Sell Event Tickets Online: Why a Ticketing Platform is the Best Choice

Payment Processor vs Ticketing Platform: What's the difference, and which one should I use to sell event tickets online?

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The first thing to keep in mind is that if you want to sell anything online, you’ll need a secure way to accept credit cards. This takes three things: a merchant account, a payment processor, and a payment gateway. If these seem unfamiliar, don’t worry–we’re going to break it all down for you right here.

So what's a merchant account and why do you need one in addition to that checking account you’ve had since you were 12? Well, a personal bank account like the one your grandma helped you open can only accept cash, checks, and direct deposit. And that’s where the merchant account comes in. It has all the features of your personal checking account, but it can also receive authorized deposits from credit and debit cards.

That brings us to the payment processor. This is the part that does all the heavy lifting. When a customer buys your tickets online, the payment processor makes sure that you’re getting all the right authorizations. It also moves the money securely from their bank to yours.

Last, the payment gateway. This is basically the online version of a point of sale machine, except that here, swiping becomes typing. When a customer enters their credit card information to buy tickets from you, it’s just like when they swipe their card at the grocery store. The payment gateway is the secure step that gets payment information to the payment processor for authorization.

Now you’re probably wondering how much all of this will cost you.  Well, unless you’re selling millions of dollars in tickets, you’re going to pay about 3% of the total transaction, so there’s not a huge benefit to shopping around.

That pretty much sums up everything that goes into taking a credit card payment over the Internet. But there's way more to selling tickets online, right? Well, that brings us to our favorite part.

Ticketing Platforms.

A ticketing platform handles all of the payment processing stuff we discussed before. In fact, most of them have the option to either use your own payment processor or use one specific to that platform. But it also takes care of event-specific details beyond the transaction. Here are some things to think about:

▪ Do you have a website that looks great where you can list all of your event details? It takes time and skill to build a website. Wouldn't you rather spend that time planning your event?

▪ If you do have a website, is it secure, so that you can accept online payments? Trust us, nobody wants their info floating around on the dark web.

▪ Do you have a way to track your online sales and collect information about your buyers? This is really helpful for planning current and future events.

▪ Do you have a seamless check-in process? An easy way to make seating charts? The list goes on and on. And on.

As you can see, there’s a lot more to selling tickets online than just the ability to accept credit cards. If you’re looking for something designed specifically to make your event look amazing and make your life easier...well, we think you know what to do. It just so happens that you can get started with our favorite ticketing platform by clicking the button below.

Updated February 2019: Here are our answers to some of the top questions people ask about selling tickets online.

How can I sell my tickets online?
Using a ticketing platform is the best way to sell your tickets online. We’ve created a step-by-step how-to guide on it, which you can find here.

How do I sell event tickets?
Well, that depends on the type of tickets you’re selling. If you’re trying to sell tickets you bought for someone else’s event, see our answers about reselling tickets below. If you’re looking to sell tickets to an event that you’ve created, we recommend using a ticketing platform. We explain all the benefits of ticketing platforms in the video above.

How to resell tickets online?
We’re not in the business of reselling, but we get this question fairly often, so we created a page about it.

What is the best ticket resale site?
We think Seatgeek is a great choice, and they have a detailed FAQ section to answer all of your questions about reselling tickets.

What is the best online ticketing system?
We’re pretty partial to Ticketleap.