The Charges & Discounts Cookbook

The Member Assembler's special pricing options can make a big difference for your membership program and the success of your farm. For example, offering a discount to returning members will encourage loyalty from your customers, while tacking on a charge for paying with a credit card will help you to defer some of the costs of doing business. It's easy to add Charges and Discounts to your Member Types by logging in to the Control Panel and navigating to:

   Member Assembler > Configure > Charge/Discount

This will take you to the Charges & Discounts page. See below:

new_cd_admin2.png    Figure 1. The Basic Charge/Discount tab on the Charges & Discounts Page

There are a variety of options to help you create your Charges & Discounts, but if you want to do something quick and easy, we have prepared some step-by-step "recipes" for you here. The following instructions represent the some of the most popular Charges & Discounts that are used:

  Early Bird Discount
  Returning or New Member Discount
  Technology Fee
  Online Transaction Fee
  Pickup Surcharge
  Special Member Type Surcharge
  Multiple Member Types Discount
  Prorated Memberships

Early Bird Discount

Want to kick-start those signups? Let your members know that they'll get a discount by signing up early for a CSA or membership program. nail down all your subscriptions sooner and be prepared earlier for all your memberships. To create an "Early Bird" Discount:

  1. Click the triangle to open the Basic Charge/Discount tab
  2. Write a title like "Early Bird Discount" in the Title field
  3. Use the pull-down to select "discount(-)"
  4. Type in the dollar amount or percentage rate for the discount (if using a percentage, make sure to click the checkbox below)
  5. Click the checkbox for "Enable Start/End Dates"
  6. Click on the field for "Start Date" to open the calendar and pick the day you want the discounted signups to start
  7. Do the same for "End Date" to choose when you want the discounted signups to end
  8. Click the Save Charge/Discount button

Your Discount has been set! You should see your discount now at the top of the screen under the "Review Current Charges & Discounts" tab. If you need to change anything, click the pencil button to edit. To delete this Discount, click on the trash can button.

Returning or New Member Discount

Reward your repeat customers and/or give a bonus for newbies by offering them a Discount on their membership. There are plenty of ways to use the charge/discount feature to help market your shares.

  1. Click to open either the Returning Member or New Member Charge/Discount tab
  2. Write a title like "Returning Member Discount" in the Title field
  3. Use the pull-down to select "discount(-)"
  4. Type in the dollar amount or percentage rate for the discount (if using a percentage, make sure to click the checkbox below)
  5. Add start/end dates if you wish
  6. Click the Save Charge/Discount button

Your Discount has been set! You should see your discount now at the top of the screen under the "Review Current Charges & Discounts" tab. If you need to change anything, click the pencil button to edit. To delete this Discount, click on the trash can button.

Technology Fee

Charging a "Technology Fee" is a great way to offset the cost of using the Member Assembler software, without having to raise the price of your subscriptions. Read about other tips for offsetting the cost of Member Assembler here. To create a "Technology Fee" Charge:

  1. Click the triangle to open the Basic Charge/Discount tab
  2. Write a title like "Technology Fee" in the Title field
  3. Use the pull-down to select "charge(+)"
  4. Type in the dollar amount or percentage rate for the discount (if using a percentage, make sure to click the checkbox below)
  5. Add start/end dates if you wish
  6. Click the Save Charge/Discount button

Your Charge has been set! You should see your charge now at the top of the screen under the "Review Current Charges & Discounts" tab. If you need to change anything, click the pencil button to edit. To delete this charge, click on the trash can button.

Online Transaction Fee

Offering folks the chance to use their credit cards to pay for their memberships is a great convenience to your customers. But this also means paying surcharges for credit card processing. Here is a way to charge a bit more for the folks who want to pay with a credit card to help cover those costs. This Charge will not apply to the customers who choose to be invoiced and pay by sending you a check.

  1. Click to open the Basic Charge/Discount tab
  2. Write a title like "Online Transaction Fee" in the Title field
  3. Use the pull-down to select "charge(+)"
  4. Type in the dollar amount or percentage rate for the discount (if using a percentage, make sure to click the checkbox below)
  5. Add start/end dates if you wish
  6. Click the checkbox for "Fee for online transactions"
  7. Click the Save Charge/Discount button

Your Charge has been set! You should see your charge now at the top of the screen under the "Review Current Charges & Discounts" tab. If you need to change anything, click the pencil button to edit. To delete this charge, click on the trash can button.

