Great Ways To Cut Booking Fees Hunt



  • Jenks_2
    Jenks_2 Posts: 4 Newbie

    You've probably had this one before, but just in case.....

    I booked recently for Rocky Horror coming up in York - in true Money Saving fashion I did some research on getting the best price. I found a discount card which although cost £30 for a year gave access to 2 for 1 tickets (& various other offers) & reduced booking fees. So overall for the 4 tickets I wanted I saved some £25 on this occasion alone and will get a free programme to boot!!

    Only certain theatres are in the scheme but it is nationwide see weblink below for details.


    Chris Jenks
  • OddB
    OddB Posts: 12 Forumite
    topgranny wrote:
    Oh my God! Have I really just seen a post where the writer has actually used an apostrophe - and correctly? Sorry if this doesn't follow the thread but it is so unusual I just had to comment!

    Yes, that is a well placed apostophe. Must be some sort of aberration.
    Remember, the misplaced apostrophe is what makes Britain great!
  • julienetmum
    julienetmum Posts: 41 Forumite
    rwoods wrote:
    For example I saw Rufus Wainwright at the Birmingham Symphony Hall which only charge £1 for postage and no booking fee. This was a saving of £4-£5 over the same concert at Manchester Apollo where tickets have to be bought through an agency.


    I'm not sure if things have changed since I worked there but you used to be able to even save this £1 by asking the box office to hold the tickets for collection for you to pick up on the night.

    Booking fees are a funny one. I totally understand why box offices have to charge them. Basically the promoter hires the place, sets the ticket price then chooses who he wants to sell his tickets. He can either choose to pay the box office or agent a fee or percentage of each ticket sold, (in which case he incorporates this cost into the ticket price), or he can chose to keep 100% of the ticket money and the agent/box office has to charge a booking fee to make their money and pay their staff and other costs.
  • pec1960
    pec1960 Posts: 15 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I use for all my theatre tickets,very cheap(many shows for only£10) and in many instances they do not charge a booking fee.I have been many times and the seats have always been excellent.
  • hpiper
    hpiper Posts: 166 Forumite
    Another way of saving money is to join the 'Friends' scheme at the theatre. Usually, you pay an upfront fee for a years memebership, and then get priority booking and discounted seats.
  • lola_the_cat
    lola_the_cat Posts: 22 Forumite
    Haven't used this site yet myself, but also looks like good value for money for tickets to Westend shows. Certainly worth a look as they do special prices on certain days.
  • aloiseb
    aloiseb Posts: 701 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    How can people say classical music is elitist, when the tickets for non-classical concerts cost so much more?

    I've been to the Royal Albert Hall Proms many times and it's only a fiver to get in. What an atmosphere too. Also recently I went to the Royal Opera House (and very nice inside it is, too) on a £23 ticket. (you can get them half that, but you have to look sideways!) The singing was amazing, and it was good entertainment watching all the stuffed shirts and wrinkly women in the dress circle, too,who'd paid about £150 each...

    Still, I love opera and it's not to everybody's taste....
  • slonik
    slonik Posts: 132 Forumite
    My tips are more about getting cheap in general theatre tickets than cheap booking fees, but hope it's still useful. In London, the best way to get good seats at good prices for West End shows is to go to the official tkts booth. There is one right in the middle of Leicester Square (be careful - there are also lots of unofficial touts outlets in the area, you want the little hut-like building on the squarre itself, labelled tkts) and one in Canary Wharf, on the DLR platform. You can check out what's available on the web ( and then go along and buy. There's always something, and usually you get top price seats half price, and it works out at £25 a ticket, including £2.50 booking fee. Plus, you can see a seat plan and pick where to sit (availability permitting). The best selection of shows is available on weeknight, but if you are not fussy about what you see, you should be able to bag a bargain on a Saturday too.
    My second tip is to get your name on the e-mailing lists of any small, local theatres in your area. In my experience many places have some discounted (or sometimes even free!) tickets to opening nights of new shows and sometimes also advertise late availability with discounts to email list members.
    Snootchie Bootchies!
  • I think I've done this whole spiel before here but here goes. As an ex-ticket agent employee I'll tackle some of the issues around booking fees and agents. I won't about postage fees as I actually believe they are just a way to skim extra money from a customer.

    The complaints about bookings fees are all about perception. Many people here have said 'why can't we just pay the face value' well all that will happen is that instead of you paying £20.00 plus £3.50 booking fee and £1.50 postage they'll just charge you £25.00. The agent still has to pay the 'owner' of the ticket the £20.00 in both situations, you're no better off but because you can't see the mark up on the £25 ticket you won't necessarily complain as it's one price, it looks like a fair deal. If every product in every shop had the 'face value' on it and then when you took it to the till they put their mark up on it we'd all be in uproar. The point is ticket agents are the only people who state what their mark up is. Believe me they would LOVE to just charge one price. Many theatre tickets and non music tickets are sold by agents without a booking fee because the owner of the tickets has used the one price model, they price the ticket based on what they want to get PLUS the agents fees. This means that there is no need for a booking fee.

    Popular music is different. I once had a conversation with a large music promoter who said he didn't like booking fees but wanted to use our services. We suggested the inside idea to him. He retorted that he wanted to sell the tickets at £20 not £22.50 and no one would buy them at £22.50. We pointed out that people would be paying just that once we added our £2.50 booking fee to his £20 ticket. He looked at me and asked if I thought people would pay a face value of £22.50 for a ticket. I said they would and he replied "put the tickets on sale for £22.50 and add your booking fee to that"

    HOWEVER despite all this explanation booking fees do seem to be getting higher and higher, what many people don't know is why and no it's not the ticket agents. What is now happening is that the promoter sets the face value at say £20.00 onto which the agent will need to add a £2.50 booking fee to cover costs (call cetnre/credit card commission etc etc) and of course make a small profit (believe me it's small) BUT what promoters now do is say as well as paying £20 per ticket back to the promoter ticket agents have to pay anything from £0.50 to £2.00 per ticket as a 'fee' to the promoter to secure the tickets to sell. So if the promoter charges £2.00 the agent then has to put on a booking fee of £4.50 t cover the prooters £2.00 fee and their own charges of £2.50.

    So should we turn our attentions from agents to promoters? Well no it doesn't end there. Increasingly the artists themselves are controlling ticket face values and the booking fees and the ticket agents are having to pay a proportion of the booking fee to the artists management company, in some cases in addtion to fees being paid to the promoter. I'm not sure I can legally tell you which performers have done this recently or even in the past but suffice to say they are some of the biggest touring artists with some of the highest face values. The end result? High priced tickets, high booking fees, more complaints about ticket agents while the performer and promoter sit back and count the cash.

    I suppose my point here is EVERYONE is out to make money and it's always the customer who pays and often it is not the ticket agent that is the most greedy party but they ALWAYS get the beating, that's how musicians and promoters get away with it.

    Oh yes, tips for saving money depend on what you want ot go and see, for music the best option usually is to go to the venue in person and pay with cash. Failingf that local in person sellers liek record sotres are the next best. If you can't get somewhere to buy in person then check out any local sites like next try Ticketweb who have probably the lowest fees of the main agents. If you just NEED to get the ticket then the Ticketmaster site is the best for not crashing.

    For theatre, again in person is best but there are often offer via friends schemes, or for West End Theatre there are almost always offers in the press, wit credit card companies andactually the agents run a load of offers to their customers as well. Get on mailing lists.
  • kitaj
    kitaj Posts: 67 Forumite
    The National Theaatre (London) does a scheme for disabled people that means all tickets are £12 to the disabled person and one 'carer', which can be anyone. This means that two brilliant tickets for a show can cost just £24 instead of say, £36 each. In addition the staff at the National have always been excellent in so many respects and extremely helpful about accommodating my son who has arthritis and needs an aisle seat to stretch his legs. 10/10 for service and value!
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