Selling Tickets & Pricing Raffles


How Much to Charge for Tickets & Raffles

This section of how much to charge for admission tickets, beer tickets, and raffle tickets is a huge question on everyone’s mind. Anyone holding a Fundraiser should read this section as your pricing is vital to your success. Scroll down to reveal all of our tips on how to price things correctly to maximize your profits.


 

Admission Tickets, Raffle Tickets, Drink Tickets

This varies from town to town, and depends on the average age of the people you expect to come and what would be included in their ticket price.  The majority of parties tend to charge around $10 per person or $15 per couple. This number would be higher if you were offering dinner with that.  If you are in Welland, the price could be even lower per ticket, whereas in Toronto the price may be $25 per ticket.  Just depends on the location!

Some people include on the ticket that by coming to the event in person, they will receive a free grand prize raffle ticket, or maybe 1 drink ticket, in which case you may bump up the price by a couple of bucks.

Another way of coming up with a price, is take the total of how much the DJ, food, and hall will cost, and divide it by how many people you expect will purchase a ticket.  This will give you an idea as to how much to charge per ticket.  And giving a special price for couples to come is recommended.  Your admission ticket sales should cover the cost of those three big items.

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Find people who are outgoing, good in the field of sales, who are popular and know lots of people, are not afraid to ask people for things to sell your admission tickets. You should get family members to sell to family members and their friends; friends to sell to their family and friends; coworkers to sell to coworkers and their friends, etc.

Do not have just one person selling the tickets as this is a lot of pressure and not fair to them. Get many people selling them, as it is a lot of work and you will sell more this way. Do not count on people showing up at the door either just because you told them when it would be – always sell tickets in advance even if you are certain they will come. Many people will buy tickets just to show support, but will have no intention of going to the event.

You may want to consider using a ticket spreadsheet to keep track of who is selling which numbered tickets. Encourage as many people as possible to pay upfront, which will help prevent you from confirming an inaccurate number of guests with the hall.

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First let me apologize for the picture.  It was just too cute to not post here!  We certainly do not recommend you beg lol.  But you are probably wondering how to get Donations, and we have some great tips.

This is a tricky task – it can be hard to ask for free stuff sometimes, but you have to do it! A party is not a party without prizes!  It is imperative that you understand how to ask for Donations for Fundraisers.  Think about what kind of donations would best suit your event’s needs. If this party is for a couple in their early 30’s, chances are there will be many couples there in the same age group, so choose age appropriate gifts.  A gift card to Laser Tag is probably not going to excite too many people unless they have children nor will it encourage them to pay for a game as a way to win this prize.

How to Start

  • Create a list of friends, family, and co-workers who may be able to provide donations for your event – those who may own their own business or hold a management role.
  • Do not be afraid to ask people, and probably the best way to do it is face to face rather than on the phone or email. It puts people on the spot a little more and they are more likely to say yes, since it is so easy to type “sorry I cannot help you out”.
  • Make it a team effort and get all of your committee members to help.
  • Next make a list of local businesses that you hope can provide you with gift certificates or free stuff, and that you think your guests would like to bet on.
  • You can always try some free online ads begging for help on some Facebook Stag & Doe pages or through Kijiji, but you won’t get too much of a response that way.
  • One of the best ways to get donations at a company where you do not have an “in” is either by asking for it in person at their place of business or by writing a professional letter.
  • Any mid-sized to large company may have to clear their donations through their head office with the use of your letter anyhow, so this is probably the best avenue.

