Just five dollars.

More SaaS providers ought to offer regional prices. Just $5/month isn't "just $5/month."

Be aware this is a draft post — please adjust your expectations accordingly. Get in touch if this post could use an improvement.

I browse the web a lot, and rely on apps and services a lot. It is not uncommon to come across phrases like “just $5/month” or “only $4/month” — and I roll my eyes each time.

I had created a static site a while ago called Bill My Pocket that aimed to show how discriminatory these prices are when you take into account the concept of purchasing power parity. PPP is not perfect in reality, so I only use Bill My Pocket as a quick barometer.

Currently, I’m considering cancelling my subscription of Standard Notes and have already expressed interest in self-hosting Plausible Analytics. I’m also due to cancel my YNAB subscription — because US$84/year is simply outrageous money.

Paying ~36 EUR and taking on the headache of maintaining a VPS with several services is far more preferable to me than paying US$48 or US$60 per year for a bundle of services each.

For context, if I paid US$60 each per year for just 5 services, I’d have paid the equivalent of one month’s rent and maintenance in a well-kept society in the silicon valley of India. A month’s rent!

On the flip side, even a small business like Migadu when they decided to charge money, they set a price that much of the developing world could afford too: US$19/year. Miniflux similarly charges US$15/year. Bitwarden’s personal premium plan is US$10/year.

If you have the privilege of sitting in meetings where a pricing model is chalked out, please consider that there is a world outside the US and much of Europe. At the same time, it is true you owe nothing to anyone. You don’t have to talk this idea down — just consider it and discard it if it doesn’t fit your business model.


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