Zondervan is not a Crook

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Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Feb 19 2010 7:26 AM

While I can understand why those who have heavily invested in Pradis could be hoping for a bigger upgrade discount I think that people are missing a key point, and that it that Zondervan only has 50% of the List Price pie to work with. In retail, it is customary for the manufacturer to charge the retailer 50% of the list price. Thus, a $100 pair of shoes costs the retailer $50. The retailer then has the option to sale the shoes for $100 or for whatever sale price they choose. At the end of the season the retailer might be willing to sale the shoes for less than he or she purchased them for, just to get rid of inventory.

There are several factors that come into play the change this a bit. One being volume discounts large retailers get. Thus the Wal-Mart’s of the world are able to undercut your local shoe store. Another factor is restrictions that manufactures place on retailer to not discount their products, to only discount them only at a certain level or to discount them only when they have a special arrangement with the manufacture. This is what Apple does with their retailers. It also seems to be the agreement that Logos has with their publishing partners.

The discounts we see from Logos are either temporary or long term agreements with the publishers. However, unlike the discounts we see from normal retail stores, more than likely each party is agreeing to take an equal share in that discount. Thus a March Madness sale of 60% off means that Logos take a 30% cut and the publisher has agreed to take a 30% cut.

In the case of upgrade pricing for Zondervan products the only party that has an obligation to offer a discount is Zondervan. I am sure that Logos would have like to have offered PrePub discounts (and larger ones at that) on all the Zondervan books, but for whatever reason Zondervan chose to not allow this. Consequently, for those resources that do not have a PrePub discount, the biggest discount a Pradis user can hope for is 50%.

Let’s use the EBC as an example: Of the $130 (figures rounded up) it is list at Logos gets $65 for every sale. Zondervan will get $65 from non-ungraders and $13 from upgraders. As an owner of the EBC in Pradis 5 format I would like to pay less than $78 to add these commentaries to my Logos library. However, I don’t expect my upgrade for a Zondervan product to come out of Logos’ hide. So unless Zondervan and Logos negotiate a lower PrePub price for everyone (upgraders and non-upgraders), I don’t expect Logos to offer me one crumb of their half of the retail pie.

Now back to Zondervan’s half of the retail pie. Does their not offering us a 50% discount make them crooks? I don’t think so. When I purchased the Pradis 5 version of the EBC, I purchased it with my eyes wide open to their upgrade policies. I never expected to get a free upgrade from Zondervan. If I had chosen to upgrade my Pradis 5 version of the EBC to Pradis 6 I would have paid a lot more than $13. Zondervan’s upgrade policies may make them poor business people, but it certainly does not make them thieves.

The bottom line for me is that if I did not hate the Pradis 5 interface so much and like the EBC so much I would not be tempted by the $78 upgrade price, but for me to have these commentaries my Logos library is worth it. The $78 is also much easier to swallow knowing that $65 is going to Logos and only $13 to Zondervan!

 

 

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 19 2010 1:33 PM

P. Keith Larson:
The $78 is also much easier to swallow knowing that $65 is going to Logos and only $13 to Zondervan!

It could be the other way around.

Posts 3745
BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 19 2010 1:45 PM

Hi Keith,

I appreciate your calm, level-headed, thought-provoking posts... even though we've arrived at different positions on the issue of Z / Pradis resources.

So long as Pradis still opens, I'll keep on using EBC there... In our tiny church, $78 is too much to burn on another copy of the same resource. Anything over a nominal fee for conversion would've been more than I'd have chosen to spend.

Many blessings to you... Keep on making us think.

 

Grace & Peace,
Bill


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Richard Crampton | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 19 2010 2:09 PM

It may make you feel better that you get to repurchase the resources you already own from Logos, but it does nothing to sooth my irritation. I don't care who the money is going to, Pradis customers are getting the shaft.  Yes, strictly defined, what Zondervan had done does not make them crooks.  But it does reveal a disdain for their customers.  

 I have resigned myself to using Pradis as long as possible.  Thank God for virtual machines!

 

Posts 1130
Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 19 2010 2:14 PM

Jack Caviness:
It could be the other way around.

 

Highly unlikely. Logos is the one with all the cost to absorb in this project: Logos must prepare the books, Logos is the one paying sales people to take the order, Logos is the one providing tech support. Zondervan has no real expenses associated with this partnership. Everything they make is pure profit.

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 19 2010 2:19 PM

Richard Crampton:
Thank God for virtual machines!

