A full guide to the virtual data room pricing in 2020
How much should you pay?
There are a lot of data room vendors, and each of them sets their own prices for the service. Sometimes, the pricing for two almost identical VDRs will differ greatly, and it’s quite hard to understand the reason for that. However, sticking to the cheapest solution is also not always a good decision since the quality of software might be poor.
So, how do you understand, how much should your data room cost?
First things first, what’s your budget?
Before even diving into trying to understand the virtual data room pricing, you need to know how much money you can spend on this tool. You shouldn’t try to adjust your budget to the price tag of the vendor. Instead, look for a provider whose cost will match your capabilities. Then you will be able to sift out options that are too expensive for you, and the search will become easier.
How much can a data room cost?
The price range is really wide. You can find the solution even for $100 per month if you are fine with lesser-known and simpler providers. And there is no top limit for the data room pricing – some experienced business owners tell stories about getting invoices that are way over $100,000. Usually, such high costs are related to providers who stick to the per-page pricing. It’s a somewhat outdated approach, but let us take a look at all pricing models.
Quite numerous vendors still use this approach. Depending on the size of your project, the price for one page varies from $0.40 to $0.85. This model might be great for small companies that don’t have that many papers to work with. But if your firm is quite large and has to manage lots of documents, such a data room will cost you a lot.
Some vendors will provide customers with a certain number of user licenses for a set price. And if you need to add more team members to a VDR, you will need to pay an extra fee for each of them. The price for a user differs a lot – the costs vary between $100 and $250 for an administrative user. In our opinion, such a model is also better suited for smaller companies as you might overpay greatly if your team hosts many members.
Pay for the size of the storage
This approach, just like two previous ones, is good for teams with a limited number of relatively small papers. If you need to share large video files or images, such a pricing model will be quite expensive for you. The amount of storage VDRs offer for a set price is different. And if you exceed the limit, the vendor will charge you for each extra GB that you use. The cost of one gigabyte can reach up to $75, so that’s a rather high price.
Set monthly or yearly fees
This is the approach most trusted and well-known providers use. Often, a vendor offers several packages suited for companies of different sizes. A pricing plan provides you with a set amount of storage space and a certain number of administrative and guest user licenses. The pricing varies greatly from vendor to vendor and can reach up to $1000 per month. However, some providers try to keep their prices on an affordable level. For example, iDeals offers the cheapest plan that costs $175/month and provides you with 500MB of storage, 10 guest users, and 2 administrators.
Why do prices differ so much?
Logically, we think that the more advanced the data room is, the higher will be its cost. But in reality, it’s not the case. Some vendors have fewer features and less versatile software than iDeals mentioned above, yet their pricing is much more expensive. The price of the data room doesn’t display its quality.
If the provider is well-known and exists for quite a long time, its prices will likely be very high. For example, Merrill and Intralinks offer rather basic data rooms, but their service is much more expensive than the advanced software Box and iDeals offer, for example. Sticking to such providers you will pay for the name more than for the service. However, in some cases paying more for a reputable name decades-old is worth the money.
How to check out a data room before paying for it?
It’s possible to see the software in action before you spend money on it, and it’s an important thing to do. Providers offer several options:
- A free trial. Very few vendors allow customers to use the data room for free for several days. Usually, they will let you use all the features, but sometimes, the functions are limited in the trial version. It’s the best option since you get to use software by yourself.
- A free demo. This is also a good way to see the insides of a data room. The provider will show you the interface and all the features on-demand. You just need to schedule the demo – you will find this option on the website if the vendor offers such a service.
- A money-back guarantee. Well, in this case, you will have to pay to use the data room. However, you can get your money back if you dislike the software. It’s better than nothing. Yet, some vendors might become tricky once you request your money back. Sometimes, they will try to persuade you to stay, and sometimes, you will wait for the funds to arrive at your account for ages.
Before you begin choosing a data room, you need to know your financial capabilities, the number of files you will work with, and the approximate number of users. Also, it’s useful to try to predict the growth of your company to understand how quickly you will grow out of the service you initially choose. Then it will be easier for you to decide which pricing model fits you better. And once you realize it, you will quickly choose a suitable vendor.