This is sort of a follow up to a post a few months back. I recently converted a solo software project into a "business" (in quotes because it has a non-profit motivation and I make very little at this point).
The bad news is that the software is really a niche market (software to count ranked votes such as instant runoff voting) so you can't make any money unless the price is high. The good news is that I don't have any serious competition.
Because I want lots of people to use it, I set the price to $5 for individuals and small non-profits. Because there is no good alternative, I set the price to $999 for companies. With this mix, I'd like to get a decent revenue stream.
I currently sell on the honor system as shown on my download page. The problem is that hardly anyone is honest. Companies just pay $5 and buy it using a company email address with PayPal. This is the typical sequence:
- I send a polite email informing them that they paid the wrong price and they need to pay the balance owed.
- They send me a rude email that they are not paying me anything.
- I respond that I am an attorney (which is true) and that they are liable for copyright infringement.
- They apologize profusely and agree to pay or delete the software.
Needless to say, this is annoying (for everyone) and doesn't build good customer relationships.
Any suggestions for (1) getting people to pay on the honor system, or (2) another way to sell the same item at difference prices that isn't time intensive (it is just me) and doesn't rely on honesty?