 

At least you know how to run one!  I have no clue.  But for now, Pradis works on Win 7.  Maybe in a couple years I may ask you how I can run one!  :)

 

Rick, it seemed to me like your chosen moniker for Z was borne out of frustration with them, but it still seemed quite incendiary, and not helpful in the overall discussion.  Not sure if my comment on your moniker is helpful at this point, either.  Anyway, peace!

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 1130
Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 19 2010 2:29 PM

Richard Crampton:
It may make you feel better that you get to repurchase the resources you already own from Logos, but it does nothing to sooth my irritation. I don't care who the money is going to, Pradis customers are getting the shaft.  Yes, strictly defined, what Zondervan had done does not make them crooks.  But it does reveal a disdain for their customers.

 

I have already made it clear that I think it was a mistake for both Zondervan and Baker to think they could offer PrePubs with no discounts. At least Zondervan has relented somewhat with discounts ranging from 0% to 48% on the PrePubs.

The fact that I was trying to highlight is Logos is entitled to make some money off this partnership, even from those who are "upgrading." Logos was no the one who sold you your Pradis books, but they are the ones who are absorbing the costs of preparing the books, marketing them and now providing long term tech support for these books. If you the consumer do not pay these costs, who does? If you think Zondervan will you are living in a socialistic dream world, the cost must always be passed on to the consumer or the company will go out of business.

Posts 1130
Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 19 2010 4:01 PM

BillS:
Anything over a nominal fee for conversion would've been more than I'd have chosen to spend.

 

Thanks for making me think. With all the costs of conversion, marketing, and support associated with any product that is converted from one media or format to another, I wonder what the absolute minimum "upgrade" price could be?

About the best PrePub price I have ever seen is a 50% discount. So for the sake of argument lets say that Zondervan and Logos agree to a 50% off list price PrePub. Of course this would mean that Logos would have to get enough orders before they could start production, unlike what happened with these Zondervan books which were in production regardless of the number of orders placed.

This would give both Zondervan and Logos a $39 slice of pie. Then for the sake of argument let's say Zondervan is still willing to make only $13 from upgraders, this would give a final price of $52. Would that be "nominal" enough for you?

Now let's say Zondervan is really nice Angel, and decides to make nothing off upgrades. Would $39 be nominal enough for you?

Regardless of what your answer would be, there would still be people out there what would call Zondervan a crook at a $39 upgrade fee, because these people not only expect Zondervan to not make any money off this conversion, but they don't expect Logos to make any money either.

Another way of looking at this to make us all think is what makes this conversion any different than Logos converting print books to Logos format? All newer books come to Logos in electronic text anyway. My guess is that the Pradis markups and taggings would be more of a hindrance to Logos that a help. So why are we not crying foul when we are not offered a nominal upgrade fee for converting our paper books to Logos format? Logos has generated no income in the past from Pradis sales, they should not be expected to eat their costs so upgraders can have a low price. There is a base price associated with this conversion and the sad fact is that it is higher than just a nominal upgrade fee.

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Mike Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 19 2010 4:31 PM

The language has been a little over the top. 

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

Posts 3745
BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 19 2010 4:45 PM

P. Keith Larson:

Regardless of what your answer would be, there would still be people out there what would call Zondervan a crook at a $39 upgrade fee, because these people not only expect Zondervan to not make any money off this conversion, but they don't expect Logos to make any money either.

And they'd be wrong... The value equation has to be positive for Z & L, too, or they won't offer us the resources for sale. I've spent too long in the commercial airplanes industry to misunderstand either marketing or the value equation. For us, value has to be positive enough to make the purchase. If we have an available substitute, marketing needs a very different value proposition than if we have no substitute.

In my case, I do... That's all I'm saying. At whatever point Pradis won't open, I'll hope for a sale on Z resources in L4 format. Until then, unless the value equation looks good against a no-cost substitute, I'll invest in new resources, not dups. To directly answer your question, I don't think I'd pay much more than $10-20 to replace it with an identical resource.

Money at my house is just too short in supply. Smile I have to be a good steward whether I want to or not. Big Smile

Grace & Peace,
Bill


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Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 20 2010 7:51 AM

BillS:
To directly answer your question, I don't think I'd pay much more than $10-20 to replace it with an identical resource.

Bill,

I think this represents the problem with this "upgrade" or more accurately "conversion." Because this is not an upgrade of one Pradis version to another Pradis version, but rather the conversion of a set of commentaries that are in one format to another format, and this conversion being done by another company other than Zondervan the cost associated with this conversion are much greater than the cost associated with a simple upgrade. This is just a guess on my part, but I would think that the cost associated with Logos producing a 12 vol. set of commentaries would be much more that $10-$20.

