View Full Version : Kelly Allen's RFR Segment on Online Ticketing

Rocky Mountain Terror
03-30-2010, 02:23 PM
I just listened to Kelly Allen's segment on online ticketing on last weeks Rotting Flesh Radio. I was wondering, I remember in Larry Kirchner's video "Create your own Haunted House", he mentioned using a merchant account instead of using an online ticketing company to avoid service fees.

I emailed Kelly and he told me that he hasn't looked into merchant accounts, but that he does know there are those who are far more savy with programming code who have used them.

Does anyone know anything about merchant accounts? And if so, do you have any advice as to if this is a viable option or not?

Larry, I'd love for you to chime in on this one.


03-30-2010, 02:31 PM
You do end up paying one way or another.

With a merchant account you need to have a merchant bank account, and they charge % fees based on each transaction.

Even then you still need a payment gateway which will charge a % and a fee for each transaction. www.paypal.com has a professional service and so does authorize.net

Service fees might be a pain, but add up all the percentages and monthly fees + the cost to print and mail tickets and it might not be so bad in the end.

What kind of service fees are these guys getting? I am a software developer by trade and can compare with what the actual % rates would be with the gateways.

03-30-2010, 03:04 PM
We went with Interactive Ticketing last year and couldn't have been happier! The service fees were just a few cents and the % for a gateway was just a few cents... we added all that together and made it a $1 service charge for online sales/per ticket.

We didn't have to print and ship ANY online sales because the the customer can print the tix off themselves and we scan them at the haunt. Even if the customer forgets... it's easy to search the database for that customer, just ask for an ID for verification, and your good to go!

Not to mention I.T. has a super easy way to offer promo codes, newsletters, set-ups, etc. etc. They're a great company all around! -Tyler

03-30-2010, 04:37 PM
Park is right. No matter what you choose your going to end up paying fee's.

I'm going to be writing more articles about topics like this more in depth for my new blog and a few sites that I"m going to be launching in the next few months for the haunt industry. I'm planning to be speaking with the reps from TicketLeap to get a full scope of the services and fees they charge, so you will be able to find out how the whole system works vs a PayPal system. Let me know if you have anything in particular you want to know. But based on the research I've done so far and looking at each others websites, this is what I found so far. If anyone has direct expereience with a online ticking agency, please let me know as I've loved to talk with you about them.

Traditional Retail CC Processing (Best Buy, Gas Stations, Restaurants)
I had a online company and storefront back around 2001 and was accepting credit cards at both my physical location and online using a CC (Credit Card) POS (Point of Sale) system. But the problem was that you have to buy the equipment to scan cards (which was around $200-$1,000), the software to do the payment transactions (around $500 - $1000), pay transaction fee's (a transmission fee, a card fee because some credit cards charge different transactions depending on the card used) and then your monthly service fee (maybe around $30 a month if you don't process over a $5,000 in CC sales for your processing period). Then to accept online payments, the system may just be sending you the CC info and you have to manually run the card or you can pay a little extra in your service fee to have it go thru a automatic system. That was back in the day when "Online Shopping" was still considered a little dangerous. Now to do a traditional location CC POS then was a bitch, but if your looking for traditional "Retail" solution, that's what you have to look forward to. Thankfully, things have gotten easier and cheaper if you know how not to get taken advantage of.

Today, I use PayPal for most of my invoicing and payment systems as I work as a consultant now. It's fees are similar to traditional CC processors, but with out the expensive CC processing equipment and software. With this, you are just hit with a transaction fee and service fee of which is dependent on your volume of sales for the month. Let's say you do around $1,000 a month in sales, the you pay 2.9% + $0.30 USD per transaction. So for a $100 dollar purchase, you'll end up paying $3.40 to PayPal. It's very easy to integrate their "Buy Now" or shopping cart buttons onto a website. You can also use their "Virtual Terminal" to process ticket purchases from your haunt location. CON: Unless your a website developer like I am, your not going to get some of the other things that you would traditionally with a online ticketing agency like customized printed tickets with your haunt name and barcode for easy scanning at the gate to ensure it's a genuine ticket and not a counterfeit. You can hire a developer like me to build a custom solution like this for you, but it can get really expensive.

Online Ticketing Agency
When you look at a online ticketing system, let's use "Ticket Leap" as the example as they are advertised on Rotting Flesh Radio", they offer the same ability to process tickets as PayPal and have a the software to process ticket purchases from your haunt location off of a laptop. They also have additional perks that PayPal just can't offer. For instance, branded tickets to your event, barcode scanning (validates authentic tickets), and 24/7 customer service support for ticket sales (that you don't have to worry about handling and paying someone a hourly fee to handle). Now to the fees. They charge .97 per ticket (if under $10) or 1.97 (if over $10) and 3.99% for CC transaction. Now they are higher than PayPal, but you have to remember what your getting in exchange. 24/7 customer support, branded tickets, and a system the is a turnkey operation ready to integrate into your operation and website. To build something similar to this, your going to spend a lot of money!


03-30-2010, 06:20 PM
How is Kelly doing. Just wondering. Kelly i hope you get to feeling better man.

Take care man and get some rest.


chuck weber
03-31-2010, 05:22 PM
damn credit cards cost us 5% extra everytime somebody buys something. you can't win , man