We look for Lifetime Deals to save monthly/yearly recurring bills for the business tools and founders launch lifetime licenses to attract traction from the interested users as well as to raise some early investments.
It would have been great in an ideal scenario but upside-downs are happening for various reasons like a Business failure, Business takeover, Over promising, Founder’s bad intentions, etc.
We look for trusted SaaS platforms (AppSumo,PitchGround, Dealify etc.) so that they bring us quality deals.
Ideally, Lifetime Deal platforms should take care of the below steps (vetting a deal). But as the number of deals they bring is increasing (Quality vs Quantity), the chance for a bad deal is also increasing. Hence we need to cross-verify the same.
Here we discuss the ways to vet a deal before purchasing it. Do not forget to check the list of the Black Friday Lifetime Deals on SaaS and WordPress plugins & themes.
You need to dig a bit about the founder to understand his vision, ethics and background. This can be done with the help of platforms like ProductHunt, Capterra, G2Crowd, and Social media groups about Lifetime Deals.
Learn about the management behind the product/service, when they started, how are they growing, what is their mission, what is their other products, what is the revenue model etc. So that you can guess whether the company is going to sustain and support you in the long or not.
Questions to ask:
- How many people are behind the product?
- Is there a dedicated team for this product or service?
- What is the usual turn-around-time for the support?
- Are they listening to customers?
Companies will be in different stages like Self-funded, MRR (Monthly recurring revenue) if it is established from the last few years, or funded by investors. So it will be good if we know this.
Some even invest the money from other products they own. Ex: Sofly team is developing Oxygen Builder (WordPress) with the help of their other established products.
Knowing their finances helps us to invest in their product confidently.
Questions to ask:
- What is their main stream of revenue?
- How much is invested?
- Who invested?
The roadmap is very important in-case of Lifetime deal offers, because most of the time, Products are sold based upon the future plans rather than just the existing features.
Most of the SaaS founders put up their roadmap available for the public. Go through it and understand their vision.
Check whether their roadmap is inline with your business plan or not? If it is then it is good.
If the team is customer-centric they will change the roadmap according to the customer feedback and requests.
Documentation, Tutorials & Support
This is very crucial, especially during the initial stage. As you’re just getting started with the tool, you may not be aware of the product UI and functionality.
Compare the price with the similar softwares in the market.
Yearly vs Lifetime
Usually, I prefer the deals with lifetime pricing up to double (sometimes triple) to their yearly plan not more than that.
Ex: if the yearly plan costs $139 it is ok if the lifetime deal cost range is $280 ~ $350.
I go through this steps in the process of purchasing a software license.
- Requirements – Write down what you need, do not get into FOMO, similar tools (or even better) keep coming into the market.
- Research – look for honest reviews and discussions before even trying, so that you can save your valuable time. Join the below mentioned groups for the research.
- Trial – Using the trial version is highly recommended as the LTD platforms are restricting the refunds. You need to raise a manual request in-case of a refund. StackSocial does not issue refunds if the code is redeemed.
- Put the tool into work – Put the tool into work immediately so that you can request a refund in-case the SaaS doesn’t solve your problem, before the refund period (which is usually 14 days).
Certainly, there are some shady practices being done by Founders (not really but they call themselves so), like making a SaaS tool out of the Codecanyon script or Github project, forking other tool, getting fake reviews or incentivising for 5 star reviews.
Condecanyon is a popular marketplace for Code scripts (PHP scripts, HTML, Python etc.), WordPress plugins, etc.
People are buying/copying the scripts from there and marketing them as SaaS tools. I do not have any issue if they add more value to it, apply their vision, including their support after getting the code from the above sources.
Recently, the above trend is rising among the SaaS Lifetime Deal world.
But some of these founders want to make real quick money with other’s code (These people fully dependent upon the other developer’s support) t in the name of Lifetime Deal and vanish after the refund period is over.
Here is the exact post/thread from the LTDSpot Facebook group (See in the Credits)
How to navigate the LTD market and stay away from fake SaaS?
Originally I posted in my group but sharing here as its an important topic specially since sites like Appsumo have stopped doing any due diligence.
Lately i have been seeing many so called ‘SaaS founders’ picking up scripts from codecanyon or github and then repurposing them to make it look like a shiny little SaaS!
I wanted to make a dedicated post on this issue because i have been seeing many garbage products taken straight from codecanyon and pushed onto buyers who don’t know any better, lets stop this madness!
Many deal sites actively engage in promoting these shitty SaaS and its super unethical to say the least. You will see example of some of the Codecanyon SaaS deals on various deal sites
Remember this quote
“People who compromise their Integrity for money end up with neither”
Red Flags to look for in SaaS deals
- Prices are cheap AF, and they offer too much for too little.
