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