Learn What Ticketing Companies Are Hiding – A Comparison

Hundreds of ticketing companies start up each year. Don’t get taken advantage of by fine lines or small print. Find out who has hidden event ticketing fees.


It’s decided, your company will be hosting an event in a few months. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big event or small event, its success lies in good planning and preparation. Immediately, you do a quick Google search for the different event ticketing and registration platforms out there that can help you with event registration… and you come back even more confused than you were before you began.

Why? Because just like everything else out there in the market, you have to wade through paragraphs of marketing mumbo jumbo and then scroll till the end or jump a few pages more to see what fine print you might have missed — and even then, you still might not be getting the full story. Wouldn’t it be nice if companies just told you up front what you were getting and how much it would cost, no hidden fees or stipulations and all? Ah, the ideal world.

Well, we’ve done the research and here we are to break it down to you in easy, bite-sized morsels of information, you know, so we save you time on hiring a mathematician just to calculate ticketing fees!

Brown Paper Tickets

Brown Paper Tickets advertises a really eye-catching fee of $0.99. Whoa, you say, only 99 cents? That’s a steal! Yes, well, as with a lot of other things, make sure you check the fine print!

On their Pricing page (https://www.brownpapertickets.com/pricing.html), you’ll see this little table:

*Update 4/10/19: Brown Paper Tickets has since increased their fee to $0.99 + 5%

First of all, the fee actually is $0.99 + 5%, not just a flat rate of $0.99. Also, if you use a popular credit card processor like Paypal of Stripe, you won’t get to charge the total fees to your customers, because you will need to pay your credit card processing fee (which is normally 2.9% + $0.30) and Brown Paper Ticket’s fee ($0.99 + 5$). This essentially means that you’re paying Brown Paper Tickets at least 5% out-of-pocket of your ticket price while you pass on the $0.99 fee and the credit card processing fee to your customer. That’s knowing you have additional costs on your end before you even sell a single ticket!

They do make it sound very nice though, that they are giving you money to offset your costs… and well, that is until you realize you’d have to pay way more than what they are “giving” you to cover your credit card processing fees!

Another fine print that’s important to consider is this:

Should you ever need to cancel the event, you are charged $0.99 + 5% if using their credit card processor, or if you’re using your own processor, $0.99 + 5% PLUS the fees from your own credit card processor.

While these fees aren’t exactly hidden — they’re stated clearly on their pricing page — a little math does seem to be needed when you realize you’re not exactly getting the $0.99 good deal you thought you were getting. So be an informed customer and consider these factors when using Brown Paper Tickets.


Eventbrite offers two different tiers of pricing for normal events (they also have a custom Premium option for super large complex events) — their Essentials package is 2% + $0.79 per ticket and their Professional package is 3.5% + $1.59. You can see what they offer in each package here: https://www.eventbrite.com/organizer/pricing/

However, a quick look at their Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to pricing also reveals this little info bit:

This means that while they say they let you pass the Eventbrite fee to your customers, what they mean to say is they ONLY let you pass the Eventbrite fee to your customers. At the end of the day, the credit card processing fee will still come out of your own pocket; there is no way of passing this fee to your customers.

What’s more, Eventbrite is mum about their maximum fees, while from our research we’ve found that their maximum fee in the last year alone has fluctuated from $19.95-$24.95!** Update on their maximum fee as of July 2019: They removed their maximum fee and no longer cap out. This means their rate is applicable for the entire ticket price with no maximum fee. That’s a whole whopping load of fees! Always check with the event ticketing site you’re considering what their maximum fees are, so you and your event goers don’t receive any “surprise” fees!

Finally, one drawback of Eventbrite is even though they claim to allow direct integration to your website, unless you are one of their major clients or unless you follow a strict list of rules, really all it does is redirect your customer to their website.

This is something to take into consideration especially because most companies would prefer to keep their online traffic on their site alone. This also means that embedding Eventbrite will not help your SEO if all of your customers are redirected to Eventbrite to complete their purchase. Your bounce rate will be high and retention rate low, while Eventbrite will maintain a low bounce rate and high retention rate increasing their own SEO. In the end, you will simply be helping Eventbrite’s SEO and branding, not your own.


The Sparxo pricing page is so simple we couldn’t even be bothered with tables! It’s just so straightforward — $1 for tickets under $25, $2 for tickets priced between $25 and $50, and $3 for tickets $50 and above.

One really great thing to note is this:

“The maximum Sparxo convenience fee is $3.00 + 2.9% + 0.30 per ticket. This fee includes the Sparxo application fee and the credit card transaction fee. The whole fee can be passed onto the customer or internalized or split.”

The whole fee! Yes, this means you can pass ALL your fees onto your customer — not only the Sparxo ticketing fees but also the credit card processing fees.

So essentially the math equation would be: $3.00 + 2.9% + 0.30 + all fees passed to customer = you keep 100% of your ticket price! We don’t know about you, but we believe 100% sounds just about right to us!

Also, in comparison to Eventbrite, Sparxo event registration does not call for any sort of redirection whatsoever. You maintain and control the entire brand experience with your customer. With Sparxo, you increase your retention rate, decrease your bounce rate, and boost your SEO all by doing exactly what you’ve already been doing.

Another plus to the Sparxo platform is if you find yourself having to deal with the sometimes-unexpected refund and/or cancellation situations. Well, you can put your worries away. Need to refund? Your customer’s get their Sparxo fees back too. Need to cancel? Pay no cancellation fees either.

To sum it up, you can refer to this simple table:

*If you are a major client fo Eventbrite’s or you follow this specific list of rules, then and only then can you directly embed Eventbrite into your website with no redirects:

1. You must use Eventbrite payment processing.

2. Your website must be secure with an HTTPS certificate on your website.

3. You can only sell tickets in the following currencies: USD, CAD, GBP, AUD or EUR

4. Does not work for events with multiple dates or times available.

5. Does not work when group registration is turned on.

6. Does not work with using “additional items” for sale for things like t-shirts.

7. Does not work when your event is password protected.

8. Does not work with the “Will Call” feature.

9. Does not work when adding multiple embed codes on the same page for the same event.

Note: For major festivals or large events, event ticketing sites typically offer special deals or integrations. The table above is what is offered to the general public and average event organizer or event producer.

We hope that we’ve made it easier for you to see which event ticketing platform offers what and at what cost so that you can find the best one that suits your needs! We wish all companies and ticketing systems were as transparent and upfront as Sparxo. Since that isn’t the case, we hope you found our research valuable. Happy event-ing!

Try a no obligation, free account with Sparxo today! www.sparxo.com