A fund account for each user
The way members have to pay now for the enhancements of a classified ad are OK for a small system, but as mine is growing, I see the need for a different way of doing this. Eventually I would like to be able to charge per ad placed, but with the current method of paying it would kill off the biggest advertisers.
Here's the problem: PayPal fees. Right now I am charging $1 each for the ad enhancements. When a user pays for bolding, they go to PayPal and pay their $1 to enable it. PayPal extracts 33 cents from that dollar. If a user were to utilize 1,000 enhancements, PayPal would get $333 from MY efforts! That sucks. I really don't like setting up a site that benefits PayPal nearly as much as it would me.
Now look at this if I wanted to go to a pay per ad system. Yeah, $1 per ad doesn't sound bad, but suppose a user wants to place thousands of ads over a year's time? Then it becomes outrageously expensive. Do I really want to chase them away? But I can't really charge less, or Paypal winds up making more off of the transaction then I do. So in reality, there is NO way I can charge per ad and expect it to fly.
What I think would be MUCH more effective and realistic is to have users pay into a fund account. Say make a minimum of $10 per transaction and each ad or ad enhancement could draw from this account until depleted. When the account has become depleted, no more ads or enhancements until they fill the pot again.
This makes a whole lot more sense to me then the current system. It would allow me to charge a MINIMAL fee for ad placements, say 10 cents each, and still keep the current enhancements as they are.
What do you say? Is this feasible sometime in the near future? The payment system as it now is, is eventually going to become a show stopper for me.