Online ticket buying surcharge



  • So I am online buying some tickets for a concert. And get this choice for ticket delivery:

    1. Pick the tickets up at the door .. delivery surcharge $0.00
    2. Have the tickets mailed to me .. delivery surcharge $2.00
    3. Print the tickets out myself .. delivery surcharge $2.50


    I can't think of a rational explanation for having to pay to print out my own tickets when the other two options are cheaper.


  • Same reason why ebooks are sometimes more expensive than real books: easier for user => added value => added price.



  • But option 3 makes it easier/cheaper on the supplier, too.

    Placing a premium on this option will only serve to discourage customers taking this route, burdening the supplier with delivery costs.

    Oddly, I'd have expected option 1 to be the more expensive for the supplier: not only is there the print costs but the additional cost overhead of managing verification during collection and issue (unless it's not actually printed and handled by some automated electronic means).



  • @Cassidy said:

    Placing a premium on this option will only serve to discourage customers taking this route, burdening the supplier with delivery costs.

    Tickets at the door is cheapest, but it's also the least convenient for the customer since they have to stand on line. It's not that inconvenient for the provider because they already have the personnel and equipment and printing a ticket is cheap.

    Mailing is $2 which probably more than covers the cost. It's convenient for the customer and not particularly inconvenient for the seller. Also, they are charging more than it costs so this makes them money.

    Printing is $2.50 which is by far the most convenient for the customer. It's only slightly more convenient/cheap for the seller but it's by far the most profitable. And there's the rub: most people will just pay the $2.50. It's easy money. A handful of cheapskates will self-segregate and opt to stand on line, but they are in the minority. Most will bite the bullet and pay. And they'll pay the extra $2.50 for the assurance of having the ticket in their hand rather than having to worry if it gets lost in the mail.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Tickets at the door is cheapest, but it's also the least convenient for the customer since they have to stand on line. It's not that inconvenient for the provider because they already have the personnel and equipment and printing a ticket is cheap.

    Mmm.... I was considering the situation where they could do away with the ticket office and just have staff performing ticket-checking rather than ticket-issuing, as well as the situation of those queueing for prepaid would bottleneck those queueing to purchase - but in the latter cases, that's usually addressed by aplitting out the queues. Hadn't considered the case where staff were already allocated those duties, so yup.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Printing is $2.50 which is by far the most convenient for the customer. It's only slightly more convenient/cheap for the seller but it's by far the most profitable.

    I'd have thought it was the cheapest option for the seller since it's transferring printing costs and associated delivery risks to the customer. I can see it's the most convenient to the customer, but the pricing looks like it's purely a money-spinner for the supplier. I'm also considering situations where airlines went e-Ticket to reduce costs of printing, issuing, delivering etc.

    TL;DR: what a rip-off, but many people will pay it.



  • @Cassidy said:

    I'd have thought it was the cheapest option for the seller since it's transferring printing costs and associated delivery risks to the customer. I can see it's the most convenient to the customer, but the pricing looks like it's purely a money-spinner for the supplier.

    It's just another demonstration of the fact that the value of something is what people are willing to pay for it, not the value of its inputs. Suck it, Marxists.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @Cassidy said:
    I'd have thought it was the cheapest option for the seller since it's transferring printing costs and associated delivery risks to the customer. I can see it's the most convenient to the customer, but the pricing looks like it's purely a money-spinner for the supplier.

    It's just another demonstration of the fact that the value of something is what people are willing to pay for it, not the value of its inputs. Suck it, Marxists.

     I largely agree, and there is one other factor....the risk of competition, which will place an upper limit on many items. Consider if the surcharges were 10x higher, and this was in a high  population density area. At $20 per ticket to print at home, it might be possible to create a company which goes to the box office, picks up the tickets and delivers them, In NYC there are such servies, I use them occasionally (especially when onne is not available and the only other option is to wait in the queue).



  • @Cassidy said:

    I'd have thought it was the cheapest option for the seller since it's transferring printing costs and associated delivery risks to the customer. I can see it's the most convenient to the customer, but the pricing looks like it's purely a money-spinner for the supplier.

    It's the cheapest option for the seller which is irrelevant. People are going to pay for the convenience of printing their own tickets. It's definitely a money-maker for the seller.



  • @Cassidy said:

    But option 3 makes it easier/cheaper on the supplier, too.

    Placing a premium on this option will only serve to discourage customers taking this route, burdening the supplier with delivery costs.

    Tell that to the touch-tone telephone.

     



  • Last time I booked tickets online, there were the same three delivery options, but they all cost $7.50. That was annoying enough; I'd have been even more irritated if it was actually more expensive to print them out myself.



  • @OzPeter said:



    I can't think of a rational explanation for having to pay to print out my own tickets when the other two options are cheaper.

     

    Tickets printed by seller usually have some sort of "copy protection" (Hologram logo, etc). Ticket @home can be printed several times. This mean seller need additionnal people at the entrance that will scan a barcode on the ticket to ensure no ticket are used several times. This also mean a slower entrance queue.

     



  • @tchize said:

    This mean seller need additionnal people at the entrance that will scan a barcode on the ticket to ensure no ticket are used several times. This also mean a slower entrance queue.

    I don't see how.

    Scanning a barcode on a ticket carried by a customer is much quicker han having to verify someone's identity before issuing them the ticket.

    All entry methods will require either verification against some database or a payment method prior to this stage; the former involving a barcode scanner linked to a data capture/verification system seems the quickest way to me, giving you a faster entrance queue and lower resource requirements.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @Cassidy said:
    I'd have thought it was the cheapest option for the seller since it's transferring printing costs and associated delivery risks to the customer. I can see it's the most convenient to the customer, but the pricing looks like it's purely a money-spinner for the supplier.

