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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Plimus/BlueSnap changes for those who use them

They made changes to the agreement and it looks like also changed some fees (not sure if the changes were simultaneous).

Did anyone notice there is a penalty of $75 now if your monthly sales are below $2500: https://secure.plimus.com/jsp/developer_fees_table.jsp (see "Account maintenance fees")

I didn't know they had any monthly fees to begin with (well, we have been above $2500 for a long time, but if I was a smaller seller, I would not like that penalty).
B2B Send private email
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
I'm guessing they want to clear out all the low turnover and dead accounts. I can't blame them although it does make it look unattractive for people just starting out.
Ducknald Don Send private email
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Didn't Plimus used to have different platforms for different sizes of businesses?  IIRC, each platform had different rates, and if you didn't have enough volume to qualify for the lower rates, you had to use a different platform.  It's interesting how Plimus has restructured its pricing to apply the same structure to all clients, with service fees for clients below certain volumes of business, and different transaction rates depending on the single sales price, not on the total sales volume. 

It looks like Plimus is implementing a big price increase at the same time, except for free stuff.  There is a theory in B2B circles that you can make more money with more complicated pricing structures.
Howard Ness Send private email
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Hi B2B,

Thank you so much for your information. Actually i have got this letter from Plimus but i have not got time to read. ( Not make a time to read them ).

It is surprise and not in a favour for me to pay maintenance fee. I have been with them for over 5 years and are happy so far. But now it is the time to move on from Plimus as i am not a very very big Micro ISV.

Anyone can give me a recommendation other third party payment processor? Maybe time to go to google checkout.
Fherry Send private email
Wednesday, April 03, 2013

I'm using Stripe: http://stripe.com.  No monthly fee, just a small percentage of each transaction.
James A. Send private email
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Wow,  B2B, thanks for the heads up! $75, that's crazy.

I also got the policy update email from BlueSnap, but I just skim over it thinking it is just one more legal mambo-jumbo. First was the PayPal related change now this...

I sell now only one item through BlueSnap and I switched to BMT Micro for my timer application when they introduced the PayPal change. BMT Micro are OK. The control panel is not as fancy as in BlueSnap, but who cares about the panel? You setup once and they help you with everything else and from then on it just works. So, I may completely switch to them.
Goran Burcevski Send private email
Thursday, April 04, 2013
As James points out, this space is being disrupted by a new breed of providers who don't take a big bite out of their customer's income. Stripe is a good example, but I expect to see more.

Deals along the lines of: No fees at all, very low percentage commission and quick payment into your account.
Scorpio Send private email
Thursday, April 04, 2013
Anyone successfully using PayPal for both PayPal and CC payments?

One of the benefits of PayPal seems to be that you can preconfigure the order on your end (license, edition, q-ty, extras) and simply pass that onto paypal with the exact amount to be charged, currency, item names, - no need to create products in control panel.
George Send private email
Thursday, April 04, 2013
I found e-junkie was a good way to create a front end for PayPal:

I used to use GoogleCheckout and really disliked it. These articles are rather out of date, but I am not sure they have improved at all:
Andy Brice Send private email
Thursday, April 04, 2013
@Andy Thanks. But I meant using PayPal as your primary processor for both PayPal payments and CCs, where you will be handling everything else on your end (coupons, discounts, download links, emails, etc.). How do they compare in terms of conversions, and vendor-friendliness to other processors?
George Send private email
Thursday, April 04, 2013
As an employee of BlueSnap I wanted to address the maintenance fee topic. BlueSnap has been improving their services and making many changes this year by launching a new website, an improved platform for merchants, offering personalized professional services and also a maintenance fee change.

We understand with the change in fees its imperative to remain economical while being reasonable alongside our competitors. This is why BlueSnap offers in services more payment options, customized features, multi-currencies and languages, branded checkout pages, one click charge all while maintaining a high level of service. BlueSnap provides merchant support and account managers to assist merchants to increase their revenue and show how to better optimize their accounts.

Unfortunately we cannot meet the needs of all merchants and for those shopping around I would suggest making sure the platform is flexible while being able to support your business model, it makes a big difference when your business is sure to grow.
P Gross Send private email
Thursday, April 04, 2013
Thanks Andy,

I will check your suggestion.

@P Gross,
I am a happy Plimus' customer and the services is good so i do not bother to look around.

