The Cheapest and Most Expensive Online Cash Registries Revealed
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We decided to compare seven wedding registries that all offer the same products and services to see whether there was a resounding difference in price between these companies. Each charged fees to pay for fraud prevention measures, manpower to manage websites and registries, customer support, and credit card transaction fees. However, we found that despite their offering almost identical services, some charged significantly more than others. For example, for an average wedding, choosing the cheapest online wedding registry company (StarlightRegistry.com) over the most expensive (OurWishingWell.com) could save a couple $181.86.
Most of these companies have complicated fee systems, which means a couple has no way of knowing what these “fees” mean to their money pot unless they employ math skills and calculate totals for each company. Fortunately, we did this tedious work for them. We have listed our findings in a table below from least to most expensive online wedding registries. Remember, by ‘expensive’ we mean the company that takes the most money from the total funds given to a couple’s online cash wedding registry and by ‘least expensive’ we mean the company that takes the least amount of money from a couple’s wedding registry pot.
A Review Summary of Online Cash Wedding Registry Prices
Amount Taken Home by the Couple
Percent of Total Fund Lost Using Service
“Percent of total funds lost using service” indicates the percent of total funds taken from a couple’s total pot of money. “Amount taken home by the couple” indicates the amount a bride and groom will get to withdraw assuming their wedding registry had 100 guests, each contributing $70 apiece. So, if a cash wedding registry were 100% free, the bride and groom would get $7,000 (100 guests x $70 per contribution). However, since cash wedding registries charge a fee to accept and/or withdraw funds, the couple will receive less than $7,000 and how much less will be determined by which online cash registry the couple has chosen to register with. All data used to calculate figures was taken directly from the companies’ websites. All calculations to reach these final figures are detailed below and assumes that the couple withdraws their money at one time.
Why Everyone Should Chose an Online Cash Wedding Registry
There are a myriad of reasons why online cash wedding registries are preferable to both department store registries and putting your hand out for money. Many couples want unique gifts that can not be purchased in a department store, such as a house deposit, honeymoon, or car. Many couples also do not feel comfortable putting their hands out and asking for cash to purchase these items. An online cash wedding registry puts some class into the act of asking for cash to put towards gifts a couple really wants. Other benefits of an online wedding registry is out-of-town guests can still purchase a gift, and for couples that chose to marry abroad, they can avoid the hassle of having to lug presents onto a plane. Cash wedding registries also save guests time and money, allowing them to avoid busy department stores and pricey wrapping and shipping costs.
The Number Crunching
OurWishingWell.com- According to ourwishingwell’s website, their service charge for guests contributing $70 falls in a fee bracket of 5%. Therefore, ourwishingwell make $3.5 per transaction on this amount of gift ($70 gift x .05). If 100 guests attend the wedding each contributing $70, ourwishingwell makes $350 ($3.5 per transaction x 100 guests). The total amount a bride and groom will therefore have in their contribution pot is $6,650 ((100 guests x $70 contributions) - $350 ourwishingwell's service charge). Ourwishingwell also charges different bracket percentages for a bride and groom to withdraw their funds. Since the bride and groom will have $6,650 in this fund ($7,000 - $350 service charge), it falls in the bracket range of 4% transaction charge levied by ourwishingwell. This means the bride and groom lose $266 on the withdrawal (0.04 (4%) x $6,650). If you combine levied charges on contributions ($350) plus withdrawal charges ($266), the bride and groom lose in total $616 ($350 + $266). So, the brides and grooms will take home $6,384 ($7,000 total amount contributed - $616 contribution and withdrawal charges). Percent of funds left after using this service = $ 6,384 / $7,000 possible total = .912 = 91.2%. Therefore, the bride and groom lose 8.8% (100% - 91.2%) using this service.
Fee charges taken from http://www.ourwishingwell.com/Pages/help
GoGift.com- Go gift issues a charge of 7.5% on any gift contributed to a registry. For a $70 contribution, GoGift takes $5.25 (.075 (7.5%) x $70). Assuming 100 guests are giving $70 a piece, GoGift receives $525 (100 x $5.25). The couple therefore takes home $6,475 ($7,000 total contributed - $525 handling fees). Percent of funds left after using service = $6,475 / $7,000 possible total =.925 = 92.5%. Therefore, the bride and groom lose 7.5% (100% - 92.5%) using this service.
Fee charges taken from http://www.gogift.com/faq/#105
AGreatAffair.com- Taken from their website: "Our maximum Service Fee of 7.0% generally less than what a guest would have paid for tax, gift wrapping and shipping you a gift." Assuming their website is accurate (and we would hope it is), this would mean AGreatAffair takes $4.90 in fees on a contribution of $70 ($70 x .07 (7%)). If 100 guests each gave $70, AGreatAffair would take $490 in fees ($4.9 per gift x 100 gifts). The couple will then take home $6,510 ($7,000 total amount contributed - $490 Service Fee). Percent of funds left after using service = $6,510 / $7,000 possible total = .93 = 93%. Therefore, the bride and groom lost 7% (100%-93%) using this service.
Fee charges taken from http://www.agreataffair.com/pages/faq
MyRegistry.com- MyRegistry.com has different handling fees depending on the amount of a gift. The handling fee for a $70 is $3.95. MyRegistry.com therefore takes $395 in handling fees on our example registry (100 guests x £3.95 handling fee per $70 gift). The withdrawal fees for hosts are those levied by PayPal. MyRegistry.com says this is 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. After handling fees are deducted, the couple will be left with $6,605 ($7,000 total cash contributed - $395 handling fees from MyRegistry.com). Fees taken by PayPal on this transaction are ($6,605 x .029 (2.9%)) + $0.30) = $191.85. Therefore, brides and grooms are charged $191.85 from PayPal and $395 from MyRegistry for handling fees, totaling $586.85. This means a bride and groom take home $6,413.15 ($7,000 total amount contributed - $586.85 PayPal and Handling Fees). Percent of funds left after using service = $6,413.15 / $7,000 possible total = .916 = 91.6%. Therefore, the bride and groom lose 8.4% (100%-91.6%) using this service.
Fee charges taken from http://www.myregistry.com/CashGifts.aspx
UponOurStar.com- UponOurStar charges a 6% service fee on every contribution. On a $70 contribution this service fee will be $4.20 ($70 x .06 (6%)). Assuming 100 guests each contribute $70, the bride and groom will lose $420 to UponOurStar’s service fees. UponOurStar also charges for a bride and groom to collect funds. To withdraw your funds, they charge 2.5% of the total funds held in your account plus a one-time $15 fee. This means the bride and groom would have $6,580 in their account ($7,000 total amount contributed - $420 service fees). The bride and groom would be levied therefore $179.50 ((.025 (2.5%) x $6,580 total left) + $15) for withdrawing their funds. Therefore, total amount taken from the bride and groom’s pot is $599.50 ($420 service fees + $179.50 withdrawal fees). This means the bride and groom take home $6,400.50 ($7,000 total amount contributed - $599.50 service and withdrawal fees). Percent of funds left after using this service = $6,400.50 / $7,000 possible total = .914 = 91.4%. Therefore, the bride and groom lose 8.6% (100%-91.4%) using this service.
Fee charges taken from http://www.uponourstar.com/wedding-gift-registry-FAQ.aspx#44
StarlightRegistry.com- StarlightRegistry.com offers a bracket system for contribution and withdrawal fees. For a contribution of $70, the service fee is 3.5%, so the servicing charge is $2.45 ($70 x .035 (3.5%)). If there are 100 guests each contributing $70, the total fees charged are $245 ($2.45 x 100). When the couple comes to withdraw their funds they will have $6,755 in their pot ($7,000-$245), which falls under the 2.8% bracket for withdrawals. The processing fee would therefore be $189.14 (.028 (2.8%) x $6,755). Total fraud prevention, credit card, and security fees therefore are $434.14 ($189.14 + $245). This means the bride and groom take home $6,565.86 ($7,000 total amount contributed - $434.14 total fees). Percent of funds left after using this service = $6,565.86 / $7,000 possible total = .938 = 93.8%. Therefore, the bride and groom lose 6.2% (100% - 93.8%) using this service.
Fee charges taken from http://www.starlightregistry.com/faq.asp
DepositAGift.com- DepositAGift charges a flat rate of 7.5% on money contributions and no withdrawal fees. So on a gift contributions of $70, their servicing fee is $5.25 ($70 x .075 (7.5%)). If 100 guests each gave $70, DepositAGift would take $525 ($5.25 per gift x 100 gifts). The bride and groom takes home $6,475 ($7,000 total amount contributed - $525 Service Fee). Percent of funds left after using service = $6,475 / $7,000 possible total = .925 = 92.5%. Therefore, the bride and groom lost 7.5% (100% - 92.5%) using this service.
Fee charges taken from http://www.depositagift.com/faq
Study conducted and data obtained May 2011. Company prices may have changed since this publication.