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FAQs (for prospective customers)

General

Money

Box Office Operations

Security and Privacy


FAQs (for existing customers)


FAQs (with answers)

General

How do I figure out if this will work for me?

We suggest three steps:

  1. Sample the information on the web site, maybe paying the most attention to the testimonials.
  2. Run through the live demo (which uses our sample data), to see what the purchasers’ experience is, and also what reports ticket sellers get.
  3. Then have us set up a test drive with your own data. To do that, go back to our home page and click on the big yellow Sell Tickets! button.

It's free to you and low cost to us, so there is no obligation. Once the test drive is set up, we send you a simple checklist to walk you through both testing and proofreading of the information you had us put in. If you're satisfied, we can make the test drive into a live webstore very quickly.

Do I have to have a public web page to put the link on?

Yes, and we include facebook pages in this category. In fact, you continue to publicize your site, not ours, to your community of patrons. We have written a longer explanation of why that is better for you and your patrons.

Do you offer phone support as well as email?

Only in unusual circumstances, such as when you have a problem while managing admissions at the door and have no aceess to email, or if we see that a succession of emails has not been successful in clearing up a misundertanding. See this note for a longer explanation.

Is there any minimum number of performances or tickets?

No.

How long a lead time do I need before my event?

About 3 weeks is a good rule of thumb. We typically set up a test drive within one business day. It seems to take at least a couple of days to see if the features are a fit, and also to proof-read the event information, but a week is a more common time frame. Then it takes time to publicize the option to buy tickets online to the community of purchasers. People who rush that last process tend to sell almost no tickets online.

Can I set the system to accept donations?

Yes, if you're a non-profit organization. And we don't charge our fee for those, although the bank's credit card charges still apply.

Can you ensure that tickets are not duplicated by the recipients?

No. About 5% of our customers treat what people print at home on 8 1/2" x 11" sheets as just a receipt to be brought to a will-call window. But those sheets can be matched to a list the system provides by name, phone, email, or last 4 digits of credit card, so any duplications can be detected, if not prevented. Customers with good internet connectivity at the door can use our GateKeeper feature to scan QR codes at the door. See this note for more on scanning QR codes.

In practice, however, the problem of forged tickets never seems to come up in the communities we work with.

Can Seat Yourself handle an initial rush to get tickets?

If purchasers are given a specific date and time when online sales will open, the resulting surge can stress the system, and many attempted purchases will fail. However, the following approach has worked quite well in all cases:


Purchasers are given a date, but not given a specific time. Online sales are actually opened very late the previous evening. Initial sales then increase smoothly. In addition to the success of this approach from the system's point of view, we have not had any complaints from studio managers or purchasers.

Will Seat Yourself work for private events?

Sorry, no. You must publish the event on the web for us to sell tickets to it.

Can I read through a more formal agreement?

Absolutely. Here is our complete Client Agreement

How long have you been in business?

Since January, 2002. Our first customer, a non-profit regional theater, has been using our software to sell tickets for over ten years. We have been selling high school performing arts tickets since the fall of 2007.

Do you have any relevant affiliations?

We are the exclusive online ticketing licensee of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), a non-profit organization that includes over 4,000 Thespian Troupes as members.

Money

Is there a setup fee or any sort of cancellation fee?

No.

Are there any other fees besides the 50¢ fee that the on-line ticket purchasers pay?

Credit card fees charged to us, and passed on to customers, are 25¢ per transaction plus 3%. The 25¢ transaction (NOT per ticket) fee means that there is no exact fee per ticket. We average about 3 1/2 tickets per transaction, so it works out to about 7¢ per ticket on average.

Can you give me an example?

Someone buys four $10 tickets, using Visa. They pay $42. We take $2. The bank takes .25+(42*.03)=$1.51. You keep $38.49.

Is there any flexibility on which fees the purchaser pays and which we do?

Yes. For almost all of our customers, the 50¢ per ticket fee is paid by the purchaser, and the bank fees are paid by our customer. And the purchasers see their fees separately from the ticket price, but do not see the bank fees. But we can almost always tailor the fee split to your needs.

Can purchasers cancel and get refunds?

Our policy is no refunds. We make exceptions when the performance has been cancelled, or if you send us an email request, or when a purchaser contacts us immediately and claims they purchased something without wanting to. Each of these 3 situations is uncommon.

When do you send me my money?

We schedule a payment with our bank within one business day of your submitting an online request for us to disburse a performance or set of performances that has taken place. The reason we can't send the money immediately is because if you cancel a performance, we have to reverse all the credit card charges.

Can you do direct deposit?

Yes, if you send us a voided check, via e-mail or fax (914-239-4803). Or you can just have a check sent USPS.

Do I need to have my own credit card merchant account?

No, we provide that, and in fact we are not able to use your credit card merchant account or Paypal account.

Box Office Operations

Do customers print their own tickets?

Yes, using any standard printer.

Can you do reserved seating as well as general admission, or even mix both in the same performance?

Yes. Just send us your seating chart, via e-mail or fax (914-239-4803).
Formats we accept include: pdf, jpg, and spreadsheets and MS Word documents.

Can I see how ticket sales are progressing?

Yes, you get a login and can see reports on who bought tickets and for how much at any time.

How do I keep you from selling seats we already sold, or want to sell offline?

The box office application includes a seat manager that lets you determine which seats the webstore can sell, and which seats you make reservations for. You can move seats back and forth between the two categories, as long as they haven't been sold.

Can I sell tickets beforehand or at the door without paying any fees?

Yes. We give you a simple box office application that you use to sell seats and print tickets. If you take cash or check, there are no fees whatsoever. If you accept a credit card in payment, our 50¢ fee and the bank charges apply.

However, the ability to use the system to sell at the door without paying any fees is in addition to, not instead of, online sales, since our only source of revenue is the per-ticket fee we charge for online sales. So we require you to offer a substantial fraction of your seats for online sales.

Do you keep selling tickets right up to curtain time?

No, we shut off web sales, typically 12 hours before curtain. And you can set that earlier or later. But we have written a detailed explanation of why we recommend a setting of at least 2 hours, and don't allow settings of under 1 hour.

Why don't you let purchasers choose the exact seats they want?

We've found that our approach reduces the number of isolated seats that can't be sold later. Also, many theatres prefer not to let all purchasers see exactly what has and hasn't been sold. Instead, the system suggests seating choices, and purchasers choose from among those.

Can individual students get credit for sales they help make?

Yes. We can designate a field on the checkout page for purchasers to enter the name of the student to credit for the sale.

Security and Privacy

How do you protect the security of credit card information?

Credit card numbers are erased after we put through the charge, typically seconds after the information is entered by the purchaser. We process charges through Authorize.net, (a subsidiary of Visa, Inc.), whose seal is at the bottom of the site pages. Also, our credit card merchant account requires us to be PCI-compliant. See this page for more information.

How do you protect the security of other information?

We use industry standard security certificates and encryption.

Do you treat my purchasers' names and email addresses as confidential?

Yes. We treat all information provided by purchasers as confidential, and we don't share it with anyone but you.