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Truly shocking fees revealed: A sports club management software comparison
18 April 2019

Truly shocking fees revealed: A sports club management software comparison

April 2019 Update

Every now and again we get a phonecall from a user who is truly shocked at our low transaction fees and free start-up process. When we dig a little deeper into why they're so shocked, they tell us the astounding fees that they were quoted from another piece of sports club membership software, and that they thought these fees would be standard across the industry.

We love hearing the relief in their voices as we reassure them of our fees and that we won't be charging them ridiculous start-up fees, deposits or forcing them to put their finances through Coacha if they have another process planned.


We've recently come across quite a few more updates to this blog post. so we thought we'd let you know that we're planning an updated version soon. But to refresh your memory, here's a recap of the current software price comparison.

On a side note, we are shortly launching in the US and if you know anyone who coaches in America, we'd love it if you could point them in our direction.

 


One of the most common problems people come across when researching which sports club management software to use, is cost. Are there monthly fees? Are there transaction fees? If there are, how much are they and who is making money from them? Am I paying over the odds or getting a good deal?

If the system you’re looking at helps collect your finances, there will be an associated fee per transaction. Some providers have developed their own payment collection system, whilst others will use existing ones such as Stripe, Paypal or Gocardless. This is standard stuff and a small price to pay for the convenience of automated payments, failed payment chasing and maintaining the security of your member’s card details.

This article came about as we regularly conduct the below pricing research. And this time round we left the office feeling totally frustrated at the difficulty finding out the fees of some of the providers. This made us think, if we can’t find out what the fees are when we know what we’re looking for, how can we expect you to?


In our opinion, as far as fees are concerned, there are 3 types of sports club management software provider:

1. The transparent
2. The not-so-transparent
3. The blatant mis-leaders


 



 

1. The transparent

These are the providers where you can head straight to the pricing section of their website and see all fees associated with using the software.

These pieces of software are a rare breed. They tell you straight up what the fees are and tell you if they are making any extra money on your transactions or not. Coacha fits perfectly into this category. We’re totally transparent with our fees, our main aim being to save our users’ money and time.


2. The not-so-transparent


On speaking to new users and quizzing them on why they’re deciding to move from their software providers, we were overwhelmed with news of hidden fees. Fees that weren’t mentioned until you were so far into using the system, that it would be more hassle than it’d be worth switching to another new provider.

It pays to do your homework and dig deep into the small print, but not everyone has the time to do so. Nor the inclination! However, if you do look carefully, then you’ll usually find the costs written in their small print buried deep in their terms and conditions. Certainly not ideal, but at least you can find them.


3. The blatant mis-leaders


These are the software providers where you head to their website to quickly find out their fees to present to your committee, and an hour of browsing and 25 minutes on chat with their support later, you’re still none the wiser. There’s always a more important question, or a justification for why the fees are higher than other providers.

In our experience, on average it’s taken us 15 minutes in support chat, plus specifically asking for the fees between 3 and 5 times before they (unwillingly) told us. We even had one provider lie, saying Stripe’s fees were a lot higher than they were, to hide the fact they marked up their fees. It’s a good job we’re as clued up as we are.


The marker-uppers


It’s actually hard to find a piece of software that doesn’t mark up their fees. These are the providers who think, ‘if Stripe charge transaction fees, then so can we’. Once again, we do not mark up our fees. We want to save our users’ as much money as we can.

If providers mark up their fees and are transparent in doing so, then that’s their shout as it’s part of the way they work. But, and it’s a big but, you will find providers out there who don’t make money from your subscription fees (Coacha for example).

The worst of the marker-uppers are the ones that either try and pass-off the payment collection service’s fee and their fee as one straight fee, so they don’t look bad. Or the ones that state they add a fee but won’t tell you what it is until you’ve had a conversation with one of their cleverly trained sales staff who somehow lures you into a free trial.

In addition to this, you may think a transaction fee of between 2 and 5% is low but compare it to providers with lower fees and you’ll save yourself a whole lot of money.

As you’ll see below, because Coacha has very low monthly and transaction fees, we will save you money when compared to other pieces of software. This is especially true of the seeming ‘free to use’ software out there. We’re taught nothing is free and these pieces of software generally have the highest hidden fees.


The tiered


Sure, that piece of software looks great (you’re mainly looking at the price)! When you read the small print (if you have time to read the small print that is), you’ll see that it’s actually the starting price plan which has a limit of 50 members and only limited functionality. Which means you’d probably be paying 3 times this price in the end, plus end up being penalised for growing your club’s members.

These pieces of software often list all of their features and infer that you get full use of them all. However, it’s often only later on you’ve spent ages setting everything up, that you find out that you have to pay for these ‘bolt-ons’ additionally. This is the case with Glofox.