- History of the founder, check the founder’s behavior, and how he acts when confronted. Small things giveaway the larger picture.
- You will usually see many similar SaaS floating around with just a little change in branding, that’s a big red flag.
- Stay away from repeat offenders, some of the examples are Popnetmedia, 90% of JVzoo founders
- History of the deal site, most deal sites just care about sales and commissions.
Here’s what’s everything wrong with “Codecanyon SaaS” and why you should avoid it
- Users who end up buying these “Codecanyon Saas” LTDs are left with no support and updates
- In most cases, the company goes bust as soon as the LTD money stops flowing.
- Genuine founders have a hard time selling their SaaS because of the trust issues created by these garbage products.
- It’s a lazy way and not sustainable.
- 95% of the SaaS founders who use this approach are just trying to make a quick buck and shut shop later.
- Here are some of the examples of SAAS apps which are running around just using Codecanyon Source Code
You can find all Codecanyon SaaS scripts here:
P.S: I will be updating this thread with more links, you can drop a link in the comments section and i will add it to the post!
P.P.S: This is just to make the buyers of LTD more aware, do your own research before you buy something, most deal sites don’t bother.
GitHub is a free open-source project directory. There are tons of applications with the open-course codes available in the GitHub. People are grabbing the code from there and marketing it as another product.
Some even copy the entire product, they just change the name.
And there are people using the White Label concept to make fool out of LTD buyers. Some SaaS/Products offer white-label features for agencies. The white-label plans are for agencies to serve their customers with their own brand and people are using it to resell it as if it is their own product.
Recently, seen a trend rising on SaaS platforms, that is Founders are asking their customers to leave a review to get extra licenses of the tool for free. It is obvious that they expect 5 start reviews.
If they ask for normal review then it would have been ethical but few of them are directly asking for 5 star review, which is a shady practice.
How to Spot a Fake Review?
- One-deal reviews are obviously fake.
- But, most sumolings usually give 5 tacos for every deal they buy.
- So, how can we know if a review is genuine?
- Well, I read the long ones with the pros and cons. If they just wrote, “this is such a great product…blah blah blah my business sentimentality..blah blah blah it saved me so much money without prior knowledge that they have used it for x amount of months/years/time besides the one day it came out.” That stuff is not a review, it’s your diary.
- I don’t trust any review from accounts that are less than six months old.
- I always go through the questions and answers. The responses from the founders give great insight into purchasing or passing the deal.
- Be Skeptical about the reviews from accounts with 1 or 2 deals bought.
Business is on sale
Recently encountered a situation, where they are selling lifetime liceneses to customers while they put their business for sale on other platforms.
There is recent proven-ly deal is listed on Appsumo & Dealfuel (not sure if it’s selling on other deals website) is for sale on platform Indiemaker for $24k and Whobal
Proven-ly SaaS Sell OFF listing
Credits: Karthik Sharma from the LTDSpot community.
Hype from Affiliates
Most of the products are being marketed by Affiliates. Most of the Affiliates provide the features & details of the product in their own way. As usual, the promotions contain a lot of hype from the affiliates.
You need to go through it and understand the limitations of the product before jump-in. LTD communities help you to decide
Tips from the LTD family
Saurabh Chauhan, BlogBing & GetKeywords
Here are a few points I take care of.
Check if the recurring product cost is acceptable for the long-term. I mostly avoid products, which have ongoing third-party API costs and selling thousands of deals constantly.
I mostly wait for 15-20 days before buying any deal, so people can review the product. As well we can understand founder behavior towards bugs, roadmap & communication. I bet more on founders than products.
I mostly avoid products in LTD from first-time founders. As if you don’t have experience in this industry, It’s easy to get diverted when you get a huge amount of money from the LTD. And that’s a danger sign always.
I avoid products where the founder is hiding behind the marketing & sales team ( Except they are too huge with 50+ team members ). Because if the founder doesn’t care to communicate with the people betting on them, it’s tough to expect a long-term win-win situation.
And the golden rule, I don’t buy anything if I have no use-case of the product as of now. No investment, as there are a huge number of products jumping into the LTD market constantly.
