I'm an iPhone developer and I've recently changed the price of my app from $0.99 to free.

Wordnet defines sale as:

an agreement (or contract) in which property is transferred from the seller (vendor) to the buyer (vendee) for a fixed price in money (paid or agreed to be paid by the buyer);

In this case there is no price in money, so I guess I shouldn't use the word sale. What should I use, then? "A giveaway" doesn't sound nice.

  • Are you a good iPhone developer or is there a reason you give your app away? I would like to get in touch with an app developer ;) – mplungjan Apr 12 '11 at 9:23
  • @mplungjan: Being free doesn't mean that the developer is not good , fortunately. :D I am thankful for those apps I could get for free and that are awesome! – Alenanno Apr 12 '11 at 9:29
  • I've got a couple of apps, and making them free is a nice opportunity to get 10-40k downloads, and some publicity + reviews because of it :) – kolinko Apr 12 '11 at 11:34
  • @mplungjan - as for my availability as an iPhone developer, you can mail me at kolinko@motivapps.com and describe the idea, but I most probably won't have the time to program it for you (although perhaps I may suggest some improvements etc). – kolinko Apr 12 '11 at 11:35
  • Thank you all for the answers. I could approve just one unfortunately, but most of you helped. Thanks! :) – kolinko Apr 12 '11 at 13:11

You MUST use a verb? Because I don't know if there's a single verb in English for that.

There are some "synonyms" like donate, contribute, but they are too general or have different acceptions, which are not strictly related to your request.

If you can use expressions, you could say:

  • Available for free;
  • Free of charge;
  • Gratis.

If you can provide the exact situation where you're supposed to use that verb, I can give you a better answer, I tried to cover all "fields".

  • This is the app (currently paid, but I'll be making it free some time in the future). itunes.apple.com/us/app/sonnet-send-personalised-love/… When I make it free, I want to add "Limited time 100% Sale" to the beginning of the description. "Available for free for the weekend" also sounds nice. Any other suggestions? – kolinko Apr 12 '11 at 11:37
  • Sorry for being late. Anyway "Available for free this weekend" or "next weekend" is better because that way you can avoid the sound repetition "for free for"... Those 3 F's are annoying, even if you read them with your eyes and not aloud. :) – Alenanno Apr 12 '11 at 17:28

Advertise your product as "priceless"

  • I'm 99% sure "priceless" is not appropriate (that 1% because I'm not a native speaker so well, you never know), but it's not a synonym of "for free". It means something inestimable, invaluable, having a value beyond all prices. – Alenanno Apr 12 '11 at 11:04
  • 6
    @Alenanno It's a pun – jsj Apr 12 '11 at 11:04
  • Haha, that makes for a witty ad. – victoriah Apr 12 '11 at 12:29
  • @jsj I get it, but still... :P – Alenanno Oct 18 '15 at 21:00

Since you are giving it away for free, I will for once co-operate in a marketing scheme (despite my feelings towards Apple). You could say "download free of change for the next [timer counting down]", or "[same] until [date]", or "introductory price: € 0,-", or what the others have suggested. Good luck!

  • I would be careful with "introductory price" because people will think that the app is a demo that not actually free or is a limited version, for which people will have to pay to access. – XP1 Apr 12 '11 at 12:54
  • @XP1: Hmm are you sure? I usually see that used to promote a product at a lower price for a while, until people get to know it better or it sells well enough. It is the price that is introductory, not the product: I agree that "introductory version" would mean a demo; but "introductory price"? – Cerberus_Reinstate_Monica Apr 12 '11 at 12:57
  • Maybe I'm just associating introductory prices with introductory versions. :> – XP1 Apr 12 '11 at 14:01
  • @XP1: Yeah... that is why I found this marketing stunt a thing to be encouraged. – Cerberus_Reinstate_Monica Apr 12 '11 at 16:13

The WordNet definition may be too specific. A lot of words have multiple specific and general definitions. In general, "sale" could mean "the sale of goods at reduced prices".

If you reduced the price by 100 percent and if the price is $0, then it is still a fixed price in money. It simply means that the buyer does not have to transfer funds because it is free.

I do not have a problem with "100% sale", and I am sure that people would not misunderstand, although you probably might want to say "100% off sale" for clarity.

Even if you are still unsure, you can absolutely use "available for free [for a limited time]", which is what @Alenanno suggested.


Short time offer - available for free/at no cost.

Something like that makes it interesting, yet doesn't make it sound "bad".

Good luck.


The definition you found is for one use of "sale":

These items are for sale

WordNet's full item for the quoted definition is specifically referring to sales agreements which is a legal term and explains the smattering of legalize. WordNet also listed this definition which is probably closer to your intended use:

an occasion (usually brief) for buying at specially reduced prices; "they held a sale to reduce their inventory"; "I got some great bargains at their annual sale"

You can sell some thing for a price that has been reduced to nothing. Various stores have sales along the lines of "buy one, get one free." Here the reduction in price is implicit because you are getting an extra product instead of paying less.

But, really, when it comes to marketing it doesn't matter much. The point is to get people to pay attention and download your product. "100% off sale!" isn't bad marketing and you will probably get a few chuckles out of it.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.