I understand the running cost for a sophisticated Online Payment like Plimus/BlueSnap is high. However i do not need all the bell and whistle. And the maintenance fee is just not in my business favour. Maybe you need create a Lite and Pro membership.

For others,

I am hoping to get more input regarding Online Payment processor that has no maintenance fees for revenue between10-30K /year.

Really glad to hear this new  form you B2B :).
Fherry Send private email
Thursday, April 04, 2013
FastSpring is another payment processor that doesn't charge maintenance fees.  I have used them in the past with no issues.

Frank Coukos Send private email
Thursday, April 04, 2013
Yep, I push a lot of clients towards Fastspring.

Good company, good people and no silly charges.

Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Thursday, April 04, 2013
@P Gross,

Your charges also include a Monthly maintenance fee of $10/month for Affiliates.

As an affiliate we work with a huge number of affiliate systems and a monthly maintenance fee is simply unheard of in the space. No other provider that I can think of charges one, Commission Junction, ShareASale, RegNow, .. the list is endless. Plimus is still making it's transaction fee on the sale and quite possibly the $75 fee on top of this for smaller ISVs. In addition you're now charging payout fees.

Could you please comment on why you are making this change while every competitor you have do not have those fees.

Nico - BitsDuJour
Nico Westerdale Send private email
Thursday, April 04, 2013
@B2B - Thanks for the head's up. I've submitted a Plimus support request to close my account. I'd be pretty pissed if I got stuck with maintenance fees on a dormant account.
Nicholas Hebb Send private email
Friday, April 05, 2013
Looks like it's time to re-review the payment processors. I went with Plimus earlier due to the low cost and ability to manage multiple payment types. But their support has been horrendous.

As a recent example, when I inquired about a problem I was experiencing with their control panel, their response was, "oh that checkbox doesn't work. Have a nice day!". When I complained about how that little problem cost me a lot of money that day, they claimed that I must have changed it and forgot.

Another time a customer contacted me and was quite upset about not being able to complete his purchase. He claimed Plimus kept hanging up on him when he called. I didn't think it could be true, but I decided to test an order and sure enough, the line went dead while I was on hold.

Sorry for the rant, but I'm motivated to do some more research now. :-)
Kenneth Johnson Send private email
Friday, April 05, 2013
@P Gross

It sounds like this could be the canary in the coal mine for some people who won't even be paying the charge.

Unfortunately your message reads like a sales pitch with no real explanation about the $75 charge. I suggest you don't waste this chance to engage with your customers on what sounds like a serious issue.
Jonathan Matthews Send private email
Friday, April 05, 2013
Currently I use Plimus as a backup payment processor. They process around $1000/mo with average order value of ~$100.

I haven't contacted their support for years nor I use any new features they added - I don't understand why I should pay $75 to run this account. I'd understand if they set $75 minimum commission each month... But they want $75 in addition to fees they get from purchases. From that $1000 they'll get $60 in fees + $75 maintenance = $135. That's too much IMO.

Probably it's time to say "bye" to Plimus. I got used to them... Sad.
Kuzmitskiy Dmitry Send private email
Friday, April 05, 2013
It's $75 a month if your monthly sales are under $2500 after 3 months.  To those thinking of quitting: are your sales really that bad?  Is there anyone here actually making $2500 or more per month, then?  (I don't currently have a website myself).
Harry Phace Send private email
Saturday, April 06, 2013
hmm...the $75 charge is one thing, but it looks like there are a lot of new or increased charges, unless I missed this earlier:

$25 for PO processing...I thought this was $15 before.
+ $8 charged to the shopper
"Payout fee" of $22 for wire transfer...

I used to accept the poor service from Plimus, understanding that it's the trade-off for low cost processing (4.5%). With FastSpring, I thought, well the higher processing cost (5.9%) is the price to pay for the great service, so you make your choice based on price vs. service trade-off. Now adding up the prices, depending on the situation, Plimus can end up actually costing more for some of the worst service I've experienced - sorry to sound so harsh, but if you've ever had to contact them, you probably know what I mean.
Kenneth Johnson Send private email
Saturday, April 06, 2013
@Jonathan Mathews – The $75 change does not apply to merchants above the $2500 in monthly sales. As a company we want to assist merchants expand their business and ‘Convert more shoppers to Buyers,’ as our motto goes. In order to do that we provide the services I had mentioned as well as many more but not as a sales pitch; rather an explanation as to what more is received than previously offered. As a business we believe in growth and by offering more services our merchants have an advantage over others for expansion and revenue.

