Idea: Differential pricing by country? Indexed to GDP level?

It occurred to me that China, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Russia, Brazil etc. are very large markets but they might not have the per capita spending power that, say, Vatican City has. Could pricing not be indexed to a nation’s GDP, set annually? With one stroke, you can differentiate between all known countries on Earth.

Or do it manually, like postage rate tables on general online marketplaces.

Problem: someone with a VPN might be sly and use an Indian IP address even though they live in Vatican City.


  • They’d likely only be after one song. So, it’d only make sense if they already have the VPN subscription.
  • Unless of course they use a free trial of the VPN
  • But anyway, who would be silly enough to do online commerce over a private VPN?
  • I believe some sites can indeed recognise a VPN connection and refuse it (l can’t remember the details)


  • Potentially huge markets opening up
  • Potential to charge Vatican City, San Marino, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Norway etc. higher rates

I don’t think there should be a manual override for, say, a country you don’t like, or a country you really feel sorry for, but that is a possibility also!

Regardless of how accurate the differences may be, this will only serve to frustrate and upset buyers from different countries.

Aside from the potential fraud you already highlighted there are major implicaitons and responsbilities for everyone involved to consider especially when it comes to things like tax, and howto handle shifts in economic statis (once a year would never be seen as accurate enough)

Hi there, in order:

  • Frustration & upset over differential treatment: Caveat venditor. Author’s choice. (Counterargument: Vendor is AJ though. Counter-counter argument: Not when it’s author chosing this pricing plan above the normal flat rate)

  • Frustration & upset revisited: I would be happy that someone in, say, Bhutan, is not having to sell his vital assets to buy a song from me for a special occasion. I believe cars are already differentially priced around the world. Not to mention, ooh, l don’t know, petrol? And the most idiotic thing to do while driving: iPhones.

What basis do you have for the imagined outrage? Does the buyer even need to know? Please don’t just pick out that last question though (does buyer need to know?), look at all of my objections =)

  • Potential for fraud: indeed, as highlighted, but mind also the powerful counter-arguments there. Also note this is vendor’s choice: Caveat venditor.

  • Tax considerations: whatever they may be, they will not have changed between the two different configurations (flat rate pricing <—> pricing indexed to GDP <— pricing indexed to countries you feel sorry for / countries that make you LOL (derived from auto-generated GDP pricing, vendor adds tweaks, tihs is not the core of my proposal btw and it does have more benign applications e.g. in aftermath of tsunami, lower pricing for the affected country)

  • Need more than annual updates? l believe the CIA world factbook is updated annually. That is one source for GDP data. Also, any update would surely amount to a deft ctrl+v --> ctrl+c assuming you are using the same source each time. I mean, for the info source that Envato would keep as a table, that everyone else would base their prices on.

Example: Vendor decides: Lowest GDP = £2 per ident. Highest GDP = £10 per ident. The rest gets automatically calculated.

Happy? =)

Just understood your point about taxation. Still, that was always the case anyway. Also, a quotient such as “purchasing power” already exists, based on GDP per capita & average effective tax. I remember comparing countries on that basis a few days ago. It’d just be a copy-paste job to have that as the index instead of GDP.

It must have been at least 4 or 5 days since you emailed me about sending one of your tracks to collaborate on but nothing has materialised. You have spent some time developing your ideas for Audio Jungle yet there is no audio for the jungle. Do you waste your time and in effect others time avoiding what you say you are going to do?

EDIT: I’ve just realised differential pricing might be illegal because the point of sale is the same: Envato, in Australia. I’ve a hunch therefore it’s illegal to set different prices for different nations.

@gballx l emailed you and l requested that you reply, so that l could send the track to your email address, l don’t know how else you’d like me to send the music, if not as an attachment ? I cannot send it via the Envato console, l thought l had explained that many times buddy! =) I’m just shooting the breeze as l like to share my good ideas. Could help me also as l’d hate to say no to money, so my various plans to make money attainable via this site (including improving my mastering skills)

While I can see your point, we believe this would be vastly more complicated to implement and maintain than it may appear, if it were even ever a possibility.

