On top of charging a transaction fee, you may want to ask your members to pay to join or post listings in your marketplace. There isn't a built-in feature for this yet but here are two pretty good workarounds.
How to charge sellers a fee to post new listing
If you want to allow users to join and make purchases freely, but charge the providers (users who add listings), you can do the following:
- Go to your Admin panel then to the Settings tab and turn on the setting "Only users verified by admin can post new listings". After this each user needs to be manually be approved by you before they can post a listing. You can learn more about this specific feature here.
- Sign up to a subscription billing service. We recommend Chargebee – this is what many of our customers are using, and we're also using them ourselves for billing our customers, they're great! Chargebee has a free plan for new businesses, and it allows you to set up payment pages without coding to charge your users monthly or yearly fees. You can create several subscription plans from Chargebee and set up subscription pages for them. This only takes a few minutes.
- Once you have set up the payment pages in Chargebee, go to your Admin panel then to the Instruction texts tab. There you can edit the message your providers see when they try to post a listing without your approval ("Info text to non-verified users"). Here you can add a link to a Chargebee-powered payment page and explain that they need to subscribe before they can post.
- Whenever someone subscribes through Chargebee, you'll get an email notification. You can then go to your Admin panel then to the Users tab and search your user list with the email of the user who subscribed in Chargebee. When you find the user, you can give them rights to post listings by checking the box "Posting allowed". The user doesn't get an automatic notification when you do this, so you might want to send them an email telling them they can now post listings.
How to charge all users a fee to join the marketplace
If you would like to charge a subscription fee from all your users to allow them to enter your marketplace, you can use the same workaround, but instead of controlling posting rights, you can make your marketplace invite only and keep the rights to invite new people to yourself. This is how you do that:
- Go to your Admin panel then to the Settings tab, check the box "Allow users to join only with an invite from another user" and uncheck the box "Allow all users to invite new users". You can learn more about this feature here.
- Go to to your Admin panel then to the Instruction texts tab and add a link to the Chargebee payment page to the "Signup info" area, with an explanation telling your users they need to subscribe to a plan before they can sign up.
- Once you get an email about a new subscription from Chargebee , go to your Admin panel then to the Invite new users tab and use the form to send an invite code to the user who subscribed to a plan.
Do more with Chargebee
Chargebee has lots of useful tools that help you manage the subscriptions. As an example, it allows free trials, so you can tell your users the first month is free and the billing will start only after that. It also makes it easy to manage cancellations, refunds, payment failures, plan changes, and things like that.