Note: Because credit card fees are based on percentages, you may want to use a percentage when setting up your discount (see step 4.)

Pickup Surcharge

With the "Pickup Surcharge" you can offer your subscribers the convenience of more pick-up locations while covering the delivery costs. This is especially useful when you offer a pickup location that is far away or hard to get to. To do this, you will create a fee that only applies to certain locations.

  1. Click to open the Charge/Discount with Membership Type & Location Filter tab
  2. Write a title like "Pickup Surcharge" in the Title field
  3. Use the pull-down to select "charge(+)"
  4. Type in the dollar amount or percentage rate for the discount (if using a percentage, make sure to click the checkbox below)
  5. Add start/end dates if you wish
  6. In the table, all your pickups locations will be listed across the top row.
  7. Click the checkbox next to "All" at the top of the column under the name of each pickup location you want the Charge to apply to. This will check all the boxes next to each Member/Share Type offered at that location.
  8. Click the Save Charge/Discount button

Your Charge has been set! You should see your charge now at the top of the screen under the "Review Current Charges & Discounts" tab. If you need to change anything, click the pencil button to edit. To delete this Charge, click on the trash can button.

Note: To be really specific and have a charge or discount apply to only certain Member Types at a certain locations, don't use the "All" checkboxes. Instead check the box next to each Member Type in the location column you want the Charge to apply to. Read the instructions for the "Special Member Type Surcharge" below for more information on how to use this option.

Special Member Type Surcharge

Certain Member/Share Types require more maintenance than others. Perhaps you need to have a cooler full of ice at a certain pickup location for an Egg Share or have an extra staff-member on hand to cut filets. To add a charge to special Member/Share Types, create a fee that only applies to certain types of subscriptions.

  1. Click to open the Charge/Discount with Membership Type & Location Filter tab
  2. Write a title that describes the Charge like "Egg Share Surcharge" in the Title field
  3. Use the pull-down to select "charge(+)"
  4. Type in the dollar amount or percentage rate for the discount (if using a percentage, make sure to click the checkbox below)
  5. Add start/end dates if you wish
  6. Look at the table below. All your Member Types are listed down the left side
  7. Click the "All" checkbox on the left side next to the name of every Member Type you want the charge to apply to. You will see that all the boxes in each Member Type's row get checked.
  8. Click the Save Charge/Discount button

Your Charge has been set! You should see your charge now at the top of the screen under the "Review Current Charges & Discounts" tab. If you need to change anything, click the pencil button to edit. To delete this charge, click on the trash can button.

Note: To be really specific and have a charge or discount apply to only certain Member Types at certain locations, don't use the "All" checkboxes. Instead check the box next to each Member Type in the location column you want the Charge to apply to.

Multiple Member Types Discount

Suppose you've set up your season to be an all-year signup. You have a Member Type for a Spring Share, a Member Type for a Summer Share, and a Member Type for a Fall Share with different prices and Options for each. But to encourage people to sign up for all three earlier, you'd like to offer a discount, but only if people sign up with all three of these Member Types.

  1. Click to open the Charge/Discount for Multiple Member Type Combination tab
  2. Write a title that describes the Discount like "Full Year Discount" in the Title field
  3. Use the pull-down to select "discount(-)"
  4. Type in the dollar amount or percentage rate for the discount (if using a percentage, make sure to click the checkbox below). A percentage will be good here because people will get the discount no matter which non-$0 Option they've chosen for each member Type and you wouldn't give the same discount for full vs half shares. The percentage will be assessed only on the relevant Member Types' costs.
  5. Add start/end dates if you wish
  6. Look at the table below. All your Member Types are listed here. You must choose at least two Types for a Combination Discount to work. Select your Spring Share, Summer Share, and Fall Share Member Types
  7. Click the Save Charge/Discount button

Your Discount has been set! You should see your discount now at the top of the screen under the "Review Current Charges & Discounts" tab. If you need to change anything, click the pencil button to edit. To delete this Discount, click on the trash can button.

Note: This Combination Discount is only applied when the shares are added all at once, during an initial signup through the public site or the admin. If someone is signed up for two and later adds the third, the discount will not be added in automatically. This will protect against someone getting it "unfairly" if perhaps you are prorating a share in progress.

