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Thread: Transaction fees for workshop registration




  1. #1
    Ultimate BHUZzer MahiraRaqs's Avatar
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    Transaction fees for workshop registration

    Hi everyone! I have seen a few people do this and am curious if this is the norm & what your thoughts are?

    For registration of workshops:

    $xxx mail in reg form with check
    $xxx plus $x (transaction fee) to pay/reg with paypal/credit card

    In the everyday world, we pay transaction fees or convenience fees all the time to buy show tickets, concerts, plays, etc. Especially to use a credit card.

    I know that Paypal charges a minimum of 3% plus change per transaction. This can add up quickly and eat into the budget and/or any profit (what's that, LOL).

    So, do you charge a small transaction fee for workshop registrations via paypal?

    Would you as a registrant be upset if you had to pay this fee?

    The alternative is to pay by cash/check and you would not get charged the fee.

    Let's discuss.


  2. #2
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    I have attended workshops that offered a choice between a lower fee for cash/check and a higher fee for paypal/credit. On one occasion, I paid by check, and got the discount for doing so. On another occasion, I was lazy and did paypal, incurring the higher fee. Both times, I was okay with the fact that both options were offered.

    I would suggest that you change your wording, though.

    I'd suggest that you advertise that the price is the PayPal/credit price, and then offer a DISCOUNT for paying via cash/check. The word "discount" sounds more consumer-friendly than "transaction fee".


  3. #3
    Advanced BHUZzer caasious's Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    funny - I was going to suggest the same thing.

    we usually add the "transaction fee" into the cost of registration so you know up front what it's going to be (all included)... then offer a cash/cheque discount if they prefer to pay that way. Everybody is happy and no one fees like they are paying extra. A lot of the vendors do the same thing.
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  4. #4
    Advanced BHUZzer resullivan's Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    I have seen fees added before.
    I have added for paypal sometimes, and other times not.

    And some very nice dancers add on a few dollars when they pay via paypal if the price is the same, even when not asked. Very rare, but they do exist

    But definitely put it out in the open: discount for cash/check
    I've registered for some events/workshops, and the fee is NOT advertized. I see it added to the paypal invoice in addition to the advertized price right before checkout. I don't mind paying extra for the convenience, but I like to know a head of time.
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  5. #5
    Master BHUZzer danielabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    I charge fees. It's a small fee for the registrant, but it would add up quickly for me as the organizer if I lost 3% on every transaction. It's on my regsitration form, so when you are signing up you see you have the option of paying a fee to use paypal, or mailing me a check. I like the idea of advertising it as a discount, though, I think I'll do that from now on!


  6. #6
    Established BHUZzer Andrea2's Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    I don't think it's right to charge more for using PayPal. The credit card fees are a cost of doing business, and that cost should be reflected in your pricing. All retailers who accept credit cards are paying 2-5% of every charge to the card processor, but you won't find dual prices at Macy's or Kohl's.

    If you choose to accept cards, then you should pay the fees. Set the price of the event so that if, say, 75% of attendees use a card you won't lose money. Using PayPal is something you do for the convenience of your customers, and I don't think that those who choose to take advantage of it should be penalized.


  7. #7
    Established BHUZzer Emma's Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    I think I'm rather unusual in that I don't charge transaction fees. I want to encourage people to use Paypal to pay me, it is much more convenient for me (less administration) than paying by cash or cheque.


  8. #8
    I could get used to this! PracticalDancer's Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea2 View Post
    I don't think it's right to charge more for using PayPal. The credit card fees are a cost of doing business, and that cost should be reflected in your pricing. All retailers who accept credit cards are paying 2-5% of every charge to the card processor, but you won't find dual prices at Macy's or Kohl's.

    If you choose to accept cards, then you should pay the fees. Set the price of the event so that if, say, 75% of attendees use a card you won't lose money. Using PayPal is something you do for the convenience of your customers, and I don't think that those who choose to take advantage of it should be penalized.
    Well, for what it is worth . . . that is not entirely true. Gas stations started the trend, back in the 80's with different (higher) prices for credit card purchases. They don't do it as much now -- I have to wonder if electronic payments cost less in the long run because there is less risk of being robbed . . .

    Some businesses will not accept credit cards for purchases due to the interchange fees (car dealers for one, and I can say that because I worked at one for 5 years). And, the reason why many businesses ask "Debit or Credit" is that debit costs them a lower interchange fee than credit does. Which is why I always try to use the debit option for small businesses. So, there is some price differentiation.


