Regarding processing fees

There still hasn’t been confirmation if the flat fee is for the overall amount a patron sends to patreon, or if it’s per creator.

Cause if it’s per creator this will absolutely kill off a big chunk of small pledges.

EDIT: Or I guess there has been. “A new service fee of 2.9% + $0.35 will be paid by patrons for each individual pledge starting on December 18th.

This is 100% an insanely poor choice. You’re going to scale back my fees by 5% but make maybe 20% of my patrons vacate your platform. That’s still a massive drop to my earnings.

This isn’t being done in the interest of creators OR patrons at all.

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Here’s my post to my patrons: https://www.patreon.com/posts/patreon-is-fees-15747300

My patrons are taking it pretty well so far. Here’s hoping it stays the same.

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It sounds like Patreon are now asking us to cover for their unpopular change. I’ve seen only negative responses in here and the only answer is apparently to go out and tell patrons the bad news ourselves and hope for the best.

I think that most creators would prefer to just take the hit in Patreon money than risk alienating their audience. A lot of patrons suport many people, some as many as six or seven others and I can’t imagine they will be happy with this.

I see Carla talked about a “variety of responses” and a “fee that would impact patrons in the smallest possible way” and it makes me laugh. The variety of responses appears to be people repeatedly asking not to do this and the surely the fee that impacts patrons in the smallest way would be not to change it.

I don’t know how I’m suppose to defend this idea to my patrons when it’s bad for them, I don’t like it and the best I can do is blame Patreon themselves and that hardly looks good when I’m trying to sell people on my Patreon!

I think the only way I could justify it is by posting more but I already post content every four days and I’m not sure I could increase that any more without going mad!

The cost of processing fees and whatever else should be on us as creators as an expense rather than on patrons who are already paying their fair share.

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The least you can do is to allow us to change our pledge tier amounts, if you are really adamant in making this change. I’d love to change my 5$ tier to 4.51$ so it again becomes 5$ for my patrons.

Yes, somehow I end up losing nearly 10% of my earnings (while getting back at around 5% due to me no longer paying the processing fees, but I still lose more) when I do this, by the way. Interesting how math adds up, isn’t it? I’d still do it because I don’t care, I’ve got used to covering up crummy details. I’ve got used to necessary evil scenarios. In the end, I’m able to live doing stuff I love doing – paying for the processing fees is the least worrying thing for me.

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I certainly hope that we are not meeting deaf ears on this subject. This is a highly disagreeable change that will likely make it impossible for me to keep my project going. I am certain i am not the only one. I have yet to see a single full positive comment here, twitter or anywhere else about this yet.

How big was your testing group for this? Was there a public poll or discussion about this that creators could give feedback on? This is an almost shocking change, one that doesn’t have an opt out option and that is incredibly inconsiderate. (The same way not being able to go back after choosing the pay upfront option is also inconsiderate to your creators, some of whom are now permanently stuck with that function.)

At this point, your test group was not big enough. Why weren’t creators here given a little insight into this much earlier? Why weren’t we able to give feedback on this before? Really, a small group of creators and patrons is not all of us and it is mind blowing that this is something that is even being considered.

I hope the patreon staff reconsider.

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I think this is a splendid opportunity to demonstrate that you can roll back changes in response to feedback from your broader userbase. You did some testing with a limited userbase. You garnered from that testing that this wouldn’t impact the entire userbase poorly. We’re telling you otherwise.

It’s always impressive when a company says, “We did wrong… we are going to go back to how it was before while we re-evaluate.”

As a side-note, when you removed the fee burden from me, you also removed a tax write-off. Processing fees can be claimed as an expense. So in addition to giving the burden to my patrons, who are suddenly slammed with it, you’ve taken away something I claim at tax time. And now you’re saying there’s no option for creators to take that burden on again, even if some creators would prefer to go to the new option?

Not happy.

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Good catch and I should do a better job explaining. Patreon will be doing as much as possible to educate patrons about this specific change. Beyond emails there will be notifications on the website around this. We will definitely be communicating this change and why we believe this is the most creator-first thing Patreon can do.

The thing that is important to convey to your patrons is the value of their pledge to you. We know from internal research that patrons really want to know that they are meaningful to you. Clearly, from this conversation, you really feel this. Your care for your patrons is palpable.