We are not tax or financial experts so don’t really feel comfortable making assumptions about this type of activity, but do you have an example of another stock site (that operates using this type of business model) using this dynamic model?

FYI. – not arguing points just giving a perspective.`

The author may be able to choose to adopt this method (as is the case with ADP), but in terms of fraud, management etc. it will be envato who are responsible for ensuring it is all delivered above board. This makes it very much their problem, and is a much bigger and more complex task than setting a single price regardless of a buyer’s location.

EDIT: you hit the nail on the head - authors’ choice but envato’s system and pricing is a major legal pain point in Australia.

You are right the price often changes worldwide but actually it is often more expensive in countries with lower earning potential e.g. to use your example of iPhones

eBay allows the setting up of postage rate tables, but of course that is a roundabout way of diffferential pricing, not direct.

I’m prettty sure Windows licenses are the same cost all over the world but l’ve just read this random statement via Google: " *Pricing for Advanced Threat Analytics shown here is an estimate only and can vary by country (L&SA = License + Software Assurance). Please contact your partner or Microsoft representative for a quote."

Oh yes i finally get it. If a Buyer pretends to be from a nation they are not, then Envato will have to answer for the incorrect tax levied. Thank you for explaining.

With respect, you can’t use things like postage or other variables to manipulate pricing.

Again, we’re no lawyers but from a general business perspective that sounds like straight up deception and fraud. No legit organisation esp. not one like ebay or envato would be able to allow that type of behaviour.

There’s nothing illegal about postage rate tables on eBay - they are a necessity.

I think some people use them to completely block some countries that are problem areas for fraud, so it’s actually used as an anti-fraud strategy. Another application: have a more costly, fully insured postal tarif Problem Country. No fraud here buddy. Also, some countries are just more expensive to post to. Like l said, it’s not the same thing as dfifferential pricing, but you asked and i answered - this does in fact cause total price to vary by destination, strictly speaking. Be back later, keep tapping.

While it still sounds like legally or logisitcally a non-starter, it would be interesting to see how anohter stock site does it? Any examples?

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I don’t know any other stock sites. I’ve heard of a few but l dont know how they run and this is my first point of contact. I’m guessing you’d know better than me as you are obviously more into the industry.

As for iPhones being more expensive for some lower GDP nations, point is: differential pricing. The Microsoft link l gave shows MS charging different rates for different nations right there before your eyes. I wonder if the purchase is made direct from MS in Atlanta (?) to all the nations of the world, OR end user, buying from MS branch in the local country?

Everything can be made much easier “element” and all Envato files are yours! :rofl:

Well, seriously, you can do things that have very long been used bought 5 licenses 6 as a gift.

Do free files not as it is now happening, and so that the authors can independently exhibit 1 of its product. Make a section of free files.

As it is done on other services. Many options can be come up, but different prices for different countries it will not work well in our field.

There is such thing as “VPN” after this abbreviation of discussion of this question it is possible to stop completely.

What is the worst that could happen?

  • TechRadar article saying oh no Envato are allowing whoever makes it their private choice, to differentially price, just like Bill Gates. And Apple. And OPEC. And Lada.

  • This negative (?) publicity will give you a bump on Google’s listings

  • Also, who would know which author is doing it, and when? Author need not announce it, and can toggle it on / off at will.

  • Also, what is the author really doing? A lunatic fizzing away in his bedroom charging x2 more for customers in Haiti than for customers in Zurich? Or a virtuous person charging half price for recovering businesses in Japan after a natural disaster? Who would know the pricing plan?

  • Could this be an invitation to check out your nation’s pricing? Could this encourage people to look around, see which seller is doing the better deal? That would agitate the sleepier listing results, give them more hits, no?

  • In fact, if this is not illegal - and l reckon MS is already doing it, going by the link l gave - then what exactly is the issue here, especially if it’s down to the author’s choice, not official Envato policy?

