Phrugal photographers (sorry – couldn’t resist) know that Photoshop isn’t cheap, but Adobe Systems is arguably the global leader in software for editing digital images. In my experience their products are unsurpassed in quality, power and price, and price matters for most of us. But just as there is usually more than one way to do almost anything to images with these powerful products, there is also more than one way to legally acquire them. I’ve listed the obvious along with some not so obvious ways to get your hands on this great software, especially if you don’t insist having the latest versions right away. Creative readers: please reply with other methods other ways to get discounts on Photoshop.
You can get the student/educator prices if you have the proper academic credentials, but if you don’t, you can’t. Shopping for sales and discounts can save a few dollars, and buying at reputable auction sites might leave even more cash in the pockets. A ten minute excursion to the eBay and Adobe websites revealed opportunities.
The “buy it now” (BIN) price for Photoshop CS5 was $530 compared to $699 at the Adobe site. The corresponding numbers for Photoshop Elements 9 were $73 and $99; for Light Room 3 the prices were $199 versus $299. Sounds good – $699 – $530 = $169. That works out to $16.90 per minute, or $1014 per hour. You could get rich!
Seriously, many photographers get along quite well with older versions of these programs and thereby save even more. For example, BIN prices for Elements 7 and Elements 8 were only $50 and $70 respectively. Adobe sells Photoshop CS5 Extended (supports 3D and motion-based graphics) for $999, and I saw it on eBay for $593. The BIN price for CS4 Extended was $403.
The cash-challenged enthusiasts who want the latest versions will be rewarded by patience – – buy a version twice removed from the current version and upgrade to the coming version when it is released; e.g., get CS4 now and trade up to CS6 when it is released. The full price for an upgrade will probably be about $199, the current price for an upgrade to CS5. Again, auction sites offer lower prices. My less-than-perfect memory says that new versions are released about every 18 months.
I hope this encourages those whose budget concerns kept them from getting really good software. You really can find big savings on Photoshop with a little effort.
Like everyone else, some spam gets through to my email box, and I see Photoshop products offered at extreme discounts. We’ve all heard that if something seems too good to be true it usually is, and there are three things wrong with these offers. They are illegal copies offered by criminals, are ineligible for support from Adobe, and often contain trojans, keystroke loggers or other malware that will be used in identity theft attempts. For all we know, these sites could be fundraisers for terrorist organizations, and for sure they keep the company that creates these products and the retailers who get them to us from being rewarded for their investments of time and money. Please do not buy from illegitimate sources.
As always, comments and questions are welcome. I hope to see you here again soon and may your light be right.
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