Apple Will Not Allow Us to Offer Discounted Upgrade Pricing to Mac App Store Customers

Here’s the gist of it. Normally, when we release a new paid upgrade of YNAB (YNAB 3 to YNAB 4, 4 to 5, 5 to 6, etc.), we give discounts to existing customers, and give the upgrade for free to people who purchased recently (we call that the “my timing couldn’t have been worse” guarantee). Having always just sold YNAB directly from our website, this was pretty straightforward.

When we began selling YNAB through the Mac App Store a few months ago, we had planned on offering that same discounted upgrade pricing to those who purchased from the Mac App Store. Why wouldn’t we? They’re fellow YNABers, entitled to all our normal TLC. Unfortunately, we’ve learned that Apple will not allow us to offer those discounts.

Basically, Apple sees Mac App Store customers as their customers. We understand that, but just feel bad that we can’t offer better service to those customers down the road.

Recently, the Omni Group, another popular Mac software vendor tried to offer discounted upgrade pricing. Within two days of announcing their plan to allow their Mac App Store customers to upgrade at a discount, they announced they were unable to offer upgrade pricing for Mac App Store purchases. The message is very clear: Apple does not allow vendors to offer discounted upgrades for customers who purchase software in the Mac App Store.

Like many of you, we’re quite disappointed.

If you’re a Mac App Store customer, and you have a specific question about this, reach out to us privately via email. We’d love to chat.

UPDATE: This post wasn’t meant to imply YNAB 5 is right around the corner (it’s still a long way off), it was just to let people know as soon as we knew, that we wouldn’t be able to offer an upgrade price (even through our own website) for those who originally purchased from the Mac App Store. Also, this limitation only applies to people who purchased their first YNAB version from the App Store, Mac versions purchased from Amazon, Steam, or directly from us will be eligible for any upgrade discount.