These are few points I can think of ❤
Sky Yap, LTD community member
So yup that’s what I do usually.
research and try their softwares. I avoid any software that offer $1 trial. If you are Ahrefs, then you can do so. If not, you must fire your marketing person.
check out groups. Maybe someone in the community has some issues with the founders. Then we can know whether the LTD is legit or not.
platforms. I avoid some platforms that don’t have good customer service or reputation. But this one is risk and reward. Calculate your risk and only buy when you really feel it is a great product.
don’t buy roadmap. I get screw up by roadmap most of the time. Buy the things that you need and calculate the Roi comparing with some subscription basis SaaS. Some LTD offers good promise but ended up deliver shit.
the transparency as well as the communication. If the founder didn’t disclose their MRR or go-to-funding strategy. They are shit and yup, they have no MRR and will probably launch another round of LTD.
utilize your 60days refund. I refund a lot as most team reveal their weakness within 60 days. Those are just hype-up software that you will never use. Refund it within 60days and only pay subscription.
and the most extreme way is schedule a meeting with the founder team. Interview them or register a demo session. Ask more questions and then post to this group and ask for feedback. Give and take. You will definitely see the community help you in deciding whether you should buy this LTD or not.
for reselling, yup. Although it is against the terms and conditions most of the time but it is necessary as it can recover the cost.
f off FOMO and love open source. Utilising open source can really save you a lot of time.
last one, company research as well as founder team research. Domain checking. Demo. Company setup location. Founder nationality. Founder background. And all those research should be done so you have a grasp on whether the founder is worth your investment or not.
Lastly, treat your money as an investment to SaaS company. You are like a venture capital who invest in software. You are SoftBank but smaller amount of money. Invest wisely, I am sure you are going to profit and get plenty benefits from this LTD community.
Vigneswaran Ramu, Experienced LTD Buyer
Well the best you can do is wait till the last day to buy. Atleast u will have some time to refund. Most of the time we will se the true nature of a software/saas within the first few months after the end LTD.And from personal experience, i would say dont max stack any LTD. Unless u know its something established and really good like Amelia. Buy 1 code and test it out. If that fulfils all your need, then even if they dont come up with a update often, atleast u will have something that u can use at any time. Unless of course they go out of business
Mohamed Ali, DigitalThink
I look at price first and then History of the developer if I can find it, the need for the tool in my stack, if I can make my money back using the tool, perceived value …is it rare tool, simplicity, UI, customer support and monthly pricing vs LTD to justify purchase, uniqueness ( no other tools doing the same ) , generosity of the deal giving good limits or not , whitelabel and sub-accounts
Grace Sari, LTD community expert
i’d say test it, see if it fits your workflow in at least coming 6-12 months, if not immediately?Do not blindly follow reviews ( as many are incentivised). I personally stopped following too many reviews. yes its good to have, but not an influencer in my purchase decision anymore Watch roadmap, founder behaviour during and after launch period ( preferably refund period too)… talk to your friends who use it… ok more will flow in as I remember
Albert Tan, DownloadSilo
Buying LTD is like buying a lottery. Sometimes you strike gold and most of the times you strike shit or less shitty deals. Even reputable founders could end up closing shop for whatever reasons. Due diligence needed as suggested by all in this thread. Happy buying, refunding, reviewing, shelfing, etc.
Ken Moo, Content Loop Digital
Sharing from experience:
1. Don’t buy if you don’t see yourself using it in the next 12 months. (better still, 3 months)
2. Buying to keep on the shelf, and reselling later to recover cost is a bloody waste of time. So don’t give in to fomo.
3. Resist the urge to buy immediately. Seat on it for a few weeks.
4. If the provider uses intercom, it gives me some confidence that they may already have MRR.
5. Don’t believe 5 star reviews. Filter and go through 1-3 taco reviews.
6. If you have a SEO tool, check their organic traffic and seo efforts. If a site already has good traffic, the tool can probably last for a long time. (e.g. wishpond)
7. Find out founder’s intent. Is it to raise cash? (not so good). Is it to get user feedback? (awesome). Gain market share? Gain user base? Boost numbers for seed round?
8. Learn their plan to get MRR after LTD. Some founders have no clue. THey launch and die.
Reginald Chan, Founder @ Serverstack.io
Here’s what I personally think.
1. Get from reputable source.
2. If buying resell codes, check the person’s profile
3. If doing transaction via PayPal, ask for invoice (you can get buyer’s protection with invoices)4. Always use credit card as you can easily dispute payment.
5. Ignore roadmaps but they are good (cos anyone can just create roadmaps)
6. Buy because you need, not just your friends get it
7. Define usability of it (imagine) after 12 monthd
Source: Alston Antony Group
Bad deals from the past
P.S: The below list is curated from the Private communities, these are NOT our opinion. We do not intended to degrade any Software product owner in any way, We just want to present the information to the buyers.
Contact us with details if you you think your product is listed wrongly here.
