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Thread: FTDNA's Holiday Sale (Big Y is $475)

  1. #11
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    You could try waiting to see if FTDNA will do bigger coupons. This year the sale price for Big Y is $475, but last year the sale price was $525. They simply had bigger coupons last year. The regular ones were $75 as well as many $50. So that means last year and this year the Big Y is going more often than not to around $450 when using the biggest of the common coupons. ($475-25 [2017] and $525-75 [2016]) However last year did have some less common $100 coupons. As well as a few ultra rare $125 coupons in the last few days of the sale. I think I ended up having one unused. Couldn't get anyone to use it. I did get one person to use one of them though.

    While it may seem like FTDNA is biting more than they can chew, maybe they feel they have to. Think about it. They likely have a surge of sales during the holiday sale. If they don't sell the Big Y, they won't get that amount of money. Maybe they knew they may have issues at this point and therefore tried to get all those Big Y orders in their pockets during August. The customers are the ones who want fast results. FTDNA may not feel rushed as they got the money from the customers already.

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contemplator View Post
    You could try waiting to see if FTDNA will do bigger coupons. This year the sale price for Big Y is $475, but last year the sale price was $525. They simply had bigger coupons last year. The regular ones were $75 as well as many $50. So that means last year and this year the Big Y is going more often than not to around $450 when using the biggest of the common coupons. ($475-25 [2017] and $525-75 [2016]) However last year did have some less common $100 coupons. As well as a few ultra rare $125 coupons in the last few days of the sale.....
    I've never seen a $125 coupon. I think most people were getting on average $75 discount coupons but it depended on the sale.

    I think FTDNA thinks they are a little smarter than they really are in terms of marketing. It is very hard to raise prices and once you give a discount away people begin to expect it in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Contemplator View Post
    While it may seem like FTDNA is biting more than they can chew, maybe they feel they have to. Think about it. They likely have a surge of sales during the holiday sale. If they don't sell the Big Y, they won't get that amount of money. Maybe they knew they may have issues at this point and therefore tried to get all those Big Y orders in their pockets during August. The customers are the ones who want fast results. FTDNA may not feel rushed as they got the money from the customers already.
    I think they have plenty of cash. They've already invested in new equipment, Illumina NovaSeq, for the current Big Y physical test processing. The bulge in August orders due to the sales may have been a hold-over for this time of hiatus in test processing/completion but I think their costs are lower than has been speculated by their competitors. In fact, I know that.

    They may think that with Hg38, an actual decent haplotree and the promise of free extracted 300-400 STRs that they don't need to lower their prices or hold that $400 price range from August. People on this forum won't like me saying this but FTDNA may feel that they just saved customers $50 by significantly reducing the need for 3rd party interpretations. Those 3rd party services will have to scramble whether anyone wants to admit it or not.

    I don't know but I think they would be wise to keep the $400 price range so I don't like this new $475 holiday price. The coupons are just mickey mouse stuff. Forget the game and give us a price.

    I would NOT bet on obtaining a $100 Big Y discount coupon as they may be few and far between. However, I have a hard time not seeing $50 and $75 coupons to come.
    Last edited by Mikewww; 11-15-2017 at 04:28 AM.

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  5. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikewww View Post
    I've never seen a $125 coupon. I think most people were getting on average $75 discount coupons but it depended on the sale.

    I think FTDNA thinks they are a little smarter than they really are in terms of marketing. It is very hard to raise prices and once you give a discount away people begin to expect it in the future.
    Yeah, it was the first and only time I had seen the $125 coupons. I just checked the old sheet from the coupon spreadsheet and 4 coupons are listed from the last week of the sale back in 2016. I imagine there could have been a few more from those who used them up or were no longer bothering to share what they had as the sale was mostly over. I agree about FTDNA thinking they are smarter in terms of marketing. Anyone remember last year how people started to exploit the coupons for incremental upgrades? ($20 off from Y37 to Y67, $20 off from Y67 to Y111) Good times. Only lasted a week or two and then they made it so upgrades couldn't use coupons.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mikewww View Post
    I think they have plenty of cash. They've already invested in new equipment, Illumina NovaSeq, for the current Big Y physical test processing.

    They may think that with Hg38, an actual decent haplotree and the promise of free extracted 300-400 STRs that they don't need to lower their prices or hold that $400 price range from August.

