Regarding processing fees

One of the core recommendations for running a successful patreon is a high number of patrons. 100 $1 patrons is more stable than 10 $10 patrons, which is more stable than 1 $100 patron. It’s also easier to accommodate lower tiers as they often have less major rewards.

These changes, especially considering the flat fee portion on every single pledge, flies in the face of the 100x$1 model and prioritizes a few big spenders instead of a big community.

This also isn’t something you would adequately be able to test in a control group because I’d imagine control groups only have a handful of patrons and patreon pages to begin with. You don’t have situations where you have one person pledging to 10+ pages.

At the very least it should be processed for the overall transaction and not per pledge. If someone pledges $1 to 15 people, it should be treated as a $15 transaction for the purposes of fees (total fee would be $0.785). If calculated individually per pledge, the fees instead come out to $5.685.

Even if a portion of my earnings still has to go to fees, that’s still much more agreeable than sticking a person with a $0.35 charge for each pledge. That’s far better for the patron and pledge retention, which in turn is better for me as a creator.

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Zedrin, I was wondering about exactly that. One of my patrons just informed me they’re pledging to 80 creators. I think that sort of generosity should be rewarded. I’m also wondering if there was a logistical reason why the charge can’t be made as a lump sum, given a one-transaction fee, and then distributed among the creators? It’d really help if we could know why this isn’t possible, so we can inform our patrons. (Or if it IS possible, that’d be even better!)

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Thank you so much on the update. It’s a lot easier for patrons and creator understand how the payment works now. :slight_smile:

However, I think patron shouldn’t chip in as much as they should’ve already. As this is a place where they want to support an artist, it’s not compulsory for some of them (unlike food, car, loans, college,etc.), therefore, some aren’t willing to pay more than they need to.

Plus, what about the ones who pledge into multiple artist, they can’t afford that few more cents (it adds up really quick, 3 $1 pledge to different is almost (exclude the percentage) a dollar, they might want to drop one of the artist even though they really don’t want to. Since the fee could potentially pay for more than 1-2 more artist that have a $1 tier (with the old system).

Can you stop telling us how we should be with our patrons and how our patrons should look at this change, and take reality into account instead. You are not listening.
As for having researched this for months with many creators, that’s such an obvious exaggeration. This forum is supposed to be for community feedback, but you certainly did not ask for opinions here. I distinctly remember this being mentioned in passing, and getting very concerned reactions, but there was no discussion, it got buried. The staff did not want to hear feedback. And what on earth stopped you from doing a site-wide survey to get a proper perspective on how many people wanted this? The problem with you guys is you have a handful of pet creators, probably massive ones, and they’re the only ones you ever seem to consult. And you’re far too in love with your own ideas to make sensible decisions.
I cannot explain this to my patrons and I won’t. The site already made it all but impossible for me to get anyone new on board; now if they start leaving, they will do so with my blessing and an invitation to follow me to a more grown-up alternative.

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@carla, if this was so heavily researched, why has not a single person in this thread heard about this change until yesterday? Where are the creators who were part of this research?

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Finding new ways to “explain” this to my patrons won’t change their budgets. I can’t magically use words to make an extra 35 cents per $1 pledge appear in their bank accounts. “Talking to our patrons” isn’t going to fix this problem.

I know that I, for one, am going to have to cut back on the number of pledges I make. I’m supporting 12 people right now because that’s the amount of money I have to give. Four of those people are going to get cut because my $1 pledges are now costing me $1.35 and the new total goes over my budget.

The math isn’t something you can argue with, so can you stop acting as if it is? It feels like gaslighting. It’s not respectful. You’ve instated a change, without consulting most of your userbase, that’s going to impact our businesses in a negative way and now you’re trying to tell us it’s for our own good. We’re telling you it’s not. At least admit that you didn’t understand that because your apparently much smaller test didn’t prepare you for it.

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This. Totally gaslighting and also, dare I say, incredibly patronizing. I too have to have to cut down on pledges to other creators, seeing as I already pay VAT and that was aggravating enough.

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Wait wait wait. Patreon engineers are not seriously so clueless as to charge your credit card 12 times are they?

And furthermore they’re not also so seriously clueless as to charge you at all if you’re actually also a creator and receiving the money from other Patreons?

Tell me it ain’t so. I mean, the mind boggles that they could get such a simple bit of engineering wrong.

I was hoping someone would mention the VAT! Yes, this will be a test, I think, of how good Patreon are at listening. There must be a way of standardising/reducing processing fees other than simply passing them on to the patron.

I think this explains it nicely.

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The charges were definitely messed up this time, with more being taken from my bank account than usual. (Usually most or all is paid from my pledges.)

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Just adding my voice to the discontents.

Patreon, you just slapped all our small-pledge patrons in the face and are now asking us to explain to them why it’s a good thing. You made us look like poopheads to people we care about.

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@carla You’ve done a great job of explaining how this is a great thing for creators - keep a higher percentage of pledges and all that. You’ve made it clear that your outlook is creator-centric and that we should be thrilled that your fee structure is changing. However, all of this assumes we don’t lose a single patron out of the deal, and that’s naive to say the very least. This change is greedy, hostile, and most of all, tone-deaf.