LTD deals with bad experience
|Platform Sold on
|What went wrong?
|It was unusable and then they asked LTD buyers to subscribe monthly plans.
|Closed consumer service Zoolz Home to focus on Business and organization cloud backup.
|Over-promised but not delivered.
|Lots of features but It is too slow to work.
|Closed business and left users stranded. Odus, without a doubt, beats them all! Working product was NEVER provided, lots of hot air and promises by both PitchGround and Alexi, founder of Odus but in the end, NOTHING was provided, no-refunds provided and Alexi bragged about making $80k off of us. PG has made a halfway attempt to make it sort of right but they benefited greatly from us LTD'er also.
|Cannot access anymore.
|Promised a lot but did not deliver and moreover dishonest founder behaviour. It's a mess, from delays, bugs and inconsistent performance there goes the 5 stack
|out of business after a few months of AppSumo deal.Went
|They asked LTD buyers to pay $5 per month for sending emails/SMS even from our own servers. Apart from this everything else is fine.
|Not matured, not fully developed.
|Well appsumo refunded everybody. This one also had lot of potential. Lauren seemed like a cool dude
|Zero progress after they sold the deals, huge bugs
|No ACF integration on roadmap, bloat makes it useless for me
|OMG just check out their group and you ll know, Absolutely nothing works as expected and the team is so affixed in protecting their reputation they politely ask customers that everything is being worked on, but it's been 2 years. I burst out on the group the other day, and one of the team members talked to me in the group in a way that painted me as a horrible person with no patience at all.
|Curated by Alore
|Udit Goenka owner of Flame Domain Sold to Domain Wheel but no information to customers.
|Because of they shutting down whole project and collected money with appsumo campaign also they won't make any refund their investors
|First it said they were updating the website, then they updated to say they were not coming back due to Covid. Ghosted everyone
|Slow and tedious
|Slow and tedious
|They deleted accounts, LTD buyers not able to logged-in
|Useless, bloated and slow themes.
|The original deal promised unlimited social profiles. Also you cannot add or delete more than 10 profiles per month now. And they slow down the support if you are ltd owner..... So much drama from social insiders.
|Lost all my files and i cant access , they never reply the emails
|Took the money with stacking promising regular templates and basically did nothing
|They did a deal in a Facebook Group, another deal on AppSumo - raised a really good sum of money I guess, because it had really good potential and later sold the company to Jumper and boom - they vanished.
|SaaS Mantra, Their Website
|Their support is absolutely terrible. It took six months of back and forth email (weeks of waiting for responses in between) and they never solved my (very simple) issue.
|Product is solid but In the account settings, there is an option to delete a team. When I deleted a team, the whole account was gone permanently. This was the first and only time I asked them for support and help, and they totally ignored me. But they still keep sending me regular crap emails and updates and requesting positive reviews. Same thing happened with a lady I know, who stacked 6 codes. I am not saying that each and every Niftypm user will make the same mistake as I did. But the way Niftypm team behaves with its user is disgraceful, and the worst to my knowledge. So beware! It can happen to any one of Nifty users in the future. They took my money and ditched me (my registered account), but I know one thing for sure. Any founder/CEO who treats users like shit, his days are numbered. I have invested in 40+ ltds. This is the 1st a**hole I have encountered.
|Ok. I was just wondering. I tried logging into my account there, but my info didn't work. I guess it really is dead. I had no idea until you mentioned it. Thanks!
|Good but slow in development.
|owner has given several launch dates for different features and everytime he missed Still need several basic features and waiting
|Under maintenance from months.
|Bought as an alpha years ago almost at the time when messenger bot was introduced by Facebook. Founder promised many features with so much hype and hard sales. Those features are not developed and now even hidden from clients . Chatmatic now after years is so behind competition to the point of almost being useless . First LTD I bought for over 1K and was not happy about that. Reason over promised and hugely undelivered.
|Does not work properly, random results.
|They are selling lifetime licenses while their business itself for sale on Indiemaker and Whobal
Lifetime Deal discussion communities
There are few honest deal discussion groups on Facebook. Group admins bring the founders into the groups for direct interactions, webinars, FAQs, and much more.
Some of them even launch private deals for the communities.
Below are the few top communities I am part of.
I recommend joining the above all groups for better understanding and private launches.
Resources & Credits
I have curated the above list from the experiences shared in the above Facebook communities along with our own experience.
- VoviLTD thread
- Martechwise thread
- LTDHunt thread
- Martechwise thread
- Alston Antony thread
- LTD thread in Alston Antony group
All the best with your business endeavor.
What do you think of the guide? Comment below.