ReNoob
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Black Friday Survival Guide for Bedroom Producers

Black Friday deals are upon us. I will not list my top 5 deals here or something like that. There are plenty of them all over the internet. Instead, I wanted to talk about my approach to getting the things I want and avoiding getting sucked into making impulse purchases and going broke.

Video version of this post

The deals are real

Black Friday deals on physical products are kind of a joke. Yes, you may get a good deal on something but usually it would either be not that great of a deal or not exactly the thing you wanted. With software it’s different. Making an additional copy of a software plugin costs virtually zero dollars so the Black Friday deals on software are real.

That’s great. But that’s also were the problem is. Every software company in the world can afford to do a good Black Friday discount and almost all of them do. And, unless you are totally loaded, you probably cannot afford to buy it all.

You need discipline to stay focused and get the good deals you actually want while staying away from an impulse purchase that may sound amazing in the heat of the moment but will make you overspend on things you ultimately don’t need.

Side note: chances are good you don’t need any of it but let’s not go crazy here and let ourselves enjoy the moment.

So, here’s what I did last year and what worked great for me then and I will stick to the same plan this year as well.

1. Set a budget

How much do you want to spend on plugins this year? Pick a number and stick to it!

2. Make a wishlist

Take a notepad, or better yet a spreadsheet (it will help you track your spending according to the budget) and list the plugins you really want to get. Sort the list in order of preference — with the most coveted stuff on top.

3. Eliminate plugins from companies that don’t do sales

Some companies pride themselves on not playing the sales game. A notable example is Valhalla DSP. They even have it in their FAQ.

Their plugins are great, but you can buy them at any other time. We want to focus on the stuff that goes on sale for Black Friday now.

You do this step by googling if the company had Black Friday sales in previous years. And make sure you search for the company, not just the plugin name.

Some companies do deals on different plugins in different years, so it’s possible they didn’t have a sale on the plugin you want last year but may have it this time around.

So, let’s search for Arturia, for example:

Yep, we are all good here.

4. Consider eliminating the companies that do sales very frequently

The opposite are the companies that do sales all year long. Notable examples are Waves or Plugin Alliance. If you really want something from them right now (meaning it’s close to the top of your list) then by all means keep it there. But if it’s lower on your list, maybe it’s best to just remove them for now.

5. Write down current/list prices

This is your point of reference for how good the sale actually is. Some companies may have a really steep price listed as a list price but it’s never the actual price. If you did some research for the previous step, you may want to write down the sale prices they had in previous sales. This will help you evaluate if their Black Friday offer is really special.

6. Stick to your priorities

A plugin that is fairly low on your list may go on sale early but don’t rush. Write down when the sale on it ends so you don’t miss it and keep waiting for your top items.

My Wishlist from Last Year

So let me show you my wishlist and results from last year…

I made a list of what I wanted to get last year. I did remove some things that weren’t going to go on sale and those that were on sale all the time, so they are no longer here. But this is what I ended up with.

I wanted to upgrade Melodyne from Essential to Assistant, wanted to buy Arturia Pigments, Sonarworks Reference, and Trackspacer. That would have been more than €500 euros at list prices, but I set my budget at €300. One thing to note here, is that Pigments was on sale for €99, but since I already had Arturia’s AnalogLab, I got a personalized cross-grade offer for €69. So, if you already have something from a company, it’s a good idea to check your account area on their website to see if they have something special for you.

Luckily, I ended up getting all the items on my list and even had almost 50 euros left after all was said and done. So, I ended up spending the remainder on sample packs from some smaller creators I wanted to support.

Recap/TL;DR

  1. Set a budget
  2. Make a wishlist
  3. Eliminate plugins from companies that don’t do sales
  4. Consider eliminating the companies that do sales very frequently
  5. Write down current/list prices
  6. Stick to your priorities
  7. Support your favorite creators from your unspent budget

What’s on your Black Friday shopping list this year?

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