Port’s fee is 4.5% compared to 9.5% from our competition because we think ticketing should be more like Shopify and less like Etsy. That deserves some explanation, and after about 15 attempts at a good analogy, this is the one I landed on:
Imagine you make skateboards. (Stay with me).
You’ve opened up your own skateboard shop in a great location and it’s getting good foot traffic. A customer picks out the board they like, brings it up to the counter, and you say to them: "I'm so glad you like my skateboards, but this shop is just a showroom! To buy it, walk next door to Walmart, grab this same board from aisle 5, and buy it there!"
That’s what you’re doing when you put your tickets for sale on a marketplace (such as Eventbrite), resulting in some real downsides. Let’s run with the skateboarding analogy just a little further to illustrate them:
Online marketplaces are a bit more efficient than offline ones like Walmart, so the wholesale to retail markup is less severe, however, the difference remains meaningful. Let’s compare Shopify and Etsy using numbers from their 2015 financial statements:
That extra 6.8% is well earned by the marketplace if it brings you new customers. However, the reality with events (and you already know this), is that event “marketplaces” do not bring extra customers. People don't find out about events by going to a big list of them and shopping for something to buy. Fact of life.
It's that fact of life that drives our opinion of our industry. We think that when the DIY online ticketing industry was getting started a decade ago, it simply picked the wrong model. Eventbrite charges 9.5% on a $25 ticket because they think of themselves as a marketplace. We believe that the right solution isn’t an Etsy for events (i.e. a “marketplace”) it’s a Shopify for events (i.e. helpful software to sell directly from your website).
Port is the result of that thinking. It’s how we think ticketing should be. It’s how we think ticketing soon will be. And we know from our e-commerce neighbors, that the price for such a tool should be 4.5%, not 9.5%.
P.S., we made an ad!