This Merch system? I actually love a lot of things about it! I’ve been dying to use it (although not sure if you’d prefer using it for 18+ creators such as I, even though I wouldn’t at all make you print anything that’s not good for a Public post) until I read the fine print.
And by fine print, no, I’m not talking about +3% Patreon cut. That’s more fair than anything. And in fact, let me appreciate this whole system in detail first.
I’ve been looking up ways to reward my long-time big lifetime support patrons, which is something I can’t do on my own (because I’ve been working extremely hard with my content, which doesn’t leave room for any extras). This system of people building up to getting physical goodies, on top of the content I already distribute? Amazing. It is a bit sad that past lifetime records won’t count for this, but it is great for future! This was exactly what I desired out of Patreon! +3% fees? Sure! Manufacture and shipping costs? Sure, as long as you handle the chore of it yourselves! Perfect!
But then, the “tier” language started to seep in. And this is basically why I don’t want to use this.
You want me to have at least a $12 tier: A tier I will basically refuse to have no matter what, as it’s overpricing the content I’m distributing: Several comic book pages every month. I feel bad to be even distributing them for $5 a month - you get an entire comic book with at least 16 pages for less. I’m just glad my patrons are so lovely and supportive, so they find my content special enough to understand the price bump.
I know it’s extremely lucrative to you when we deal with more high-money tiers and less chump-change ones, and something tells me this new system was purely designed around convincing us to hike up our prices. That’s a death sentence for my campaign! That’s too much money, that’ll just make my patrons bail on me! Nobody’s going to stick around to get an extra ONE sticker for $36 every three months! ONE sticker for $36! At least make it a 4 or 6 pack or something! I know you designed this system just so the goodies aren’t supposed to be the actual point of my campaign -they’re just nifty extras. I get that, but when I put my highest tier to $12 from $5 (a 140% increase) - damn sure the merch is going to be the only point!
I don’t know why it’s so rigid and strict that a patron needs to stick around in overpriced tiers for 3 months and EXACTLY three months, when you could also design this system based on annual physical rewards. Someone paid a collective $60 at the end of a year? They get a mug! Someone paid $50? They sadly get the $36 reward. They overpaid on $5 tier to get to the $90 sum? They get a poster! I don’t think you understand the power of conviction this merch deal could have on people to want to pay me more than the maximum amount of what I ask, but instead you’d rather have creators bluntly put up $10-20-50 tiers and arbitrarily justify it with a 3-month interval point system.
I just don’t get what the issue might be, if it’s not to have us raise our tiers. I won’t pretend I have in-depth ideas about your business decisions or hardships of owning a print-store and keeping it afloat. Custom merchandising is hard, and perhaps you need items to be dished out way more quickly than just annually.
Get an extra 5% out of my fees if necessary if it’s what’s required for me, just so $5 tiers can be eligible for this. Hell, I’ll take $8, as an upsell-y merch tier. I’ll even take $10 if i can also get to choose how many months do I want my items to be distributed at the end of it. I have patrons who has been sticking around for over 20 months in a row, I’m sure it’ll work out! I am in love with certain aspects of this idea and it would put my heart in such ease to know they’re getting something extra for their continuous support, especially when we’re talking about how I want to be involved with this platform for years and years to come.