Shopify’s lack of true native support for the addition of product fees on their stores often pushes merchants to consider using a purpose-built Shopify app instead. But with several options available, which app is the best app for charging product fees on Shopify?
In this article, see how the Magical Mandatory Product Fees app and Canteen ‑ Deposits and Fees app’s features, pricing, and reviews compare to each other and how you can determine which one is right for your store.
What’s the difference between Magical Mandatory Product Fees and Canteen?
Both Magical Mandatory Product Fees and Canteen offer the ability for merchants to charge product fees on Shopify above and beyond the cost of each individual product or the cart itself.
Our full feature comparison below precisely breaks down the specific differences between each app, but first here are some of the key aspects worth noting based on our experience using both apps:
Onboarding & Setup Process
Both apps feature a similar multi-step onboarding process that will guide you through the setup of the app. If any step of the onboarding has not been completed, both apps will display a banner within the app on other pages to make it clear there is still a step or two left.
Both app developers also offer help documentation, free setup, and free support assistance in case you do run into any issues.
Easy Mandatory Product Fees
Magical Mandatory Product Fees includes embedded onboarding videos with each step, which assists with ensuring every user understands what they need to do each step of the way.
On the other hand, Canteen does not have videos associated with each step and seems to have left out a key part of the setup process required to make their app work: enabling and configuring their app embed. We had to troubleshoot this ourselves while setting up the app, which made for a more difficult experience than setting up Magical Mandatory Product Fees.
The core functionality of both apps comes into play when creating a fee. Broadly speaking, both apps offer similar features and work similarly. However, after using both apps there are some key feature differences between the two that might affect your decision when it comes to which one will work best for you.
To start, one feature that both apps do not have is the ability to charge percentage-based fees. This is because Shopify does not support it.
Fixed Fee Pricing & Application Options
What they both do have however is the ability to charge fixed prices for fees. In both apps you can apply them to specific collections, products, or variants.
Magical Mandatory Product Fees also offers the ability to apply a fee to all products.
Magical Mandatory Product Fees offers the ability to apply custom conditions that control more precisely what products a fee is applied to. These include product type, option name, and option value.
Canteen does not have custom conditions.
Fee Status Options
Canteen offers the ability to activate or deactivate fees. In Magical Mandatory Product Fees, fees are automatically active once saved and must be deleted to be removed.
Both apps enable the display of applicable fees on associated product pages, the cart page, and checkout page. However, the way in which both apps accomplish this differs:
Easy Mandatory Product Fees App Blocks
The Magical Mandatory Product Fees app uses two app blocks (Associated Fees and Fees Total) to control the display of fee information on the product page and cart page respectively. These app blocks can be easily added wherever you would like on each page from the theme editor with just a few clicks.
Canteen App Embed
The Canteen app takes a different approach, using its app embed to offer the options for users to customize where their fee information will be displayed on the product and cart pages.
In order to control where the fee information will be displayed you must input an element id or class name that exists on the page. The fee information will then display next to that element id or class name.
This implementation enables for precise placement of the information, but it is not particularly user friendly as it requires some familiarity with HTML and CSS. Many store owners will not have experience with this and may end up frustrated trying to figure it out by themselves.
Also, during our time using the app, we were ultimately not able to get our fee showing on a product page. We were able to get it to display on the cart page, but not without some performance issues that caused the fee to constantly appear and disappear from the cart page for a period of time.
Your experience may be different depending on the theme you’re using, but for this reason we would advise only those with some web development experience or time to work with the developers of Canteen to consider using the app.
|Feature||Easy Mandatory Product Fees||Canteen|
|Online Store 2.0 Compatible||✔||✔|
|Custom Fee Notice Text||✔||✘|
|Fees as Products||✔||✔|
|Fixed Fee Pricing||✔||✔|
|Custom Fee Images||✔||✔|
|Fee Application: All Products||✔||✘|
|Fee Application: Specific Collections||✔||✔|
|Fee Application: Specific Products||✔||✔|
|Fee Application: Product Variants||✔||✔|
|Fee Condition: Product Type||✔||✘|
|Fee Condition: Option Name||✔||✘|
|Fee Condition: Option Value||✔||✘|
|Fee Rule: Every Product||✔||✔|
|Fee Rule: Once per product||✔||✔|
|Fee Rule: Once per cart||✔||✔|
|Fee Status Options||✘||✔|
|Works with POS||✘||✔|
Which Shopify product fee app offers more value for the price?
