Just bought some concert tickets online via Ticketmaster, and it was as disheartening as always. The service fee, per ticket, was nearly $12! That is an amazing amount of money, when I sit and think about the actual work that Ticketmaster had to do in order to earn that $12 (hint - it is very low). These guys are just printing money.
Even more amazing, however, were my options for receiving the tickets. As always, it is "free" to receive the tickets by standard US mail (the cost is built into those service fees), and dramatically more expensive for faster shipping options. But what really shocked me, is that Ticketmaster now has a delivery option where they e-mail you the tickets, and print them out. Actually, that isn't the shocking part. The shocking part is that this service costs $2.50!
Ticketmaster is charging me more money, to provide a service that costs them less money. When delivered over the web, Ticketmaster is absolved from having to:
- Print the actual tickets
- Stuff them in an envelope
- Pay to send the envelope through the US mail
All of those things cost real, actual money. Compared with e-mailing me the tickets, where all Ticketmaster has to do is assemble some bits, and send them over the Internet. Sure, that isn't technically "free" either, but it is dramatically less expensive than printing and mailing tickets.