When should we start showing prices?


For a company that has just started, when should we show prices to customer? Right when the application is live on day one or when the application is stable enough to be used by real customer?

What is the downside for each approach from your experience?

We are currently left in the middle whether we should show the price right when we have our application live or when the application is valuable enough to be used by the customer (GA version).

When we are live on day one, we are still in beta version. So we are not expecting any paid customer yet. So basically the question should be revised: "Should I start showing prices during starting from beta version or only when the application is out of beta version"

Pricing Bootstrapped

asked May 25 '10 at 19:37
1,342 points
  • How can the user use it if they do not know the price and pay for it? I am confused. – Tim J 14 years ago

4 Answers


I would say you have to do your research before deciding on the pricing and not visibly experiment with users.

You can go live with a beta version so users can play with it. Once you think you have v1.0 ready/stable you should announce the pricing and stay with it for a certain time, say 3/6 months before fine tuning it.

Put yourself in users shoes, Nobody would become a paying customer if they know the site is not stable enough.

So the best option would be:

beta phase (no pricing info) - iterate with customers (you can also interact with your users privately in this phase to gather feedback on your pricing)

live phase - pricing announced

Good luck.

answered May 25 '10 at 22:29
161 points


I suggest showing prices early, it will put the customer in a 'customer' frame of mind rather than a 'this is nifty' frame of mind. You will find you get different feedback, and you will learn faster what is truly valuable to the customer and whether they are willing to part with dollars for your application.

Short of charging, you can also simply show them the price and ask them if they would be willing to pay, it's not as good but it's a better simulation than just showing the product and asking what they think.

Good luck!

answered May 25 '10 at 21:56
250 points


The short answer is simple: put yourself in the shoes of your clients and figure out when THEY would like to know the price.

As a customer, I would like to know upfront exactly how much it is going to cost me a given product or service.

If for whatever the reason you are not able to come up with a specific price, make sure you have a good reason that your customer will understand. However, my recommendation is to show the price as soon as possible.

Good luck.

answered May 26 '10 at 06:21
A. Garcia
1,601 points


Danger! "Right when the application is live on day one or when the application is stable enough to be used by real customer?" Does this mean your live software is unstable?

Personally, I think the sooner you answer the full question "what will this cost me?" the better. And by full, I mean providing answers to:

  • How long will it take to convert to your product,
  • How steep is the learning curve with your application,
  • How much of my personal information/reputation/social graph do I have to share to use your product.

The non-monetary costs can often outweigh the price as a factor.

answered May 26 '10 at 11:32
Bob Walsh
2,620 points
  • Thanks Bob. But from my point of view it would be too naive to say that an application is stable from day one. I am not saying that the software is buggy though. You have got some good points there. Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate it. – Jpartogi 14 years ago

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