The Insider’s Guide to Ticket Selling Software Fees

If you are looking for ticket selling software, you probably realize by now that there are many different ways that ticketing software vendors charge for their software.  It is not always clear what the total fees are.  In fact many vendors advertise their software as free, when, in reality, it is anything but.
This post explores the components of the fees that most ticket selling software vendors charge, so you can compare the true costs as you examine ticketing software alternatives.
Setup Fee
Many ticket selling software vendors will charge a fee to get your account set up.  The amount of the fee is typically related to how much work is involved in setting up your account.  The more work the vendor needs to put in, the higher the fee.
Our advice here is to look for ticketing software that is easy to set up.  Chances are that if it is difficult to set up, not only will you be faced with high setup fees, but the software itself is likely to be more difficult to use on an ongoing basis.
Paying a setup fee of $100 or so is reasonable.  Substantially more than that may indicate an overly complex system.  Substantially less or even no setup fee may be absolutely fine.  It may indicate ticket selling software that is easy to set up and use.
Monthly Fee
Some systems charge a monthly fee.  Typically, if a monthly fee is charged it is based on usage levels. For example you may pay a certain fee for processing 500 tickets per month, a higher fee for processing 1000 tickets per month, etc.  Monthly fees are not very typical in the ticketing software business.
Usage Fee
The most common type of ongoing fees is based on usage of the ticket selling software.  Most common is a fee based on an amount per transaction plus a percentage of the transaction value.  For example, TicketPeak charges $.50 per ticket plus1.5% of the ticket value.  So, if your tickets are priced at $50, and a customer purchases 2 tickets for a total of $100, the fee would be 2 times $0.50 = $1.00 plus 1.5% times $100 = $1.50, for a total fee of $2.50.
The reason there are usually two components to the usage fee – a per ticket fee and a percentage of the value, is the following: charging only a flat amount per ticket would likely be overly expensive for low-priced tickets but overly cheap for higher-priced tickets.  That is, ticket selling software vendors assume a higher-priced ticket can support a higher fee.
Some vendors will pretend there is no usage fee, and that their system is free.  That is because they tack their fee on to the ticket price and charge the ticket buyer.  In these cases, you do not have an option of building the ticketing fee into the price of the ticket.
Credit Card Fees
In addition to usage fees, there are always credit card fees when credit cards are used.  Some ticketing systems allow you to use your own credit card gateway such as PayPal or authorize.net.  In those cases, your credit card fees are separate from your ticketing fees and are whatever your credit card gateway company charges.
Other ticket selling software vendors have the capability to process the credit card transaction themselves.  In this case, the software vendor is charging the credit card processing fee.
Whether you’re paying the credit card fee to a credit card gateway company or to your ticketing company, chances are you will again be paying a per transaction fee as well as a percentage of the transaction.
There is usually not a lot of variation with respect to credit card fees.  A typical amount is $.30 per transaction plus 2.9% of the transaction value.
Conclusion
So, as you evaluate the fees associated with different ticket selling software alternatives, keep in mind these four components of the fees.  Your cost of ownership will be the total of all four components.
 
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