Udemy runs sales frequently, and many students build up their collection of courses without ever paying full price.
In fact, if you’ve spent much time on Udemy, it seems like they’re almost always running a sale. And when they aren’t, you can be sure one is just around the corner.
But how often does Udemy sales, and are there are tricks you can use to get courses even cheaper?
As a former Udemy instructor with thousands of students, I’ve witnessed firsthand how Udemy runs their sales and promotions.
In this article, I will share everything I know, outline Udemy’s sale schedule, as well as share some tips to help you get Udemy courses for an even cheaper price.
Does Udemy Always Run Sales?
Udemy rarely goes more than a few weeks without running some sort of sale, and they have a number of major sale events every year.
From holidays to special discounts for certain groups of students, there is little need to ever pay full price for a course. In fact, with a little bit of patience, you can save over 90% off of the course’s retail price.
Kind of funny, isn’t it?
The fact of the matter is, Udemy fell into this trap fairly early on after gaining popularity. Although courses were priced (at some points) for hundreds of dollars, they got into a habit of running very steep sales from the very beginning.
Courses that were priced at hundreds of dollars, all of a sudden could be purchased for as little as $10.
So, what did customers do?
They refused to buy at full price, and waited for a sale to finally make their purchase.
During my time as an instructor, I witnessed the effects of this myself. Less than 2% of my course sales ever came at full price. Inside Udemy’s instructor groups, course creators would pressure Udemy into running additional sales, because they simply weren’t making any money unless sales were going on.
You might be able to see where this is going.
Because Udemy customers would only buy courses during sales events, Udemy had a huge problem. They had to continue pushing additional sales in order to actually make any money, further reinforcing the problem. At this point, there is sadly no returning – the courses have been devalued so much, that they simply will never be able to get customers accustomed to paying full price.
My opinion on this is divided – on one hand, low cost education is a wonderful thing for us all. On the other, many of the courses were well worth the full price they were offered at. Courses priced at $10 (where the instructor will only make half of that) really disincentivize instructors from investing the hundreds of hours it takes to make a truly exceptional course.
But, this is the reality of the situation, so we must take it for what it is.
Is Udemy’s Pricing Structure Unethical?
You’ve got to wonder – if Udemy students only ever buy courses with steep discounts, why doesn’t Udemy just lower the price of all the courses and stop running sales? Surely this would even out the spending, right?
Well, they tried this before, and the plan ultimately ended up backfiring.
Part of what has made Udemy sales so successful is the illusion of value.
When you see a $100 course on sale for $10, you think that you’re getting a great deal. This is true even if the product has never actually sold for more than $10.
It’s easy to feel like you’re saving a ton of money during these sales events, even if you never would have purchased the product at full price in the first place.
While Udemy itself is a perfectly legitimate place to buy courses from, I consider this method of artificial discounting to be quite scammy.
Still, it has been quite successful for Udemy and this strategy is employed by may other companies as well – even if it is intentionally misleading.
When Is The Next Udemy Sale? – Udemy Sale Schedule
Although Udemy occasionally runs random sales at unpredictable times, there is a routine schedule they follow as well.
Most notably, Udemy bases their sales around holidays and other significant dates throughout the year.
Below, you’ll find some of the key dates that Udemy runs sales. This can help you predict when the next Udemy sale will occur. Note that these sales can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
January: New Year’s Sale, Flash Sale
February: Valentine’s Day Sale
March: Buy More, Save More sale (requires you to purchase more than one course)
April: Own Your Education Sale
May: Mother’s Day Sale
June: Mid-year Madness Sale
July: Mid-Summer Sale
August: Back To School Sale, Own Your Curiosity Sale
September: Flash Sale
October: End The Year Strong Sale
November: Black Friday Sale, Cyber Monday Sale
December: Christmas Sale
As you can see, this is more than once per month! So, you never have to wait that long before you’ll be able to pick up courses at a deep discount.
Note that Udemy does not always announce sale dates in advance. Therefore, you may wish to check back every few days until you see a sale is going on. Typically, the sale will be announced on Udemy’s home page and there will be a banner running across the top with pricing information.
Did you know that Udemy runs a bunch of other sales that go on year-round, to specific groups of students?
