Understanding fees are a really confusing part of supporting creators of things you like. I provide a few ways for people to support my work, and my supporters can struggle to understand the differences between them. It comes down to fees, of which there are several kinds (note: I just made these terms up):
- Transaction fees are charged by the payment processor (the company that takes down your card number and runs the transaction with your bank). These are typically in the form of a percentage of the transaction plus a few cents.
- Platform fees are charged by the platform (e.g. Patreon) to run their operation, typically in the form of a fixed percentage of the transaction.
- Withdrawal fees are charged to move money from the platform to the creator’s bank account. These vary depending on the withdrawal processor.
- Taxes are also implicated, depending on how much the creator makes.
All of this adds up to a very confusing picture. I’ve made a calculator to help you sort it out.
Note: For an up-to-date calculation of Patreon’s fees, see the follow-up post.
Only the typical Stripe fee is applied.
Note: I am the author of fosspay, if you didn’t already know.
Are you a free software maintainer who is struggling with stress, demanding users, overwork, or any other social problems in the course of your work? Please email me — I know how you feel, and I can lend a sympathetic ear and share some veteran advice.
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