  9. #9
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    I also don't charge extra for processing Paypal payments, I consider it one of the costs of doing business. I get VERY annoyed when I have to pay extra to purchase tickets online for events and concerts... but if it's an event I really want to go to, it's not a dealbreaker, just a nuisance.

    Last year I paid about $1000 in Paypal fees (probably 65-70% of my customers register via paypal). I paid about $860 in bank fees. So the cost of doing business by Paypal, for me, is pretty much comparable to the cost of running a checking account.

    As far as I can tell, only concerts & shows use that model on any kind of scale, and usually the fee isn't for the convenience of a credit card (you can usually pay by credit card at the box office window with no additional fee) it's for the service provided by Fandango or Ticketmaster or whoever. That model dates back to before the Internet, when your choice was to run all the way to the theater to buy your tickets or pick them up at convenient outlet locations in grocery stores, etc. so of course we got in the habit of paying for the convenience. Hopefully that model will go the way of the gas station 'credit' price, which I haven't seen for years.


  10. #10
    Advanced BHUZzer Karnak's Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    I know others have mentioned this, but if you're going to charge more for PayPal to cover the fees, just be upfront about it. I've only attended one workshop that added an extra fee at the last minute. The transaction listed it as a "shipping fee" and I was confused because nothing was shipped. I think I would have been less annoyed if the fee was just built into the price.


  11. #11
    Master BHUZzer danielabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    Hmm...I want to live where you all live. Here, pretty much EVERY gas station charges more for credit cards. About 20 cents a gallon more. The ones that don't actually advertise it with big signs "SAME PRICE CASH OR CREDIT!"

    So, I don't feel at all bad about adding $1.00 to a workshop fee, and I've never had anyone complain about it. But again, maybe it's just because I live in a really expensive place.


  12. #12
    I could get used to this! Sithraviel's Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    I don't mind paying a bit extra for using paypal if another option is offered (like cash), I understand it dose cost the receiver to receive paypal payments; I just want to know upfront. AND I want it to be reasonable, i know its 2-3% so don't try and charge me 8$ for using paypal when its only costing you 2, I skip these workshops and tell the people organizing them this is why i didn't go. I'm not against people making money, I just don't need to be ripped off for your business costs.
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  13. #13
    Ultimate BHUZzer MahiraRaqs's Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    Quote Originally Posted by Sithraviel View Post
    I don't mind paying a bit extra for using paypal if another option is offered (like cash), I understand it dose cost the receiver to receive paypal payments; I just want to know upfront. AND I want it to be reasonable, i know its 2-3% so don't try and charge me 8$ for using paypal when its only costing you 2, I skip these workshops and tell the people organizing them this is why i didn't go. I'm not against people making money, I just don't need to be ripped off for your business costs.
    Wow. I would never charge $8 if the fee was $2. I don't think I've seen that.

    As a workshop attendee, I would not mind if it was laid out as well. That way if I wanted to save myself a few bucks (and the organizer) then I'd pay by check or cash. I usually pay by check for my workshops anyway. But Paypal seems to be popping up more and more.

    As an organizer myself, I understand when people say "but it's the cost of business". Well I don't agree with that 100%. Because I do not have to offer Paypal as an option. I could just say cash or check. I'm doing it as a convenience for the workshop attendee.


  14. #14
    Master BHUZzer danielabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    Quote Originally Posted by MahiraRaqs View Post
    As an organizer myself, I understand when people say "but it's the cost of business". Well I don't agree with that 100%. Because I do not have to offer Paypal as an option. I could just say cash or check. I'm doing it as a convenience for the workshop attendee.
    ^this. x 10000. I don't feel that I should have to loose money on a transaction because I want to make it convenient for people to pay. If you don't want to pay the fee, pay me in cash or check. And I would never charge an exorbitant paypal fee like $8! It's usually either $1 or $2, depending on the registration fee. Just enough to literally cover the fee they are taking.

    ETA: to further the restaurant/gas station/other types of business analogy - I know plenty of stores and restaurants that do not accept credit cards at all. Because they don't want to bother with the fees. So, I think it is not much different to accept them for the convenience of the customer, but charge a slightly higher amount.

