If you’re looking for an event ticketing system, you’ve probably seen many ticketing companies say they are free to use. That can sound appealing. In fact, it can sound believable. After all, we use Facebook and Google for free, why should we pay for an event ticketing system?
Services Are Only Free when YOU Are the Product
Well, you can use Facebook and Google for free because you become their product. Your attention is sold to their customers – advertisers. It’s not like that with event ticketing systems. They are not able to sell your attention to advertisers. So, they need to get their money somehow.
They get their money from your customers. In fact, they don’t hide that. The pitch is usually something like, “Use of our system is free; we just tack on a small fee when people are checking out.”
Why don’t other companies do that? Image your choreographer saying they’ll work for free. Instead of charging you, they’ll just charge a small fee to each of your customers. Imagine your gas company saying that, or your janitorial services company.
So why do event ticketing companies do it. Simple. Because they can. They are providing the software that your customers use to buy tickets and check out. They are able to tack “a small fee” to each transaction. Of all the people and companies you do business with, they are the only ones able to do that. No-one else controls your checkout process.
Not That There’s Anything Wrong With Service Fees
The practice of charging a fee to cover the cost of the event ticketing system is common. There is nothing wrong with that (as long as the fees are reasonable). However that doesn’t mean the event ticketing system is free.
In fact, you – not your ticketing company – should have complete control over what service fees you charge your customers. You may want to charge an equal amount that the event ticketing company is charging you. Or you may wish to charge less. Or you may want to find a low-cost event ticketing company like TicketPeak, charge more than the fees and use the margin for other things. It should be your decision.
Again, nothing wrong with charging out the ticketing service fees. But that practice doesn’t mean the event ticketing system is free.