9 Mistakes to Avoid when buying Software 

Sometimes we buy things and only later on end up not using it. Sometimes we get get caught by the hype. Making these mistakes with app or software purchases can be very expensive. Here are 9 mistakes to avoid when purchasing a new app or program:

1. Buying “OEM” or second hand software

Adverts selling “OEM” software can appear in classifieds or websites such as Craigslish or Gumtree. These are advertised and sold at prices that are too good to be true. Normally OEM software is meant to be sold to system builders who install the software on newly built computers. OEM software does not come with boxes and computers shipped with OEM software may not come with software disks. These software licenses have to be purchased directly from the software developer or authorized re-sellers. OEM software and educational software purchased from non-authorized resellers should not be purchased as there is a risk of it being illegal copies. .

Second hand software can often be found at bargain prices. These programs are sold by having their license transferred from the original owner to the new user.  However scammers sell pirated (bootleg) copies of the software marketed as original software.  This becomes troublesome as it becomes difficult to check the authenticity of the software at purchase. As a result buying second hand software licenses can be risky as the chance of purchasing illegal software is high. It is therefore best avoided.

2. Buying before identifying your needs

It is important to identify one’s needs before purchasing a program. This allows one to choose a program based on needs instead of features. It could also be possible that there is an alternative program which serves ones needs better and saves money.

Purchasing expensive software can be a waste if its features are never used in the first place.

Before setting out to buy new software, create a list of all your needs be in in the workplace or at home.

3. Not shopping around:

This point can tie in with the previous one. Sometimes we can get much better deals as well as alternative programs that suits our needs better (and for allot cheaper or even free).

By shopping around you get a broader view of all your options and perhaps even manage to spot a sale somewhere. This allows you to make a smarter and more informed decision.

4. Buying on Impulse

Sometimes we have to ask ourselves, are we buying this because of our needs or because of the advertisement. The app webpage will quickly tell you how ground breaking the new edition is and why  you need to buy it right now. But we have to ask ourselves: do we really need the latest edition right now?  It’s important to keep in mind ones real needs and not the needs told to us by the advert or the latest features (that we may end up never using).

5. Not checking the minimum requirements

Programs, games and apps have certain software and hardware requirements to run. Not checking these could lead to expensive mistakes. If the hardware is below minimum requirements the program may be sluggish and crash (or not run at all).

It is important to check the software minimum requirements especially when purchasing software that is heavy on system resources such as games, modeling and animation software.  Look out for RAM, Processor, Video, storage and Operating System requirements. It is always best to ensure that your system is above the minimum requirements to ensure that the software runs smoothly.

6. Not checking Software Support

This is especially important for businesses of all sizes. New software is great, but if something goes wrong you’ll be stuck without the support you need. Choosing a software package with poor or no support can result in plenty of frustration and serious loss of time should things go wrong.

7. Buying software that is too complex

Today we have access to incredibly powerful and capable software packages. These are great and allow almost anyone to have industry strength tools at their disposal. But having the best tools in the world is useless if one does not know how to use it. If you do not have the patience(or the time) to conquer a steep learning curve it may be best to look for easier to use alternatives.

8. Not making or sticking to a budget

Budgets shouldn’t be treated like a new years resolution. Budgeting allows you to keep better control of your finances.  Also allows you to monitor and prevent unnecessary debts caused by purchasing on credit.

Budgeting is a good way of keeping finances under control. Keeping software purchases in your budget will help prevent accumulating unnecessary debt. Software isn’t cheap, thus it is a good idea to account for this within your personal or business budget.

9. Indulging frequently with in-App Purchases

The foundation of the freemium game model. In app purchases may seem convenient and the money paid may seem insignificant at first but over time these insignificant purchases quickly add up. It’s vital to monitor the ever so convenient in-app purchases you make to avoid shocks later on.


Do you have any other software mistakes you’d like to share? Do share in the comments below.


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