So you’ve just set up merch benefits through Patreon for the first time – this article will explain how and when patrons earn their merch benefit.
Patrons earn merch
Patrons earn merch when they meet two requirements:
- They joined a tier that contains a merch item
- They’ve made the required number of consecutive payments in that tier. The number of payments depends on the type of merch programme you offer the item in (3 months or loyalty programme)
The total length of time it takes a patron to complete the required number of payments can vary based on whether the patron is new or existing and whether the patron has any declined payments that are later resolved.
Typically, patrons earn a month towards an item for each month of membership they pay for after the item goes live. If a patron cancels their membership or switches to a tier that does not include the item, any progress that the patron has made towards earning that merch item is lost. The patron can rejoin a tier that contains that item again later, which would restart their earnings progress from the beginning.
Let’s look at some examples to understand when patrons typically earn merch! For this example, we’ll use a merch programme that delivers an item once after 3 months.
Subscription billing example:
If a creator who charges patrons up front adds a merch item to a tier on 15 May, existing patrons will have their next payment made after 15 May count toward their merch item. For example, a patron whose billing anniversary was the 20th would make their first eligible payment on 20 May. On 20 June, that patron would process their second payment towards earning that merch item. On 20 July, the patron would earn the merch item. If a new patron joins on 15 July, they would be charged immediately upon sign-up and earn their first payment towards their merch item. The new patron would earn their second payment towards their merch item on 15 August and then earn the merch item on 15 September.
Charge upfront example:
If a creator who charges patrons upfront adds a merch item to a tier on 15 May, existing patrons will have their next payment (1 June) count toward their merch item. On 1 July, those patrons would process their second payment towards earning that merch item. On 1 August, patrons would earn the merch item. If a new patron joins on 15 July, they would be charged immediately upon sign-up and earn their first payment towards their merch item. The new patron would earn their second payment towards their merch item on 1 August, and then earn the merch item on 1 September.
Non-charge upfront example:
Suppose a creator who does not charge patrons up front adds a merch item to a tier on 15 May. In that case, existing patrons with a valid membership in that tier will earn their first payment towards that merch item on 1 June, eventually earning the item on 1 August. A new patron who joins on 15 July would earn their merch item on 1 October.
As a reminder, you can always find what benefits your patrons have earned, including Merch for Membership benefits, on your Benefits page.
How will my current patrons earn merch?
Typically, existing patrons will earn their merch item on their third successful charge after the merch is added. Previous payments do not count toward a patron earning merch.
Will editing the design of an item affect how my patrons earn merch?
Will editing an item's tiers affect how my patrons earn merch?
If you’ve added an item or loyalty programme to any new tiers, patrons of those new tiers will begin earning the items when you click the Publish merch button. You can find when you added each item or loyalty programme to each tier on your merch tab.