I am hoping to monetise more of my forums by adopting a subscription membership model, so this is obviously a concern for me. It means that if I ever sold one of my forums in the future, I could not transfer those subscriptions to the buyer. Members would have to cancel their subscription and subscribe again; which would undoubtedly lead to a big reduction in total subscriptions.
I spoke to PayPal on the phone about this today. They clarified that there is no way in which subscriptions can be transferred. You cannot change the email address, you cannot create a second account. It is tied to you. No ifs, no buts.
I spoke about this on my blog earlier. To me, this could be a major problem if I ever chose to sell one of my forums. I could see the value of my forum greatly reduced because of it.
For example, say your current subscription income from your forum is $5,000 per month. Perhaps this would value your forum at around $150,000 (based on current income, traffic, content, potential etc). If someone did purchase the forum, they may see subscription drop significantly, at least in the short term. This would devalue your forum greatly because it takes it longer for the buyer to recoup their investment. Perhaps the value of your forum would drop to $100,000 because of this.
I would love to hear from those of you who charge members a monthly or yearly fee.
Do you think this is just the cost of using PayPal, or do you think it would be wise to look alternative payment solutions in which the account could be easily transferred to a new owner?