Top Three Fee Fibs about Ticketing for Community Theatres

If you are a community theater looking to automate your ticketing or looking to replace your ticketing system, you will at some point, have discussions with the ticketing system vendors you are considering about their fees.  Here are three “fee fibs” to look out for.

We provide free ticketing for community theatres

Many companies that provide ticketing for community theaters prominently feature the word “free” in their websites or in their Google Adwords.  It is a great way to be found in Google searches.  The trouble is there are no free event ticketing systems. Why would there be? Why would any organization invest the money to develop and support a ticketing system and give it away for free.

What is sometimes meant by free is the ticketing company charges your customers through a service fee rather than charging you.  So it is not really free is it?  I cannot think of any other industry where a cost of doing business is charged to the customer rather than being built into the price that the customer pays.  Imagine, for example, buying a pair of shoes priced at $49, then realizing there’s an extra $5 payment for the salesperson’s commission when you check out

Charging the customer a surcharge is not free.

We charge only a small service fee

What is small?  Most systems charge around $1 per ticket plus 2% of the ticket value.  For a $20 ticket, that works out to $1.20 per ticket.  If you sell 10,000 tickets in a year, that is $12,000.  That is not a small fee for ticketing for a community theatre.

Our credit card fees are much lower than anyone else

Actually, credit card fees are pretty standard across all systems.  Ticketing systems need to pay for credit card processing and need to pass those costs on to you or to your customers.  There is very little discretion available in what credit card fees they must pass on as part of their ticketing service.

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