    I don't know but I think they would be wise to keep the $400 price range so I don't like this new $475 holiday price. The coupons are just mickey mouse stuff. Forget the game and give us a price.
    Sure they have plenty of cash but a company never settles when they have a shot at making lots more. Besides if they really got new equipment and increased their number of employees, they'll want more money to cover all that. Well officially people don't know about the extracted STRs. Sure, the ones more involved in this like us do, but the average user does not.

    I don't see the coupons as mickey mouse stuff. I've seen project members foolishly spend more money on tests they could have otherwise gotten cheaper during the sale itself let alone outside of sales. FTDNA is taking advantage of those kinds of people. Not necessarily in a bad way. If we were in their shoes we may do something similar. But of course as the customers, obviously we would want the best final price and not have to play around with coupons. Once the coupon spreadsheet started to get a lot of use back in 2015, I was afraid FTDNA would water down their future coupons or get rid of them. They may have watered them down a little, but not as much as I would have thought.

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  7. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post
    You're probably correct. Would it be advisable to then wait to purchase Big Y, or jump on it with this current sale+coupon?

    Unfortunately the dollar exchange does not make ordering this test any less daunting.
    If your haplogroup project is collecting the coupons, and you can get a good coupon for an additional savings, I would certainly recommend buying the Big Y. The backlog doesn't affect the quality of the test, only how long it takes to get processed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contemplator View Post
    Sure they have plenty of cash but a company never settles when they have a shot at making lots more. Besides if they really got new equipment and increased their number of employees, they'll want more money to cover all that. Well officially people don't know about the extracted STRs. Sure, the ones more involved in this like us do, but the average user does not.
    This plays out time and time again. We want more and we will get it but sooner or later all of this impacts pricing. FTDNA left the realms of being just DNA test provider some time ago. By now, I'll bet they have more people in I/T than the lab itself. That's good for the project systems, tools and integration, etc. but they don't charge an annual service fee (thank God) so all of this does NOT help them reduce prices.

    It is a very good thing they have invested more in the lab. It is true they really do have new equipment for Big Y, the Illumina NovaSeq machine(s). I'm curious if this improves quality in any way which is directly of benefit to the consumer. I'm pretty sure there is a huge cost advantage to FTDNA with the new equipment but it is the same old micro-economics of scaling up to reduce costs. I also know they had a two year program to generally save money in their lab operations. I always knew that the competitive scuttlebutt was wrong when they would say the "enrichment" costs per Big Y were about $400 per test.

    I see there are bloggers saying FTDNA is going to new equipment on the autosomal DNA testing side too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Contemplator View Post
    I don't see the coupons as mickey mouse stuff.
    I just personally don't like the extra gyrations, especially around the Christmas season. I think they should just average out the coupon discounts actually redeemed and lower the prices by the same amount, period.
    Last edited by Mikewww; 11-15-2017 at 05:20 PM.

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  11. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikewww View Post
    ...[snip]... I just personally don't like the extra gyrations, especially around the Christmas season. I think they should just average out the coupon discounts actually redeemed and lower the prices by the same amount, period.
    Everyone likes to think they are getting a special deal, so coupons have a proven track record of increasing sales as well as profits for businesses. Studies have consistently shown where the sales volume would not be as high if a company simply reduced prices without the "gimmick" of coupons.

    FTDNA is in the business of being profitable and the bottom line is everyone profits from the increased sales.
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    I think that FTDNA will have to lower prices for the BigY together with discarding Y-markers and panels. The main competition is BigY or Whole Genome Sequencing. One can sequence DNA for a price below 1000$ and get more Y-SNPs over 10 millions in BigY plus all the other stuff including mtDNA and autosomal. FF+mtDNA+BigY=89$ + 199$ + 575$ = 863$. I think WGS prices will fall in a few years, so FTDNA will have a hard competition. BigY must be under 400$ quite soon, the prices for other test will drop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikewww View Post

    They may think that with Hg38, an actual decent haplotree and the promise of free extracted 300-400 STRs that they don't need to lower their prices or hold that $400 price range from August. People on this forum won't like me saying this but FTDNA may feel that they just saved customers $50 by significantly reducing the need for 3rd party interpretations. Those 3rd party services will have to scramble whether anyone wants to admit it or not.

    I don't know but I think they would be wise to keep the $400 price range so I don't like this new $475 holiday price. The coupons are just mickey mouse stuff. Forget the game and give us a price.

