Product Editing

When creating and editing a Product, you will have the ability to set certain options that define the behavior for Subscriptions that are created to a Product (via a Subscription signup) and Subscriptions that are migrated to that Product (via an Upgrade or Downgrade, for example).

Product/Plan Name

Give your product a name. Be clear and specific in your naming conventions if you have multiple products of the same similar name structure.

Description

The description will be shown on the Public Signup Pages, if you chose to use them.

Accounting Code

The accounting code is not used internally by Chargify. You may enter a value here to correspond with the needs of your accounting platform.

API Handle

Used to specify a unique identifier for this product that you can use in API calls. If you do not provide an explicit value here, a handle will be generated for you. This can be considered a “friendly” identifier. You could just as easily use the numeric ID to identify the resource.

Recurring Period and Price

Product pricing is defined in the Product creation and edit screens. In addition to pricing, this is also how you define your recurring period intervals, trials, and expirations.

The recurring period is defined as a 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 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.

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). As mentioned, you have the option of charging a Setup fee either before or after the trial.

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

Initial/Setup fee

The “Initial/Setup fee” field allows you to specify an up-front fee or startup fee that is charged once. The Setup fee is normally charged at signup, but if your product has a trial period, the Setup fee may be charged at the end of the trial.

An initial/setup fee can be charged before the trial period, or after the trial period. If you electing to charge your Subscribers a setup fee, you must require a payment method upon signup.

When To Charge Setup Fee

You can select when to charge the setup fee when using it with a trial period. Your options are to:

  • Charge the setup fee before the trial period:
    • We will attempt collect the setup fee before creating the subscription
  • Charge the setup fee after trial period:
    • We will attempt to collect the setup fee at the end of the trial period

Trial Type

The “Trial Type” controls how a trial is handled when it ends and there is no credit card on file.

  • No Obligation End of Trial: 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.
  • 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.
  • Payment Expected at End of Trial: 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.

For more information on the outcome of trials, please see the following documentation on trialing subscriptions here.

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.

Billing Expiration / Lifetime

An expiration interval can be defined as 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 the expired state at the time of the first renewal assessment (as defined by the recurring period or end of the trial period) that occurs on or after the end of the expiration interval. Since recurring charges are assessed in advance, no new charges will be assessed at the beginning of the period in which the Subscription expires.

Another way to say this is that if the expiration date falls on or before the subscription’s next renewal date, the subscription will not be charged and it will expire instead.

Expiration Examples

Example 1

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 Oct 1, which is John’s 10th payment and pays his account through Nov 1. On Nov 1, no payment is collected because the subscription becomes expired on that same day. John made 10 payments amounting to $100.

Example 2

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 Nov 1, with his 9th and final payment occurring on Oct 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 Nov 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 on or after the target expiration date.

Tax Settings

This option allows you to charge a tax on the item. Be sure to configure your Taxes from the taxes tab, after you configure this product.

You must select This Product is subject to taxes in conjunction with selecting a tax in order for your product to be taxable.

Tax Type

The Tax Type for the product is applied to all components in a customer’s order. Select or fill in the appropriate tax for the type of product offered. This is especially important when using the Avalara service to tax based on locale.

If you’re not sure which Avalara tax code relates to your product, you can click the ‘View List of Tax Codes’ link to view Avalara’s tax code search page.

Payment Method Settings

This option displays whether or not the credit card must be present in order for any signup attempt to be valid. This option affects both the Public Pages and API. Hence, even if you are using the API for integration, if you want to be able to create a Subscription without an associated credit card, then you will need to uncheck this box.

NOTE: Creating Subscriptions without a credit card will only currently work if there is a zero amount due at signup. Chargify will not create a Subscription with a positive balance.

Billing Address settings

These setting should be self-explanatory. Like the Credit Card Settings described above, the “Request” option controls the Public Page while the “Require” option controls all Subscription creations.

  • Require Billing Address: Marking this box will require a billing address to be provided when a subscriber attempts to purchase a product.
  • Request on “Self-Service Page”: Checking this box will require that a subscriber input their billing address when updating their credit card on the self-service page only. This is especially useful when you have AVS (Address Verification Service) controls enabled at your gateway.

Shipping Address settings

Marking this box will require that a subscriber provide a full shipping address when purchasing a product.

Return URL after successful account update

The subscriber will be redirected to this URL after successfully updating their card on file via the Self-Service Page. Please do not confuse this setting with the redirect after successful signup page.

Return parameters after account update

These fields apply specifically to the Self-Service Page which customers can use to update their payment information. They allow you to define a URL, optionally with dynamic parameters, to which the Self-Service Page will redirect after a successful credit card update. For the corresponding fields relating to Public Signup Pages, please see Return URL and Parameters. In addition to that, Public Pages Intro discusses the integration use-cases for these values concerning Public Signup Pages.