Platform Fees

Platform fees (commission) at Spires is 35%. Read on to learn about how they work and why they are set to this level.

Shahid Lakha avatar
Written by Shahid Lakha
Updated over a week ago

What are Platform fees?

When you bid on a job, Spires adds a platform fee to get the rate the client is paying. This is Spires's portion of the fee, and it is how Spires covers the cost of running the platform. In the interest of transparency, we do not hide this from you.

What percentage is Spires' platform fee?

As of January 1st, 2023, all jobs will start at a 35% platform fee.

After this, the platform fee drops by 1% for every 5 hours of tuition you complete on that same job, down to a minimum of 20%.

The fee reduction is passed on to the tutor, increasing the tutor's earnings with time.

This will apply to all jobs unless you are bringing your students to Spires, in which case the platform fee will be 5%. This covers most of the payment fees and tech costs we have to pay. It may be changed in the future, for example, if our costs change.

Example: How your earnings increase with time.

For this example- Imagine that a student has hired you at £50 per hour. Every five hours the platform fee is reduced by 1% and your earnings increase as follows:


Platform fee

Your Earnings per hour
















What does the platform fee cover?

There are considerable costs to running a platform like Spires including but not limited to VAT, payment fees, marketing costs, wages, software, office, and legal costs.

In a case where the platform fee is 35%, we are first immediately hit with VAT, leaving us 27.5%. Payment fees, the cost of taking a credit card payment and then paying a tutor, can be as much as 5% for international clients and tutors, which leaves us with 22.5%. With this, we need to cover the cost of marketing to clients, which can be as much as £100, as well as paying Spires staff and covering our other costs.

See below an example breakdown of spending distribution*:

How platform fees are distributed

* This is correct as of January 2023.

The platform fee explained

Our platform fee is in line with our competitors.

Our main USPs are:

  • Spires is not a budget-focused platform. We designed Spires as a platform for professional online tutors. We do not give licenses to either recent graduates or people without considerable experience as professional educators.

  • We have worked tirelessly to promote online tutoring as a premium medium, rather than the race to the bottom in quality and prices that many of our online competitors offer.

  • We facilitate independent, well-paid, and flexible work. Many tutors work full-time on Spires and some of the top ones earn £100k+, with many earning £50k+. We also offer very fast payments and a payment success rate of 99.98%.

  • We are also one of the few truly global platforms, with students and tutors working together from all over the world. 40% of our students and 20% of tutors are now outside the UK.

  • The majority of our platform fee is spent on marketing (client acquisition costs in the above diagram), which means we are heavily re-investing in the platform. The overall feedback from tutors is that they are surprised at the number of students we bring in, which they say is far more than other platforms tend to average.

  • The platform is incredibly reliable and stable, our tutors never have to worry about it not being operational or the payment system failing. This comes at a cost and we invest in premium software tools, that run behind the scenes, which make all this possible.

We hope any tutor reading this understands that we are not looking to profiteer, but simply balance the finances of Spires to allow a healthier operating margin to continue to invest in the platform. Whilst many other platforms come and go, we will stand the test of time and these changes will allow us to continue to promote your collective work and talents to students worldwide.

What if I do not wish to pay the platform fee?

Platform fees are the equivalent of taxes. If people did not pay taxes, we would not be able to live in stable countries and then civil society would stop and everything would fall over.

It's an essential legal requirement on Spires, not voluntary. Like you, we provide a service and it is paid for through platform fees. Like you expect to be paid for your services, we do for ours. We work on getting you clients and providing well-functioning technology at a reasonable cost, tutors then work on educating the students. It's a mutually beneficial relationship.

In return for the platform fee we charge clients to operate and maintain the system, the benefits we offer professional tutors are significant: flexible, well-paid, and globally focussed work, reduced admin and travel time on tutoring, a stable source of client leads, free communications, storage and class recordings, and a raft of legal and safeguarding protections and indemnities.

*** The system relies on honesty and integrity ***

Did this answer your question?