The membership plans and listing packages are the basic monetization tools in our classified ads and marketplace scripts. They are offered as part of the basic software functionality. So all you need to do is to choose if you want to use the membership plans or listing packages on your site and configure them from the admin panel. But when it comes to selecting from the two monetization options, the majority of our customers get stuck because they have difficulty understanding what is more suitable for their sites. We’ll try to explain the difference between the membership plans and listing packages so you could opt for the most suitable solution.

The basic way to charge users for posting listings on site

As we mentioned above the membership plans and listing packages represent the basic ways to charge users for posting ads. Originally, our script offered only the listing packages but it was not suitable for some of our scripts. We integrated the membership plans a few years ago. All you need to do in order to start charging users is to set up membership plans or listing packages and a payment gateway. 

What is a membership plan

The membership plan is a time-limited subscription to the site that allows users to post their ads and keep them alive as long as their plans last.

The plans may work both ways. For instance, if you have two groups of users on the site, say, sellers and buyers, you may add membership plans for both groups. That is, sellers will need to purchase a subscription in order to post their listings and be able to feature their accounts in a special content box called Featured Sellers/Agents/Dealers. Buyers will need to buy the subscription in order to view photos and contact details in such listings.

What is a listing package

The listing package is a built-in monetization module that allows users to post ads to a selected category(s) after signing up for the site. Packages may vary in the number of listings, pictures, and videos.

Using the module you may add a unique package that is called Upgrade to Featured, which cannot be seen on the Add a Listing page. Users will be able to purchase it from the account menu in order to upgrade their listings to featured ones.

What is the difference between the plans and packages

For a better understanding of the differences between plans and packages let’s take a look at the features that are uniform both to plans and packages.

  • Set availability of plans and packages to a certain group(s) of users;
  • Allow you to add single-listing, multi-listing, and featured plans and packages;
  • Set a number of photos and videos a listing might offer;
  • Enable the recurring option for payments;
  • Set a number of featured and standard ads;
  • Set a number of mirror categories;
  • Set an activity period for ads;
  • Allow users to post ads;
  • Set a usage limit;

Now let’s take a look at the functional differences between plans and packages.

Listing Packages

  • Packages are intended for categories. Packages are mainly intended for categories because they control the ability to post ads to categories. The option gives you a flexible pricing policy and the ability to set free and premium categories.
  • Packages are offered on the Add a Listing page. Users will be able to use the site right after registration. They will be asked to select a package when posting ads.
  • Packages and ads have their own activity periods. For instance, you may add a package that will last for 7 days while every listing might have its own activity period of 10 days. So if a user adds his listings on different days they will get disabled on different days too.

Membership plans

  • Plans are intended for user accounts.
  • Plans are offered on the Sign-up page. Users will be asked to select and buy a plan after filling in the registration fields. If a user refuses to take or buy a plan he will not be able to use the site.
  • Listings are alive as long as the plan lasts. Listings are active on the site as long as the plan lasts.
  • Allows users to create featured accounts. The option allows users to show their accounts in a special box called Featured Users.
  • Plan services. Plans offer a few services or permissions that allow you to set relationships between listings owners and users.
  • Plans may work for visitors too. As mentioned above, plans may work both for listing owners and for those who want to get access to listings.

Possible scenarios of using plans and packages

Based on our assumptions, membership plans are more suitable for areas where users offer services while listing packages are good for sites that sell different types of goods. 

We’ve divided all our scripts into two groups. We assume membership plans are more suitable for the following scripts,

Modeling Agency Script

Service Booking Script (coming soon)

Real Estate Listing Script

While listing packages might be more suitable for the following scripts, 

Car Sales Dealer Script

Classified Ads Script

Marketplace Script

If you want to start something custom or offer a unique concept, answer the questions below and check them against the package/plan functionality in order to take a decision, 

  • Will listings offer services or goods?
  • Is the user likely to use your site only once or on a prolonged basis?
  • If the majority of your users going to post bulk ads?
  • How long are listings going to stay active on the site before they get sold?
  • How much do you want to charge for posting listings?
  • If you want to sell the ability to view contact details and pics to visitors?
  • If you want to attract users with a free option and encourage them to pay later?

If your users will offer services on a prolonged basis and they are likely to post 1-2 ads then we recommend using membership plans. In the rest of the cases, you may use listing packages. 

Is there an option to add free plans and packages

In some cases, there is no point in monetizing a start-up because initially, the strategy boils down to attracting more users, rather than trying to make a profit on the site with no users. The script allows you to add free plans and packages so users could post their ads and form a loyal audience. Or you may add a free plan/package with the most basic options encouraging them to upgrade to premium packages and plans later.  

Is it possible to offer plans and packages concurrently

Technically, you may enable both plans and packages on your site, which might make your site more flexible for your users. But we recommend using either plans or packages because using them concurrently might easily baffle your users. 

OK, it is clear but what should I enable for my site

Both listing packages and membership plans offer a number of useful and flexible settings and options. Coupled with a payment gateway, the plans/packages allow you to quickly monetize your site. If you still have difficulty choosing between plans and packages, describe your idea and send it to us and we’ll try to come up with the best solution for your project.