- Magical Mandatory Product Fees: $2.99/month, 14-day free trial
- Canteen: $9.99/month, 14-day free trial
Magical Mandatory Product Fees
Same Core Features, Much Lower Price
At $2.99 per month, the price of Magical Mandatory Product Fees is ten times lower than Canteen. And with effectively the same core features, the value for your dollar each month with Magical Mandatory Product Fees is much higher than with Canteen.
Sophisticated Fee Application & Conditions
The standard fee creation options between both apps are similar, but Magical Mandatory Product Fees also offers some more sophisticated fee application options (All Products) and fee condition options (Product Type, Option Name, Option Value).
Read what customers are saying about Easy Mandatory Product Fees and Canteen
Both apps feature good to excellent overall ratings with users typically praising both the app and the quality of the support they received from the developer.
Easy Mandatory Product Fees
5 Star – FitnessComps
“Great product. The app works as advertised. The team was also extremely helpful and responded right away when I had questions.”
5 Star – Mas Lieferdienst
“The apps works great and is very simple to use. For me in Germany it is critical to add deposits to bottles. The tax rate depends of the product that I am selling. So it is great to see, that every fee is a new product and i can adjust the tax rate. The support is really friendly and quick responding, a bug that I experienced was fix within days!”
5 Star – Lucky Bastard Distillers
“As an alcoholic beverage company operating in Canada, this app really helped us clean up our processes – especially once it became automated. The guys at Sasquatch are always ready to help with any issues we’ve come across.”
2 Star – Inter Service Esthétique
“The app seems essential but does not work with the Ella theme. Maybe the problem comes from the cart in ajax. You should also be able to apply the rule to all the products in the store without selecting them one by one.”
What is the best Shopify app for charging product fees?
Both Magical Mandatory Product Fees and Canteen aim to solve the same issue: charging product fees on Shopify. At a glance, they both appear to be relatively similar because of this. Many of the core features of each app are similar, and both developers offer highly-rated support to those who install their app.
However, there are some key differences between them that may influence which one is best for your store.
Canteen is right for you if …
You operate and brick-and-mortar store that has integrated Shopify POS.
Canteen’s support for Shopify POS enables staff to quickly add fees through the Shopify POS software.
Magical Mandatory Product Fees is right for you if …
You are a cost-conscious merchant
At a far cheaper monthly fee and more features overall than Canteen, Magical Mandatory Product Fees offers not only excellent value for cost-conscious merchants, but also more sophisticated functionality.
You value high performance
The Magical Mandatory Product Fees app has undergone and continues to undergo rigorous quality assurance testing whenever a new update is released. It is designed to work with every theme.
While Canteen will certainly work with you to resolve issues in the same way the developer of Magical Mandatory Product Fees will, in our experience using Canteen we ran into some performance issues and were not able to have the app work out of the box.
You have specific targeting needs
Thanks to the sophisticated fee application and condition options of the app, whether you’re looking to apply a fee to all of the products in your store simultaneously or are looking to do something as specific as targeting a specific Product Type, you can do it with Magical Mandatory Product Fees.
You don’t have any coding experience
The back-end of both apps is similar, but those similarities basically end once you move into the front-end store editor to activate the app embed on each one.
Canteen requires users to make use of specific pieces of HTML such as an “element id” or “class” to target where you’d like the fee to display on the cart and product pages. If you’re not a programmer and don’t know what these mean, we wouldn’t blame you.
Magical Mandatory Product Fees makes use of app blocks that can be easily inserted anywhere on your page templates without any coding experience.
You want a platform that grows with you
With a wide array of fee creation options, Magical Mandatory Product Fees can be as simple or powerful as you need it to be over time.
Magical Product Fees
The Magical Product Fees app is a fast and easy way to build, customize, and attach fees to products or entire orders.
Shopify Product Fees Library
The best resources to help you level up your Shopify product fees strategy and help your business thrive.