How do I pay for merch?

  • Updated
In this article, we’ll go over:

How the merch fee and billing works 

When does the 3% fee to use Merch start?

You will begin paying the additional 3% fee immediately upon signing up for Merch. This 3% fee applies to your total monthly earnings on Patreon.

When will I be billed for shipping merch?

You will be billed for the cost of a merch item whenever a patron earns the item and the order to ship that item is successfully processed. You can learn more about when patrons earn their merch in this guide

Most Merch orders are processed once per day. If an order to ship an item cannot be processed (often due to a problem with a patron’s address), we will not charge you for that item. We will attempt to retry an unsuccessful order for up to 100 days after an item has been earned. You can find your merch fulfillment bill in your earnings dashboard.

Do I need to enter a credit card to pay for merch? 

Nope! You will pay for the merch items with your Patreon balance.

I'm seeing a warning when I try to withdraw my account balance. What does that mean?

Because the merch you offer is funded from your account balance, withdrawing your account balance can delay merch shipments. Merch orders are processed after a patron has been successfully billed for the month. If you withdraw your entire account balance, there is a risk that you could delay a merch shipment until more funds arrive in your account.

How does this warning calculate how much merch is waiting to be shipped?

Any Merch for Membership items that have been earned by patrons in the last 100 days but have not yet shipped will be included in this number. If an item does not ship successfully we keep attempting to ship the item for 100 days after it is earned, so the number of items that have been earned but not shipped may seem higher than expected. You can explore these items at any time by visiting your Benefits page. There are three reasons that an item can be earned but not yet shipped: 

  1. orders have not been processed since the item was earned (see the above schedule)
  2. there has not been enough account balance to pay for the item when orders have been processed
  3. the patron has not entered a valid shipping address
  4. the patron has not entered a valid size selection (if the item requires one)
These factors, as well as how long ago an item was earned, are helpful to consider when deciding whether to withdraw your account balance. Recently-earned items that have a valid shipping address attached are ready to ship and would likely be delayed by withdrawing your account balance. Orders that are missing a valid shipping address or size selection cannot be shipped and are less likely to be delayed by withdrawing your account balance. However, Patreon automatically reminds patrons to update their shipping address whenever we are unable to ship an item to them, so these orders could be updated by the patron with a shipping address at any time. Items earned more recently are more likely to have their shipping address and size selection updated by patrons, and items that were earned less recently are less likely to be updated.

How do I learn what I’ve already paid for the merch items?

In your Earnings Dashboard, you can find a monthly breakdown of the merch items paid for as well as the Patreon platform fee.  

Estimating how much your merch will cost

How can I estimate how much I’ll owe?

We help you out with estimation when creating your merch item, but there are other things you might want to estimate for. Note: You will only be charged for merch items that have been shipped.

When creating your items, we estimate the cost of your merch items by multiplying the number of current patrons in the assigned tier (at that time) by the cost of the item. Most creators pay less than this estimate because not all of their patrons enter a shipping address and/or size preference. We will email your patrons to remind them to enter their information, and you can also encourage them to update their information in their memberships.


If you are publishing a one-time merch item
, your patrons must pledge for 3 consecutive payments before they become eligible for merch and the merch ships. If you are launching a merch loyalty program, your patrons will earn merch after, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. You can learn more about when patrons typically earn merch here. You can expect to pay for merch sent to be sent to existing patrons between 2 and 4 months after a merch item is added to a tier, depending on what time during the month you add merch to that tier and whether you charge your patrons for each month up front.
You can check for eligible patrons in Benefit Tracker and in the monthly merch email we send you:


Why did I send more/fewer items than I expected?

Creators using Merch for Membership frequently send and pay for fewer merch items to their existing patrons than expected. Here are a few reasons why: 
    1. There are fewer patrons pledging to your tier now than when you created your merch (i.e. patrons have stopped their membership),
    2. Some patrons have chosen to opt-out of receiving physical goods from that tier
    3. Many patrons have not added a valid shipping address or selected a size for their merch item. Patrons must have a valid address associated with their account to receive merch.

You can easily identify which of your patrons need to add or update their shipping addresses in your Benefits page. We recommend sending messages and making posts to your Merch tiers to remind your patrons to update their shipping address and size preferences.

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