To give a point of reference consider Barnes Notes, which is in Community Pricing. This is a similarly sized project (both are around 10,000 pages). According to Bob more people have bid on Barnes Notes than any project to date, but at its highest level, $30, the graph is just under the 50% mark. I can understand why people don't want to spend much on a public domain work that is available for free in other formats. But this does not can change the cost associated with producing this work. Realistically, if a person really wants to see Barnes Notes in Logos format they are going to have to bid $30 or more (probably more).

Now getting back to the EBC, to provide Pradis owners a "conversion" of the EBC to Logos format for only $10-$20, Zondervan would not only have to be prepared not to make any money off this conversion, but they would actually have to pay Logos money to make up the difference between the upgrade fee and the price Logos would be charging Zondervan to do the conversion! I am sure some on this forum would argue that Zondervan has a moral obligation to pay this price, I would not. Here is why.

When I purchased my EBC in Pradis 5 format Zondervan provided me tech support for that product until they went to Pardis 6. At that time they did offer me an upgrade price, which I chose to pass on because all I was using Pradis for is to read the EBC. If I had purchased the upgrade Zondervan would be still offering me tech support for Pardis 6 until June 1, 2010. They have already produced an upgrade that makes Pradis 6 fully compatible with Windows 7. Now that they are going out of the software business, they have no farther obligations to me as a Pradis user. As long as I have a computer that is running Windows 7 I can continue using Pradis and my EBC until the day I die.

However, Zondervan has gone beyond their obligations and have offered a 40% discount. In addition, Zondervan responding to the protests about not offering an PrePub discount and are now discounting all their PrePubs with the exception of the EBC.

I do expect in the future that Logos and Zondervan will agree to a special discount special on many of these resources. Some perhaps will even be in a base package from Logos! But short of being a part of a base package, I doubt you will ever see a 12 vol. commentary set going for much less than $78. Which BTW is only $6.50 a volume!

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Kevin A. Purcell | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 20 2010 8:19 AM

P. Keith Larson:
However, Zondervan has gone beyond their obligations and have offered a 40% discount. In addition, Zondervan responding to the protests about not offering an PrePub discount and are now discounting all their PrePubs with the exception of the EBC.

You are confusing "obligation" with "expectation". If you carefully read the EULA for most software, there is almost no legal obligation whatsoever to software users. Haven't read either Pradis or Logos EULAs but I would bet they are similar. NO ONE is say they have a legal obligation at all. What most of us are saying is that we have a certain expectation of the two companies.

1. I expect that since they are producing Christian products that the employees and leaders of both companies will behave in a Christian way.

2. I expect that they will also, being for profit companies want to do what is best for their long term bottom line.

Some have unreasonable expectations. They also expect that all Bible software should be free or nearly free. But I have not read anyone here saying that. That is reserved for the groups that are stealing software.

When you put 1&2 in place, it is my belief that it would be in Zondervan's best interest to give a very low cost upgrade on these works to previous users. This will do two things that will be fulfilling #2. First, it will entice Pradis users who are not interested in Logos to come over to Logos. This helps both companies because of the potential for future revenue from these new Logos/Zondervan users. Second, it will engender good will with users who are feeling like Zondervan has a reputation for overcharging for previous upgrades when we are used to the philosophy of Logos and other companies which say once you buy your books you own them and will never be charged again for them. There is a clash of cultures between Zondervan which often charged for book upgrades and Logos which never does.

Finally, one last point that no one seems to have ever really answered to my liking. Zondervan asked Logos to produce their products in Logos format so they can sell it to Logos users and future customers. If no one who ever owned a single book in Pradis format ever bought the Logos versions, they likely still would have done so. They understand that Logos has a large customer base and their books are popular. They will make money even if none of us Pradis users buy. Since that is the case (you'd have to show me some proof to convince me otherwise) then the additional cost of giving us loyal Pradis users a deeply discounted price to shift our books from Pradis to Logos would be wise for reasons #1 and 2 above. It would be in their best interest and mine.

Personally, I knew this would NEVER happen. The 40% is the best I can expect. I have chosen to take them up on their offer because with it I am also gettting the NIV Application Commentaries for less than I would have otherwise. This makes it easier. But it also leaves a little bit of bad taste in my mouth with regards to Zondervan due to my expectations which I believe are very fair.

Alas, I feel as I am shouting against the wall so I will most likely not post again about this topic. I would suggest we all just move on once we get our final rants out as I have just done. But if you are still reading after all of this, I have one question for you: "Why?" Big SmileHuh?

