Paid membership now live! (1 Viewer)

Jon

Access World Site Owner
Staff member
Local time
Today, 00:29
Joined
Sep 28, 1999
Messages
7,459
For some time, I have been asked to put a donation button on the site. Well, that time has come. Now, we have 3 different paid membership options available that can be found here: http://www.access-programmers.co.uk/forums/payments.php

That page describes what you get for each of the three different choices.

Bear with me as I try to improve the look of the paid membership bar. There is too much space below it at the moment. I am working on it!
 

pwbrown

Registered User.
Local time
Today, 00:29
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
170
I'm sorry but that is ridiculous what you get for donating, none of those options are appealing.
I would much rather see one donation button where a user can select how much they wish to donate.

Ads don't bother me, don't care about some stupid badge, no-one will use the private forum as you'll get more help on the non private ones. I don't use pm's often and if I did could easily save and delete them so a limit is pointless. Finally I only need one line for a signature, prefer it simple.
I feel this is just a method for the site owner to make some extra cash. It wouldn't be too bad if you possibly incorporated a paying system for people who give correct answers so they are rewarded. Possible if they get a certain amount of correct answers can get free "membership".
Anyway I'd better stop my rant and end on: I'm the sort of target audience you're looking to donate for membership and I don't like the options, maybe that should be a worry?

I came to the site to get help in Access and after receiving some great help, in return offered my help to others. I would happily donate if I felt it was going to a good cause!
 

Jon

Access World Site Owner
Staff member
Local time
Today, 00:29
Joined
Sep 28, 1999
Messages
7,459
Well, what can I say? You object to the site generating revenue. You don't like the optional membership. You think contributions to the site is not a good cause. Yet you still get the forum for free and benefit from the knowledge here. Frankly, I don't see what you are complaining about.
 

pwbrown

Registered User.
Local time
Today, 00:29
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
170
Well, what can I say? You object to the site generating revenue. You don't like the optional membership. You think contributions to the site is not a good cause. Yet you still get the forum for free and benefit from the knowledge here. Frankly, I don't see what you are complaining about.

That's not true, I'm all for contributing to the forum but I'd want just one option for a person to donate whatever they feel appropriate.

For example I'd donate a small amount every time I needed help and got an answer.

I feel the amounts are far too excessive, especially for only one year!
I'd like to see members who contribute answers to get some sort of "reward" and if I knew the cost to run the site my opinion could be changed.

I'm sure the site is still getting a good bit of revenue without the membership because the amount of traffic the site has. You'll be getting a good amount of money from the ads.
 

Jon

Access World Site Owner
Staff member
Local time
Today, 00:29
Joined
Sep 28, 1999
Messages
7,459
There are two routes to go: a donation button or a subscription button. I chose the latter, because at least there were additional benefits in return. Also, there are minimum transaction fees that eat into the revenue with lots of small payments. The additional accounting time further makes them less worthwhile.

Also, do remember that its not just about hosting costs, plugin costs or software licenses. There is a lot of time that goes into keeping the site going, fixing things, promoting it and more. You don't see this stuff but there is a lot of it. For example, its week 3 now and we still haven't worked out why we need 4 CPU's to run this site now rather than the 1 we had before. No one pays me for those 3 solid weeks of work on this one issue.

Bob, I appreciate your comments. If I was just trying to milk all the visitors, I would have implemented a donation system years ago when it was suggested. Instead, I wanted to give something in return, considerable time researching what the options were and how to implement them, doing all the coding myself. To my mind, removing ads in the most prominent locations was a priority for paying members. We get loads of people who lurk and bounce of the site. Some of those leave via ads. However, we also have lots of regular members who ask questions or help out others. To my mind, if they donated I would like to get the ads out of the way to improve their user experience.

pwbrown, I am not saying I am right and you are wrong. Instead, please consider that I have to chose one of two main options for forums and also that running forums is a fulltime job.
 
Last edited:

Jon

Access World Site Owner
Staff member
Local time
Today, 00:29
Joined
Sep 28, 1999
Messages
7,459
Bob, I basically went to see what the other sites were doing and did the same. I had no idea or previous experience on how to price such things so took the status quo. It was difficult to set up because you have to choose a payment processor that deals with VAT, one that integrates with this vBulletin, find out if they allow repeat subscriptions (they don't using my option, but they do if you only allow payment by PayPal). Lots of these niggly things took ages to find out. Its like missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that you need to find to finally get it done. Bit like programming really!

I am looking at the possibility of adding further benefits, but it all depends on the uptake of subscribers. One such thing is to follow the model of one website where you pay for a classified ad, but this will only be open to subscribers. A similar model is run at the Warrior Special Offers forum on a popular marketing site. Over there, you pay something like $25 to make a post in their Marketplace section. This might give an avenue for some members here who are looking for additional work. Its just an idea.
 

Vassago

Former Staff Turned AWF Retiree
Local time
Yesterday, 19:29
Joined
Dec 26, 2002
Messages
4,751
I do agree that they are a bit excessive. I wouldn't mind donating, but not everyone can afford the costs given above. HOWEVER, I don't see any reason to complain about it. No one is losing anything by not being able or just not wanting to donate. What's the big deal?
 

pwbrown

Registered User.
Local time
Today, 00:29
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
170
HOWEVER, I don't see any reason to complain about it.
I'm not complaining just offering a view point. It's more like a debate, I need to be convinced to differ my view. :)
Honestly I can't see many people paying for diamond and I think they should lower the costs.
Something more realistic like: $15, $35, $75, would be a better range and I would be happy to donate $15 at least!
 

