Help me figure out why this CS4 software is so cheap

It’s the full retail version. There has to be a catch somewhere

I will be running it on a Mac Mini w/ OS 10.6. Is the OS requirement the catch on this software? Could there be some hidden inability to update it?

Barring false advertising, which I have no reason to suspect, if it’s the full retail version it’s updateable as long as the version number is still updated by Adobe.

I’d Confirm that they’re selling the “Full Retail” and not the upgrade from previous version “Full Retail”

Maybe 'cause CS5 comes out in a couple of months?

Based on the prices on the adobe website, I’m inclined to believe that this price is for the upgrade version. The $599 quoted is the same as the cost for the upgrade version on the adobe website:

I have had half a dozen customers fall into this trap. Its full retail “packaging”

Don’t do it unless you already have something in its upgrade path.

Their BBB link also has complaints of misrepresented or misleading advertising

FWIW, I purchased the MS Windows versions of Photoshop CS4 Extended and Acrobat 9 Pro from them last month. Both installed and activated (with the Adobe mothership) just fine. They were full versions (not academic or upgrade) in Adobe packaging and had mastered (pressed) discs, not burned ones. So they certainly seem to be selling genuine products.

I did ask Adobe why some companies (though not Discount Mountain in particular) were selling the software so inexpensively, and all Adobe said was that they encouraged purchases via their authorized sellers.

Regarding the BBB link, if you mean this one, they got an A- because they’ve only been in business less than 2 years. They have a total of 2 complaints, both of which show as “resolved”. I’ll be the first to admit that a BBB “resolved” doesn’t mean a thing, but in this case there were only 2 complaints to start with.

Resolved just means they got as far as filing that complaint and probably just refunded the customers money.

If these guys are on the up and up…great, but I have literally seen 6 customers ordering CS4 for that price point and none of them got a full install, just an upgrade copy.

OK, so this is what the seller’s customer service has just told me:

  • it’s a full version, not an upgrade
  • fully upgradable
  • it’s sold with “academic pricing”
  • Adobe can control the license, not the product.
  • a reseller won a lawsuit in 2001 over the pricing issue: Softman vs. Adobe
    He recited it to me as if he has to tell the story 100x/day.

Should I still be worried? I mean- shouldn’t everybody be buying their CS4 full version from these people if it’s all legit??

How do they confirm that you’re eligible for academic pricing? Adobe’s academic pricing is indeed usually a very good deal, but I believe they’re kind of strict about enforcing it. I think if the site is willing to sell it to you without confirming your eligibility, they’re risking Adobe getting pissed off and shutting down whatever channel they’re buying the software through.

I asked the CS dude if it was a student or academic version, he said no. I said, “Then I won’t be required to have a student/academic ID to install or upgrade?” he said no.

Maybe I’ll call Adobe & ask them some questions.

My wife is taking a Masters, and we used the opportunity to get the academic version of the Adobe Production Bundle. A great savings. We got her student identification material together, and I placed the order. I was told that the order wouldn’t ship until we had completed a form that would be E-mailed to me, and faxed or mailed in her student ID.

The E-mail with the form arrived - followed immediately (as in, within minutes) of another E-mail saying that her academic credentials had been approved and the product had been shipped. So I never bothered to send in her student info. The software registered just fine.

So I think Adobe is a little lax in this regard. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are simply selling student versions to resellers, and leaving it up to them to validate that the purchasers are indeed students. So a less than scrupulous reseller might just sell to pretty much everyone.

Now I can’t get on their web site. Interesting.

If I am not mistaken, academic version of the software cannot be used for commercial works. Isn’t that so?

So it’s the non-academic license, sold at the academic pricing level? I don’t get it. So “Adobe can control the license but not the product”? But what does that have to do with the price the reseller can charge, and the price the reseller can make a profit with?

$599 isn’t the academic price. The academic price is something like $199. They bought it as an academic license and now they’re just selling it marked up to anyone, probably.

Their web page devoted to government sales is pretty sparse. GSA does not list them as authorized to sell to the US Government. Becoming a reseller to government is not difficult. Claiming they sell to government but finding nothing on the site indicating reseller credentials is not a good sign.

As I said, a BBB resolved doesn’t mean a thing. But there were only 2 complaints on file.

Again, I purchased Acrobat 9 Pro and Photoshop CS4 Extended from this vendor and both were full versions, not upgrades. There was also no mention of being an academic edition on the packaging or the serial number stickers.

If this stuff is purchased under the ageis of it being for academic sale and they are dumping it out to retail channels they are basically screwing adobe.

Considering adobe does not have to make “academic copies” available if they do not want to it sounds like if everyone keeps playing that game adobe can just pull the plug on the whole distribution channel.

Which will just increase the number of students who pirate it. But I guess that number’s already pretty large, anyways.