Why does Play Store subscription price differ between devices? (internal testing)

  • 7 March 2022
  • 2 replies

Badge +3

I’m finding that different devices show my subscription price differently - some with sales tax included and some without. This is with internal testing. The displayed value is taken from product.price_string.

The full story: I had set my app’s Play Store in-app subscription price to the same as I had on App Store (3.49 GBP) and it showed up with that value on my phone using the same Google account that’s associated with my developer account. Then I tried it on another phone using a different (licensed tester) account and it showed 4.19 GBP (it added the UK sales tax). So I dropped my price to 2.90 GBP so that it would add the 20% sales tax and be displayed at 3.48 GBP. Afterwards the second phone showed 3.49 GBP (not quite the 3.48 GBP I expected) and my phone showed 2.90 GBP which I kind of expected because at that point I was guessing my account is treated differently. But then a friend tried another phone (different account but also a licensed tester) and it showed the lower 2.90 GBP figure (same as on my phone) so now I’m really confused. What’s going on?

How should I be setting the price for Android? The pricing templates seem to offer a way to include sales tax or not but I’m not using those.

2 replies

Userlevel 5
Badge +10

Hi @philc 

This is a typical side effect of the sandbox environment - the prices don’t always match what is configured in Google Play Console, and it usually happens with non-USD currencies. We grab this price directly from Google so it’s unfortunately a side effect of their own API.

In general we recommend using the sandbox environment to test the purchase flow, while some of the details like price may not always be accurate. In production, you can expect details like price to be accurate as the environment isn’t as unstable.

Badge +3

Thanks Tina. I eventually found that it came right. I cleared the play store and play services cache on my phone. I also tried using a pricing template. I found that Google’s instructions didn’t match the workflow in the dev console and the include/exclude VAT checkbox didn't seem to take effect. Anyway I have a consistent price across devices now - we’ll see what happens when I release :-)