Jon

Access World Site Owner
Staff member
Local time
Today, 00:29
Joined
Sep 28, 1999
Messages
7,459
Just a quick thank you to boblarson who is our first ever subscriber and went Diamond! :)
 

CJ_London

Super Moderator
Staff member
Local time
Today, 00:29
Joined
Feb 19, 2013
Messages
16,668
From my perspective you have three types of users:
  • those who ask questions
  • those who provide answers
  • those who do both to one extent or the other
I am a self employed developer and it may just be my business model, but I would not expect to pick up business from a site such as this. Most of the questions come from people looking for help to do it themselves and if they are looking to sub work out they are either looking for someone local or someone who will provide a budget service. I use other sites to network and find new business in addition to other initiatives.

I suspect if you started a subscription, you would have a big dropoff in expert subscribers unless they can stay as a free member. I once subscribed to such a site for a few months but found a) quality of responses were very poor or b) non existent which I think was due to expert users not being prepared to pay to use the site.

I understand the site needs to make a profit or at least breakeven so I don't have a problem with ads and donations.

I consider myself to be a net contributor - and although a relative newbie I answer many more questions than I ask and therefore think of myself as an asset to the site:).

I give of my time freely but would not be prepared to pay a subscription unless I could see a benefit to me - in this respect I am in line with pwbrown.

Jon - there are a lot of access forums out there so if you are going to charge a subscription what are the USP's that differentiate you from everyone else? - I don't think what is on offer is sufficient.
 

pr2-eugin

Super Moderator
Local time
Today, 00:29
Joined
Nov 30, 2011
Messages
8,494
Just shouting out..
Jon said:
These forums will always be free, but for those of you wanting to help support the site you have the option of several types of paid membership.

You can Upgrade your Free membership, if you chose to.. It really is not a compulsion.. If you are okay with the ads popping up and limited number of messages.. Okay no big deal.. I for one am not bothered.. Also, I am not against this idea that Jon has..
 

ColinEssex

Old registered user
Local time
Today, 00:29
Joined
Feb 22, 2002
Messages
9,131
Why are the fees in US dollars on a British run site? How does that work with the UK vat payments? Is it a dodge to pay less vat?

I might have guessed who would be a diamond.:rolleyes: it just had to be. Was it free?

Col
 

Jon

Access World Site Owner
Staff member
Local time
Today, 00:29
Joined
Sep 28, 1999
Messages
7,459
Currency was based on two factors:

1. The main currency on my PayPal account.

2. The country that brings the most visitors.

VAT is all taken into consideration.
 

Jon

Access World Site Owner
Staff member
Local time
Today, 00:29
Joined
Sep 28, 1999
Messages
7,459

ColinEssex

Old registered user
Local time
Today, 00:29
Joined
Feb 22, 2002
Messages
9,131
Currency was based on two factors:

1. The main currency on my PayPal account.

2. The country that brings the most visitors.

VAT is all taken into consideration.

The current threshold for VAT is £77,000, this site must be very lucrative. How does the exchange rate affect the amount declared for VAT? You could make a reasonable profit if the timing is right.

You could take VAT into consideration - then dismiss it.

Col
 

Jon

Access World Site Owner
Staff member
Local time
Today, 00:29
Joined
Sep 28, 1999
Messages
7,459
VAT is registered to a business, not a website. Also, you can register at any level of income.
 

CJ_London

Super Moderator
Staff member
Local time
Today, 00:29
Joined
Feb 19, 2013
Messages
16,668
VAT is as much of an issue you want it to be.

As a VAT registered business myself I would expect a valid VAT receipt .

i.e. To be valid below £100 inc of VAT a receipt or invoice needs to state the VAT rate included, but does not have to state the amount of VAT plus the VAT number of the issuing organisation and the name of the organisation that has the VAT number. Above £100 the details are the same but each line must be detailed. The addess of the supplier must also be stated. In both cases the VAT amount has to be calculated (and rounded) for each line

It is the supplying company which has to get this right - MacDonalds got caught out because there were calculating VAT on the total invoice value (and were working backwards so were saving a fortune due to rounding when the rate was 17.5%). Had to repay millions in VAT although technically it was the customer who had been overcharged - but how to you refund .015 of a penny?

As a VAT payer in the UK myself, if I was to subscribe to the silver supporter level of $25, I would expect to get a VAT receipt of a sterling equivalent of $20.83 + $4.17 VAT - charged at standard rate (often known as T1). I would be able to claim back the $4.17 on my VAT return.

If I am a non VAT payer in the UK then I am charged $20.83 + $4.17 VAT at the standard rate (T1) and cannot claim the VAT back

If I am an EU VAT registered business and prior to invoicing I supply my VAT number to the business which is access-programmers.co.uk then I should only be charged $20.83 with a 0% VAT code of T4 (Sales to customers in the EU)

If I am an EU person or business not registered for VAT then I am charged $20.83 + $4.17 VAT at the standard rate (T1) and cannot claim the VAT back. i.e. same as a UK non VAT payer

If I am outside the EU then I should be charged $20.83 with a 0% VAT code of T2 (Exempt)

Complicated! And there may be ways of charging the same globally and the VAT taking a prorated slice based on the business profile. This certainly exists for small traders with turnover below (think it is £100k)..

However in the global market, the price is what it is, tax inclusive, and the supplier has to make their own arrangements with the various authorities.
 

RainLover

VIP From a land downunder
Local time
Today, 09:29
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
5,041
Sound like VAT is very clear.

You only pay it on Sundays if your Grandmother is single and got home late last night. Provided always that you do not own any cats unless that is the name of a football Club.

Am I close?
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom