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Shopify Salary Negotiation Guide

Do we like negotiating with Shopify?

Historically, they have not been the best company to negotiate with. Pay ranges have been well below market and in some circumstances Shopify actually pulled offers for candidates who tried to negotiate (which is almost unheard). They also had a track record of down-levelling candidates.

However, times have changed. In a bid to attract top talent, Shopify has rolled out a new compensation structure (more on that below) and are now more receptive to industry standard negotiation strategies. Although, there are some important company-specific rules to be aware.

Shopify's compensation structure

  • Base salary
  • Shopify equity (see Shopify RSU vesting schedule below)
  • Shopify signing bonus
  • Stock refreshers

Shopify has recently adopted a new compensation structure. Employees can now choose the percentage allocation between RSUs and base salary (this is a similar approach to Brex). Additionally, you are not locked into whatever percentage you initially choose, as there is an option to change at a later date.

Shopify performance bonus targets

Shopify does not have any annual cash bonuses in its compensation plan.

They do have performance-based refreshers. Recruiters claim that most L6+ employees receive them and the targets are 33% of your initial grant for a positive performance review and 50% for a high positive performance review. These refresher grants vest over 3 years just like the initial equity grant.

Shopify's approach to remote pay

Shopify transitioned to become a remote-first company with the majority of employees working remotely. One unique aspect of the Shopify remote salary is that pay bands are quite consistent across the US. Most companies have 5-10 pay bands but Shopify pay is quite uniform except for employees based in San Francisco and New York. This means on a relative basis, Shopify pays better for employees living in low cost of living areas.

Shopify's relocation package

There aren’t many situations with Shopify where relocating is required. But if you’re required to move, you should ask for a relocation bonus upwards of $10k + 1-2 months of corporate housing.

Most negotiable component

Since the percentage of RSU vs base salary is chosen by the candidate, the focus of the negotiation should be on maximizing your total compensation. Signing bonus should be a secondary concern, as the sign on bonus ranges are typically quite small at Shopify.

For more information on how to negotiate, look at our articles on email negotiation strategies, how to prepare a script for salary negotiation, and negotiating start up equity and stock options.

Does Shopify require written offers?

Recruiters at Shopify rarely ask for proof of competing offers in writing. They are more likely to simply refuse to match vs questioning the veracity of a competing offer.

Will Shopify go above band if I have a strong competing offer?

Shopify rarely goes above band. The CEO has stated very directly that he doesn't want people on the team who are only there for the money. That said, it's still critical to negotiate to ensure you get top of band.

Is my hiring manager relationship important at Shopify?

Hiring managers at Shopify have more control in the negotiation compared to most companies in the industry. This means it is particularly important to build a strong relationship with your HM. We recommend setting up a call to talk about projects / the team with the goal being to build rapport and make the hiring manager excited to have you join the team.

What does the hiring process look like at Shopify?

Shopify’s hiring process typically consists of 5 stages: initial call with recruiter/hiring manager, life story interview, coding assessment, team interview, and offer stage.

Note: There are many job seekers who are looking for an interview resource. So, we have prepared a comprehensive interview preparation guide comparing various resources like LeetCode Premium, AlgoExpert, InterviewCake and HackerRank.

Does Shopify pay well compared to Amazon?

Amazon pays considerably better than Shopify. For instance, a Shopify software engineer salary at L6 is around $250k per year in the US. However, at Amazon (L5 is the comparable level), it can go up to $400k/year.

What kind of benefits does Shopify offer?

Shopify has some unique benefits. For instance, they allow employees to work for 90 days abroad. You need to get approval, but usually it’s quite easy and there are very few no-go countries. Also, Fridays are off for all employees in the summer. Other benefits are fairly standard.

Shopify Equity Vesting Schedule

Year 1
33%
Year 2
33%
Year 3
33%
Year 4
%
Year 5
%
Year 5
%

Shopify Levels

Shopify Level

L4

L5

L6

L7

L8

L9

L10

=

Equivalent Level at Google

L3

Between L3 and L4

L4

L5

Between L6 and L7

L8

L9

Why use us?

Our Clients Love Moonchaser

Coming from a non-FAANG background, I was shocked to find out how much I could be earning. Before I signed up with Moonchaser, I made the mistake of telling Amazon my current compensation. Thankfully, Moonchaser knew exactly how to fix it and ended up getting me an offer that was 2.3X what I previously made and more than $600K higher than Amazon’s initial offer!

Through several weeks of interviews, Ganesh was always available to make sure I knew what to say for each conversation. I interviewed with start ups, Google, Facebook and Amazon and was really impressed that Moonchaser knew the comp ranges and were able to give me tailored advice for each – even the start ups.

There ended up being two particularly complex moments in my negotiation. One of the start-ups I had a personal relationship with and I wasn’t sure how it would affect the negotiation. I like that there was a focus on my individual circumstances and that they were leveraged to get me a higher offer. The other situation is that Amazon made a mistake on my written offer and initially wouldn’t rectify it. Ganesh was able to guide me through a challenging conversation to get it resolved.

Steve Commisso
L7 Principal Software Engineer, Amazon

Thanks to Wilson and the team at Moonchaser I got a ~$250K increase on my remote Facebook offer! I was initially worried I wouldn’t have much leverage because Facebook reached out to me, and I wasn’t interviewing anywhere else. Moonchaser introduced me to an Amazon L7 recruiter and helped me get that process started. I didn’t even end up needing to finish the Amazon interviews, since we were able to use some early compensation conversations to justify our numbers to Facebook.

At one point I was also considering pushing for an E7 role, and they wrote up a great script for me to broach the subject with my recruiter. She ended up giving me the option to do an additional interview to be considered for the higher-level position.

The whole process was very smooth, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use the service for any future negotiations. I found the regular calls with Wilson where we walked through strategy and discussed the scripts to be extremely helpful. Not only did it help with this negotiation, but I also learned a lot of useful negotiation tactics that I’ve already started to use in other situations.

Chris Jones
E6 Software Engineer, Facebook

As an engineering leader with decades of experience and having now gone through the negotiation with the team at Moonchaser, the only thing I can say is — get the help. Whether you realize you need it, or even if you think you don’t. Just because you have done well in engineering doesn't mean that you understand the tactics and limits of the recruiting process.

Moonchaser helped me get a $200K increase on my original Facebook offer without any competing offers.  It was clear that Moonchaser was deeply familiar with Facebook's negotiation playbook. I’d honestly give the experience an 11/10.

In addition, Moonchaser guided me on how to get the position switched to a revised remote role which was a huge deal at a personal level. They showed me how to redirect FB’s questions so that I could explore the possibility of not relocating, without ever having to say no to my original offer.

E7 Hardware Engineer
Facebook

This is my first FAANG role and I'm so happy I worked with Moonchaser (thanks again Annie!) for the negotiation. My goal was to increase my Google offer, but I was in a tricky situation where I only had 1 other interview (no offer yet) at a small startup. With their guidance, I managed to get a $240K increase on my Google offer, despite Google's policy of requiring cross offers in writing to justify an increase.

The mock negotiations were a big part of why I was able to get this increase. Going into the negotiation, I assumed the key factor was what to say but I quickly learned that how you say it is equally if not more important. This was clear when over the course of the call"no" turned into "I'll see what I can do" and eventually"I think we can make this work". A big part of this was also having someone with me on the calls to provide real time guidance. This took a lot of the stress out of the situation. I can't recommend this team highly enough!

Andrei Gorbushkin
L5 Technical Program Manager, Google

After receiving several job offers, I needed to make a decision within a few days. I wanted to make sure I was getting the best offer possible, so I decided to use Moonchaser. I was very pleased with their service. My coach, Sameer, was well prepared and had information about what compensation increases were likely possible. He provided detailed scripts covering a range of scenarios, and he did practice negotiations with me that helped me feel confident when I had the actual conversations.  

With his help I was able to increase one offer by $45k per year plus get a $50k signing bonus and then use that to increase my offer from Square, which was my first choice. All throughout he was very responsive as I was dealing with some tight deadlines and looking to wrap things up quickly. Moonchaser's fee was only a tiny fraction of the increase they helped me negotiate, and even though they would have made more money if I had taken the highest offer, Sameer always put my goals first and never pressured me to do so. I highly recommend Moonchaser!

L6 Software Engineer
Square

My friend introduced me to Moonchaser and I’m so glad they did. I initially did some calculations to see if working with them would be worth it - my final increase ended up being ~3x higher than what I had estimated to be possible!

Their data is much more accurate than anything I found online. Without Sameer's guidance, I would have never known (and would have probably been too nervous) to ask for >$800K for anAmazon L7 offer. Of course, it's not just not enough to throw out a big number, you also need to be able to justify it. Sameer guided me through negotiating an up-level at another company, which I didn’t even know was possible at my level. With their scripts, I was able to leverage my competing offer to get exec approval for my Amazon offer. They also knew all the tricks Amazon would play (e.g., assuming 15% stock appreciation) and exactly how to counter them.

My total 4-year compensation increased by $570K. I don't think I've ever had a higher ROI – I’m very thankful that this service exists!

L7 Principal Software Engineer
Amazon

Maximize your Shopify Offer

Shopify

has a unique set of negotiation policies. If you don’t have experience negotiating with them, you risk losing out on large amounts of money because of very small mistakes.

There are many of these rules you need to know to get the highest

Shopify

offer possible.