Prorated Membership Discount

There's no need to create new subscription types for people joining up mid-season. Just set up some automatic prorated membership Discounts so that new mid-season memberships will only pay for what they will receive. Unlike other charges and discounts which appear at the end, the prorated Discount will be shown to your members at the start of the sign-up process.

  1. Click to open either the Prorated Discount (Weekly), Prorated Discount (Bi-weekly) or Prorated Discount (Monthly) tab
  2. Write a title like "Prorated Share Discount- Fall" in the title field
  3. Click on the field for "Start Date" to open the calendar. This is not the date that your first proration will occur. Rather, think of this as the beginning of the countdown clock, so for a weekly proration you would make this date one week before your first proration should happen. Then, for your Weekly Prorating, the discount will kick in 7 days after this start date, again after 14 days, etc. If you are doing Monthly Prorating, the discount will kick in on the same day as your start date, but one month later. For Example, a discount with a March 15 start date will be in effect from April 15 forward. (See note below if you want the starts and ends of proration to be at a specific time of day.)
    It's important to think about your start date. Can you accommodate last minute sign ups in your next delivery? Perhaps you need to know how many shares to pack a few days before. This means that you will want to start your prorated pricing earlier and bump those last minute sign-ups to the next week. (See the notes below for an example of this)
  4. Do the same for "End Date" to choose when you want the Discount to end. Be careful you don't prorate your price all the way down to zero! After the "End Date", the discount will no longer be in effect at all.
  5. Using the table below, click which Member Type(s) you want to receive a Prorated Discount and click the "Enable" checkbox(es)
  6. Type in the amount(s) for each Member Type. After one week or month in your chosen time frame, the cost of that Type will go down by that amount. After two weeks or months, it will go down twice that amount, and so on.
  7. Click the Save Charge/Discount button

Your Discount has been set! You should see your discount now at the top of the screen under the "Review Current Charges & Discounts" tab. If you need to change anything, click the pencil button to edit. To delete this Discount, click on the trash can button.

Extra Notes about Prorated Discounts:

New Start Dates: It is important to mention your prorated discount and new sign up schedule on your Member Assembler sign-up pages, so that people aren't confused about when their first pick up date is, or what they are going to pay (discounts are applied at checkout, your share prices will remain the same) You can add this by navigating to Member Assembler > Configure > Display Settings

Pickup Lists & Reminder Emails: You will need to keep close track of those people who sign up after you begin your CSA program and receive a prorated discount. You want to make sure that they aren't included on pickup lists or are sent pickup reminder emails before they are set to begin. For example: you have someone sign up during your first delivery week, but they are not getting their first share until the next week. However, the system has still added them to your CSA membership types, so if you run a pickup list for the current week, they will appear on the list. Make sure to use the cut-off date field in the Pickup List tool to exclude them from the list. If you have pickup reminder emails set up, they will also get one of those. You can put these members on hold until the week that they are supposed to get their full share. So that they know not to pick up before their start date.*(Member Assembler > Holds & Changes > Create Hold/Change)*

Non-midnight times: If you want the proration to work at a different time than when each day changes, you can type in a different time (in 24-hour format, ie 5pm = 17:00) in the text box without using the calendar picker. If you use the calendar picker to quickly jump to a different part of the year, save it without resetting the time, then edit again just using the text box without the calendar. Please note also that your website's time is set to CST, so if you are on EST and you want it to trigger at 5pm your time, you would set it to 4pm CST.

Sample Set-up: Here is an example of a prorated discount configuration: Farmer Jen's weekly CSA starts on Wednesday June 1st and she runs her pickup lists on Monday so she knows what to harvest and pack on Tuesday. Her prorated discount is set to calculate on Mondays so that anyone who signs up by Sunday the week before delivery is still included that week. Anyone who signs up on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (and the rest of the week through Sunday) has missed the opportunity to be included in her delivery that week and they will pay a reduced price and start their first pickup on the following week.

Odd Schedules: If you want to set up proration that works on a different schedule besides weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, You can use the Basic Charge/Discount tool to set up a more customized schedule. Simply figure out how much your share will be discounted based on when they join (basically, divide the cost by the number of boxes they will receive.) Set up your discount and then choose the start and end dates. Each discount will end on the same day that the next day begins and your discount should increase as your Season progresses. For help setting up a proration schedule, contact Farmer Support by calling 412-567-3864 or emailing support@smallfarmcentral.com.

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