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Thread: Online tickets sales vs. at door ticket sales?

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  1. Default Online tickets sales vs. at door ticket sales? 
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    We have online ticket sales which cost the same as buying it at the door. We use same line for both since the cost is the same. Some online buyers complained that they should get special treatment to bypass the people who came early to wait on line at the door to purchase. For 2014 we were thinking of having premium tickets in order for those to get special treatment to bypass the line and as an incentive paying more for a ticket allows you to bypass line? What does everyone else do to make it fair to all. If I bought tickets online for a concert or game and my buddy bought a ticket at the gate neither of us get better treatment. Thanks

  2. Default  
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Brilliant Ohio
    We had the same issue. The online ticket buyers actually pay more because the company charges the convenience fee, so they expect more. We raised our online ticket price and gave them their own ticket line. We reserved every fifth group for online ticket holders. It's worked out great
    Like a midget at a urinal, you gotta be on your toes


  3. Default  
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Yes, online ticket buyers SHOULD get special treatment. They don't have to clog your general admission lines, you don't have to handle their cash or credit cards and slow things up. They've already paid. Let them into the "advanced purchase" line.

    You have three lines:

    1) General Admission - People who came spur of the moment with no planning.

    2) Advanced Purchase - People who already paid and therefore can skip the GA line.

    3) VIP - Front of the line.

    Typically there are two ticket counters. One for those that just showed up. One for online ticket sales.

    After that, the line splits into three queues: GA, Advanced purchase, VIP.

    You then take them in this order:


    Therefore 2 VIP ticket holders for every 1 General Admission and 1 Advanced purchase.

    Obviously you simply multiply these numbers if you take larger groups than 4.

    For instance 4 VIP, 2 Advance, and 2 General.

    It works, I promise. I've seen it done at multiple
    Haunts, and there are very few that bitch about waiting in line that long IF your attraction is worth the wait.

    Additionally, I might even offer an "upgrade" option that people can buy while waiting in line for Advance or General of a "VIP" status upgrade for 10 bucks more, etc. You then stamp their ticket with "VIP" and they jump over to the VIP line. It's all an up sell.

    Be smart and market it properly, and it'll work out until you're so big that no matter what line you're in you have to wait a while.

  4. Default Tickets 
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    I agree with much of what NightMaresAfterShock is saying. This year I stopped using an online ticket provider so I eliminated all online service fees to myself and the customer; they loved that!
    I set up my own online link to purchase tickets from our website. No timed ticketing, no scanners etc. I went back to printed, numbered tickets...a three part perferrated ticket for each attraction.
    There was no discount for purchasing online ahead of time; the mere convenience of NOT having to stand in the "Buy Tickets" line was good enough. On line ticket purchasers simply came to a separate line at the ticket booth labeled "Will Call"; this was clear on their order confirmation they received via email within seconds of placing their order. In the event they didn't print, forgot, or didn't have the ability (low ink etc) to retrieve their confirmation, I had a computer and printer in the box office to print the confirmation off within 30 seconds. Customers had to sign the confirmation in exchange of their tickets. While the "Buy Tickets" line was often very lengthy, the "Will Call" line never exceeded a dozen people or so.
    Depending on the type of the ticket [they] purchased (GA or SpeedPass), both the Will Call and Buy Tickets line then proceeded to hop in the appropriate line.

    In my 13 years, this system was flawless. No delays, hiccups, or complaints.

  5. Default  
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    So you didn't do online ticketing at all but had your own on line link to print paper form ticket. That is a great idea to eliminate the convenience fees.

  6. Default  
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Couple things... our online ticket sales figures are at the highest level you can reach it accounted for something in the area 1/3 to a half of all tickets sold now and that is a guess but I know its high or higher.

    It took us a few years to figure our the formula but now people prefer to buy online... I'm expecting it to reach beyond 50% or more eventually. We tell our guests that it gains the customer the ability to bypass the ticket line, we promote the fact to the 100th degree. We tell our customers that the longest lines are the ticket lines so they save at least 50% of wait times.

    So for say 1.50 cents (that is what we charge for online ticket service fees) they can save half the wait time and our online sales of skyrocketed.


  7. Default  
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Customers who buy online should simply just by pass going to the Ticket Purchase line... They should just head to the General Admission Line. Giving them any more special treatment than that, will cut down on possible VIP upgrades and wouldn't be fair to people already waiting in line.

    Having 3 lines would just confuse everything in my opinion.. Why would an online ticket line show favor over people who bought tickets at the booth and those people have been waiting in line. The slight increase for ticket online fees is the choice they make before they buy. The only additional treatment customers who buy online should get is bypassing the ticket booth.

    Giving them any more special treatment is basically giving them VIP for free....

  8. Default  
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    I've seen 5 different haunts (that I know of) do it this way, including Scarehouse. It's a smooth system and works flawlessly from what I've seen. You're rewarding them because you don't have to handle their money or pay an employee to handle their money. They've already paid online and the funds are already going directly into your account. The VIP/advance counter scans the tickets and in they go. They aren't bogging the main line, and it motivates others next time to buy ahead of time.

    Online ticket sales are the way to go, period. And rewarding them for you not having to handle their money or wait to swipe their credit cards seems easy enough to keep repeat customers year after year and reward them for pre planning and pre paying.

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