The title is taken from a line my Father said to me once in discussing my Grandmother, who thought anything worth having was worth having five of. I have remembered it ever since. I remember it every time I see a tremendous deal that seems just too good to pass up. A sweater on super cheap clearance (us Minnesotans can never have too many, right?). A printer that is practically free after rebate (I can always give it to someone else as a gift, right?). 

Lately, I remember it anytime I see a super cheap bundle of Mac apps, that grows to even more at download milestones, all for an unbelievably good price. I think to myself, “Wow, that is a really good deal for that one application I want, let alone the ten others. Plus, they are giving five bucks of that price to charity. I can get a deal and be a humanitarian all at the same time. What a bargain!”

It’s not a bargain if you don’t need it.

Let’s just say there is one of these bundles – lets just call it MacTheft  – and the price for eleven apps is $19.95. And, let’s just say they promise to give $5.00 of your purchase to starving children in cataclysmicly devastated regions of the world. Therefore, the price of the software – all eleven apps – is theoretically $14.95. But, let’s just say there is only two apps out of the eleven that you really think you need. Here is a crazy idea to try… 

Buy the apps outright, full-price, directly from the developer.

Crazy, right? 

I know, I know. You are not getting a bargain, right? Wrong. Did you need the apps? Then you are getting a bargain. Even better, you are directly supporting the developer and their future development. Not only that but you are also not cluttering up your hard drive with software you will never use. You are not wasting your time and attention on bargains that really aren’t.

OK, fine. You want a “bargain”. How about this… Contact the developers of the two apps you want and say something like…

“Hey, I see you have your apps available on MacTheft and, while that is great and all, I really don’t need all eleven of them. I really only need two, your’s and this other guy’s. Therefore, I am contacting each of you to see if I could give you $7.50 cents directly.  I figure that is about 10 times more than you will get from my individual sale if I buy it through MacTheft. Also, I was planing on giving five dollars to the starving children too.”

What’s the worse they can say? No? 

My point is that you owe it to yourself to avoid these bargains and giveaways unless it is stuff you really need and plan on using. If not, you are still wasting your money, your time, and your attention no matter how much you pay.  Even if the price is “free”.