Vincent Ritter

New payment provider for Tinylytics

Before I get into this post, if you have an active subscription and have subscribed before today, please don't worry, nothing changes right now, eventually you will be moved to the new payment provider automatically (see end of post).

OK, now let's do this.

I moved tinylytics away from using Paddle as the payment provider. The short story is that I had a very unpleasant experience getting set up, despite incredible promises. On top of this, except that they swim in investor money (which worries me), their support is abysmal with an "account manager" that even talked to me "camera to camera"... and never replies.

Even though tinylytics went through a "approval" process and it was accepted, when the first payout was due, with no communication on their part, I learned that I need to basically explain what my business is and what the website does (even though it says so). I had to investigate because there was no payout for nearly 2 months. It was like having to explain the difference between a circle and a square.

It was incredibly frustrating for me, because it took over 2 weeks to get resolved because emails were just not replied to, and I even told them that I need to make plans to cancel, and refund, all current subscriptions in that period because I didn't want to hold money that would never make it.

I see Paddle everywhere but I've had such a sour taste in my mouth since.

Right now, there are no issues with payouts, but I already dread the day I have to email them.

On top of this, the integration and their API documentation is lacklustre at best. I did make a mistake of using an off the shelf payment management framework for Ruby on Rails — which comes highly recommended and supports different payment providers like Paddle. For speed, I thought, this is the way.

Since then I had so many little paper cut issues with handling payments, specifically because Paddle has some weird ways of handling subscriptions, and minor issues with incorrect data being set, that I was even more fuelled to move away and correct my mistake and just handle the whole implementation by myself.

So, last weekend, I did... and it launched today.

Enter Lemon Squeezy 🍋

They say it's all in the name. Lemon Squeezy. I knew these guys existed even before I went with Paddle, but again... I was dumb enough to go with supported providers for the above mentioned framework.

A few weeks ago I emailed them, and they got back to me... and even approved my projects there and then. Just genuine easy going. So it was a good start.

Lemon Squeezy is a Merchant of Record, which means they handle all that nitty gritty paperwork around local taxes and paying VAT to the correct authorities... because, at the end of the day, I don't want to do that because it's such a massive headache.

As I was working through integrating their payment flow this weekend, I came across a few wishlist items and also some minor bugs... they answered within 24 hours and even implemented some changes just a few days after. Now we're talking!

Their support has been great, and it's exactly what I need. Their documentation is also ace!

On top, they're run by a small team and they're independent, growing from their users only. Another few ticks in my boxes.

Whilst their fees are a tad more than at Paddle, but not much, I am happy to support them on their journey.

What's changed, what's next

I rewrote the whole payment flow and now it even includes confetti (that's when I was sure this was worth all the effort). You'll just have to subscribe to see them, if you didn't yet haha. I like a little bit of fun like that and I am happy Lemon Squeezy includes this little eye candy.

That allows several things that were not possible before with Paddle:

  • I can easily troubleshoot any problems that might arise. In fact, I don't think there will be problems anymore — now that I have complete control and overview (technically). This was a bit of a chore with over the top abstraction of the above framework.
  • You can one-click cancel your subscription with no weird flow.
  • You can one-click resubscribe if you did cancel and you're before the last day of the expiry date.
  • You have a dedicated customer portal that allows you to change your card details, billing details, grab past invoices and even change your subscription status, including allowing you to switch between the monthly and yearly plan (I can easily include the switching within the billing page also).
  • There's also a much better overview on the billing page which card is being charged and when the next payment will come through. Usual stuff... that wasn't there (mostly my fault with using the off the shelf solution).

I mean this is just scratching the surface right now and there are many new cool things I could do now, with ease!

Knowing that I can support an awesome independent business is also a big bonus point for me.

There are still minor things that are missing and some very minor edge cases but I know some of this is coming soon and also getting tweaked, so it'll just get meaningful better over time... not really an issue once you're subscribed 😋 (Just some UI and UX kinda things actually).

What about existing subscriptions?

Good question. There is no change to existing subscriptions right now. You'll continue to be charged by Paddle and you'll still be able to do the usual things on the billing page, like cancel and update your card.

Lemon Squeezy offer a migration from Paddle, and I am in talks to make that happen at some stage. That time is not set in stone, but will probably happen next year. It should be automatic and I would communicate this to everyone applicable beforehand.

If you're getting close to your renewal date, I invite you to get in touch so you can move over already (if you want to — I know it's a pain).

Closing thoughts

I wanted to keep this low profile, but because it's such a significant change, I thought it better to let everyone know just in case, which I doubt, if things break.

Why not "just" use Stripe?

Stripe are great. In fact both Lemon Squeeze and Paddle sit on top of it. However, Stripe only handles payments and not the nitty gritty paperwork that's needed to stay compliant for tax reasons throughout the world (especially Europe). I don't want to do accounting, I only want to create and ship great little projects. Tax is already a headache for me.

Thanks for reading, onto better times ✌️❤️

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