Ticketing Changes

So the 9:30 Club is changing it’s ticket company from Tickets.com to Ticket Fly. All shows from 1 Jan 2010 onward at the 9:30 Club will be using the new service for ticket purchases. What does this mean for you? I tried comparing the differences of the two from a consumer standpoint, and I didn’t find a whole lot to be excited about. I was hoping with a new ticket vendor maybe service fees would go down, but that doesn’t seem to be the case really. The first show at the 9:30 Club with tickets that will be sold by Ticket Fly is Gogol Bordello on Sat 2 Jan 2010. The cost listed on the 9:30 Club’s website is $30. Of course if you’ve ever bought tickets to a concert before the day of the show, you know the cost will actually be more due to various fees tacked on. To compare, I found a concert also for $30 at the 9:30 Club, but since it’s before Jan 2010, it’s still on Tickets.com. The show is Devendra Banhart (whoever that is) on Weds 25 Nov 2009. Ordering the $30 tickets through Tickets.com gave me a $6 “service charge” per ticket. They didn’t charge any other fees, but they do charge you $4 for mailing you the tickets, or for will call (yes, they charge you $4 to NOT mail your tickets to you). They do have 1 other shipping method, for $22.50 you can get FedEx shipping. It doesn’t say if this is 2 day, overnight or what, but for $22.50 it had better be delivered the next day in Megan Fox’s ass crack. Anyways, assuming you opted for the $4 shipping (or will call) that brings your $30 ticket to $40, a 33.3% increase (also known as: ridiculous). Did I mention that beers in the venue cost $7 before tip?!?! You can also pre-pay for their shitty parking service (another $10) for any show. This is retarded for 2 reasons: 1, you can usually find free parking on the street around there if ya look long enough. Secondly, they stop watching your car “15 minutes after the last song is played” but even that I think is bullshit as the last time I went there (to see Motörhead in September) I left right after the show ended and nobody was there watching the cars. And as a side note, Tickets.com also does this thing where they time how long it takes you to enter various info. If you don’t fill out your info on any particular page in time (and there’s several), they make you start the whole process over, which I find extremely annoying.

Now if you use the 9:30 Club’s new ticket company, Ticket Fly, to buy a ticket at the same list price of $30, you don’t really save any money at all, but there are a few differences. They charge you a $6 “service fee” per ticket again, and then on top of that a $4 per ticket “order processing” fee. It boggles my mind how these companies charge you for service and order processing when it’s a god damn website doing all the work for them. Do they need to pay it’s ridiculous overtime wages from it always working 24/7? Hell no, they just want to charge you more for them doing less, the fuckers. At least they don’t charge you for shipping (or will call, wtf Tickets.com?). They don’t have any other shipping options though, so no more Megan Fox’s ass delivery for 9:30 Club tickets. Awesomely they don’t have a timer on the site for how soon you need to buy your tickets in either. So your $30 ticket still costs $40 from them, they’ve got less shipping options but at least they don’t time your transaction either. Supposedly they’ve got some new “social media tools” for customers, which is just part of that annoying corporate marketing trend where every company wants us to promote them by posting their spam all over our Facebook and Twitter pages. According to the press release about the switch (you can read it here) this was a main factor in the switch. Fucking wow. I really wish it was cheaper for the customers though. With all the various ticket options popping up these days you’d think they could manage that. I guess you can always still buy tickets at the door ahead of time with cash. Of course, I found out when buying my Motörhead tickets that the 9:30 Club will charge you $1 per ticket for that too. No, I have no reason (other than greed) why they would charge you anything extra for buying presale tickets in cash, MOST clubs make presales a few dollars less. At least they’re not doing what DC9 is with their ticketing service…

DC9 has changed their ticketing service from Etix to the generically named Ticket Alternative (also used by the Black Cat and Rock & Roll Hotel). This change is actually going to cost the customer, aka you, more money. Currently, for a $10 ticket to a DC9 concert, Etix will charge you a $1.92 convenience fee. They don’t charge you for will call, but if you want the tickets mailed it’ll cost you $4.50 for a stamp and envelope. There are no other mailing options available. You can also buy a ticket at the door with cash and DC9 won’t charge you any fee, just the flat $10, though sometimes the day of show price is a few bucks higher than the presale, and sometimes they sell out. Still, it only brings the cost of the $10 ticket to $11.92, or 19.2%, if you buy your ticket ahead of time and choose the free will call option. Some shows on DC9’s calendar still use Etix, but all further shows to be added will be using Ticket Alternative. For a $10 ticket to a DC9 show from them, they’ll charge you a $2.73 fee. They do have many more options for ticket delivery, will call, print at home and standard mail all are free. They also have various forms of FedEx delivery, ranging in price from $13.50 for 2 day delivery to $35 for Megan Fox’s ass crack covered in honey delivery. Still, a 27.3% increase over list price is pretty steep for a small club like DC9. This means if you got the free will call option from either service, for a $10 ticket, Etix would charge you $11.92 and Ticket Alternative will charge you $12.73. Since Etix is being phased out, you don’t have a choice in the matter but to pay extra. Now, I know it’s less than a dollar increase per ticket, but still, when you go to a lot of concerts (like I do) it adds up, especially if you also find yourself buying tickets for other people a lot. Ironically, Ticket Alternative’s slogan is, “the cheaper way to buy tickets!”. Yeah right! I’m sure these changes are helping the clubs, probably costing them less to sell tickets than the previous companies were, I just wish there was someone trying to lower the fees tacked onto concert tickets for us, the customers.

2 Comments

  1. There was an article in RollingStone [which i get for free] about this awhile back. Apparently, some 50% of the ticket processing/service fees go back to the venue. So if we got rid of these fees completely, the ticket costs would simply go up to compensate. (It would be more honest itemized billing, though.)

  2. Agreed their parking is shit. Like you said, you can park on the street but even if you’re in a jaloppy, there’s a decent chance someone will break into it. For me to deal w/that hassle it has to be a band I really want to see. The new ticketing situation certainly strengthens that opinion.


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