Patreon has decided to be *redacted*

Joined: September 29th, 2016, 1:55 am

December 7th, 2017, 9:04 pm #1

Patreon, in their infinite wisdom and sagacity, has decided to start charging a flat minimum fee of $.35 per artist contribution. If you're like me, and don't have a lot of spare change but want to support several artists, that means that your chosen artists are now getting $.65 if you are sending $1. This further means that if you are say, giving 10 artists $1 per month, Patreon is skimming $.35 off each of those contributions because, well, they can. This totally goes against the notion of effective microtransactions as a way of supporting people whose work you like, and was a major selling point of Patreon. I dunno if there's a cost effective way of cutting Patreon out of the loop and sending a small direct monthly contribution to support your chosen people's Dew/coffee/eating habits, but it's worth looking into.
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Joined: January 11th, 2016, 8:57 pm

December 7th, 2017, 9:23 pm #2

There's also a 2.9% fee on top of the 35 cents taken from each pledge; than means that, for pledges LESS than about $15 (top of head calculation) the artist will be worse off, unless all the other fees that Patreon apparently applies are binned as well.

Doc may have to start drinking decaf, or worse, chicory.....
Breakfast.com halted. Cereal port not ready.
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Joined: September 12th, 2014, 4:00 am

December 7th, 2017, 10:03 pm #3

Here's the key part of Patreon's email to you: "Starting December 18th, we will apply a new service fee of 2.9% + $0.35 that patrons will pay for each individual pledge."

That means your $1.00 pledge will now cost you $1.37. Your monthly payment will go up significantly.

Oh, and Doc still just gets just $0.90 out of your dollar pledge, since Patreon deducts a fee on his side as well.

Sorry Doc (and the other fine artists that I have been throwing $1.00 a month at) but I can't justify this. I've cancelled all of my pledges, at least for now.

Does anybody know of a micropayment system that doesn't gouge you? I'd love to keep supporting some artists.
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Joined: September 11th, 2014, 5:58 pm

December 7th, 2017, 10:20 pm #4

If you find one, I know of a lot of people who are ready to move...

Most of the people I support with patreon have said "if we had the choice, we'd take the charge on our side", as most of them already do with other things, and have said surely that should be their choice, not patreons.

Here's hoping for a replacement to appear soon.
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Joined: February 2nd, 2017, 2:27 pm

December 7th, 2017, 11:13 pm #5

Patreon, in their infinite wisdom and sagacity, has decided to start charging a flat minimum fee of $.35 per artist contribution. If you're like me, and don't have a lot of spare change but want to support several artists, that means that your chosen artists are now getting $.65 if you are sending $1. This further means that if you are say, giving 10 artists $1 per month, Patreon is skimming $.35 off each of those contributions because, well, they can. This totally goes against the notion of effective microtransactions as a way of supporting people whose work you like, and was a major selling point of Patreon. I dunno if there's a cost effective way of cutting Patreon out of the loop and sending a small direct monthly contribution to support your chosen people's Dew/coffee/eating habits, but it's worth looking into.
...or as they used to say "nickle and dime you to death."
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Joined: September 12th, 2014, 3:32 am

December 8th, 2017, 12:04 am #6

Patreon, in their infinite wisdom and sagacity, has decided to start charging a flat minimum fee of $.35 per artist contribution. If you're like me, and don't have a lot of spare change but want to support several artists, that means that your chosen artists are now getting $.65 if you are sending $1. This further means that if you are say, giving 10 artists $1 per month, Patreon is skimming $.35 off each of those contributions because, well, they can. This totally goes against the notion of effective microtransactions as a way of supporting people whose work you like, and was a major selling point of Patreon. I dunno if there's a cost effective way of cutting Patreon out of the loop and sending a small direct monthly contribution to support your chosen people's Dew/coffee/eating habits, but it's worth looking into.
... it was to offset the costs of the payment processor, which if you've never had to deal with the likes of Visa, Amex, and Mastercard, generally is between 2-5% of each transaction. (i.e., every card swipe)

You might have seen the 'minimum order' signs for some small businesses, like that one Chinese take out place that delivers to you, but wants you to order a minimum of $15? That's to make it worthwhile, and cover some of their fixed expenses, like the aforementioned transaction charge, paying the driver, etc.

And while a lot of gas stations no longer do it, a lot of them had a higher price for gas if you were using a credit or debit card, in order to make up for that transaction charge. Gas is one of those things that is literally a 'I made 1 penny per gallon sold' type of margin, if that.

Don't get me wrong- I don't necessarily agree with the way that Patreon made the announcement, or what the end effect is on both ends. There are a couple different ways that they could have done it, along with maybe giving people more time to digest the information. (It's December 7th, and the new policy kicks in on the 18th? that's roughly a week and a half- some people take longer than that to decide that they need to think about changing process...)

I'll wait and see what Doc want's to do- it's his show, after all. I'll cheerfully up my support level if it helps any- I'm in a slightly more stable position financially now then when I started.
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Joined: September 11th, 2014, 5:58 pm

December 8th, 2017, 12:13 am #7

"... it was to offset the costs of the payment processor, which if you've never had to deal with the likes of Visa, Amex, and Mastercard, generally is between 2-5% of each transaction. (i.e., every card swipe) "

Yes, they do.
However, Patreon charges the payer 1 transaction for all their patreon pledges.
But they are going to add a charge to cover this per pledge not per transaction.