Your patrons need to know that you appreciate their pledge every month (or every piece of art delivered). Most of you are likely sharing this sort of gratitude already. By education, it would be really helpful for your patrons to understand why their support means so much. As some additional information, on the macro level there are basically two factors that drive patrons. One is support motivated. These patrons want to support you because they believe in your creativity and that they are part of something larger than themselves. The second type are people that want to support you because they are motivated by the content you’ve created just for patrons. Some patrons may be a blend of both. If you decide to share information about this update with your patrons, it can help to remind them of both of those types of meaning to you. We’re seeing this in updates already from various creators. Some creators are stressing the value in various tiers while others are talking about how patrons enable them to create their work.

IS there -any- consideration what so ever on the patreon staff about reconsidering this change? By the sound of your messages, i don’t hold out much hope.

This isn’t even just ‘whiplash’ from being scared about a change for general reasons. This move is quite literally going to destroy some of us. Many of us communicate with our clients on a personal basis. A lot of my supporters on patreon are friends, long time clients, people who love what i do and want to support me. But they are not made of money and many of them have $1 support levels for many artists which is now going to make their monthly total skyrocket because this change severely penalizes people who support many, which is counter intuitive honestly. That motivation and care about my craft is not going to make all the people stay at their current pledge or continue pledging at all if they have to choose between me, other creators and their budget. I know a good number of patrons who are likely to reduce their pledge, if not leave entirely, simply because their disposable income cannot account for this change - which shouldn’t even be on their plate to cover in the first place. (As expressed before, i am also in this situation and means that i will have to pull support from some of my content creators that i no longer can afford once these fees hit.)

The messages received thus far from you, @carla feel as though you are all deadset on this and nothing is going to stop you guys from going ahead with it. I hope this is not the case and that there is some compassion in there for those of us you are going to negatively affect with this change that doesn’t have an opt out option.

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This is not a “creator-first thing” Patreon is doing. We are telling you in as many ways as we can, in large groups, on multiple platforms, that this is a bad idea that will cause creators to lose support and funding. People who have pledged small amounts to many creators will get hit significantly by this fee change and will either have to withdraw all pledges or become very selective about who they can afford to support. Any change Patreon implements that risks pledge retention purely on the base of that change itself rather than any difference in the patron’s personal financial situation or interest in the creator is absolutely not “creator-first”. It’s fairly obvious that this change is meant to benefit Patreon in some way since everyone responding from Patreon is so determined to force this change through despite its massive negative reception today. I’m sorry to hear you will not be considering the words of warning so many people are giving Patreon, nor will you consider the harm this will do to your users. I’m also sorry to see this insistence on passing along the responsibility for buffering this change to your creators. I have gladly seen a cut go from my pledges every month to support Patreon’s continued operation and would like to continue as it has been. I do not feel any words of gratitude to my patrons, which I already give regularly on and off the site, will have any affect on what they are able to afford or how they feel about fee changes Patreon is forcing on them.

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I agree. Putting the fees onto users may benefit Patreon on all sort of things, such as them being able to boost the total numbers of creator earnings for charts to be used in investor meetings or stock market stuff. It could even be that Patreon’s planning on increasing the Patreon fee to 8% or 10%, and this is only done to make the latter change more palatable to creators. Maybe Paypal is pushing them to do it (not the first time they throw a wrench in the gears), and they’re torn between their userbase and their benefactors.

And honestly… who cares. This is not the way to do any of this. I’d much rather them to make their big changes by first letting people know in 2 months advance, and be clear and honest about their intents, no matter how business-mandated it is. I don’t buy how this is made to make creator earnings more stable. Nobody’s getting stable earnings no matter what Patreon can do: Patrons come and go constantly. It’s in the nature of the platform.

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Again, I thank you for the concerns and for really nuanced, deep answers and empathy for your patrons. I’m sharing your comments and concerns with the payments team and also hear your concerns about your own ability to support other creators.

As stated earlier, we put a lot of thought and care into this decision, getting reactions from creators and patrons over a number of months.

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There are people who chip in one dollar because they want to show support, but may not be able to afford more than that. Asking them to increase their pledge may come off as insulting in that case. Also, please allow me to copy/paste a different topic I just made here:

I’ve been a Patreon user for about half a year, and I’ve loved it so far. When I got the email today about a bump in income for content creators, it sounded like a really sweet deal. However, everyone I’ve seen talking about it on social media, content creator or patron, sounds dissatisfied with it.

