4 Mistakes every couple makes when researching honeymoon registry fees
Honeymoon registries have become one of the most popular wedding registries thanks to their customisation tools and their polite way of asking for cash as a wedding present. But before you sign on with a honeymoon registry, you need to know that building one on any platform will not come free — and almost every site structures their fees a little differently.
Don't sign on with the first honeymoon registry site you find. When you're researching the perfect honeymoon registry, avoid making these four mistakes. You might even save a little money.
Mistake 1: Not comparing transaction fees versus one-time fees
In general, there are two ways the honeymoon registry sites charge for their services: per-transaction fee and one-time fees.
A per-transaction fee is charged to the receiver whenever they give a gift. The fee is usually somewhere between 2.4% and 7%, but that can change depending on which honeymoon registry site is used.
A one-time fee is just as it sounds. When you sign up with the site and go through the test period (Hitchd lets users test the platform first before choosing a plan), you then pay a one-time fee to continue using the registry that you've built. Other than a credit card fee, which is usually about between 1.4% and 2.8% plus 30 cents (more on this later), you don't pay anything else to use the site.
It may be difficult to determine which fee structure is better for you, so you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- How many people will be invited to the wedding?
- Are there any other people — old family friends, coworkers, acquaintances — who won't be invited but might like to give a small gift?
- How many gifts do you plan to list?
- What will be the price range for the gifts I plan to list?
It's important to ask yourself these questions because they will help you determine whether a one-time or per-transaction fee will be a better fit for your honeymoon registry. You will need to do some math, but here's how to break it down.
Let's say you're inviting 75 people to your wedding, and you imagine a few acquaintances and coworkers might also contribute to your honeymoon fund. You're planning a wedding far from home where the currency exchange rate isn't favorable to your home country, so some expenses might be a little more than usual. You want to list eight gifts with four of them being large gifts, like airfare, broken down into smaller prices. All of your gifts will cost between $50 and $150.
A 5% transaction fee on $50 comes out to $2.50. On a $150 transaction, it's $7.50. On the whole, that might not seem like a lot, but you also have to consider that fee will be attached to every gift given.
For a wedding of 75 guests, it's safe to assume that there are probably more than a few couples in the group who will give just one gift together (think aunts and uncles or other married friends). So you won't have 75 transactions, but it will probably be more like 45 or even 50 transactions, depending on your friends and family members
With these numbers in mind, take the transaction fees and multiply the lowest one times 45 or 50 and the highest one at 45 or 50. This will give you the lowest and highest transaction fees that you might pay if everyone were to contribute to a $50 gift or a $150 gift. Of course, your guests won't all contribute either $50 or $150, but this is a good way to visualise what you might pay in transaction fees. If you have an even amount of $50, $75, $100, $125 and $150 gifts, then find the middle number in your range, and that's about how much you can probably expect to pay in transaction fees.
- $2.50 (the 5% transaction fee on a $50 gift) x 45 gifts = $112.50 fee
- $7.50 (the 5% transaction fee on a $150 gift) x 45 gifts = $337.50 fee
- $2.50 (the 5% transaction fee on a $50 gift) x 50 gifts = $125 fee
- $7.50 (the 5% transaction fee on a $150 gift) x 50 gifts = $375 fee
So for 45 gifts, your range is $112.50 - $337.50. For 50 gifts, it's $125 - $375.
Once you've done all of that, compare your range with the one-time fees that other sites charge. This is a good first step because it might eliminate some honeymoon registry sites from your list. Don't eliminate the one-time fee sites just yet. There are a few other concerns to consider.
Mistake 2: Forgetting to factor in credit card fees
Most honeymoon registry sites charge credit card fees on every transaction. You and your partner will pay this fee.
All things considered, the credit card fee is usually pretty small. At Hitchd, we charge between 1.4% and 2.9% plus 30 cents per credit card transaction, and many other honeymoon registry sites charge about the same. We don't make a profit off of this fee.
But some honeymoon registry sites will hike up their credit card fees just to make a little extra money. If you find a registry site with a higher fee, then they might be trying to make a little extra money on top of any other fees.
