While many others may try to increase prices overnight without warning or explanation, we are making this post to inform all of our customers and potential customers ahead of time. We understand that no one likes price increases, but we will continue to offer excellent service and run coupons to hopefully help as many students as we can. We are also making this post in advance so that it does not come as a surprise and allows for you to make purchases at the current (lower) prices. Most importantly, we are still much cheaper than buying directly from CourseHero or other third parties that still charge more than double our new prices.
What will change?
Not all of our products are going to have price increases, but the following will:
- Instant CourseHero Unlocks ($3.33): These prices may see more changes in the future since the costs and demands have not yet stabilized yet. The reason these prices are higher than the regular ones, in general, is that it takes more time to develop and maintain, has higher server costs, and it requires proxies, captcha solvers, and SMS verification.
- CourseHero Unlocks ($2.22): These prices will likely be kept more stable as there are fewer variable costs to consider and the demand can be estimated better (so that we do not pay for additional accounts and have wasted unlocks).
- Chegg Unlocks ($1.67): These prices will only increase if need be. If we start losing money on them, we will have to increase prices, but we hope to maintain the current 90% discount we offer. As of right now, we should be able to maintain our low prices on them, but we do not want to blindside anyone, so we are including it in this list.
Why change prices now?
Unfortunately, our costs have gone up to the point where we cannot maintain the current levels for much longer. To be completely transparent, we have outlined the increased costs below:
- Email prices: We use Mailgun to help with our emails and it is necessary to reduce the server load and improve the consistency of our emails. We used to be on their free plan, but they have since changed their pricing model. When this change originally happened, we absorbed the cost, but when all the costs add up, we can’t absorb them all.
- Hosting prices: Without giving exact numbers, our hosting for the website has increased about tenfold since we first created it. This is a phenomenon that has been seen throughout the entire industry, partially due to cPanel, but we’ve also had to increase our resources as our peak load has increased. As we deal with more spam, bots, and other bad actors on the internet, our server requirements go up as well.
- Hosting prices for bots: As CourseHero has changed their website, it requires more resources to do the exact same task, which means we have to use more expensive machines to provide you with unlocks.
- Changes in CourseHero: The price of a subscription has increased because they started charging sales tax. This adds an extra percentage to the price of every unlock. In addition, CH has implemented anti-bot techniques including IP bans, captchas, and more, which requires us to pay for proxies and captcha solving tools.
- Decreased ad revenue: While we used to pay for hosting and subsidize some of our services with ad revenue, there has been less ad spending due to the pandemic. We have also noticed a steep drop in click-thru rate (CTR) in the past year, which means less of our products can be subsidized through ad revenue. These include the free grammar checker and free textbook search engine, which can cause massive loads to our servers during finals season.
- Changes in Chegg: Chegg has gotten very ban-happy in the past few months. This means we have to pay for more accounts as we cycle through them.
- Other price increases: As server time gets more expensive (thanks Bitcoin), prices of other services we use also change. Most notably, good proxies have gone up in price, but so have backend tools that we use on this website. Domain prices have also gone up due to the new ICANN policies.
As you can see prices of everything seem to go up. In fact, the only costs that have remained the same are the ones charged through every transaction. These fees are still pretty killer because if you buy inexpensive things (like the ones we sell on this website), the flat fee turns into a 20% surcharge, in addition to the variable pricing. Additionally, due to low prices enticing credit card fraudsters to test their stolen accounts, we have to include extra protections, which cost even more.
The bottom line is that while we have to charge more for some documents to make up the additional costs we have to pay. We hope that an extra quarter here and there does not impact our customers negatively, but this is a change we are forced to make. We are glad to help everyone that we can, so we will still maintain the lowest possible prices out there and unlike CourseHero and Chegg, we put people over profit.