I implore you to reconsider this plan. It will hurt everyone involved - content creators and patrons. The plan punishes people for donating. Charities don’t make people pay more than they choose to at the time of the pledge, so why should Patreon go in that direction? Also, as I’ve seen mentioned on Twitter, a lot of patrons donate all they can reasonably afford to, so tacking on a fee might make them lower or even remove their donations entirely. This applies especially to people who contribute one dollar for the generally reward-less “thank you for donating!” tier, as the new fee would add over one-third of their donation, which doesn’t at all incentivize them to continue. This is especially detrimental, as the people who donate one dollar make up a large portion of patrons, as they may wish to show support without reward, or may not be able to afford more than that. Dissuading them from continuing would greatly impact content creators’ income.

Allowing content creators to get 95% of income instead of 80-88% sounds generous at first, but this is only going to do more harm than good in the long run, especially because the new fees apply to each individual pledge. For the one-dollar contributors, that will be a major problem, if they donate to multiple people. If they donate to just three, then the fees will add up to the cost of donating to a fourth. Not only are patrons going to be punished for donating at all, but they’ll be punished further for donating to multiple people. This seems to send the opposite message of what Patreon is intended for. I would much rather earn 80-88% of, say, 10 dollars, than earn 95% of 5 dollars because the people contributing the other 5 chose to leave.

I ask you again: please, please reconsider this new plan. It punishes people for donating money out of the goodness of their hearts. I’ll take Patreon’s old fees instead of lose far more revenue because patrons no longer have faith in Patreon. I have not seen a single person on social media support this new plan. I hope that you listen to literally your entire user base, and cancel this new plan.

Thank you for your consideration.

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A limited pool of creators and patrons. Maybe in the future, talk about the features. bring it up, mention it in some fashion, let people comment. Rolling it out on such short notice and putting many of us and our patrons in a panic is extremely aggravating.

I know from your end of things how much this sucks and how hard it is dealing with it all behind the scenes. I’ve been where you are in a few different jobs and making these posts to try to remain neutral is how it goes. However, customer service is a key element to everything business. Making a point to appologize in your posts for the hardship. Relate to your user base. React to peoples comments with more sincerity than “we hear you BUT” comments. The, “we put thought and care into this” and getting “reactions from creators and patrons over a number of months” from a limited pool of creators just invalidates our concerns, as if they are the only creators and patrons that matter in this scenario.

Thank you for putting our concerns forward. I hope they are legitimately heard.

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I’m starting to get notifications from the people I’m supporting - they all seem to be apologizing and understanding if people leave. :frowning:

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Here’s something I hadn’t thought of, but saw a content creator post on Twitter just now:

“I support other creators out of my Patreon account, directly. So … are you going to charge my patrons a processing fee to support me, and then charge me additional fees to support other creators? That’s double-dipping.”

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Same here. I also did the same myself. I can do nothing but apologize on behalf of patreons’ lack there of. I feel terrible that my patrons are seemingly stuck with this and i will also have to stop supporting some creators because this is going to bump me over my budget for support. It’s an all around sucky situation. :frowning:

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I have never been able to directly support people from my patreon account directly but yeah, if this is a thing, this is a very important question. o.O

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As far as I can tell, this increases Patreon’s cut of gross payments. If this costs me more than 10% of my Patrons, I will come out worse off.

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I just had a patron who’s been with me since launching in October 2014 decrease their pledge from $20 to $14. I have a lot of international patrons, and they’re especially frustrated because they also pay VAT (as was the case with this patron). Some of my patrons are in the “I’m upset but I’ll wait and see” category. Some are saying “that sucks but I’ll stick with you.” One informed me of other crowdfunding options in the event that “Patreon goes out of business (and they might from this).”

My end goal isn’t for patrons to say “that sucks but I’ll stick with you.” It’s for them to say “I’m sticking with you and I’m thrilled about it.”

I’m just sharing this so you’ll have some feedback as to how my patrons are reacting so far. I do hope things get better and not worse after the official Patreon email goes out.

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I’m sorry. Especially considering that we have no clue about the nature of your control group, I have to react to this comment with skepticism. The reaction you claim to have accumulated from creators over a number of months seem to be unhealthy, especially considering how this blew up upon announcing it to everyone else.

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