Pay By Group offers many advanced cost features that allow you collect funds exactly as you need for your specific business flow.
Per-slot cost purchases
The Create a group purchase article referred to the default cost configuration on the group creation page, which is a single total amount to be collected from a group on or before a single deadline. Purchases with such a cost structure are called total-cost purchases. However, you can also define the cost for a given purchase as the amount each participant in the purchase should individually pay; this is called a per-slot cost.
With a per-slot cost purchase, there is no set total amount to be collected; instead, you will collect the amount you enter multiplied by the number of customers that participate in the group. Per-slot purchases are especially useful for selling inventory like event tickets or apparel. To create a per-slot purchase, select the Per-slot option in the dropdown menu to the right of the Cost field.
For both total and per-slot cost purchases (including total-cost purchases with installments) you can add cost ranges, which alter the cost depending on the size of the group and can also define a minimum and maximum group size that the customers must conform to. To do this, check the Vary cost by group size box to the right of the Allow payments over time box (more on this option below).
This adds fields for Minimum slots required, Maximum slots required, and either the Total or Per-slot cost for this range. If you want to collect a certain amount of funds for a group of one size, but a different amount for a larger group, use these fields to set up your ranges. If you just want to constrict the group to a mandatory minimum and/or maximum group size, use a single range with both slot values filled in.
You can add as many ranges as you want by clicking the Add Cost Range button, and remove ranges in reverse order from last to first by clicking the Remove link under the bottom range. You can also remove all of the ranges you’ve added at once by unchecking the Vary cost by group size box. Note that your final range does not have to have a maximum slot value filled in if you don’t want put a cap on the group size.
For total-cost purchases, you can accept payments over time in installments. Purchases with installments allow you to collect funds from your customers by two or more separate dates, with amounts you set due at each.
To create a group with installments, check the Allow payments over time box under the Cost field. This adds a new field, % of Total, which you must use to define the amounts of each installment. You can add as many installments as you’d like by clicking the Add payment button, and the cumulative % of Total for all installments must equal 100 for you to create the purchase.
Each payment installment after the first must have a payment deadline, which you enter into the Payment Deadline field on the right of that installment entry. The first payment’s deadline can be left blank; if you do this, its effective deadline is equal to that of the 2nd payment. If you start to add installments and then decide you don’t want to include them after all, you can simply uncheck the Allow payments over time box to remove them completely. Alternatively, you can remove individual installments in reverse order from last to first by clicking the Remove link under each one.
For your customers, joining a purchase with installments means being charged multiple times over an extended period in amounts that ultimately equal their total agreed-upon share of the overall purchase cost. They sign up once for the full share they want to pay, and our system will charge them the appropriate portion of that share for each installment according to the percentages you’ve set. Once they’ve paid the final installment, they will have been charged their full share -- no more, no less.
All participating customers in a given purchase with installments will be charged at the same time for each installment, and you’ll receive a payment for the full amount due for that installment as soon as all the charges are successfully made. If there are any card issues, we will automatically contact the users and attempt to resolve them up until the payment deadline passes, at which point it will be considered a missed payment.
Using installments with cost ranges
As mentioned previously, you can use cost ranges together with installments in total-cost purchases. In such cases, each user will be charged the appropriate percentage of the projected total cost of the purchase for each installment, based on the size of the group and the cost range they fall in at the time that installment is charged.
If the size of the group changes and a new cost range takes effect, the Pay By Group system will automatically adjust subsequent payment amounts to ensure that the customers are charged appropriately and you receive the correct amount for the purchase.
Although you cannot use installments with a true per-slot purchase, you can mimic the per-slot effect in a purchase with installments by using cost ranges. As an example, let’s say that you want to have a per-slot purchase where each slot costs $100, but you also want to let the customers pay over time (which means you have to choose the total-cost pricing structure).
To accomplish this, set up the installment schedule according to your preference, then add a cost range. Set both the minimum slots required and maximum slots allowed fields to 1, and make the total cost for range in that row $100. Then add another cost range where the minimum and maximum slots values are both 2, and the total cost for the range is $200; you can add a third range with min and max values of 3 and a cost for the range of $300, and so on.
This pricing structure makes the purchase cost increase by your desired per-slot amount each time a new customer joins and claims another slot, just like a true per-slot purchase. You can set up as many such ranges as you think customers will join the group; just be sure the final range you set has a maximum slots allowed value equal to its minimum slots required value, the same as all the previous ranges. If more customers want to join the group, you can simply edit the purchase to add more ranges.