Why are courses on Udemy hundreds of dollars and then go on sale for 90% off? Does this mean they’re no good?

As others have said, Udemy in particular are interested in driving new students to their site. Instructors (myself included) opt in to these promotional schemes in order to also attract students to their courses. The deep-discounting approach is nothing new, but does mean that you can get high quality courses at a low price. In short, the discounted price does not in itself suggest anything about the course quality. To judge that, you should use the ratings associated with each course.

One thing to stress though is that instructors only receive around 60% of sales made through this method. If you really want to help instructors out, you can take advantage of the coupons offered by them directly. For example, I have a short course on moral psychology that i would charge $50 for as an academic delivering the material at a university, but I make it available for just $10 via this link for Quora community members: The Social Psychology of the Moral Mind – Udemy.

By using these instructor coupons, not only do you benefit from the same discounts as you would on the site, but the instructor directly receives an additional 30% of the sale price (a win-win all-round).

Good question though. I had doubts when I first started using Udemy. Top tip — use ratings as a guide, not price.

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