Your model only works if people are willing to support creators. We’re not meant to be entitled; we shouldn’t be demanding fees from our supporters. We’re meant to be grateful that enough people appreciate our work to support us financially. We rely on good will. This change hurts that good will, it does so at our expense, and for the financial gain of Patreon. If I could pay the fees myself, I would, because I’ll be losing patrons over this. If I’m making more money this month than last, I’ll be stunned.

Creators don’t support your business. Patrons do. Be better to them.

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@carla I understand the reasoning behind this announcement to the degree that it makes it more transparent how much money reaches creators. That’s fine. However, what surprised me about this is that the fee is charged per individual pledge, even though that is not your actual cost. Since you aggregate the charges, the difference is actually pure profit for Patreon, no? Previously, this difference was of benefit to the creators, as we were the ones paying the fees, but now, that weight is transferred to the low-dollar Patrons. The problem with this is that it heavily disentivises how I personally pledge, with lots of $1 pledges:


I suspect that Patrons like me will stop pledging at $1, but we’ll see.

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Hi @carla, just a quick question: what happens to us creators who are patrons of fellow creators? I have a number of $1 pledges to other folks on Patreon, and every month that money is deducted from my earnings and sent to them directly. The money I’m earning this way has already been processed, and a fee applied to it - do my pledges then go directly to the creators I’m supporting (no fees), or do I also have to pay the new standardized fees on my pledges?

I ask because if I also have to pay the fees when I’m paying with money that’s already in your hands, it seems like double-dipping and it means that your intended objective (let creators keep more money) backfires because I’m now losing more money than before to fees.

I’d be really grateful if you could clear this up for me.

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Judging by the substanstial amount of backlash on social media, Patreon REALLY needs to think twice about what they’re doing here, and whether increasing fees for supporters will actually gain them more profit. If a lot of people remove their pledges due to the ridiculous amount of fees PER PLEDGE, then Patreon stands to lose a lot more than they’re currently bargaining for. Namely, their reputation, their income, and ultimately their very existence. And the existence of Creators who rely on Patreon as a source of income.

Be up-front about it and say: yes, we need more money, hence the new billing system. Don’t take people for fools by pretending we’ll be getting more cash from our Patrons. We won’t. Pledges will be dropped, and people may just lose their entire income. You may be figuratively murdering people here. I’m not using that comparison lightly.

So many Creators are saying: I want to pay the fees because I value my supporters. If you, Patreon, valued your Creators - YOUR source of income - then you’d be listening. And listening well. Because there’s an upcoming competition people may end up turning towards if they offer what you don’t: a listening ear.

EDIT: didn’t see it yet but: VAT isn’t even included. So for a Patron like me, based in Belgium, that means an EXTRA 21% on top of everything, not mentioning the conversion rate. Patreon: RETHINK THIS.

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Adding my voice. This is a cynical cash grab disguised as creator friendly. We are not fooled, but we are disappointed. Make it right, Patreon.

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You would get a lot more support if you just raised fees on the creators if more money is what you are going for. As a business it is an expense that we should take to use the service, if we want to pass that on to patrons it should be up to us. Many of us would be happy to eat some extra costs because it would be less harmful to our support base.

It isn’t creator friendly because you are asking us to pass on fees and it will only take the loss of a few people to mean we aren’t making any more money. It is very patronising to tell us to tell the patrons and thank them for support etc… We all do that anyway, but the patrons aren’t just cash cows that we are trying to squeeze every drop out of, they are people who enjoy our work and appreciate us. Telling them that to thank them for their support they will be charged even more money is an insult to them and us. Telling them it’s a change for creators is just not true… Did you think no one would check the maths?

I question who was in the select group that told you this was a good idea because it makes no sense to most of us. I refuse to think there is no better way for a change in fees or more money to be raised than this “Quick, pass it through before anyone notices” idea that is happening right now.

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@carla I am being informed that also, charging the buyers the fees is against visa/mastercard terms, which both stripe and paypal will process, let alone that I know paypal doesn’t agree with this stuff either (creators get in trouble if they get caught trying to front the processing fees on the buyers in a business transaction.) Did you guys look into those rules for your processing services because these new rules look to be breaking it, unless this is something they are putting on you specifically for some reason and making an exception for Patreon. (Which they seem to be doing in Stripe’s case as is for the way patreon runs. A competitor site got shut down for a reason that doesn’t seem to bother you guys at all. Which mind boggles me.)

So i hope you guys aren’t doing anything against your processors terms.

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Adding my voice as well. I don’t understand who asked for this. Is there a business/legal reason Patreon needs to do this? And do it in this particular way?

So, from what the new policy reads as, it is way worse for me as a patron to pledge $1 to 20 individual creators than it is to pledge $20 to 1 creator.
Spreading my pledges across 20 creators:

  • $1 * 0.029 + 0.35 = 0.38 * 20 = $7.60! in new fees I pay as a patron

Pledging $20 to only 1 creator:

  • $20 * 0.029 + 0.35 = $0.93 is the new fee for me as a patron

In my opinion, one of the big benefits of supporting a lot of creators on Patreon, is that the transaction fee of one $20 payment is spread across all creators and is way lower than 20 individual $1 transactions.

Patreon team, is there a reason why each pledge needs to be treated as a single charge? Are we missing something?

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