Ticketmaster fees can vary quite a bit depending on the event, seat location, and other factors. However, there are some general guidelines for what to expect when it comes to Ticketmaster’s infamous fees.
The main ticket price is set by the artist/team/venue. Ticketmaster does not determine the base ticket price. This price will vary widely based on the event, seat location, market factors, and more. For very popular events or premium seats, the ticket price itself can be hundreds of dollars. For less in-demand events or nosebleed seats, the ticket may only be $20-50. There’s no universal “average” base ticket price across all Ticketmaster events.
In addition to the ticket price, Ticketmaster tacks on a service fee to each ticket. This fee goes to Ticketmaster for providing its platform and services. According to Ticketmaster’s website, service fees are typically $5.00 – $12.00 per ticket for events in the U.S.
However, many customers report the service fees being higher than that range, especially for popular events or premium seats. Service fees can be as high as 25% or more of the base ticket price. Based on fan reports, a more realistic range for service fees seems to be:
- Basic events or nosebleed seats: $5 – $15 per ticket
- Major concerts or front row seats: $15 – $25 per ticket
- Premium or very high demand events: $25+ per ticket
Order Processing Fee
There is also often an order processing fee per ticket order, regardless of number of tickets purchased. This fee ranges from $5.00 – $20.00+ based on the event.
Ticketmaster also sometimes includes other fees such as:
- Facility charge – goes to the venue hosting the event
- Charity donation fee – portion goes to charity
- Shipping fee – for mailed tickets
- Taxes and government fees
These extra fees add a few dollars per ticket, and often another $5 – $20+ per order.
When you add up the service fees, order processing fees, and any other charges, how much are customers really paying in fees?
Here are some rough estimates for total Ticketmaster fees to expect:
|Estimated Fees Per Ticket
|Basic event or nosebleed seat
|$15 – $25
|Major concert standard seat
|$25 – $40
|Premium seat for major event
For big concerts or other hot events where the tickets may already be hundreds of dollars, these fees can tack on a hefty percentage to the total cost. Fans and consumer groups often criticize Ticketmaster for the high fees.
There are some ways buyers can try to reduce Ticketmaster fees:
- Buy general admission or upper level seats – Fees tend to be lower for less in-demand ticket locations
- Purchase tickets well in advance – Fees sometimes increase as the event date approaches
- Buy directly at the venue box office – Allows you to avoid some online fees
- Use fan club or special presales – Some presales have lower fees
- Buy group tickets – Order processing fees don’t increase much for larger orders
Unfortunately, for very popular events, there’s no way around the high service fees if buying through Ticketmaster. The company essentially has a captive audience.
Ticketmaster has received growing backlash over its fees in recent years. Some major artists like Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift have spoken out against Ticketmaster’s practices.
The lack of competition in the ticket sales market allows Ticketmaster to charge high fees. However, there are signs of change. Upstarts like SeatGeek are trying to disrupt the market. And the Justice Department is reportedly investigating Live Nation’s dominance of ticketing via Ticketmaster.
New technology like blockchain-based ticketing is also on the horizon. These innovations could potentially shake up the status quo in the future, bringing more transparency and perhaps lower fees.
For now, high Ticketmaster fees remain the norm. But if fan complaints continue, pressure for change will likely increase – especially if top artists boycott working with Ticketmaster or new competitors emerge.
In summary, Ticketmaster service fees are typically $10 – $25 per ticket depending on the event, with order processing and other miscellaneous charges adding a few dollars more. For premium tickets or hot events, fees can exceed $40 per ticket. While fans grumble about the high fees, Ticketmaster currently faces little competitive pressure to reduce them. New ticketing technologies and business models may shake up the status quo in the future, but for now, sky-high fees remain an unfortunate reality of using Ticketmaster.
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