts 979
Kiyah | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2020 8:20 AM

Tony Walker:

As a youth pastor (making youth pastor wages) and a seminary student using loans... this thread makes my brain numb :) 

On one hand, I want to be understanding since I don't know what all goes into computer program, running numbers, etc. But on the other hand, in my situation, what some people call a few bucks could be a lot of bucks to me. It would be nice to know what is the best price and the best way to get it in each package.

What's your starting point? And are the Academic packages affordable for you? I'd look there if I were you. Essentials and Standard have the Academic Feature set, and Premium and Professional have the Full Feature Set. Less complicated with only two to decide between vs. the four levels for the other packages. I'm liking the Academic packages these days and am glad Faithlife decided to continue to offer them.

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2020 10:14 AM

Tony Walker:

As a youth pastor (making youth pastor wages) and a seminary student using loans... this thread makes my brain numb :) 

On one hand, I want to be understanding since I don't know what all goes into computer program, running numbers, etc. But on the other hand, in my situation, what some people call a few bucks could be a lot of bucks to me. It would be nice to know what is the best price and the best way to get it in each package.

i'd talk with sales. most of them are really good and tell them you want to get the best deal possible. you know that incremental upgrading can save you dollars, would they be willing to do that for you.

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 1952
mike | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2020 10:48 AM

Don't even bother calling Sales. They're clueless in terms of details. They only know what they read on their screen. 

Trust me calling sales isn't my first times. 

I was the first to call Sales during L9 launch at 4AM...yes... 4AM. They were open at 4AM Monday morning because I got the email at that same time. 

And when they tried to sell me the Ultimate, they didn't even bother to tell me that the price they quoted includes the full feature upgrade for L9, which I already have through Connect subscription. And I was super close of closing the deal. He even mentioned that I was the first caller AND the first to would have ULTIMATE L9 among everyone. Enticing title. 

Had I bitten the offer I wouldve lost money actually.

Only call sales for returns. 

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2020 11:13 AM

mike:
Only call sales for returns.

Customer Service can handle returns. (Sales could too, but that frees them up for calls from people who want to make a purchase.)

Thanks to FL for including Carta and a Hebrew audio bible in Logos 9!

Posts 57
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2020 1:27 PM

Following Dale's strategy requires scanning prices to identify the most discounted package. One way to make it easy on the eyes for comparing is to put all of the packages in your Wishlist. I found that adding packages to your Wishlist is not easy. This is what I did. In the search bar, type "Logos 9 starter" and from the list that comes up, add all the starter packages (including Verbum). Then type in "Logos 9 bronze" and from the list that comes up, add all the bronze packages (including Verbum). Go all the way up to Portfolio. This ensures that the Starters are all next to each other and the Bronzes are all next to each other in your wishlist. Since the biggest discount typically is seen for the lowest level of packages, grouping Starters together and grouping Bronzes together etc. in your Wishlist makes it easy to compare and implement Dale's strategy. 

My sales rep also told me that buying in increments doesn't make a difference. It has made a difference to me. They may not be knowledgeable. 

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2020 1:30 PM

mike:
Don't even bother calling Sales. They're clueless in terms of details.

i would not unequivocally support that statement, I’ve had some good interaction with a few—knowledgeable and listening well. And if you call saying you are looking for XYZ (like cheapest price through incremental upgrades) and you will only work with them if they work with you...then you hold the cards in your hand. Especially if you’re gonna buy ultimate. It’s worth THEIR while, for sure. But I’ve had them help me on far lesser upgrades.

That said...I’ve had some abysmal service as well. Either not experienced, not trained well, certainly not customer oriented. Some essentially telling me what they CAN’T do, rather than what they can. Anyway, it used to be consistently good, and I often worked with one particular person Until they moved on. 🤓

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 40
Christopher Bucklin | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2020 2:01 PM

I wanted Standard Platinum, and it normally cost me $402 (pre tax).  Instead of buying outright, I bought Starter, then Bronze, etc.. up to it. which ended up at a total of around $378 (pre tax) So I saved about $24. Which I then promptly used to buy other small base packages (starters and such from different denominations). So overall not a huge savings (6%), but worth spending the extra time to make the purchases separately.

Posts 75
Bryce Hufford | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2020 7:03 PM

Bryce Hufford:

I’m a connect subscriber and would like to get the platinum library.  My price with connect discount is around $600.  I just did a chat with sales to ask what the cheapest upgrade path was: a) upgrade directly to platinum for $600 or b) do multiple upgrades like starter, bronze, silver, gold, then platinum.  

So I answered my own question.  I ended up saving $25 by upgrading step-wise starting with starter up through platinum.  

My price to go directly to platinum was $618.  In round 1 I purchased starter and my new price total price to go to platinum was $609.  In round 2 I purchased bronze and my new total price to go to platinum was $602. In round 3 I purchased silver and my new total to go to platinum was $593.  In round 4 I purchased gold and my new total to go to platinum actually went up a dollar to $594.  

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