VMWare: Where 30% off Upgrades Are More Like 11.8%

Note: For the record I like VMWare Workstation. I’m just not a fan of shady marketing tactics.

After speaking with a number of friends and co-workers this past week we’ve pretty much all agreed that Black Friday/Cyber Monday was a bust. This time of year used to be good for finding deals but retailers keep trying to trick us into believing a deal is better than it appears. Here’s a great example that crawled into my inbox this morning from none other than VMWare.

I’ve been using VMWare for a few years now so back in October when VMWare Workstation 11 was announced I reviewed the announced features to see if I’d upgrade or not. I was using version 9 at the time.

When I read through the blog and clicked upgrade on the product page I noticed VMWare Workstation 10 was selling for $119 US with a free upgrade to version 11 when it’s released. The blog also mentioned the price would be increased to $149.99 when the version rolls out in December. None the less I bought the upgrade since I would make use of the software prior to December.

This morning (Tuesday, December 2nd… aka the day AFTER Cyber Monday) I woke up to a marketing e-mail from VMWare promoting a 30% off sale. I figured I’d check the page out to find out Workstation 11 has been released (You’d think e-mailing me to mention that would be worth it…) and to “celebrate” they are offering 30% off for Cyber Monday… on a Tuesday?

vmware email

I checked the product page and low and behold it was on sale for $105.00 US. No big deal on my part, but knowing the price yesterday (on the actual Cyber Monday) was $119.00 US I can’t help but feel this is a sneaky attempt to draw more interest to their update.

But let’s do some quick math and comparisons…

Upgrade Pricing 1-Dec-14 2-Dec-14  diff 6-Dec-14 diff
New $249.99 $249.99 0% $249.99 0.00%
Upgrade $119.00 $104.99 11.77% $149.99 -26.04%

I don’t know about you guys, but 11.77% isn’t quite 30%… especially if you didn’t have a sale on Cyber Monday. That e-mail I posted above looks a little deceiving now. To be fair, I didn’t realize the full version stayed at the same price… so the 30% off is valid for that.

Also… if you’re going to advertise an “extended Cyber Monday” special shouldn’t you have some sort of sale on the actual Cyber Monday? Let’s look at their Facebook page.

vmwares facebook page

Oh… well maybe they didn’t update Facebook… how about their Twitter page?

vmware twitter


No dice their either. I know for a fact they didn’t have a sale on Cyber Monday, because I pulled the page up while checking various sites out.

vmware dec1

So yeah, I just want to take a moment to call out shenanigans. With “sales” in every direction you look, and inflated prices just so retailers can mark them down 30 – 50%… it’s no wonder sales are down. Consumers are growing wise to these tricks, and they are no where near as effective due to abuse.

Don’t think these sorts of things go unnoticed.