Sunday, September 21, 2014

Paypal vs. Patreon

Let me tell you of a dream I have.

I have this dream where the amount of work that is to be done is finite.  And I got it in my head that if I just:

knock out one more e-mail
make one more video
cut up another chord of wood
replace one more brake pad

the work will end, I'll cross the "finish line" and will be able to play video games and goof off until I'm done.

While I'm consciously aware that this is a dream and the real world doesn't work that way, unconsciously my work ethic drives me to race towards that finish line that never gets closer.  So i'll burn through 10 hours of "work," only to have the next day be filled with unexpected chores, repairs, and the cornucopia of shit I have to do that never ends.

But if there's a particularly irksome "never ending chore" in my "career" that I have, it's keeping up with the latest social media fad/craze.  Just can't stick with blogger, nope you need a youtube channel.  Can't just have a youtube channel, nope you need twitter.  Can't just have twitter, nope you need instagram.  And you fool, you just can't have instagram, you need tumblr!

Add to this list of perpetual painassery - Patreon.

First exposed to it by Davis Aurini's project, a fan suggested I look into it as I would make more money on my youtube videos if I were to use Patreon.  Somewhat confused how it works, he was kind enough to explain it to me, essentially saying I would be looking for "patrons" to sponsor my work.  This would allow me to work on my "work" and not worry about making ends meet.  However, I was more interested in it because, frankly, when you go down this path you ostracize yourself forever from any kind of "normal" employment, not to mention anger people who are prone to launch political "campaigns," "lawsuits," "firing missions," etc. in an attempt to destroy your personal finances.  Ergo, if people wanted to "thank" you for doing the work they can't while you put your own self at risk defending their beliefs, they could become "patrons" and help you out.

So I looked into it, always happy to take a new source of money.  But upon further review (unless I'm missing something) Patreon just doesn't make any sense.  If for any other reason, paypal and other crowd funding sources already exist and do what Patreon claims to be doing.  Not to mention Patreon just highway-robs you in fees.

Patreon charges you 10%

 While Paypal charges around 3%

And if you want to be technical, Bitcoin effectively charges 0%

Again, I may be missing something, but I don't think so.  And if I'm not, then I'm slightly miffed in that I wasted, yet again, another 20 minutes of my life chasing after that finish line that can never be crossed.

Regardless, the point is if you want to help a blogger you like, a youtuber you're a fan of, or just an artist whose art you enjoy, forget Patreon.  Just donate to them via Paypal and make life a lot easier for every one.


liberranter said...

The one good reason I can see for Patreon's existence is, if no other, to give PayPal some much-needed competition. But given its expressed purpose AND the fact that it charges outrageous fees, it really misses the mark in that regard. I would probably have reached the same conclusion you did and said "no thanks" too.

Sean Conner said...

Not to defend Patreon, but it also helps to look at Patreon from the other side, that of a patron.

I can pay, say, $15/month to Patreon (one payment, one CC fee). I can then direct $1 to person X, $2 to person Y, $3 to person Z, and so on. The CC fee is then "split" among all the parties receiving my funds, so that rate does go down the more I patronize.

The downside of Paypal is that is is more geared towards one-time payments (buying of a good or service) and not a recurring fee. The other problem with Paypal is any significant increase in income may cause Paypal to freeze your account for up to six months in order to combat fraud. Suddenly you go from 30 days out to 180 days out and really don't have much of an option.

Anonymous said...

@Sean Conner: about your second comment. This is actually not true. When you want to donate through PayPal there is a recurrent payment option right next to it. So it's actually very very easy to make a monthly, recurrent payment. I don't see how the fees would go down as you patron more project. The fees are a fix percentage of the amount you donate. So ... you can split this in as many people as you want the cost is the same?!