For Mac users, software bundles are a hit. The idea is simple: you pay a small price and get about 10 times as much in software. The package is fixed, so you don't have a choice. Some bundles even promise to donate a portion of the income to charity. The most famous is MacHeist, but other sites followed like MacUpdate and others. I'm really not familiar with similar concepts for other OSs, but I'm sure there are.
I am really struggling with this concept. It's a mixed bag and I thought I'd share my cons and pros, just to understand what I missed.
From the user standpoint, it's a bargain. You get tons of good apps for a fraction of the cost and, it's legal. In most cases, the bundle includes several products which cost alone more than the bundle itself. For example, in the current MUPromo Spring Bundle, you get 11 apps including Parallels Desktop for $50 whereas Parallels alone costs $80.
I purchased a MacHeist bundle about 2 years ago and I am very happy with this decision. I still use some of the apps I got like CSSEdit, Pixlemator, Typinator, Speed Download and AppZapper. For me, it was well worth the $32. For example, I paid $50 when I purchased TextMate alone, so you can understand the difference.
Since then, I've been following the MacHeist and other bundles, waiting for the next bundle that will be worth buying and I still didn't find any. Why? Maybe it's because most of my needs are already met. If I need to "scratch the itch", I find a solution, either free or paid. Maybe it's just stuff I don't really need. I have a simple rule in life: I don't buy bargains because they are bargains. I buy the stuff I need and, if I can find a bargain for it, great. It's a bit like throwing the darts and then painting the target where they hit.
So, why you shouldn't buy a bundle:
- You get stuff you don't need and you will be inclined to install it. Some apps will just waste disk space. However. there are apps that will have a negative impact on your machine's performance. One such example is Clips from the latest MacHeist bundle.
- You might not get the best tools for the job: on occasion, the apps you get in the bundle are inferior to other apps on the market. However, you will probably be using them anyway because you already paid, instead of buying the better product.
- In most cases, the bundles are offering many applications for a limited time. This does not offer enough time to properly evaluate each product.
So, what do you think? I'm interested in hearing your take as users. I will complete this article by covering the developers' perspective. If you are reading this post and you are a developer which participated in such a sale, drop me a line.