    It's just another demonstration of the fact that the value of something is what people are willing to pay for it, not the value of its inputs. Suck it, Marxists.

     

    [url=http://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n07/john-lanchester/marx-at-193]Oh really?[/url]

    @Someone who actually read Marx said:

    There are obvious difficulties with Marx’s arguments. One of
    them is that so many of the contemporary world’s goods and commodities
    are now virtual (in the digital-oriented sense) that it’s not easy to
    see where the accumulated labour in them is. David Harvey’s lectures on Capital, for instance, the best beginning for anyone studying Marx’s most important book, are of immense value but they’re also available for free on the internet,
    so if you buy them as a book – you can take in information much more
    quickly by reading than by listening – the surplus value you’re adding
    to is mainly your own.

    This idea of labour being hidden in things, and the value of things
    arising from the labour congealed inside them, is an unexpectedly
    powerful explanatory tool in the digital world... When you start looking for this mechanism at work in the
    contemporary world you see it everywhere, often in the form of surplus
    value being created by you, the customer or client of a company. Online
    check-in and bag drop at airports, for example. Online check-in is a
    process which should genuinely increase the efficiency of the airport
    experience, thereby costing you less time: time you can spend doing
    other things, some of them economically useful to you. But what the
    airlines do is employ so few people to supervise the bag drop-off that
    there’s no time-saving at all for the customer. When you look, you see
    that because airlines have to employ more people to supervise the
    non-online-checked-in customers – otherwise the planes wouldn’t leave on
    time – the non-checked-in queues move far more quickly. They’re
    transferring their inefficiency to the customer, but what they’re also
    doing is transferring the labour to you and accumulating the surplus
    value themselves. It happens over and over again. Every time you deal
    with a phone menu or interactive voicemail service, you’re donating your
    surplus value to the people you’re dealing with. Marx’s model is
    constantly asking us to see the labour encoded in the things and
    transactions all around us.

     

     



  • @fschmidt said:

    @boomzilla said:
    It's just another demonstration of the fact that the value of something is what people are willing to pay for it, not the value of its inputs. Suck it, Marxists.

    Oh really?

    @Someone who actually read Marx said:
    <snipped confused blabbering>

    Yes, really. You're (assuming you agree with your quote) confusing the difference between the elasticity of supply (i.e., at what cost is someone willing to provide something) with intrinsic value. The amount of labor (or other materials) is worth nothing unless someone is willing to pay for it. Markets aren't perfect, of course, but when allowed, they generally correct supply and demand imbalances through prices. The Occupy hippies have learned the hard way that their labor put into earning nonsense degrees isn't worth what was paid for them (largely by taxpayers, so far).

    I can't force you to see reality, but you're still sucking it.



  • @tchize said:

    Tickets printed by seller usually have some sort of "copy protection" (Hologram logo, etc). Ticket @home can be printed several times. This mean seller need additionnal people at the entrance that will scan a barcode on the ticket to ensure no ticket are used several times. This also mean a slower entrance queue.

     

    If you print your ticket out, or if you use this venue's printed tickets you still have the ticket's barcode scanned when you enter the venue. The people scanning the tickets are not likely to be trained in detecting fake tickets. However as the concert I am going to has reserved seating it is fairly trivial for the computer system to detect fake/duplicated tickets ("what do you mean I already have been seated???").



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    And they'll pay the extra $2.50 for the assurance of having the ticket in their hand rather than having to worry if it gets lost in the mail.
    In my entire life I can think of one or two things that I was expecting that were possibly "lost in the mail" (note that if I was not expecting something in the mail then I have no idea it didn't arrive). I know it happens otherwise the dead-letter office wouldn't exist etc., but the volume of mail that ends up there must be insignificant compared to the volume that arrives. And I know there is the rogue mailman who just dumps mail rather than deliver it.

    So to me the the cost of pre-printing your own ticket comes down to balancing the 100% certainty of having your ticket in your hand vs the very very very small chance that the pre-printed ticket will get lost in the mail. And if the ticket does get lost I am sure that with the correct ID and CC used to make the purchase that you could make a compelling case at the ticket window at the venue to get a replacement.

    So I'm going say that the rational reason for charging $2.50 is to prey on the irrational fear that people have that something will go wrong and they won't be able to get into the performance.



  • @OzPeter said:

    So I'm going say that the rational reason for charging $2.50 is to prey on the irrational fear that people have that something will go wrong and they won't be able to get into the performance.

    Which is exactly what I said. I did not say "People pay the extra so their tickets don't get lost in the mail" I said they pay extra because they don't want to worry about them being lost in the mail. However, it's not totally irrational on their part; it's gonna happen sometimes and the cost of not getting in because of a lost ticket could be quite high (unless there's some way to re-print the ticket at the door). $0.50 really isn't that much for peace-of-mind.



  • @Cassidy said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Tickets at the door is cheapest, but it's also the least convenient for the customer since they have to stand on line. It's not that inconvenient for the provider because they already have the personnel and equipment and printing a ticket is cheap.

    Mmm.... I was considering the situation where they could do away with the ticket office and just have staff performing ticket-checking rather than ticket-issuing, as well as the situation of those queueing for prepaid would bottleneck those queueing to purchase - but in the latter cases, that's usually addressed by aplitting out the queues. Hadn't considered the case where staff were already allocated those duties, so yup.

     

    They'll never be able to do away with the box office, because people will have questions, problems, etc. that someone needs to resolve.

    I personally always opt for will call.  That way, you don't get in that "Oh crap, I forgot my ticket" situation. There's never really a line anyhow, since most people have already printed theirs using their own printer.


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