2/2/17 – New Fee Structure Information
There will be a change in selling fees effective 2/9/17. Please read the Vendor Terms & Conditions here.
THCM is no longer a fly-by-nite website, cobbled together with a bunch of free programs and duct tape. The licenses for the various programs we have installed on the site now cost nearly $1,000 per year. Add to that the monthly hosting fee, developer fees, and advertising costs and it all starts to add up.
Over the past year, and particularly the last 3 months, we’ve also watched profit margins begin to dwindle due to some major shifts in the THCM marketplace. In the past, the average selling price was $2.50 per item. Now, it’s $3.75 or more, which eats up more in Paypal fees that we, THCM, have to absorb.
We’ve also seen more vendors join the marketplace who are selling at even higher dollar values. A lot priced at $6.99 contributes exactly $.02 to the operation of this website, less than 1% of the selling price, while a lot priced at $3.75 contributes $.18, almost 5 %. Lots that are even higher-priced, and priced at the high end of the fee structure, contribute an even smaller percentage.
January numbers were alarming. It was our highest month ever for sales yet we found ourselves pinching pennies to make sure the hosting fee gets paid. Something was definitely wrong so we took a look at… everything.
Quite frankly, we found that we – Jessica and I – and our vendors who sell clipped coupons are essentially paying to maintain the site for the vendors who sell whole inserts and those who are pricing their lots at the high end of the fee structure. The clipping vendors are paying for it because they sell in volume, and Jessica and I are paying for it by not ever getting a paycheck.
And it’s not the fault of those high-dollar sellers. It’s because of the way the fee structure is set up.
We considered just increasing the selling fee, basing it on percentages, and changing up the break-points, but in order to do it that way AND make it fair for everyone we’d have to also make it complicated for everyone. And the fees for high-end sellers would have been astronomical.
The easiest solution was to just add a weekly ‘shop’ fee, for lack of a better term. Yes, it’s an increase to you, the vendor. BUT… Your shop fee will vary from week to week, depending on your sales. On slow weeks, your fee will be lower. OUR fees to operate the site won’t be reduced if we have a slow week. We still have to keep the lights on for YOU.
We understand that each vendor has different business expenses and different profit goals. We also certainly don’t want to discourage our smaller vendors or our larger vendors. We still don’t want to get involved in or try to control your business.
But it’s been 2 1/2 years since we opened up this site to vendors, and 1 1/2 years since we did any kind of restructuring of fees. During that time you vendors have all changed the way you do business on the site. Now, we need to react to those changes so we can keep this site moving forward.