While I certainly agree with the OP (and others) about needing a USB stick for V carve (you don’t), I believe the problem here is the way that Vectric handles their outside sales from distributors such as Inventables.
Inventables has a bulk agreement to sell a particular version of V carve for “X” amount. They are not allowed to host this version for download, but only to distribute it to the end user via USB stick or other physical means. Vectric, however, DOES host their versions on their site, and distribute their keys via email. (I know, because I bought my V carve from Vectric directly.)
Once you have your “inventables” version in hand, and registered, you are free to update as needed for that particular license agreement from the Vectric website.
Vectric does NOT maintain a 3rd party backend for distributors, so until registered, you can’t access these versions.
As a business, Inventables has to pay someone to process the sale, send out the version, provide shipping information, liason with the shipper, etc.
your $10 covers this cost, as I do believe that Inventables is passing on a savings for V Carve to the end user, instead of trying to profit from the sale.
Not every user will buy V carve at the time of purchase of their machine, so this is a necessary evil. Those that do however, are subject to the same charges, simply because of the economy of scale for having to process those that dont.
I don’t work there (inventables or vectric), but I have enough experience to believe what I am saying is true.
Your mileage may vary…