How do I figure out if this will work for me?
We suggest three steps:
- Sample the information on the web site, maybe paying the most attention to the testimonials and the fees.
- Try the live demo (which uses our sample data), to see what the purchasers’ experience is.
- Then have us set up a test drive with your own data. To do that, click here now. Or you can click later on the Sell Tickets button in the main menu on every page, or on the Start Now button at the side or bottom of most pages.
It’s free to you and low cost to us, so there is no obligation. Once the test drive is set up, we send you a simple checklist to walk you through both testing and proofreading of the information you had us put in. If you’re satisfied, we can make the test drive into a live webstore very quickly.
What details should I know before diving in?
- You have to have your own public web or facebook page where the events will be posted. See this note for why that is.
- Almost all support is provided through email exchanges, with phone support only in unusual circumstances. See this note for more.
- There is no support for thermal ticket printers.
- We don’t offer the option to use your own credit card merchant account.
- We can’t release any funds until after the associated event. The reason we can’t send the money immediately is because if you cancel a performance, we have to be prepared to reverse all the credit card charges.
How much of a lead time do I need before my event?
About 3 weeks is a good rule of thumb. We typically set up a test drive within one business day. It seems to take at least a couple of days for prospects to see if the features are a fit, and also to proof-read the event information, but a week is a more common time frame. Then it takes time to publicize the option to buy tickets online to the community of purchasers. People who rush that last process tend to sell very few tickets online.
Can I set the system to accept donations?
Yes, if you’re a non-profit organization. And we don’t charge our fee for those, although the bank’s credit card charges still apply.
Shoppers can add a donation of any size to a ticket purchase, or make a donation of at least a dollar without buying any tickets at all.
Can I read through a more formal agreement?
Absolutely. Here is our complete Client Agreement.
Money & Fees
What are your fees?
Our fees are 50¢ per ticket. Our bank charges us 25 per transaction plus 3%, and we pass that on.
There are no fees for setup, seat chart work, advanced features, or anything else at all.
We can configure the account so that shoppers pay all fees, you pay all fees, or something in between. Most customers pay the bank fees and have shoppers pay the 50¢ per ticket. To be clear: When shoppers pay all fees, the service is completely free to you.
There is no setup fee, no minimum number of tickets that must be sold, and no extra fee for using any advanced feature.
Tickets sold at the door for cash or check incur no fees whatsoever.
Here is a simple example:
- A shopper buys four $10 tickets, using a credit card.
- They pay $42, and we keep $2.
- The bank takes 25¢+(42*.03)=$1.51.
- You keep $38.49.
How and when do I receive the proceeds from ticket sales?
You set up one or more payees, and each can be via direct deposit or a check sent USPS first class mail.
We schedule a payment with our bank within one business day of your submitting an online request for us to disburse a performance or set of performances that has taken place. The reason we can’t send the money immediately is because if you cancel a performance, we have to reverse all the credit card charges.
Can non-profits get lower fees?
Sorry, no. Almost of our customers are non-profits, so everyone gets the same low fees.
COVID Related Features
What support do you have for live performances with social distancing?
- Buffers for reserved seating
- Capacity estimates to use with reserved seating
- Capacity limits for both reserved and general admission seating.
- Assignment of orders to specific entrances to reduce physical interaction on entry
- Categorization of reservation by distance from aisle, again to reduce physical interaction
See this 6-minute video for a summary of the issues and possibilities. For more detail, see Tools for use with live performances, including social distancing buffers and capacity estimates .
What support do you have for streamed events?
We have provided ticketing for events streamed using these platforms:
- YouTube Live (requires presenter to have YouTube channel and ticket purchaser to have YouTube account)
- YouTube private video (requires presenter and ticket purchasers to have YouTube account)
- Facebook Live (requires presenter and ticket purchasers to have Facebook account)
- Zoom Webinar (requires presenter to have paid for Zoom Webinar; ticket purchasers will auto-download Zoom app)
- Unlisted Zoom meeting (potentially requires presenter to have paid Zoom account for events lasting the required number of minutes; ticket purchasers will auto-download Zoom app)
- Unlisted video link (e.g., unlisted YouTube video)
Note that we do not supply the streaming itself.
See Tools for use in streaming virtual performances for an overview of our support for streamed events.
What support to you have for contingencies?
Unfortunately, it has been common in the last year and a half for events to be rescheduled or canceled, due to a COVID related occurrence. In many cases, patrons are given the opportunity to donate their ticket proceeds, obtain a refund, or use the tickets at another time if the event is rescheduled. Of necessity, we have a variety of tools to streamline adjustments in these eventualities.
See this note for more on this topic.
Box Office Operations
Will I be able to sell tickets at the door through your system?
Yes. We give you a simple box office application that you can use to sell seats and print tickets. If you take cash or check, there are no fees whatsoever. If you accept a credit card in payment, our 50¢ fee and the bank charges apply.
If you have limited wi-fi coverage at the door, we also give a way to use paper and pencil to sell cash tickets at the door without selling seats that were already sold online.
Please note that the ability to use the system to sell at the door without paying any fees is in addition to, not instead of, online sales. Our only source of revenue is the per-ticket fee we charge for online sales, so we require you to offer a substantial fraction of your seats for online sales.
Do customers have to print tickets or can they use their phones?
That’s up to you. In most cases, customers bring in the sheet or sheets they printed at home. You can check those against a report we provide with the reservations for each event. You can also choose to use an advanced feature (at no additional cost) to scan the QR codes printed on the paper receipts, or visible on a smartphone screen.
If you choose paper tickets, please note that there is no way to keep patrons from printing many copies of their receipts. However, while bootleg tickets are a concern we periodically hear about from prospects, our customers have almost never reported have this kind of problem.
Security & Privacy
How do you protect the security of credit card information?
Credit card security is one of our highest priorities. To this end, Seat Yourself goes beyond accepted industry standards in this regard, as detailed below.
First, no information is transmitted in the clear. We use industry standard security certificates and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, so that information cannot be read during transmission. Modern browsers will confirm that use for you by displaying a lock or the prefix https:// in the address bar.
In addition, we are required by the terms of our credit card merchant account to be PCI compliant. The PCI Security Standards Council website will give you more information about PCI compliance. In order to maintain our PCI compliance, we are required to pass quarterly third party audits of our system by Control Scan .
Seat Yourself goes well beyond PCI compliance, in that we do not store credit card account numbers, except for the last 4 digits, and we do not store the CVV code. Instead, we pass this information to Authorize.net, and immediately erase the information from our servers. What this means is that there is no financially sensitive information stored on our servers; in the unlikely event of a breach, no such information is even present to be compromised.
Authorize.net is a subsidiary of Cyber Source, which is in turn a subsidiary of Visa Inc. Here is the Authorize.net website.
Authorize.net passes the information on to Heartland Payment Systems, the company that holds our credit card merchant account. Heartland is a subsidiary of Global Payment Systems, a US Fortune 500 company that is one of the largest payment processors in the world.
Please feel free to contact us with any further questions.
Do you treat purchasers’ names and email addresses as confidential?
Yes. We treat all information provided by purchasers as confidential, and we don’t share it with anyone but you. See this note for more on this topic.