Letter Do’s and Don’ts:

  • First of all, do not hand write your letter!  Type it up and print in advance.  Keep it in your car and when you are in the area, drop it off!  Give to your committee members too if they live close to the location.
  • The letter should say:  who you are, the event you are planning, when the event is, why you thought of this particular company, why you love their company, your favourite product, how you anticipate people will react to their gift card/prize, etc.
  • Include an actual ticket of the Fundraiser to accompany it – it just shows it is more legitimate.
  • Do not make your letter sound vague (I am requesting a donation) but instead be straight to the point and clearly state what you want (I am requesting a gift certificate for $50).
  • Do not make it too generic like this one (I am asking for a donation to my stag and doe and appreciate your help). Boring!  Make yours stand out because they literally get these weekly if not daily, so make yours stand out from the rest, so they remember you.  Make it personal with something they can relate to you about.  Talk about how you and your hubby met if it is a romantic story, the kids you have, how much you love shopping there, or a memory of the first time you purchased from them, or a favourite product that you cannot live without.  Add a picture of you with your spouse or kids, as it is makes it much more personal.
  • Just remember you are in competition with a LOTTTTT of others, so make your letter and story special.
  • Sign the letter and include your contact information

Some Other Do’s and Dont’s for Donation Requests

  • Go in person wherever possible!  It is too easy for people to ignore your email or voicemail, or reply with “sorry cannot help you”.  Always bring a typed letter for them, that has their company name printed on it – make it look like an official request.
  • Don’t waste your time going to the mall and talking to the managers of places like LuLu Lemon or the Gap which are mostly corporately owned.  They won’t do squat for you!  Those types of companies only deal with super large fundraisers for the United Way as an example and get inundated with tons of donation requests, so they won’t have time for your tiny Stag & Doe.  Sorry, but it’s the truth!
  • Stick to restaurants that stand alone and are not in a food court – such as Boston Pizza or another one that you frequent.
  • You can attempt to try out some Wineries or smaller businesses that you frequent, such as your massage therapist.
  • Splitsville in Hamilton, Steam Whistle in Toronto, and Hooters in Niagara Falls religiously donate without a fight, so go with them too.  You can email Steam Whistle and they will mail the tickets to you!
  • You can try Molson if you are selling their beer – the usually donate some paraphernalia but not 100% of the time.
  • You are better off talking to businesses, that YOU do business with.  Get your committee members to help as well, as they will have special businesses that they do business with and might have a relationship with.  That helps!
  • Get the person’s name that you left your letter with and thank them for their time.
  • Then make sure to follow up within 3 days of them receiving the letter, but saying – I am just checking in to see if the request has been reviewed as I am excited to see if you can help!

Other Ways to Get Prizes

  • Do not rely solely on donations!
  • You may have to spend some money to make money, so look for the sales. BBQ’s, TV’s, iPads, concert tickets, sporting event tickets, gift cards, or even gift baskets are great prizes and they are things that you can usually find on sale.
  • Never pay full price for prizes… there are deals everywhere.

How Many Prizes Should I Get

  • Be weary of one thing – sometimes people think the more prizes, the better.
  • It always looks impressive when the prize tables are absolutely loaded with loot.
  • Consider that it takes time to draw a ticket for a prize, so more prizes mean more time drawing, and guests can become agitated.
  • If you have a lot of smaller prizes, consider consolidating them into “Prize Packs” or letting the DJ give some away for spot dances – a great way to get your guests up dancing and enjoying themselves.
  • A good problem to have, is that you have TOO many prizes to give away.
  • If this is your case, then use these prizes for games, rather than giving away money.
  • Plan to have 1 huge Grand Prize, 2-3 smaller but still big prizes, and then a Raffle Table of about 20 -30 prizes.  You can consolidate some of them into baskets as we mentioned before.  Too many, and it will take too long to coordinate.  Too little, and nobody will want to buy tickets!

Carrie (owner of Jack of all Spades) just had her own Stag & Doe in June 2018, and 99.9% of her prizes were donated.  All.  Of.  Them.  She bought an LCBO gift card for the toonie toss, but besides that, she was not out of pocket for anything.  She worked hard, and worked for months getting prizes, she got a quadrillion “NO’s”, but her persistence paid off.  Definitely get help though, as its a huge undertaking.  Good luck with requesting Donations for Fundraisers!

