problems with eventbrite’s online ticketing service

If running an event or course, online booking and payment options are standard offerings – you can either set up your own booking forms and merchant gateway or use a one-stop-shop third-party platform. I’ve used the Eventbrite booking gateway for my Australian courses, but not any more. Here are my main beefs…

The Fees

If you’re running a low-ticket cost event, the fees are what they are: acceptable. But if you are selling higher cost tickets, e.g. $300 plus, the fees add up in a hurry. If you use their credit card processing facility – the main reason many people would use a platform such as Eventbrite at all – a $500 ticket will incur a fee of $27.45 (2.5% plus $0.99 per ticket to a max of $9.95 plus 3.5% of ticket value). Selling 10 plus tickets will whack a dent in your sales revenue. There should be a sliding fee structure for higher priced events.

Five Days to Payout (and the rest).

A five business day payout after the completion of the event is in the terms and conditions, but… the five day period starts in US time, i.e. an event run on Wednesday in Australia, is Tuesday in San Francisco – so Eventbrite doesn’t start the count until Thursday, Australian time. Five business days becomes eight normal days; and add an extra day to that if there’s a bank holiday in the US. And of course the international transfer itself can add another day or two. There appears no reason to sit on the money this long except to gather maximum interest on other people’s money.

Extra Fees from ANZ & HSBC

If a person makes a booking using Eventbrite’s processing facility using an ANZ or HSBC credit card that person gets charged an additional ‘foreign processing fee’ of $20-25. I have had to refund this fee to close to 20 people in the past who have booked my courses using these cards. Both ANZ and HSBC say the problem is with the credit card providers; the credit card providers say it’s a bank charge. Eventbrite, despite being told about this problem in Australia have ignored it. This is fundamentally an Eventbrite issue and they need to sort it – being their apologist is no fun.

Over The Top Self-Promotion

Sure, if you’re running a free event you should expect some form of provider self-promotion, but not when hundreds of dollars of fees are being paid. The ‘Powered by Eventbrite’ branding and self-serving calls to action on all of their (your) ticketing touch-points are anything but discreet. You could forgive a person for thinking they were about to attend an Eventbrite event.



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