Before choosing an event registration solution for your business, you need to dig deeper to see how it handles ticket fees, refunds, and policies. Here’s why:
- You have to be clear from the get-go with attendees about refunds and your refund policy if your business offers refunds.
- The policies of some event registration systems or services can define (and affect) your refund policies.
- The payment gateways you decide to offer will also have their own policies. For example, some payment gateway providers might not refund their transaction fees.
With this in mind, in this article, we’ll explain how Event Espresso handles ticket fees, refunds, and policies, and share some actionable tips and guidelines along the way.
If you organize paid events i.e. events you sell tickets for, then you need to evaluate your event registration solution or service’s ticket fee structure. The ticket fee structure can affect your ticket sales in terms of how much profit your business generates.
Does the event registration solution or service charge a per-ticket cost? Or do they have a tiered ticket fee structure?
Once you’ve determined the ticket fee structure, you should also use it as a formula to understand how much you’ll be charged for a certain number of ticket sales. Here are a few real-world examples:
Let’s say you’re selling a $25 General Admission ticket and, on average, you make 200 sales.
- On Eventbrite’s Essentials plan (2% + $0.79 for each paid ticket you sell), you would earn $4,616 excluding payment processing. Keep in mind that Eventbrite fees are higher on the Professional plan (3.5% + $1.59) which means you would only earn $4,380.
- With Event Espresso, you would only have to pay the payment processing fees for the payment gateway you choose to use. In other words, you would earn $5,000 from ticket sales.
- Using Event Smart, you’re able to sell paid tickets for a flat $10 fee per month. So, you would essentially be earning $4,990 from ticket sales excluding payment processing.
For more details, check out our article on How to Set the Right Ticket Price and Maximize Revenue for Your Event.
As an event organizer, you need to be particularly careful with your event registration tool’s policies regarding refunds.
This is because the tool or plugin’s refund policy strongly influences your refund policy. For example, if the event registration solution you use doesn’t offer refunds, you can’t offer refunds to your attendees.
Similarly, whenever the event registration solution or service makes modifications to their refund policy, you may have to change your refund policy, as well. If you fail to do so then you’ll have no choice but to absorb the fees which could be financially damaging to your company.
When it comes to offering refunds, you’ll need to consider whether to offer attendees partial refunds or full refunds. Generally speaking, the payment gateway you decide to use will charge you some sort of a transaction fee. So, for most event businesses, it’s a good idea to offer attendees a partial refund (such as 75%) of the ticket’s sale value.
PayPal, for example, states on their website that it doesn’t charge a fee to issue refunds, however, the fees you originally paid as the seller are not returned to you. In addition to this, the default refund period is 180 days from the transaction date.
And, according to Stripe, there are no fees to refund a charge, but the fees from the original charge aren’t returned.
It’s also important to clearly lay out the conditions for a refund. For example, attendees only qualify for a refund up to three days before the day of the event. And, finally, you should clarify in your refund policy how refunds will be made.
Once you’ve decided all of this, consider creating a refund policy to publish on your event site and linking to it from your registration confirmation emails. It’s also a good idea to make it as easy as possible for attendees to request a refund. For instance, you can add a Request a refund button to your event page. To learn more about processing refunds in Event Espresso view this resource: How to apply a refund in Event Espresso.
Event registration solutions and services typically have policies of their own that can potentially affect your event business.
For example, the payout policy – which determines when you’ll get paid for the tickets you sold – may affect when staff and vendors get paid. And, if you organize events regularly, it might affect when you’re able to start planning your next event.
Note: event registrations services tend to change their policies from time to time so it’s important to stay up-to-date.
With Eventbrite, for example, payouts begin processing 4-5 days after the event ends. What this means is that you won’t receive any money for the tickets sold until after the event. On the flip side, with Event Espresso and Event Smart, you receive funds in your account as soon as an attendee purchases a ticket. In other words, Event Espresso doesn’t hold on to your funds.
When using an event registration service, it’s also important to keep community guidelines in mind. Using hosted solutions (like Eventbrite) means you’ll likely have to follow the platform’s rules and regulations. Since you don’t actually own your account, the service providers can suspend your account if you don’t follow the rules.
However, with event registration and ticketing plugin, like Event Espresso, you have full control over your site’s content and you’re not bound by any rules or regulations. You own all of the content you publish to your event website.
As an event organizer, it’s important to thoroughly evaluate the ticket fees, refunds, and policies your event registration solution or service may hold you to. This way, you’ll be in a better position to make your own policies while making sure your event business remains profitable.
Ready to start selling tickets for your event? Get Event Espresso today!