So if you pledge Doc $100, you will now pay $103.25.
If you pledge 100 patreons $1, you will now pay $138.
Plus any local taxes of course (I get to pay an extra 20% on top of the pledges, so a $100 pledge total would cost me $120 last month, and this month will cost $165.60... plus exchange rates, of course)
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Joined: October 6th, 2014, 7:12 pm

December 8th, 2017, 12:16 am #8

Patreon, in their infinite wisdom and sagacity, has decided to start charging a flat minimum fee of $.35 per artist contribution. If you're like me, and don't have a lot of spare change but want to support several artists, that means that your chosen artists are now getting $.65 if you are sending $1. This further means that if you are say, giving 10 artists $1 per month, Patreon is skimming $.35 off each of those contributions because, well, they can. This totally goes against the notion of effective microtransactions as a way of supporting people whose work you like, and was a major selling point of Patreon. I dunno if there's a cost effective way of cutting Patreon out of the loop and sending a small direct monthly contribution to support your chosen people's Dew/coffee/eating habits, but it's worth looking into.
...when the company tosses the credit-card charge back onto the consumer.
CF

"The right tool for the right job." [Anon.]
"Any tool can be the Right Tool." [Red Green]
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

December 8th, 2017, 1:08 am #9

Patreon, in their infinite wisdom and sagacity, has decided to start charging a flat minimum fee of $.35 per artist contribution. If you're like me, and don't have a lot of spare change but want to support several artists, that means that your chosen artists are now getting $.65 if you are sending $1. This further means that if you are say, giving 10 artists $1 per month, Patreon is skimming $.35 off each of those contributions because, well, they can. This totally goes against the notion of effective microtransactions as a way of supporting people whose work you like, and was a major selling point of Patreon. I dunno if there's a cost effective way of cutting Patreon out of the loop and sending a small direct monthly contribution to support your chosen people's Dew/coffee/eating habits, but it's worth looking into.
Patreon gave us no warning- and I mean zero. I still have yet to hear about this from Patreon, I only know what I do from secondhand sources.

Yeah, the way I understand it is, as noted above, it's to offset the cost of the credit card transactions. I am of course not real happy about it, and at least fifteen patrons have already cancelled their support over it, but unfortunately there's nothing I can do about it.

Really, you and I pay the credit-card fees every time we use the card, it's just "built in" to the overall cost of whatever it is you're buying. Patreon was simply one of those new companies that didn't "build it in" to the system right at the beginning, and now that they're big enough, the fees were starting to be a significant percentage of their profits. This was a poor way to implement it, but really, it was coming sooner or later.

As for alternate means of supporting TWB, you're always welcome to hit me up with PayPal at your convenience (either doc@docsmachine.com or ordering@docsmachine.com )

And, while I hadn't been intending to announce it 'til I was a lot further along, I've got TWB books back in the works. The $25-and-up tier donors on Patreon have already received their copies of the brand-new Book 7, and I'd hoped to have at least a limited run of them available for everyone else by now, but the scheduling just wasn't going to work.

I'm setting up to do them fully in-house, and they will remain in-house for the foreseeable future. Those long-time readers will know the last time we had a new book out was 2010, and I was once again hoping to have them out for the holiday season this year. When it became obvious that wasn't going to happen, I got rather angry, took the money I'd long since set aside for the books, and bought my own damn equipment.



The mechanical side of it is fairly easy- I had books as good as my originals within fifteen days of placing the order for the first piece of equipment.



But, that means I need to reformat all the old artwork (since I never had the actual publisher files for the old books, and I doubt he'd give them to me if I asked) before I can reprint the books, and that will all take time.

I'm hoping to have everything, Books 1 through 7, available by anywhere from February to March, but like anything else, I can't make any promises.

But, if it all comes out as I hope- which it should, this isn't rocket surgery- from there on out, I should be able to release two books per year. Maybe even three, for a year or two, just to catch up. (Keeping in mind we're years behind. Book 6 ends somewhere around strip #1050 or so- that's almost fifteen hundred strips ago!)

Plus of course I can finally start doing the extra comics and special-editions I've been thinking about, maybe even a big compilation/anthology, and other fun stuff.

So sorry about the Patreon hassles, but I think we can survive it.

And as always, thanks for your generosity and support!

Doc.
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Joined: December 6th, 2014, 9:02 pm

December 8th, 2017, 1:13 am #10

... it was to offset the costs of the payment processor, which if you've never had to deal with the likes of Visa, Amex, and Mastercard, generally is between 2-5% of each transaction. (i.e., every card swipe)

You might have seen the 'minimum order' signs for some small businesses, like that one Chinese take out place that delivers to you, but wants you to order a minimum of $15? That's to make it worthwhile, and cover some of their fixed expenses, like the aforementioned transaction charge, paying the driver, etc.

And while a lot of gas stations no longer do it, a lot of them had a higher price for gas if you were using a credit or debit card, in order to make up for that transaction charge. Gas is one of those things that is literally a 'I made 1 penny per gallon sold' type of margin, if that.

Don't get me wrong- I don't necessarily agree with the way that Patreon made the announcement, or what the end effect is on both ends. There are a couple different ways that they could have done it, along with maybe giving people more time to digest the information. (It's December 7th, and the new policy kicks in on the 18th? that's roughly a week and a half- some people take longer than that to decide that they need to think about changing process...)

I'll wait and see what Doc want's to do- it's his show, after all. I'll cheerfully up my support level if it helps any- I'm in a slightly more stable position financially now then when I started.
Visa's (and most likely Mastercard's) rules expressly prohibit adding a convenience fee (which this change to Patreon's payment system is) on a recurring payment. And a merchant cannot add a convenience fee when there is only the option for a card-not-present payment when using your credit/debit card. These two issues could cause Visa, and possibly Mastercard, to suspend allowing payments to Patreon with their cards.
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