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BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 20 2010 10:28 AM

Hi Keith,

P. Keith Larson:
the cost associated with Logos producing a 12 vol. set of commentaries would be much more that $10-$20.

True. I've never said the commentaries aren't worth $78 or even full list price.

P. Keith Larson:
Zondervan has gone beyond their obligations and have offered a 40% discount.

True again. I also agree with your subject that they aren't crooks.

P. Keith Larson:
in the future that Logos and Zondervan will agree to a special discount special on many of these resources. Some perhaps will even be in a base package from Logos!

Until they do, I have a working set that does what I need every e-commentary to do.

In our financial situation, I just can't justify $78 for the convenience of having THE SAME resource in Logos. (If it were an updated revision to the content, I'd feel differently.) That's different than saying others who do find it a good value are wrong. For some, it's a good value. I'm ok with that. But in my circumstances, it isn't a good value for me. I'm not projecting my expectations on others. Smile

P. Keith Larson:
only $6.50 a volume!

For some, that's an acceptable value proposition. By far, most of my Logos purchases have been collections with the per book cost in the $1-2 / volume range. I choose to wait until there's a collection at that value proposition. That's why I stuck with Platinum... You got more books with Portfolio, but for me the cost / book would've been higher. I do the math....Big Smile

Many blessings to you!

Finally, I agree with Kevin that it's time for me to turn this thread loose.

Grace & Peace,
Bill


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Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 20 2010 2:25 PM

Bill,

I hope you did not get the impression that I was arguing with you personally. Only you can decide what you can afford and ultimately this is the only criteria that matters. I was just using your $10-$20 figure because I think it represents what many people's expection is. My point is that unless the EBC will someday be a part of a base package, this price range is not realistic. Just like you and I, Logos and Zondervan face economic realities too.

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BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 20 2010 2:33 PM

Hi Keith,

P. Keith Larson:
I hope you did not get the impression that I was arguing with you personally.

Smile

 

Grace & Peace,
Bill


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Todd Beall | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 22 2010 11:00 PM

I think that those of you who think that Logos is a saint and Zondervan is all at fault for the high upgrade prices should think again. Yes, I blame Zondervan here, not Logos, but Logos would still do fine even if they made virtually nothing off of Pradis users--there is no law that says that they should get a certain amount per book. Plus, Zondervan could have negotiated into their original deal with Logos that for the rights to reproduce their books in the Logos format, we want to give Pradis owners of the same books the right to upgrade for (say) $25 per set purchased (or whatever). Don't you think Logos would have agreed? Of course they would because for years after they have the sales of all these popular Zondervan products! That's the point that many of you are missing. Plus, the more books Logos has, the more of the market they corner, and the less likely that there will be any future competition. In a word, their brand becomes more valuable with the licensing of Zondervan books.

So...even if they made next to nothing on the Pradis converted books, they will make a mint in the long run--and even in the present with some of the books that had not yet been released in Pradis.

I am not happy with Zondervan at  all, because I am left with the choice of upgrading the books I originally bought for $540 at an additional cost of $464, or else hoping that the Pradis platform will still work a few years/operating systems from now. Neither choice is good. I would have paid $125-$150 for my 5 sets to be upgraded to Logos, but I am not at all sure about. 3 times that amount.

Todd

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Richard Crampton | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 23 2010 4:42 AM

I agree with your assessment Todd.   Some have said Pradis owners should be "happy" with the fact they are being ripped off because most of the proceeds go to Logos.  Whether that's true or not I'm not sure.  If it is true, then I'm as irritated at Logos as I am at Zondervan.  Up until now, Logos has always provided a great product at a fair price.  But this thread has got me wondering. Certainly, Logos bears no responsibility for Zondervan's treatment of it's customers, but if it's in their power to do something to ease the pain for Pradis customers, and they choose not to for profit sake that speaks volumes to me.

 I recognize everyone's situation is different.  I'm heavily invested in Pradis and it would cost me over a $1000 to upgrade what I own.  The fact this upgrade must be done all at once with no payment plan certainly does not help. I wonder who controls that?   I must confess I would not upgrade even if there was a payment plan at the present price.  

I don't need any lectures by the Logos "defenders" about profit.  So don't bother. I own Scholars Platinum and several hundred dollars worth of other resources.  So it's not like I have been a customer who expects something for nothing.  

Posts 1130
Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 23 2010 5:24 AM

Todd Beall:
Plus, Zondervan could have negotiated into their original deal with Logos that for the rights to reproduce their books in the Logos format, we want to give Pradis owners of the same books the right to upgrade for (say) $25 per set purchased (or whatever). Don't you think Logos would have agreed? Of course they would because for years after they have the sales of all these popular Zondervan products! That's the point that many of you are missing. Plus, the more books Logos has, the more of the market they corner, and the less likely that there will be any future competition. In a word, their brand becomes more valuable with the licensing of Zondervan books.

