Friday, 3 September 2010

Prices Fall* at 23andMe

It had to happen. As I wrote in my article in the current Family Chronicle, "the price of DNA testing has nowhere to go but down."

23andMe have made it happen, but with a twist. They've reduced the price of the Ancestry Edition to $229, that's down from $299 (if memory serves). That brings their price below the cost of Family Tree DNA's equivalent, but not exactly equivalent, test which costs $289.

At first blush the big price decreases are for the Health and Complete editions, the latter down to $299* from $499, but with one big big difference.  See the asterisk against the price? It's new.

It means that to get the reduced price you require to commit to a recurring Personal Genome Service subscription at $5/month. The commitment is for a minimum 3 months. There is a list of benefits of the subscription, some of which are already enjoyed by existing subscribers. They do promise subscribers discounts on new tests. It isn't clear what happens if you cancel your subscription after three months.

If you don't want the recurring Personal Genome Service you can pay the old prices, $429 and $499 respectively.

There's no indication that these are time limited sale prices although the Your Genetic Genealogist blog quotes a company spokesperson at saying they will "periodically do some testing of lower price points."

 As the subscription only applies to the health-related tests it's natural to wonder if it has anything to do with the US government concerns about direct to consumer health-related DNA tests.

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