    I would NOT bet on obtaining a $100 Big Y discount coupon as they may be few and far between. However, I have a hard time not seeing $50 and $75 coupons to come.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karwiso View Post
    I think that FTDNA will have to lower prices for the BigY together with discarding Y-markers and panels. The main competition is BigY or Whole Genome Sequencing. One can sequence DNA for a price below 1000$ and get more Y-SNPs over 10 millions in BigY plus all the other stuff including mtDNA and autosomal. FF+mtDNA+BigY=89$ + 199$ + 575$ = 863$. I think WGS prices will fall in a few years, so FTDNA will have a hard competition. BigY must be under 400$ quite soon, the prices for other test will drop.
    FGC's Y Elite was first to market and a superior product in terms of finding SNPs ("whether anyone wants to admit it or not") which is after all what people take these tests for.

    But now Thomas Krahn has his own WGS product and other firms maybe entering the market (possibly DanteLabs though its not clear how geared up towards our community they are prepared to get). Personally I would like something based entirely within the EU so my DNA and data doesn't go outside the EU but I don't think we are there yet.
    Another interesting development might be if Helix can start selling outside the US but not convinced their business model really works.

    What is pecular is that FTDNA have picked a phantom fight with a 50 dollar analysis firm. Is that all they are capable of? Cos in the meantime Ancestry have shipped 6 million autosomal kits and the most optimistic estimates (from a top FTDNA supporter) is that FF is around the 500k mark. Love em or hate em but Ancestry now define genetic genealogy.
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  17. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by karwiso View Post
    I think that FTDNA will have to lower prices for the BigY together with discarding Y-markers and panels. The main competition is BigY or Whole Genome Sequencing.
    Could be, but that is betting on dramatic price decreases from the competition. Betting on the future is a bit precarious. Some bet against Big Y several years ago but we can see the results.

    NGS results shared on the Big Tree (P312 folks):
    Family Tree DNA ...... 5120
    FGC Elite or Prime .... 201
    http://ytree.net/Stats.php

    NGS results were also summarized in a U106/S21 project post several months ago.
    We have 20 new orders for Big Y since yesterday, bringing our totals to just over 3,600 members, just over 1,500 with 111 STRs, and exactly 1,000 with Big Y.

    We also have about 60 with FGC tests and a new YSEQ WGS tester in Dennis Waters' comparison spreadsheet for FGC and WGS tests.
    If you do the math, Big Y ends up with a 96% market share among genetic genealogy consumers among R1b-L151 (P312+U106) testers. This is not a narrow niche haplogroup. According to academic studies R1b-L151 has frequencies of well over 50% along the Atlantic facade of Europe and still 50% or so in Central Europe. R1b in most of Europe is almost all R1b-L151. These regions are prime source regions for immigration to America. If I remember correctly, at one time, the YSEQ founder indicated the market is all about L21 and U106. Both are under L151.

    I doubt if FTDNA will sit still anyway. As I noted I think they have started on efforts some time ago to reduce costs. I just think should lower prices faster than they do. They also will not sit still on new technologies and this actually an area that FTDNA shines. For all its failings, they have a record of maintaining compability and bring old data forward. I try to describe that here.

    "3. Integrated and backward-compatible data management, which is the foundation of a large matching database. Old Deep Clade, Advanced Test SNPs, SNP Packs and Big Y results are all used for haplotree and haplogroup assignment and project display."
    https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/r-1b/faq#/FFTDNA

    What new DNA testing technologies are out there or will be is only one factor. They are good for research and I totally support that. What's important to genetic genealogy is making like for like comparisons acros a large the database so having the rightly priced tests along with the supporting services becomes imperative. It's hard to start from ground zero on this stuff.
    Last edited by Mikewww; 11-16-2017 at 12:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacUalraig View Post
    What is pecular is that FTDNA have picked a phantom fight with a 50 dollar analysis firm.
    It appears like you are stating that all of these Big Y changes are putting severe pressure on YFull, since they charge $49 per analysis.

    Big Y now offers without any additional charges:
    - on-line chromosome browser
    - an improved and very large haplotree fed from Big Y, Sanger Sequencing & Mass Spectrometry (and Microchip array but I wish they would throw that out or filter better)
    - they are at Hg38 which should have some call confidence improvements and puts a kink in YFull's now mixed bag of BAM files
    - the promise of Y STR extractions, maybe 300 or so, but also scrubbed for higher reliability
    - the promise of age estimates

    Some of these Big Y improvements are really things Big Y should have had in the first place. That part is not necessarily onerous.

    However, I do agree there is something else going on here. I don't know what it is but there something else has gone on behind the scenes.
    Last edited by Mikewww; 11-16-2017 at 01:08 AM.

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