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We hate to say it but if you must know how to sell the most Raffle Tickets at your event… but we are just going to say it.  Specifically choose some good looking men and women to sell these tickets.  Terrible isn’t it?  So shallow!  But it works.  Ev..ery..time.

Make sure they charm, smile, and hustle for best results. It is good to have a few different colours of Raffle Tickets too, because one girl can have the red tickets, and one girl can have the blue tickets. When the red ticket girl sells tickets to a group of people, the blue ticket girl can come around and ask them to buy tickets from her. When your guests say that they already have some, the blue ticket girl can say, “but you do not have my colour,” with a pouty look on her – works every time!

Typical pricing would be three tickets for $5 or an arms length for $10. Another good option is to also offer $15 for a hug, which means that a pretty girl will hold the tickets in her hands and will hug your guest. When her hands meet around their waist, then that is how many tickets they get. Guys are a sucker for this!

So we recognize how awful these tips are when trying to decide how to sell the most raffle tickets, but just trust us when we say it works.

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raffle drawsNeed some help with how to run the Raffle Draws?  Plan to shut down the games no later than midnight, as you will need time to run the raffle draws.  When your guests purchased Raffle Tickets throughout the night, they would walk along the long line of prizes on the Prize Table, and choose which prize(s) they wanted the most.  Then they would tear half of their ticket and put it into a Raffle Container that corresponded with that Prize.

One big mistake people make when they have lots of raffle prizes, is that they use a microphone to draw the raffle prizes all at once which stops your party dead. It also drags on and on and on, and it can be annoying.  Especially if you are one of those parties that have 100 prizes.

It is a good idea to draw a couple of prizes publicly and either have the DJ announce the other winners in between songs or rent our Dry Erase Boards to post the winning numbers silently. This is a good way to keep the sale of Raffle Tickets going, as your guests will be constantly reminded about the prizes people keep winning. As the night goes on, the prizes get more expensive and more appealing, thus encouraging people to stay longer and spend more money.

Another idea is to have people write their names on the Raffle Tickets before they put them in a Raffle Container. This way, the announcer does not have to read the numbers eight times before people hear him correctly, they will understand a person’s name much easier and it will go faster.  Also, if they are not there anymore, you can get them the prize another day.  So people don’t have to stick around…. however you kind of want them too!  The longer they are there for, the more they will spend on drinks and games, so you choose what is best.

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Your drink charges for your guests generally range from $2.50 a drink to $3.50, but this may vary depending on the crowd you are inviting, the kind of drinks you are serving, and the area in which they are from. Jell-O shooters are very popular and generally sell for $1 to $2 a piece and can be sold to people at their tables, rather than waiting for them to come to the bar to buy them. We suggest that you have 3-4 types of beer, 3-4 types of liquor, 3 types of pop, and consider the possibility of coffee, tea, bottled water, and milk as other options for your guests.

On average, each person that shows up may drink 2 to 4 drinks, so you can use this number to judge how many drinks to buy.  You have charge more for premium beers if you wish, and you can do this by offering a different coloured Beer Ticket to keep it simple.

If you buy too much, the LCBO and Beer Store will allow returns under some conditions.  The AGCO Website says:

When returning unopened alcohol purchased from a government store, you must produce the permit and a copy of your payment records (e.g. receipts and/or invoices). Check with the retailer at which you purchased the alcohol for further details.

Typically, The Beer Store will allow up to 20% of the beer you purchased to be returned, as long as it is a perforated case (not glued), you have your Special Occasions Permit with you, the seals of the case are not broken, and it is a full case that is unopened. The LCBO will allow returns as long as you have your receipt and it can be a saleable item again (not used).

Also one quick note, is we recommend to have a table near the bar off to the side, which has plastic cups and a jug of water.  That way the bartender won’t be overwhelmed with orders like this, when people can just do this themselves!  Shortens the line a bit and gives them a break.  All you have to do is put someone on water duty to ensure it is always full!

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