You can see an example of this below:
In this example, you can see that Udemy is running a sale specifically for students who haven’t been on Udemy in a while.
The goal of this of course, is to get them back into Udemy’s ecosystem, browsing the site and taking courses frequently.
However, this isn’t the only type of secret sale that Udemy runs. A few more notable examples include first-time students, and course sales on specific topics or categories.
In fact, if you open up Udemy in an incognito browser, you may see a discount offered to new students.
Although you can try making a new account in order to grab the discount, it doesn’t always work.
Since Udemy runs frequent sales anyway, you may just wish to wait and keep everything under one account!
Instructor Coupons, And Even Deeper Discounts
Did you know that instructors often offer coupons that may even beat Udemy’s current sales?
In fact, instructors are strongly incentivized to offer coupons, because they earn more per sale when somebody uses their coupon than if you simply find the course while browsing Udemy.
This means that they are happy to promote coupons for their courses, even if they actually end up selling the course at a cheaper price.
So how do you find their coupons?
The easiest way to do this is to visit the course instructor’s website or social media pages. Often times, if they have any active coupons going on they will be publicly posted on their pages.
You can find the instructor’s website by visiting their instructor page on Udemy, or simply Googling their name.
Why Do Some Udemy Courses Never Go On Sale?
Unfortunately, there’s a chance that the course you’re looking at will never go on sale, even when Udemy advertises ‘site-wide sales’.
This is because instructors have the option on whether or not they want to enroll their courses in Udemy’s deals and promotions.
Unfortunately, there isn’t really anything you can do at this point. Although Udemy occasionally only discounts certain categories of courses, if a course doesn’t go on sale even during Udemy’s site-wide promotions, than it’s likely that the course owner has chosen not to opt-in.
This means their courses are unlikely to go on sale during future promotions either.
The only way to verify this is to favorite the course and check back later, or to ask the course instructor using Udemy’s messaging system.
Are Udemy Courses Worth It?
If you’re new to shopping on Udemy or you haven’t taken a lot of courses yet, you may be wondering – are they worth it?
The answer to this is, it depends.
Udemy is a marketplace made up of more than 50,000 instructors. There are over 130,000 different courses on the platform, of varying degrees of quality.
Having purchased over 100 different courses myself, I personally believe that they are more than worth it – especially if you manage to get them on sale.
What’s important is that you take the time to do some research on the course you’re looking to buy. What do students have to say about it? How are the instructor’s other courses received? What other courses are being taught on the same topic?
Thankfully, due to the competitive nature of Udemy, the better courses tend to get more exposure, while the worst courses are buried away – it is much harder to come across them. This is especially true for popular topics on Udemy, like programming, design and business.
There are some courses I would have felt happy purchasing, even if I had to buy them at full price. They were seriously that good.
If you aren’t happy with your purchase, Udemy has a pretty generous return policy as well. So, there really isn’t a lot of risk when purchasing courses on Udemy.
Let’s say you aren’t exactly sure about Udemy yet, or you don’t want to wait for a sale.
Fortunately, there are a decent number of Udemy alternatives available today, with the largest being Skillshare.
Skillshare operates under a subscription model. You pay a monthly or annual fee, and you have access to all the courses on the Skillshare platform.
This is different than Udemy, where you purchase a course and then own it forever.
Still, if you go through a lot of courses, Skillshare may be a better value.
In my personal experience, Skillshare has a lot more courses that aren’t all that great, but it makes up for it in volume. You have to do a little digging, but there is an incredible number of quality courses on Skillshare.
In fact, many Udemy instructors put their courses on both platforms – so you may save money straight away with a Skillshare membership.
That being said, Skillshare isn’t the only Udemy alternative. A few others include:
- LinkedIn Learning
Some websites specialize in different types of courses. Therefore, you may wish to check each of them out depending on what subject you’re hoping to learn about.
There’s no doubt about it – Udemy runs a very large number of sales.
Although sales aren’t going on all the time for every user, you can be sure that you won’t have to wait long.
Udemy doesn’t expect you to pay full price, so you shouldn’t. Wait a few days or weeks for a sale, and you’re bound to save a lot of money.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. Of course, if you have any questions about sales on Udemy, feel free to ask them using the comment form below.
To your success,
– James McAllister