@Nico – Hi, I believe I addressed the question above. The $75 fee is not for the affiliates.

@Kenneth Johnson – I’m sorry to hear that previously our services were not adequate. BlueSnap is focusing on improved services and support reassuring our merchants and customers. 

@Fherry- Thank you for the suggestion. I’ll inform our Product team of the Lite/Pro Membership idea.

BlueSnap appreciates the feedback.
P Gross Send private email
Sunday, April 07, 2013
I've used Plimus for 10 years but only as a backup provider for the last 4 years.  I relegated them to backup provider because of a couple of horrific support experiences and a complete lack of interest on their part to negotiate on fees.  I've now moved to Fastspring and I've got no complaints there.

There's two reasons I still stick with Plimus as backup.  First, I've got an established base of potentially thousands of free installs of one of my products with embedded links to my Plimus store.  Second, it's still far easier to spin up a quick and dirty upgrade purchase link using their interface as opposed to Fastspring.

So I'm going to have to suck up the $75 fee because I am under their $2500 limit about half the time.  I don't use any of the new Plimus features and I've given up on their support staff altogether.  Monthly fees really takes things back to the late 1990's early 2000's where monthly fees from payment processors was the de-rigueur.
Cowardly Poster Send private email
Sunday, April 07, 2013
@P Gross,

You did not address my question at all. I'm aware the The $75 fee is not for the affiliates. I'm talking about the new $10 monthly fee that you've introduced for affiliates.

I'll repeat my question:

Your charges also include a Monthly maintenance fee of $10/month for Affiliates. ... Could you please comment on why you are making this change while every competitor you have do not have those fees.
Nico Westerdale Send private email
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
@Kenneth Johnson,

I'm not sure where you're getting Plimus's fees at 4.5%.

On their website it's listed at 5.95% + 45¢

I also found Plimus' old payout fees online here:

Here's what they've changed:

Check $10 (was $2.50)
ACH $2 (was Free)
Wire transfer $22 (was $15+fees or $21+fees non-US)
PayPal US and Canadian  $4 (was 0% to 3%)
PayPal Rest of world $4 + 2% (up to $24) (was 0% to 3%)
Payoneer Free (new option)
Nico Westerdale Send private email
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
@nico: see the "Dynamic Fees" on the link that you provided. Note: my products fall into the 4.5% category...
Kenneth Johnson Send private email
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
...and thanks for the comparison numbers.
Kenneth Johnson Send private email
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
While some platforms raise their fees, it looks like the others lower them. PayPro Global released an offer today for Micro ISV's. Perhaps some of you might be interested

Valeriu Braghis Send private email
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
I'm from a euro-zone country, so I prefer to sell my software with price in EUR.
I'm also using Bluesnap/Plimus for customers that can't use PayPal, and the other day I noticed that when the customer makes also the payment in EUR, the EUR->USD exchange rate being used by Plimus is almost 1:1. E.g. the product cost 30 EUR, the customer pays 30 EUR, and Plimus shows in the balance a total received of 33 USD!!
I contacted the vendors support to ask about the reason for such a bad exchange rate, and this is their reply:

"Dear Merchant,
Thank you for your E-mail.

Please note that we use third party services of a company called FiftyOne. FiftyOne ensures the conversion rates for all currencies supported by Bluesnap and enables us to manage the amounts in USD, because this is how our system operates at the moment.
When the base currency for a contract is set up to USD and a customer chooses to pay in any other currency, we convert the USD amount to the relevant amount of this currency based on the rate given by FiftyOne. In addition to conversion, they offer us the hedging services that ensure that the amount collected at the moment of sale will be exactly the same one delivered to the merchant at moment of the payout (which is not immediate, as you know).
In such case the cost of the conversion is on the customer.
When the base currency is set up to a currency other than USD the same conversion takes place, but the cost of it is on the merchant. Please also note that in such occurrence the hedging is not promised, as we collect the amount not according to USD.
If you have any further inquiries regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us."

If this is a cost passed to the merchant, isn't this an hidden, and probably illegal (it's not referred in the contract, nor even warned in the place where we define the product price main currency) fee?
Do you guys know if other payment processors use this same scheme, when the price main currency is different than USD?
RTT Send private email
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Is it just me or is the test buy now functionality completely broken in the Plimus control panel? My test purchases never complete.
Ducknald Don Send private email
Thursday, April 11, 2013

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