We’re less then 2 months away from the one year anniversary of eBay replacing Account Assistant with the free financial service Outright. (See: eBay Accounting Assistant is being retired on June 30, 2010. How is free app Outright?) Outright recently announced they’ll no longer be a free service starting with the new year. Considering they were supposed to be the replacement for Accounting Assistant, eBay sellers are really getting the shaft on this one: first by getting an app that never was able to do what Account Assistant could and secondly because now that free app is going to start charging. But as many sellers from a variety of platforms use Outright, this change could have wide reaching consequences.
(As for me, I initially found their service to be outright useless but they promised me an exclusive interview on how they planned to fix all the issues I raised so I held my review until I heard their side. After a few back and forths, it became clear they outright lied about that getting back to me. I guess you could say that my patience with them ran out pretty early, right? I’ll give them this, the company was appropriately named. ;-))
But how will this effect you and your business? Do you use their service? Will you continue to use it once it becomes a paid service?
Here is the original release:
Over the last two years, Outright has continued to build our product to meet the needs of you, our small business customer. We are committed to building the best, easiest to use online accounting solution on the web, and continue to invest our time and resources to improve our product to better meet your needs.
To support our investment, we’ve considered various business models and have decided that putting tons of ads in front of users isn’t the right way for us to cover our expenses. As a result, we have made the decision to implement a paid subscription model for Outright. New eBay users are now charged $6.95 a month after a 30 day free trial. Given that the average Outright customer spends 5 fewer hours a month on accounting than they used to, we believe that this represents a significant value and allows us to continue funding the enhancements that customers request.
So what does this mean for existing customers?
We’ve said before that you, and all of our existing customers, have been instrumental in helping us get here. As such, we don’t want to ask you to pay for anything at this point. But the data automation, storage and ongoing feature development do cost real money. So here’s what we’re planning:
All existing Outright customers may continue to use Outright for free through Dec 31, 2011. That gives you about a year to continue to use Outright for free and determine for yourself if we provide enough functionality to make Outright worth the monthly cost. It also guarantees that you can track your entire 2011 calendar year finances for tax purposes. After Dec 31, we hope that the small (and tax-deductible) monthly fee will feel insignificant compared to the time savings and peace of mind that Outright provides. If not, and you wish to move to another solution, you will be free to download your transaction history – we don’t believe in holding data hostage.
I want to personally thank each of you for your continued support and guidance as Outright builds the simplest way to keep track of your small business finances – we are committed to growing Outright with your help! Please feel free to share your thoughts by taking our survey.
Co-founder and CEO