Your organization can establish fees you wish to charge your patrons. These are completely independent of the fees that your organization is paying to us for use of our system and/or for credit card processing.
The Concept of Fees:
Fees are intended to be considered entirely separate income from the price or discount applied to a ticket or order or package. So the general assumption is that the fee income goes to fund your operation, or building maintenance, etc... where the ticket income goes to pay for the show. So generally fees are not intended to vary based on what the patron is buying. So if you have a per-ticket fee, for example, this amount is the same for all tickets being purchased in that order. If you want to vary pricing based on show purchased, etc... that should be done in the ticket pricing, not in the fees.
Fees can be applied in the following ways:
Fee per ticket - this applies to each ticket purchased. (because this attaches based on each ticket, this fee can vary by show, by hours to performance, etc)
- Fee per order - this applies to each order, regardless of how many tickets are purchased within that order.
Because this fee attaches to an entire order, which can include multiple performances to different shows, this fee can't vary by show, hours to performance, etc. It can vary by mode of sale, such as box office vs online vs door sales modes.
Fee per exchange - this is per-exchange processed, regardless of the number of tickets being exchanged.
Fee per subscription package - This is for subscription packages (not passes) and applies to each package purchased. So if the patron buys 2 subscription packages (for husband and wife) for example, they would be charged 2 fees.
Fee per retail transaction - This fee is set on the Retail setup screen and then will apply as a flat amount to any retail, gift certificate and pass purchase transaction. This is per transaction, not per item.
Delivery Fee - this is used in conjunction with the Delivery Method option below to establish a per-order delivery fee related to that method choice
Per Ticket Delivery Fee - this is used in conjunction with the Delivery Method option to establish a per-ticket delivery fee related to that method choice
Cap total fees at this amount - By inputting a $ amount in this field on a per-ticket fee or per-ticket delivery fee price rule, the system will cap the per-ticket fees applied at this amount on each order.
Waive fee if order exceeds this amount - By inputting a $ amount in this field on a per-order fee or per-order delivery fee price rule, the system will waive the per-order fees applied when the ticket total $ goes over this amount.
Admin user type - This drop down lets you specific an administrative user type for which this term applies. For example, if you have a 3rd party selling tickets on your behalf for a fee, you can set them up as "Limited Box Office" user type, then assign a per ticket fee to apply to that person type so patrons will pay for that service.
Fees by sales mode - Fees specific to the mode in which your sales occur can be setup - the options are Box Office, Online and Door.
- Box Office refers to ticket sales via the Box Office>Box Office sales page. These sales done by your staff for in-person and over-the-phone sales)
- Online refers to tickets sold to patrons via your online pages - these are self-serve tickets your patrons purchase on their own.
- Door refers to sales processed by your staff via the Box Office>Door Sales page. Door Sales are typically done an hour or so before the performance. These sales don't collect patron data (name and contact information).
Enrollment fees - Fees per class sold can be setup by using the Adjustment amount or Adjustment percentage option via Enrollment pricing. The Adjustment option allows you to add on a dollar amount to each class sold, or a percentage of the class price.
- Sales Tax - Adding Sales Tax reviews how to add this cost to items sold in your Arts People account
Items fees can't be setup for
Fees can't be charged on donations and donation-based memberships sold via the Membership system. Arts People doesn't charge a per item fee to your organization for processing donations.
Credit card payment method fees
Fees can't be charged specifically related to credit card payment method. This is in violation of credit card processing regulations in general. Arts People recommends instead spreading your fees over all transactions as a method of covering expenses related to ticketing (system, staff, etc). Fees can vary by mode of sale, such as online vs box office vs door sales.
Comp ticket fees
Any per-ticket fees or per-ticket delivery fees will not apply to any ticket that has $0 cost. This is considered a "comp" and the system assumes that fees should also not apply.
Strategic Use of Fees:
Fees are not only to help offset your costs, but also can help you to steer patrons to buy tickets online (alleviating work for your box office), etc, by varying fees by SALES MODE, or time to performance.
Many of organizations find it effective to charge a per ticket fee on all tickets, and then charge a per order fee as a "handling charge" for box office orders only.
This makes sense due to the fact that online orders are completely self serve, whereas box office orders require staff time. They advertise the difference on all materials mentioning "save this handling fee by buying your tickets online!" This also can help you completely cover the cost of using the system, though it is valuable to know that many of our clients report an increase in sales using our system that often makes the system pay for itself.
Many organizations also add an additional fee for the last hour or two of sales prior to performance. They call this a "door sale fee" (referred to above in the Fees by sales mode section). This makes sense due to the rush of ticket sales at the door and handling involved.
Manual Adjustment of Fees:
- In Box Office sales mode, the per-ticket or per-order or per-subscription fees can be waived entirely by clicking the 'waive' button prior to completing the order. This is use rarely, and usually in very selective cases for unusual circumstances on a per-patron basis.
- In Box Office sales mode, if you are applying an exchange fee, the fee will appear when processing an exchange and then can be manually edited to any amount or to $0. This can be useful if you want patrons online to pay an exchange fee, but you may selectively want to reduce or eliminate the exchange fee in the box office.
For additional consideration of fee options and strategy, see our blog post "Would you like fries with that fee?".