Mistake 3: Missing additional — sometimes hidden — fees
The main structures (per-transaction versus one-time) and credit card fees are probably the most common two fees that everyone knows about when researching honeymoon registry sites — but there are more. If you don't dig deep enough into these sites, then you might miss some fees that will impact how you withdraw money or what your honeymoon registry will look like.
Here are a few of the most common missed fees from honeymoon registry sites.
When you browse through example honeymoon registries, very few — if any — have ads on them. But what some sites won't tell you right away is that couples have to pay extra to have a site that does not have any ads on it.
While some couples don't mind ads so much, they can make a honeymoon registry look bogged down, and they can make the site difficult to navigate for users. Some people might be suspicious of seeing your registry with so many ads and opt to give a gift card or some other gift instead.
With honeymoon registries, user friendliness is key. Consider who will be using your registry and what experience they will want.
Some honeymoon registries will charge you when you decide to withdraw money from your account. This is deducted from your total when you withdraw.
This can be extremely difficult for couples who are paying for their own weddings and honeymoons. Having extra fees for withdrawals takes away from the total amount, and when you're on a budget, every bit matters. Before signing on with a honeymoon registry site, make sure there are no withdrawal fees before signing up.
Even if sites don't charge a specific withdrawal fee, they may subject your account to a timing fee. That means if you won't pay a withdrawal fee — so long as you don't try to access your cash before the big day. If you do, then you'll pay a fee.
If you've got credit cards to pay off while booking airfare and hotels for your honeymoon, then accessing your funds before your wedding is crucial. Always check to make sure you have access to your gift money. At Hitchd, we allow you to withdraw your money at any time for as many times as you need to — without any fee.
Mistake 4: Focusing on fees alone
When you're in the midst of planning your wedding — and you're paying for it — you feel the strain of each decision on your bank account. You know you're going to have big expenses, such as the venue and catering, but it's often all the little expenses that crop up that tend to make couples feel anxious about how much they're spending. Expenses like ties for the groomsmen, gifts for the wedding party and centerpieces for the tables may seem small, but when added together, they can take a bite out of your wedding budget.
So when you're thinking about how you want to design your honeymoon fund, it might seem tempting to go for the site with the lowest fee or no fee at all like PayPal and Venmo. So many people use one or both of those platforms. Why not just add your PayPal account to your invitations and ask guests to just send money?
As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Honeymoon registries with the lowest fees may seem like a great deal, but it might cost you in other ways, such as limiting your access to your cash until after your wedding or providing ugly, non-user-friendly registry templates.
Using PayPal or Venmo, neither of which has any fee, may seem great, but there's no tact in adding your Venmo account to your wedding invitations. When it comes to weddings, etiquette certainly matters, and you don't want to offend your guests just because you want to save a little money.
Instead of looking at just fees alone, here's what else you should focus on when choosing a honeymoon registry site:
- Overall design: Look at other honeymoon registries on the site. Do they look modern? Is it user friendly? Do you think your aunts and uncles could navigate the site easily and choose gifts?
- Personalisation: A honeymoon registry should look like it was designed by the couple with lots of photos and messages directly from the couple. If all of the text looks canned, then that personalisation will be missing.
- Security: How does the site transfer money to your bank account? When will you be able to access your gift money? Make sure you answer these questions before signing up with a site. If you can't access your money until after your wedding, then you'll be in trouble when you try to pay for your honeymoon in advance.
- Added benefits: Hitchd, for example, keeps track of who contributed what to your honeymoon registry and will help you send personalised thank-yous after you've returned. You can upload photos of the gifts and experiences you received, which makes the giver feel appreciated and loved.
Even if a honeymoon site isn't free or charges just a little more than some competitors, it may still benefit you more in the long run if your registry is easy to use for both you and guests and provides a few extra bonuses to make your thank-yous more memorable, like Hitchd.
All of those transaction fees can certainly add up. That's why Hitchd provides a one-time fee structure to make it easy for couples to launch their honeymoon registries and feel confident in receiving their contributions.
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