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How To – Get Hold Of Photoshop

How To – Get Hold Of Photoshop

While this is technically not a tutorial, it’s a considerably important matter that every would-be graphic designer must face. Adobe Photoshop is a “very” expensive program, and rightly so, considering its nearly boundless abilities and its status as the undisputed Industry Standard in image manipulation software.


The average price for Photoshop is about $600 – which is obviously far out of the reach of most “budding artists” – this struggle often results in these people resorting to warez (illegal copies of software). This is obviously not the right way to go about it, so here we will suggest several legal ways of acquiring Adobe Photoshop at greatly reduced cost which you may not be aware of.

Why should I care?

You might be asking something to the effect of, “Why should I care? Why should I buy Photoshop when I can easily download it for free from a million places on the Internet or get it from my friend… sure it’s illegal, but EVERYONE does it right?”
It’s true that a lot of people resort to warez instead of paying for software. Unlike stealing the boxed copy from the local computer store, it doesn’t seem all that wrong to download that same software and use it. I’m not going to give you a reason like “companies lose $X billion dollars a year due to software piracy” because that’s not necessarily true in all cases, nor will it be likely to help change your mind – what IS true though is that stealing is just wrong. If designing graphics is something you are truly and sincerely interested in, then shouldn’t you be willing to invest the necessary funds in that? If you made model air planes for your hobby or job, you wouldn’t think twice about paying for paint, glue, plastic parts… those are the necessary tools that allow you to enjoy your hobby… Photoshop is your tool – just because this tool is “downloadable” doesn’t make it any different than the tools you must buy for any other hobby. In the end the decision is up to you. If you use a warez copy of Photoshop now, consider beginning to save up a bit to buy a legal copy sometime soon. Hopefully the cost-cutting suggestions below will help make that a more “reasonable” request.

Educational/Academic Discounts

If you’re a student in high school or college, or a teacher/faculty member, you probably qualify to buy software from what is known as Educational/Academic Software Retailers. Contrary to popular belief, almost all software sold by such companies have full retail-version licenses, and are absolutely no different then what you might buy at your local computer store (policies may vary though – be certain to make sure before you buy). You will have to prove to the educational software retailer that you are a valid student/teacher – the usual way is by sending in a photocopy of your current student/faculty ID card, a dated copy of your current class schedule, or a letter from your school. If you choose to buy from an educational software retailer, you can expect to pay about $250-$300 for Photoshop, a savings of about 50%. Deals are also often available for combined software packages and educational materials such as books and videos.

Here is a list of several retailers to investigate:
Journey Ed | Micro Master | NeedSoftware.com

You can locate other such services by searching for academic software on your favourite search engine, such as Google.

Online Auctions

Another good option you have is to buy Photoshop through online auctions, such as those at eBay. While this method is a bit riskier, it may be the best option if you need the absolute lowest price, or if you don’t qualify for educational discounts. On eBay, you might be able to find a recent version of Photoshop (full retail, unregistered, no box/manual) for as low as $150 – typically the cost is more around $200-$250, but keep a close eye and you may find a great deal. If you are willing to sacrifice various benefits, such as the ability to register for tech support (i.e. if the seller already registered the program themselves), then you may be able to find even better deals.

Here is a list of several auction sites:
eBay | Yahoo! Auctions | uBid

Before-you-Buy Tips:

  • Make sure you are buying the full version of the program, not an upgrade CD.
  • Buy from trusted sources only – you could unwittingly be sold a “fake” copy.
  • Check to be sure that you are receiving a “full retail” version, that does not impose any restrictions on how you can use the software (most of the time educational copies have a full retail license, but you should check to be sure).
  • There are both PC and Mac versions, and you need to be sure you get the version appropriate for your computer.
  • If possible, make sure the CD comes factory-sealed in plastic, though it doesn’t matter if it comes with a box or not – if it’s not sealed, the seller could have copied or installed it for themselves which, if they register it, could cause problems for you).
  • Be suspicious if you find a deal that seems too good to be true (i.e. “Buy Adobe Photoshop for only $9.99!!!”) because most of the time it “is” too good to be true. One case where it “might” cost significantly less than usual is if it has already been registered – you should ask the seller the reason for the strangely low price before risking it.

thanks to absolutecross

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