Product Pricing

Product pricing is defined beneath “Billing Setup” section of the Product creation and edit screens. In addition to pricing, this is also how you define your recurring period intervals, trials, and expirations.

Initial/Setup fee

The “Initial/Setup fee” field allows you to specify an up-front fee or startup fee that is charged once, at signup time only.

Trial period

A trial period may be defined in terms of number of days or months, and can be given a price or be marked as free (i.e. 0 units of your currency).

Subscriptions that are created for a product that has a free trial are still assessed any Up-front charges.

The trial period for a Subscription continues for the duration defined here. During this time it will be in the trialing state.

There are two trial types to choose from. The trial type determines the outcome of the subscription after the trial has ended.

No Obligation Trials

At the end of the trial, if a card is on file, the card will be charged and the subscription will transition to active state if the payment is successful, or unpaid if the payment is declined. If no card is on file at the end of the trial, the following will take place:

  • If the subscription has a balance greater than 0, the subscription will transition to trial_ended. Chargify will not send any emails or statements.
  • If the subscription has a balance of 0, or a negative balance:
    • If the balance covers the cost of the product, the subscription will transition to the active state.
    • If the balance does not cover the cost of the product, the subscription will transition to trial_ended. Chargify will not send any emails or statements.

Payment Expected Trials

At the end of the trial, if a card is on file, the card will be charged and the subscription will transition to active state. If no card is on file at the end of the trial, the subscription will transition to past_due state. Chargify will send normal dunning emails and statements according to your other settings.

Tip: You can subscribe to the subscription_state_change webhook to be notified when a subscription’s state changes. This makes it easy to reach out to potential customers when their trial has ended.

Recurring period and price

The recurring period can also be defined in terms of the number of days or months. You also define a price that is charged at the beginning of each active period (unless there is a trial period). Subscriptions would renew according to the period until they are either cancelled, expired, or otherwise terminated.

Out of all of the pricing option fields, the recurring period and price are the only ones that are absolutely required.

Expiration interval

An expiration interval can be defined in a number of days or months, and is counted from the day that a Subscription is first created for this Product. The Subscription will automatically transition to expired state at the time of the first renewal assessment (as defined by the recurring period or end of the trial period) that occurs after the expiration interval has expired. Since recurring charges are assessed in advance, no new charges would be assessed at the beginning of the period in which the Subscription expired.

Basic Example

There is a product called “Small Plan” which costs $10 per month and expires after 10 months. If John signs up for Small Plan on Jan 1, then John’s subscription expires on Nov 1 (10 months after Jan 1). His last assessment will be on 10/1, which is John’s 10th payment and pays his account through 11/1. On 11/1, no payment is collected because the subscription becomes expired on that same day. John made 10 payments amounting to $100.

Trial Examples

The expiration date is calculated from the day that the subscription is created, without any regard for trial periods. So, if the Small Plan costs $10 a month, has a 1 month free trial and expires after 10 months, then John’s subscription starting on Jan 1 would still expire on 11/1, with his 9th and final payment occurring on 10/1.

What if the trial period does not match the product period? For example what happens, if the Small Plan costs $10 per month, has a 14 day free trial, and expires after 10 months? In this case, John’s subscription which begins on Jan 1 would be first charged on Jan 14. His expiration date would still be set to 11/1, which is 10 months from his signup. He would be charged on the 14th of every month, up to and including Oct 14, for a total of 10 payments. He would be paid through Nov 14. At the time of renewal on Nov 14, his subscription would transition to expired, since this represents the first renewal after the target expiration date.