 

Only if Zondervan paid them up front for the conversion costs. With Zondervan's backwards policy of asking 100% MSRP for their books in Logos format, I seriously doubt that Logos will see very many sales of these Zondervan works after the intial rush. Who in their right mind would the MSRP when you can get the very same book from CBD or Amazon for a faction of the costs? Even Logos' "sale prices" at their unlock store are a joke. Once a book leaves PrePub, Logos probably only sell a few hundred copeis, even at their so called "Logos sale price."  Logos knows this and will not spend thousands of dollars producting digital books that will sit in their servers gathering digital dust! $25 per set would not even come close to what Logos needs to do this work, more like $40 to $50. You guys are living in a dream world wanting something for nothing. Well wake up! There is NO FREE LUNCH!!!

 

Posts 142
James Macleod | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 23 2010 6:54 AM

Todd Beall:
I am not happy with Zondervan at  all, because I am left with the choice of upgrading the books I originally bought for $540 at an additional cost of $464, or else hoping that the Pradis platform will still work a few years/operating systems from now. Neither choice is good. I would have paid $125-$150 for my 5 sets to be upgraded to Logos, but I am not at all sure about. 3 times that amount.

The bit you are missing is that you are not getting the same books; otherwise you would just stay with Pradis. You are getting books that are fully integrated into the Logos library. Someone has to do this work and it costs money. If you don't want that functionality, just stay with Pradis. If you do want that functionality, you will have to pay for it. I think 40% discount is generous. No one works for free. We all have families to feed.

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Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 23 2010 7:58 AM

Richard Crampton:
Some have said Pradis owners should be "happy" with the fact they are being ripped off because most of the proceeds go to Logos.  Whether that's true or not I'm not sure.  If it is true, then I'm as irritated at Logos as I am at Zondervan.  Up until now, Logos has always provided a great product at a fair price.  But this thread has got me wondering. Certainly, Logos bears no responsibility for Zondervan's treatment of it's customers, but if it's in their power to do something to ease the pain for Pradis customers, and they choose not to for profit sake that speaks volumes to me.

 

What you seem to be missing is that this is not an in house upgrade by Zondervan. Zondervan is now totally out of the software business. They have made the decision to farm out to Logos and others all the software preparation, development, and support. Logos and these other companies cannot do this for free. The expense of converting these books from Pradis format to Logos format is much greater than the cost was for when Zondervan upgraded their Pradis 5 resources to Pradis 6 format. In addition, it is easy to see just by looking at the Pradis products that their electronic books are "cheap" compared to Logos format books. Pradis books are little more than glorified PDFs. Probably costing only a faction to produce what it cost Logos to produce one of their books. Talk about ripe offs, the upgrade price of $25 per set that Zondervan was charging to upgrade from one version of Pradis to another was a rip off! That is why I refused to upgrade my Pradis software from 5 to 6.

Because Logos is basically operating as a sub-contractor for Zondervan they had to set a minimum price for what they would be willing to do this work for. My point is that $25/ per set is not even close to what Logos will be charging Zondervan to do this work. The price for doing this could be greater or lesser based on the anticipated volume of sales. As I have made it clear in other posts, I believe Zondervan's and Bakers decision to ask the MSRP for their PrePubs grantees a low volume of sales. Logos knows this too. Thus the price per set that Logos quoted Zondervan had to be higher than the $25 you are expecting. The problem is not the 40% upgrade discount, but the high PrePub price.

Here is the scenario I would have liked. A 40% discount on all PrePubs (and these PrePubs would not go into production until Logos' production costs are met, just like other PrePubs). Then Zondervan would offer a 50% discount for Pradis users (but only for the products they own, unlike the current upgrade).  This would product an upgrade price on the EBC of $39 vs. the current $78 and the NIDOTT of $60 vs. the current $96. This would mean that Logos would have their cost covered and make a profit on all PrePub orders over 100%, plus any future sales. Zondervan would make nothing for upgrades and profit on all non-upgrade PrePub sales over the 100% mark and all future sales.

But my guess is that even  if this is the way the PrePub and upgrade was set up, you would still be crying foul, because to pay the same upgrade price that moved you from one version of Yugo quality software (Pradis 5) to another version of Yugo quality software (Pradis 6), when what is being offered is an upgrade to BMW quality software (Logos).

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