Legacy.com's Price Points

A friend of a friend recently passed away, so I did some Google searching to locate the obituary.  On the result I clicked on, the local newspaper article about his passing was embedded within a website called Legacy.com.  This site is an online business that provides an interesting solution for aggregating memories of the deceased and maintaining the online documentation of someone's life.

From my best guesswork, I think that the site has bots that locate each new obituary that's published on a vast swath of online newspapers throughout the U.S.  The identification of a new obit then likely triggers the creation of a memorial page containing the embedded article.  (It's also quite possible that Legacy.com has created partnerships with each of the newspapers and receives the obits as a feed.)

The Legacy.com memorial page encourages visitors to leave messages in the dedicated guest book for the deceased.  What's interesting is that approximately 5 weeks after the obit/guest book micro-site goes live, it is scheduled to be taken down permanently.  To prevent this from happening, Legacy.com offers two different payment plans to keep the site up for either one year or permanently.

I'm not going to moralize that the system and prices listed above are an egregious way of making money, because I'm not yet sure how I feel about that issue.  In some ways this site is a less robust, turnkey version of memorial pages that users can create for the deceased on Facebook.  And in the interest of keeping a memory alive online, the Legacy.com results for someone's name rank remarkably high in a Google search.

My main point of intrigue is: where exactly did the price points come from?  Was $99.99 too high?  Is the odd-number pricing (99 cent numeral) appropriate in this type of situation?  Wouldn't $80 make the whole proposition seem a touch classier?

It's so odd that one has to do a Chicken McNugget value meal type math equation and ponder the $9.98 that would be overpaid if three consecutive one year renewals were selected vs. the permanent option.

Obviously this company has overhead/server costs and that those who pay the above rates are to some extent subsidizing the existence/churn of all of the 5 week obits.  Though, it's unclear how expensive those 5 week obits could possibly be, even with thousands of obits in their database, as it doesn't entail too much data storage.

I would love to know how they arrived at these price points.


Post a Comment