what are the characteristics of features people pay for online?


I'm having a problem coming up with a business model other than advertising.
I did a little research, and it seems to me that people are paying for features/services that
deals with inconveniences.

the thing is, our basic(free) service does that and I'm 100% sure no one is willing to pay for that.

but lately I'm thinking about customization feature. so what i want to ask is, when do people pay for such complementary features(that doesn't affect functionality)?

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asked Jun 20 '10 at 21:37
101 points
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  • Could you be more specific on what it is that is currently free and what is it you would like to offer that would be billable? A possbility is once you have a group hooked you can convert over from the beta period to the pay period. So all of it becomes billable. – John Bogrand 13 years ago

1 Answer


What does your product/service do? Without knowing that it's really hard to answer this question. I suggest you add that information in your question if you want to get quality answers. Based on the little bit of information you provided, here's what I can offer/suggest:

  1. Why are you 100% sure no one is willing to pay for it? Have you taken a survey? Asked around? Is there a similar (or exact) product/service already available that's free? Are you just guessing? If there isn't a competing free product or service already available, and you've taken a survey on whether people would be willing to pay for your product, did you ask about different price points? It's possible no one is willing to pay $50/month for your product, but they'd be willing to pay $5/month for it. $5/month may not be enough to break even for you, but it's a start.
  2. Ask your potential customers about this. You'll get the best answer to this question from people that are actually willing to use your product in the first place. Especially since you didn't give us enough information to go on. For example, if you tell me that your product is an iphone app that plays fart noises, I wouldn't download it even if it were free. So it would be really hard for me to tell you what features you could add to it that would make me want to pay for it. The people that are already using the free version are the ones you want to ask about this.

I would suggest taking another survey (assuming you've already taken one) among likely users, and including different price points along with asking them what features they would want to see.

I hope this helps!

answered Jun 21 '10 at 01:42
Zuly Gonzalez
9,194 points

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