An explanation of unknown charges and how to handle them

Shopify Staff (Retired)



It’s possible you can come across a charge in your Shopify bill that you might not be familiar with. While the primary monthly charges for Shopify are the store plans, there are other features which can be charged upon utilization. 


The best way to find out where any unknown charges might be coming from is by viewing your detailed bill in your Shopify admin.

To see your full Shopify bill in your admin, take the following steps in your admin:


1. Navigate to the billing section of your admin (Settings > Billing): 

  • United States: From your Shopify Admin, go to Finances > Billing
  • All other countries: From your Shopify Admin, go to Settings > Billing

2. Select a recent bill. 

3. Click Download.


Each bill will include four types of charges: 


  • Subscription - Shows the charge for your store's Shopify subscription plan. If you switch your store to a lower subscription plan within a billing cycle, then a subscription credit is applied in this section.
  • Apps - Shows app charges associated with the bill. App charges are set by the app developer. App developers can charge for apps with recurring fees, usage fees, and one-time fees. If you have an issue with an app charge, then contact the developer for help.
  • Shipping - Shows charges for your shipping labels and adjustments made during your billing cycle.
  • Transaction fees - Shows transaction charges associated with the bill. You are charged transaction fees if you are not using Shopify Payments.

There could be several different potential charges other than your monthly plan, let’s look at some of the most common ones below:

  • Shipping label fees
  • Transaction fees
  • Domains
  • Themes
  • App fees (once off or monthly)
  • Shopify Email
  • Taxes

Let’s touch on some of these in a little more detail:


Shipping label fees:

If you purchase a shipping label through Shopify Shipping the cost is billed through your Shopify account. This also accounts for any Shipping insurance or shipping adjustments. Something important to note is that shipping bills are charged separately to your Shopify plan subscription which is why they would show up as a potentially unknown charge.


Transaction fees:

If you’re using Shopify Payments you’re more than likely not paying any transaction fees on orders. But if you are using a third party gateway Shopify is partnered with, a transaction fee will occur. These will show up on your bill outside of your Shopify plan subscription and thus could be an unknown charge. 


Domains/ themes

In the instance you buy a domain or a theme through Shopify (both of which are more commonly once off charges), the bill would be separate to the Shopify plan subscription and could thus be an unknown charge. 


App fees: 

There are two types of app fees, once off and recurring. It’s more common for apps to have recurring fees (paying on a monthly basis, but some have once off charges).  Something to note is that the Shopify subscription plan billing and app billing are on different time cycles. Shopify’s invoicing is every 30 days and an app’s billing cycle is once per month. The app billing cycle can start at any time within the 30 days of Shopify’s subscription billing period. Due to this, sometimes you can see two app charges on one invoice. There are also some apps which charge completely outside of Shopify (Printful for example). This would mean you’ve given your billing details to the app and will be billed outside of Shopify for these charges.


Beyond these, there are several other reasons why you might see a charge that could be unfamiliar to what you would normally see. Let’s explore them: 


  • You’re unable to to match the invoices from your admin to the charges on your bank statement.
  • The cardholder might have multiple charges within the same month e.g. a threshold
  • The cardholder has never used Shopify, but is being charged for a monthly subscription
  • The cardholder allowed another party, or several people to use their card and now cannot recall which store the charges are associated with (this is usually a developer with multiple stores). 

The Shopify subscription billing cycle is every 30 days or annually. While you can change the billing cycle interval time, it’s not possible to choose which day the charges occur on. Something to note is that the app billing cycle is every 30 days also and cannot be changed. Being aware and taking note of your billing cycle can help determine some possible unknown charges, especially if there are multiple stores involved. 


Billing thresholds:

Shopify issues bills throughout the month according to your plan-based billing threshold. Billing thresholds are dollar values that trigger billing whenever the cost of your account activity exceeds its threshold amount. For example, if your billing  threshold is $400, and your account activity reaches $400, then you'll be issued a bill. You can still purchase shipping labels until your account activity reaches $440 (110% of $400), but any more purchases after that can be made only after you've paid your bill of $400. 

Charges triggered by your billing threshold appear in the Billing history section of the Billing page in your Shopify admin. The most likely way a billing threshold would be triggered is through shipping labels, but it can be triggered from any of the charges we touched on above also. It’s the threshold amount that is the important aspect to keep in mind with thresholds. 

Each Shopify plan has a different billing threshold and thresholds can be increased (this would involve contacting our support team directly). This is determined on a case by case basis by the Shopify financial services team and is not always guaranteed. 


To summarize, unknown charges can catch you off guard or be confusing, but we have great ways to help you understand your bill in full and where all your possible charges might come from. These can include downloading your detailed bill as we touched on above, reviewing your billing cycles and contacting an advisor on our support team.

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