I’ve worked with a few non-profit and civic organizations over the years and I love the opportunity to help when I can. I was recently asked a question that prompted advice I think other organizations could use.
The group is selling tickets for a fundraiser and is making them available online. The problem is they are using PayPal to collect money for the tickets and, well, the fees are a little steep. Their reaction was to add on a processing fee to cover the PayPal costs. They came to me for a solution to get that fee added to their cart system. Makes sense, right?
Not so fast!
The point is to sell tickets to raise funds for the organization. One of the things I’ve learned after years in eCommerce is that anything that causes friction during the buying process, anything that makes a customer hesitate will cost sales. An unexpected fee in the middle of the path to purchase can cause major hesitation.
Instead, do this
In this case, I actually think you should offer an incentive to buy online. You don’t want anyone telling you they’ll pay at the door because even with the best intentions, some of those people will not show up. When they buy online, hopefully they’ll come to your event. If not, they can give those tickets away, possibly exposing your organization to new people.
Say, “tickets are normally $35, but you save $8 when you buy online!” The $35 is the door price.
PayPal fees, while not pleasant, are a cost of doing business. In the case of this event, selling one or two extra tickets online will make up those fees. The reason so many eCommerce businesses have free shipping, especially this time of year, is because they know the extra sales they make will more than cover their extra costs.
Just remember, don’t lose dollars to save a penny. Your organization will benefit in the end if you do it right.