The Service Fee

During checkout, you may have noticed a 5% Service Fee charged to your total transaction. As fellow online shoppers, we know how annoying unknown service fees can be, so we wrote this quick explanation page to hopefully put your mind at ease.

What is it for?

Primarily payment processing. We use both Stripe and PayPal to manage different parts of our Multi-Vendor Marketplace. These companies typically charge 2.49% + $0.30 for every captured transaction they complete. We need payment processing for Sales, Payouts, Refunds, and Donations. Donations actually cost us almost double since we use an objective third party named Give to manage our fundraising and they take another 2%.

Why 5%?

Five Percent was chosen as the minimum that we needed to cover simple costs during sales in the Marketplace. Since websites have more costs to run than just payment processing, ideally we would charge 10% to make sure that we aren’t hemorrhaging money. But since the value of the art listed on CAMP will be ranging dramatically, we feel 10% will become too burdensome to the majority of customers.

Why should you pay our costs?

Setting up this Marketplace we found three options for covering our costs:

  1. Take a Percentage of the Artists’ Commissions from Sales
  2. Charge a Percentage Fee to the Customer
  3. Cover Costs with Fundraising

Originally, we were going to take a 10-15% Cut from the artist with every sale. Comparing this to a typical gallery’s cut of 50%, it is more than reasonable. But one of our core beliefs is that we won’t make Artists pay if we don’t have to. Taking a cut from sales causes most artists to mark up their work to a point that is out of a customer’s budget. And some artists just take the loss, which makes selling easier, but ultimately gets them accustomed to devaluing their art. It’s a lose-lose in our opinion.

What about fundraising?

We will be launching small campaigns for Crowdfunding from the local community as soon as the site is live. Our goal is to eventually cover all our operating costs through fundraising, and the Service Fee will disappear. Currently, we are operating independently of any grant money or major benefactor. Everyone who works on this project is a volunteer, except that along with giving our time we are also paying hundreds of dollars out of our own pocket to make this happen.

How can you help?

Visit our Donations page if you would like to help us directly by donating money to any specific campaign that we have running. Donating directly to CAMP will add you to the Art Heroes list on our website, and future campaigns will have some sweet Art Hero swag to go with it.

If you don’t want to donate yourself, we always appreciate spreading the word. Share our Fundraising Campaigns directly to Social Media, tag #charlottesvilleartists and #campcville on Instagram, or just tell all your friends who love supporting their local art community about our project.

Thanks! Stay weird, Charlottesville.