Patreon is terrible???

Three things you should know before starting a Patreon page:

what Patreon doesn’t tell you is that fans can optionally set a monthly cap on their spending, and that cap can be arbitrarily low - even less than your per-creation commitment level. In other words, a reader of my weekly newsletter could pledge $5 per newsletter, but then set a $2 monthly cap. The worst part about this is that there’s literally nowhere in the Patreon backend that I can see this cap. I spoke to Patreon’s product team about this in late 2018, and they told me that the best thing I could do is to look at my creation-by-creation analytics at the end of the month and see which of my patrons paid for which creations; if a person doesn’t show up at the end of the month, then they must have set a cap.

patron-side notification system appears to be totally ineffective; many long time patrons (and personal friends of mine) were genuinely shocked to hear, many months later, that their monthly charges had been declined - leading to their pledges being automatically canceled by Patreon.

The rest of the post is just as increble. Has anyone else had similar experience with Patreon?

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Patreon is generally the worst solution for doing what it does except in that a bunch of people already have accounts, which is probably why it gets away with being simultaneously expensive and janky.

Gumroad has less jank factor and is markedly cheaper. Substack IIRC is about on-par with Patreon in terms of fees and way smoother as a product.

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Ha - I wasn’t even aware that Gumroad does monthly subscriptions…

Vinay Débrou shared a post about Gumroad and Patreon which also points on this direction:

Payment Frequency. Patreon pays once a month, around the fifth if you’re lucky, and if you’re thinking “that sounds like a loose timeframe”, you’re right. I’ve heard from creators who were counting on their payout, but the fifth came and went, and…nothing. This happened to me once or twice as well. Gumroad pays weekly, by direct deposit or PayPal depending on your location, and you can access information about your balance and the next payout date easily.

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