  • As for VPN, like l say, you’d have to be a little bit crazy to do online commerce while logged into a VPN service that you don’t personally know (unlike, say, your local business’s VPN, & l seriously doubt your local insurance businesss that employs you will offer you a Chinese IP to log into your collab editing suite)

Virtual Private Network
And all your customers will be from Russia. :rofl:

Okay explain there is a game of “Warcraft” and when in my country increased the price of the dollar, Blizzard did as you say. Microsoft and others are doing the same thing,

but Envato doesn’t have branches in different countries. Envato is based in the USA and operates as an online store for all countries. and we are not able to distribute their products on any nasiteli that would kontralirovat sales. If eBay has the ability to track that an order was made in a country where benefits were introduced and the shipping address was forwarded to another country,

Envato has no control over this.

Not necessarily, because it’s not a good idea to do commerce via a 3rd party connection.

Also, what if the author charges the same rate for Russia as for USA? I mean, they may decide to:

  1. Select “Index pricing to purchasing power” (derived from GDP per capita & average effective tax burden)
  2. Punch in price for lowest, punch in price for highest, then press Enter
  3. Result is an automatically generated rate table
  4. Edit the rate table so that Russia is same as USA
  5. Or just turn off the indexing completely so that the price is same all over the world. There you go, problem solved! Unless Author decides he/she actually likes the sudden influx of orders …

Edit: yes i’m wondering if Envato would need to have physical offices in each Buyer’s country (= impracticable unless you’re the size of Microsoft) for this to be legal. Not sure about that. :slight_smile:

Nope, nope and more nope. The EU passed a law that obliges store to provide Credit Card Access to all EU countries and the same price of a digital or physical good set by the producer. Also, it’s illegal in Australia and another set of countries. This is the first part.

The second part, half the market would leave due to VPN fraud. This is probably the best way to make all authors move out.


I see @ the first part

But then, why not treat EU as one bloc? Easy.

Also as for it being illegal in Australia, plus again the EU law you mentioned, how come MS charge differential rates? See here:

Maybe because they are outside of EU & Australia, selling to EU & Australia, maybe they are also treating EU as one bloc, So anyway, there is a precedent for it, and if it’s a major stumbling point, then hey, have a branch in LA.

As for VPN fraud, that has been discussed, and l’d have thought that risk would be present with Microsoft @ the above link too? Also, as discussed it’d be crazy to use third party VPN for commerce. Also as discussed l’d have thought some tools could detect a VPN? I’m sure eBay can.

Also please may l just say l’m trying to contribute, l’m not trying to sell you something so if you don’t like it that’s alright, l say take it or leave it or debate it but l’m not here to say “yes yes yes” to your “no no no”, thank you for your time and i’ll leave it at that. No dramas, please.

Genuinely baffled by the hot headedness by some contributors on this thread (insinuating l am some kind of fraud - which rebounds on the insinuator if it is false - and it is, and why would you even think that? And also another sashaying in like Lord Fauntleroy talking down to a mere peasant). Please try to copy my behaviour if you don’t know the way =) Do not try confrontation if you reply, l don’t want this quality of debate.

Because no one here is interested in selling in nickles and dimes. A fully coded custom built WordPress theme can cost up to 25.000$, they’re sold here for less than 100$ and now we should sell them for less than 10$?

Countries with low GDP earn extra cash from authors who sell here and pay taxes, authors earn more their average salary in their country, it’s a win-win situation as it is right now, so this is definately never going to happen.

OK thank you for explaining, but l thought Envato Elements was based on a similar wholesale ideal, which is what l was really proposing - inasmuch as BRICS nations = a whole lot of people, to makes sales to. =)

I was going to also say that it’s voluntary anyway but as you implied, it’d require a second office (which maybe you were thinking of anyway?) so that’s a whole lot of effort for a mere voluntary thing that as you say, no author may even want.

Btw nobody said sell a $20k project for $10, also l think some themes are pretty derivative and i don’t believe they cost $20k development - not that i dislike the themes - l’ve purchased two (webpages i mean)

All the best. Glad we are being friendly again :slight_smile: