People Like Us will shortly introduce a subscription fee for “Premium” members. We will also retain a free “Basic” plan which anyone can join to “try before they buy”.
I have not yet finalised the fee level but will commit that it will be under $USD100 annually, and we’ll have a discount and an additional incentive for multiple years purchased at the same time.
Why do we need a fee? I love People Like Us and I’m very proud of the community we’ve created together but I acknowledge that while in such a short time it’s already become the largest general free home exchange site, we need to grow. It’s still too small to be viable and for everyone to get the exchanges that they’re looking for.
Over the past two years I’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars of my own money and thousands of hours of effort in establishing and running the site but it’s currently limited by my own time and resources. I’m a bottleneck!
We need to grow and to do that, I need funds to invest.
Over the past year, our impressive growth has been achieved without any paid advertising. Think of what could be achieved if we were able to advertise like the big guys!
I love what we have to offer but it’s almost certain that 95%+ of the home exchanging world has never heard of us! Our beautiful community that we all invest our time in, that we KNOW people would also love if only they got to experience it, is UNKNOWN to these people! Home exchange is not for everyone but we know that there are many, many people out there who would love to be a part of People Like Us if only they got to try it.
We MUST tell them about it!
We don’t have to be the biggest in the world and, in fact, I don’t want to be. Our growth has to be steady, managed, and “consumed” in a way that never changes our spirit and ethos. But we do have to grow, hence the subscription fee.
As I’ve travelled around Europe over the past 6 weeks, thank you to everyone who has been so encouraging about the introduction of fees. Your support has been quite overwhelming.
I’ve spent this last week working on what features would be available under a Basic service and what would be saved for Premium members. As always, your feedback is welcome.
This is my draft working list.
Basic members can:
Premium members receive all Basic inclusions, plus:
Globes will only be available to paying members but, acknowledging that some people who currently have Globes and who may not sign up immediately for various reasons, we will keep their Globes in the bank for a period to allow them to sign up and retain their Globe. This will be for a limited period (yet to be determined).
For current members who already have exchanges booked / accepted / finalised and who do not wish to become Premium members, we won’t have functionality to support this but if both parties are happy for the exchange to go ahead, I have no objection. Details will need to be worked out between the members. Future exchanges can only take place between Premium members.
I’ve started working on the framework for this but there’s a lot of work to do, including a few new features. I’m aiming for March, but I’ll see how I go.
As always, all comments are welcome. Contact me via the site (https://peoplelikeus.world/messages/user/1) or email (email@example.com). This will also be cross-posted to our Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/peoplelikeus.world) for discussion.