Patreon – New Fee Schedule

So, Patreon changed their fee schedule. Lots of folks seem irked about it, and likely with good reason.

The way it’s now structured, if I understand it correctly, as a patron, you make a pledge. That pledge gets fees added on to it for the Patron, in the amount of 2.9% plus a flat fee of $0.35. Then they also take from the Creator a chunk of the money equal to 5%.

If the fees used to be 5% + 0.05 as a flat charge no matter the donation from PayPal and 1.9% + 0.30 from Stripe, then here are some figures depending on how your patrons used to pay.

Pledge Cost Pledge Fees from Patron Fees from Creator Creator Receives Receipt/Total % Pledge as Fee
 $         1.38  $     1.00  $                    0.38  $                      0.05  $                   0.95 68.8% 31.2%
 $         5.50  $     5.00  $                    0.50  $                      0.25  $                   4.75 86.4% 13.6%
 $       10.64  $   10.00  $                    0.64  $                      0.50  $                   9.50 89.3% 10.7%
 $       26.08  $   25.00  $                    1.08  $                      1.25  $                 23.75 91.1% 8.9%
 $       51.80  $   50.00  $                    1.80  $                      2.50  $                 47.50 91.7% 8.3%
 $     103.25  $ 100.00  $                    3.25  $                      5.00  $                 95.00 92.0% 8.0%
Old Stripe Fee Schedule
Pledge Cost Pledge Fees from Patron Fees from Creator Creator Receives Receipt/Total % Pledge as Fee
 $         1.00  $     1.00  $                        –  $                      0.37  $                   0.63 63.1% 36.9%
 $         5.00  $     5.00  $                        –  $                      0.65  $                   4.36 87.1% 12.9%
 $       10.00  $   10.00  $                        –  $                      0.99  $                   9.01 90.1% 9.9%
 $       25.00  $   25.00  $                        –  $                      2.03  $                 22.98 91.9% 8.1%
 $       50.00  $   50.00  $                        –  $                      3.75  $                 46.25 92.5% 7.5%
 $     100.00  $ 100.00  $                        –  $                      7.20  $                 92.80 92.8% 7.2%
Old Paypal Fee Schedule
 $         1.00  $     1.00  $                        –  $                      0.15  $                   0.85 85.0% 15.0%
 $         5.00  $     5.00  $                        –  $                      0.55  $                   4.45 89.0% 11.0%
 $       10.00  $   10.00  $                        –  $                      1.05  $                   8.95 89.5% 10.5%
 $       25.00  $   25.00  $                        –  $                      2.55  $                 22.45 89.8% 10.2%
 $       50.00  $   50.00  $                        –  $                      5.05  $                 44.95 89.9% 10.1%
 $     100.00  $ 100.00  $                        –  $                   10.05  $                 89.95 90.0% 10.1%

My take-aways:

If you’re a creator, under all circumstances, you receive more of the “advertised” pledge amount regardless of the pledge level. That’s just the plain effect of passing the fee for the transaction to the Patron.

If you’re a Patron, every single pledge level now costs you more, by anywhere from +38% for $1 pledges down to as little as 3.25% for $100 pledges.

As a percentage of the total money involved in the transaction, if you were, as a Patron, paying with Stripe then if you’re pledging small amounts, the Creator gets more of your now-higher money to spend than they used to, but that rapidly shifts to the Creator getting less of a cut than the total amount spent.

If you were on PayPal, it’s the large donations that benefit, as north of about $10 the impact of the $0.30 vs $0.05 flat fee goes away. If your pledge is more than bout $10, the creator gets a higher cut of your now-higher fee.

PayPal’s overall fee structure in combination with Patreon’s 5% produced a more flat structure overall, with basically 10-15% total fees, compared to a much more variable 7-37% fee for Stripe.

It used to be small donations should use paypal, larger ones Stripe, with the breakpoint being about $10. Now it doesn’t matter regardless of how you pay.

As a Patron, there’s no way around it: your costs just went up 3-38%. As a creator, you’ll take home more of the “sticker price,” but that only helps if that offsets the folks that drop because their own costs went up.

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