Sports club management software comparison


Because we found it so difficult to gather information around pricing for many sports club management software providers, and what we did find, was quite frankly shocking when it comes to extortionate transaction fees; we thought we would compile our findings to show you.

Below are the software providers we eventually managed to extract information from, although some were transparent, many were not. Although we will add that there were providers that we contacted several times and still didn’t get a response (these include Teamstuff). These didn’t make it to the list for this reason.

All of the below calculations are based on a club with 150 members, each of whom pay a £30 subscription fee per calendar month for 12 months of the year (assuming they stay as a member for 12 months). This is obviously relative to how many members in your club and the price and frequency of your subscription fees.

 

 

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Coacha Software

Monthly cost: £25 (£300/year)
Transaction fees: 1.4%+20p (£1116/year) – solely to Stripe
Based: United Kingdom

Feature highlights:

• GDPR/Safeguarding features
• Outstanding support
• Automated registers
• Finance registers
• Finance management
• Member/Parent Portal
• Built in NSPCC CPSU messaging best practice
• Store documents
• & much more

Total yearly cost inc. fees & transaction fees:

£1,416

 



 

Club Manager

Monthly cost: £25 (£300/year)
Transaction fees: 1.4%+20p to Stripe + 0.5% to Club Manager = 1.9%+20p (£1,386/year)
Based: United Kingdom

Feature highlights:

• Member management
• Money management
• Communication
• Registers

Total yearly cost inc. fees & transaction fees:

£1,686

 



Teamer


Monthly cost: Free
Transaction fees: 2.9%+20p (£1,926/year)
Based: Ireland

Feature highlights:
• Money management
• Member management
• Communication
• Registers
• Store documents

Total yearly cost inc. fees & transaction fees:

£1926

 




Glofox


Monthly cost: £88 per month paid quarterly (£1,056/year)
Transaction fees: 2.4%+20p (£1,656/year)
Based: Ireland

Feature highlights:
• Member management
• Money management
• Class Schedule
• Registers

Total yearly cost inc. fees & transaction fees:

£2,712

 




MINDBODY


Monthly cost: £75+VAT (£900+VAT/year)
Transaction fees: 1.99%+20p (£1,440/year)
Based: USA

Feature highlights:
• Member management
• Money management
• Email only
• Registers
• Website

Total yearly cost inc. fees & transaction fees:

£2,340 (+VAT)

 




Pitchero


Monthly cost: £20 (£240/year)
Transaction fees: 1.4%+20p (to Stripe) + 1.9% (Pitchero – see T&Cs) = 3.3%+20p (£2,142/year)
Based: United Kingdom

Feature highlights:
• Member management
• Money management
• Basic support
• Communication
• Registers

Total yearly cost inc. fees & transaction fees:

£2,382

 




Teamsnap

Monthly cost: $17.99 ($215.88/year/£165.59)
Transaction fees: 3.9%+20p (£2,466/year)
Based: USA

Feature highlights:
• Member management
• Money management
• Registers
• Communication

Total yearly cost inc. fees & transaction fees:

£2,631.59

 


NEST

Monthly cost: FREE
Transaction fees: 6-8% of total monthly income (8%=£4,320/year) depending on organisation size
Based: UK

Feature highlights:
• Member management
• Money management
• Business management
• Communication

Total yearly cost inc. fees & transaction fees:

£4,320
 



PaySubsonline (LoveAdmin)

Monthly cost: FREE
Transaction fees: 3.95%+50p (£4,320/year) (using Paypal as a card payment collection service)
Based: UK

Feature highlights:

• Payment collection
• Group email

Total yearly cost inc. fees & transaction fees:

£4,320



*Please note all transaction fees were correct at the time of research (September 2018) and were discovered as a result of either the providers’ website or a conversation with their sales/support team. Stripe/other card payment collectors were chosen as payment providers where possible to keep as much consistency between comparisons as possible. The provider’s features are not limited to the feature highlights in this article, these are simply the features we saw as ‘highlights’.
 


Do the maths
 

As we mentioned above, a 1-2% transaction fee difference between providers doesn’t seem like a lot, when in reality it can mean well-over a thousand-pound cost difference for a club over a year. If you’re not confident on doing the maths, get in touch and we’ll do it for you.

We’re all about saving sports clubs money. Being coaches ourselves and running our own clubs, we’re determined to make a difference to the world of sports clubs management software.

The main piece of advice we’d give you on your journey to finding the right software for you, is clarify the fees and do the maths before you commit. As we’ve mentioned, many companies aren’t transparent with fees and you could end up losing out on a lot of time and money.

In fact, no you can see how transparent we are at Coacha and what great value we offer, what are you waiting for. Why not sign up for a free trial today?




‘Coacha revolutionised my program administration and saves me time and money.’

Sarah Watkins - Program Direction - GCA Cheer