It is a huge debate in the event planning community. Do transaction fees (service charges) deter people from buying tickets to an event? If the fees are extremely high, it will absolutely cut into ticket sales.
Especially with advance ticket sales, if there is a lower or waived fee for tickets purchased at the door, guests may put off hitting “purchase” in advance. And face it, the more advance ticket sales you have, the better you can prepare for the event and obviously the flow at the event will be greatly improved if guests already have their ticket.
If you’ve bought a ticket to an event in the past, you’ve probably paid a fee. Having the buyer pay the fees has become the industry standard, and most people who buy tickets online are accustomed to paying them. By passing the ticket fee on to your buyer, you keep more of your ticket revenue and the buyer pays a small amount more.
To decide on which option is best for your event, take a look around at other events that are similar to yours. Do they charge fees? If so, your guests most likely expect fees and there’s no harm in passing on a transaction fee to the buyer. For instance, the vast majority of concerts and sporting events pass the ticket fees on. But if your competitors don’t charge ticket fees you may want to rethink your strategy.
If your tickets are already on the expensive side, you may want to absorb the fees instead. Since the fee is a percentage of your ticket price, your buyers may experience sticker shock if they see a high fee on top of a high ticket price. Some event registration tools cap their fees from the buyer’s side. Additionally, PayPal fees for the the buyer and seller apply.
Even though people are used to ticket fees, no one likes them. For buyers accustomed to high fees, a ticket at face value might be a nice surprise, and one that builds goodwill for you as a event host. If you do some research and find that your competitors’ tickets don’t have fees, or if you think your guests might be shocked or disappointed to see ticket fees when they checkout, you may want to absorb them instead. WhenNow is a new online ticketing solution that doesn’t charge the buyer any fees, and the host pays the lowest fees in the industry. Check out their fee calculator and learn how this can benefit the next event you host.