    Also, I see this as being much different from fees you get charged when buying tickets for concerts and such online - those fees are highway robbery. I tried to buy tickets to a movie online yesterday, and i was being charged a $5.00 convenience fee, and a $3.50 processing fee. So that I could print my own tickets at home! So, they wanted $8.50 for fees on two tickets that only cost $26 total.....THAT is beyond "covering your expenses" and is ridiculous, IMO.
    Last edited by danielabellydance; 01-03-2012 at 03:19 PM.
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  15. #15
    Mega BHUZzer Samira_dncr's Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    As an event organizer, I also believe that it's part of the cost of doing business, but it is a big expense. I was paying thousands of dollars to paypal every year in fees. I eventually made the initial investment and got an actual merchant account, installed an SSL certificate on my website, and started taking credit cards directly. This has saved me a fortune. But I have an annual event and I'm in this for the long haul. So this may not work for someone just doing a weekend workshop event every now and then.

    As an attendee, I truly hate being nickeled and dimed. I just want to know the price. I don't generally care about the fees, but it does bug me when they aren't just part of the whole thing.
    Last edited by Samira_dncr; 01-05-2012 at 05:49 PM. Reason: grammatical error.
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  16. #16
    Official BHUZzer Haaladances's Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    This is an interesting discussion.

    Here's how I use Paypal currently:

    For my regular classes I absorb the transaction fees as part of the cost of doing business. Because I am constantly teaching it is easier to factor in this extra cost.

    However for the one workshop a year that I host, I do add in the fees.

    I clearly state on the website registration form that a small fee will be added to Paypal transactions to offset Paypal fees. This fee is only charged for Paypal transactions.

    I get out my calculator and determine the exact amount so that the registrants are not paying a penny more than they should.

    And there is still the option for sending cash, check, or money order if people would rather not pay anything extra.

    It's pretty standard practice to charge a small fee for Paypal payments at the local belly dance workshops and events that I attend.

    As long as the fee is not exorbitant, I don't have a problem with it.

    After reading this thread, I am thinking of doing things differently next year and factor the Paypal cost in, since 95% of the people are paying that way now. And then I can offer a "discount" for cash/checks.

    Great ideas everyone.


  17. #17
    Official BHUZzer Azraa's Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    I only started taking Paypal for classes because I am usually the one person who doesn't have cash and used to not carry my check book (I do now) so I added it as an option on my website. Only a couple to students use but the fees were adding up so I decided to add the fee into the total cost. I added the exact amount and it clearly says, there is a fee for paying via paypal. So everyone knows about the fee and they can chose to just bring cash or a check to class.
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  18. #18
    Mega BHUZzer Lara L's Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    I don't mind paying a little extra for a convenience, but if there is a split fee, I'd rather see it listed as a discount for paying cash. Heck, my doctor does this too and it saves me a bucket load. My insurance company didn't accept credit cards for years because they wanted to keep costs lower, and I appreciated that while it lasted. They finally decided they were loosing business that way, but I miss it. Ticketmaster et al drive me bananas, because I often don't have the option of paying the actual price to the organizer in cash. If it's a split price, for all that's holy, please actually provide a way to GET that lower price! I don't like feeling like I've been lured in with one price but required to pay another, whereas a discount on what I was expecting to pay is always welcome. Part of why I'm seriously annoyed with air travel too- just tell me the price and let me get on with it!

    Same with taxes- I'd rather advertise "taxes included" and figure it out myself than have the customer standing there trying to figure out if they can really afford something or not. Bah.
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  19. #19
    Established BHUZzer GenevieveOfAtlanta's Avatar
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    Re: Transaction fees for workshop registration

    Quote Originally Posted by MahiraRaqs View Post

    As an organizer myself, I understand when people say "but it's the cost of business". Well I don't agree with that 100%. Because I do not have to offer Paypal as an option. I could just say cash or check. I'm doing it as a convenience for the workshop attendee.
    I subscribe to the "cost of business" philosophy, but I don't mean the organizer should just eat that cost. When an organizer figures the cost of an event, he or she takes into account all of the associated costs to determine ticket price. This may include venue, instructor fees, instructor room and board (where applicable), refreshments/water (if offered), and many other costs. To me, it makes sense for an organizer to include the Paypal fees as part of that overall cost package used to determine ticket price. I prefer this in all walks of life. I'd rather the airlines tell me a plane ticket from point a to point b costs $500 than for them to tell me it costs $300 plus this much for baggage, this much for food, etc. I resent being nickeled and dimed. I'm happy to pay a fair price that allows the organizer to do what needs to be done and be compensated as well. I just want to see that price all in one number.
    Last edited by GenevieveOfAtlanta; 01-06-2012 at 12:30 PM.
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