Pre-Payment for Dances

PrePaymentMany events, both national and local, offer pre-payment discounts for their functions. In the days of yore, people would send in a registration form and a check to hold their places. In the 21st Century, events use online payment methods such as PayPal to over significant discounts from the "at-the-door" rates.

What astounds me is that most people don't use the pre-payment offers, especially the "early bird" rates, and wait until the last possible moment to sign up, even though they are 99.9% certain that they will be attending a function.

The best part (sarcastically said), is that many people will pay significantly more just to have the "option" not to go - just so that they are not financially bound.

The breakdown

So I thought I'd help you understand what your option might cost:

Let's say an event costs $10 pre-paid, but it costs $15 at-the-door. Your option then cost you 50% more ($5 more than the $10 pre-payment rate). And people who pre-pay SAVE 30%!! ($5 less than the $15 at-the-door rates).

So it's reasonable to say that exercising your "option" not to go to an event to which they will probably attend is perhaps one of the silliest financial moves you could make.


The bigger picture

When you begin to exercise options like that, it represents two major things:

1) It tends to represent that you might handle other financial matters in similar fashion. You might be spending 50% more on many other things.

2) It tends to represent a person who is not sensitive to the event director's plight of trying to pre-sell tickets so that an event does not get canceled because of the panic which sets in when an event pre-sale amounts do not surpass the expenses.


Something to think about

1) Most event directors (dance or otherwise) are generally not in the business of stealing money. They take great pride in providing excellent service or product. So, they will generally refund a pre-payment if requested before the event starts (accounting is often times settled by the end of the night).

2) If an event director is not offering a refund, a pre-payment can usually be transferred to another person - win, win, win for everyone!

3) What does it say about you when you pay 50% more at the door? We've just gone through one of the worst economic recessions since the Great Depression and bad economic decisions usually aren't big....they're small. Getting nickled and dimed is the quickest way to going broke.

4) When you pre-pay, you save money AND you also save time. Since you've registered ahead of time, you either have your ticket or the door staff / registration booth already has your information. It allows you to move forward quickly. Convenience for you, convenience for all.


Excuses / Concerns:

1) Worried about fraud online: This is a great concern. In the digital age we all have to be prudent. There are some very well known online payment merchants such as PayPal, Google Checkout, Checkout by Amazon, Digital River or NetTeller. To over come this issues try this: a) open a new credit card with a low limit ($200). Only use this card for online payments b) open a PayPal account so that it can be used in many different ways (PayPal is one of the most ubiquitous services).

2) Concerned about being Tracked: We are all concerned with being over tracked. However, if you've got an email address, phone number and account a bank, then you're being tracked. A small business is not tracking your every move simply because you paid for their services online. At most, you might get an email about their next event or product - that email generally has information about a discount. If you don't like the email, either unsubscribe or press delete (my preferred method).

3) Computers are scary: If you're over a certain age, paying online can evoke fear of the unknown or worse, being taken advantage. One quick solution is to call the event director or business from whom you're trying to make a purchase.  Most reputable businesses can walk you through the steps of entering the information on your computer or entering it in on their end. This method is a little low-tech, but puts people interaction in the mix.