Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What's A Fair Price?

"Yes! You lemmings! Give me your money!"

The New Year is here and (believe it or not) before you know it, spring will be upon us, bringing with it the spring concert season. As with every concert season, your cousin Ryo wonders how much the Ticketmaster fees will hurt this year. As you know from a previous post I’m not a big fan of Ticketmaster or their fees. However, I do understand they are a business and they need to make a profit like any legitimate business. So, this led me to ask myself a question…what is a reasonable fee amount to pay in order to purchase a ticket through Ticketmaster?

Currently the Ticketmaster fees are set up as follows:
• A facility fee that presumably goes back to the venue hosting the event
• An order processing fee, for processing and confirming your order
• A convenience charge for allowing the consumer the convenience of ordering tickets online. This is paid even when there is no other option than to order tickets online.
• A delivery charge is included if you print tickets yourself (never understood this) or if you have your tickets delivered in any way other than the US Postal system.

These fees tend to vary in rate depending on prices, but the average cost is as follows:

Facility fee - $3.oo
Order Processing Fee - $4.00
Convenience Fee - $10.00
Delivery Fee – Ranges between $3.00 and $20.00 depending on how tickets are sent

Obviously, this is an overzealous amount to charge fans for their services, especially when they are already charging fee to the performers. So, what would be fair?

First, the fee should be a flat, set amount for all events as opposed to the sliding scale, and this should be disclosed up front where it is easy for all to see. Realize this; if Ticketmaster charges a dollar per ticket to an event where 13,000 tickets are sold, then Ticketmaster makes $13,000 – for one show! If that artist performs 40 shows during a tour, Ticketmaster would make $520,000 – from one performer’s tour. Does anyone have any idea how many performers there are in Ticketmaster’s stable? Me neither, but I know it’s a lot. And that doesn’t even include the sporting and other events that go through Ticketmaster.

Now, Ticketmaster would never charge just one dollar for fees, not even in my fantasy scenario, but using this example, we can see how much money Ticketmaster makes on every concert. In order to make things fair for the end consumer, cousin Ryo suggests no more than $10 per ticket be charged in fees, with a preference of $7. At $10/ticket, using the same example as from before, Ticketmaster would make $5.2 Million. That’s a ton of money for them, and a reasonable fee for the fans. It’s almost (dare I say it?) a win-win situation.

What do you think? Is this a fair enough price to pay in fees? Would Ticketmaster ever consider a fee plan like this? Would you pay it?

Comments are open. Feel free to post some.

1 comment:

my lhird eye said...

I just paid $13.65 in fees for a $45 ticket to see puscifer. That seems a bit much to me but I wanted to see the show so I paid it. Later. Dave

Ticket Price
US $45.00 x 1
Price Details
Convenience Charge
US $9.60 x 1
US $54.60

US $54.60
Order Processing Fee
US $4.05
Standard Mail
No Charge
US $58.65