Secondhand ticket purchasing can be better than Ticketmaster in many ways. For Ticketmaster, you’re given “best available” seating, which means you could end up with seats on the moon sometimes. Just kidding, but you get my point. You do not get to pick exactly where you sit, you just say yes or no to the choices given. In purchasing tickets secondhand, you can pick exactly what section, row, and seat number that you’re in based on the options available.
The bad part about it is that the prices are usually higher than if one were to buy it directly from Ticketmaster or the first hand seller. Sometimes specific venues sell tickets through their site or box office. Prices on resell sites are usually raised higher than face value almost all of the time, but more frequent for shows of higher demand. It definitely happens for sold out shows, since you can’t buy anymore tickets from Ticketmaster, or whatever the first hand seller was.
Sites like Stubhub charge a service fee. It says that they don’t charge for posting but they do. By personal experience selling through Stubhub myself, they charge for the Fan Protect Guarantee they have, which is another fancy way of hiding their service charges. This means they take a percentage of the amount you are selling your ticket for since you are using their platform to sell your unwanted tickets.
Due to the deduction of services fees, you have to post your tickets for higher than face value, unless you want to lose money. There are also just people out there who literally buy tickets to popular shows or shows that they know will be sold out to resell them at outrageous rates. These people are also referred to as “scalpers.” Locally, in the bay area, scalpers do sell tickets for a lot higher than face value, but for bigger cities such as Los Angeles or New York, the prices definitely skyrocket.
Concerts in the iconic cities such as New York or Los Angeles are usually bigger and better. These cities have a massive amount of people too, and usually more than one tour date in the same city to accommodate this. Artists who have made it to legendary venues such as The Staples Center in Los Angeles or even larger, Madison Square Garden in New York usually have an enormous production, since being able to perform at these specific venue often mark a milestone in their career. Not only that, but they sometimes bring special guests on stage with them, usually another popular artist. The general public is aware of these circumstances when it comes to New York or Los Angeles, so many fans will travel far to see these special dates.
I personally have travelled to Los Angeles to see a tour that I have already seen in my local area. These shows are just so much bigger in terms of production and performances. Not only that, but the fans are ten times as crazier than back home in the bay area. Add those up and you’re left with an unforgettable concert experience. Even though it is basically an amped of version of the performance, for me, the experience is completely different than seeing it back home. Also, I would only go to such great lengths for artists that I am truly passionate about.
Since there are many people traveling to Los Angeles or New York for concerts, this causes an even higher volume of people who are desperate for tickets. Hence, New York and Los Angeles being a popular destination for scalpers. I’ve personally seen listings for tickets in Los Angeles for certain artists go up to the thousands when face value the tickets were only around one hundred dollars. Scalpers don’t even have to be located in the specified cities to scalp the tickets. Due to the power of the internet, basically anyone can purchase tickets to an event anywhere and sell it back right for a ridiculous price right from the comfort of their own home.
If you are purchasing secondhand tickets for cities like New York or LA, you should be extra cautious for unauthentic tickets and also prepared to pay astronomical amounts more than face value.
Aside from online secondhand ticket buying and Craigslist meetings, there are also people who try and sell their tickets at the arena before the show. I would not trust this because they have a very high risk of being inauthentic tickets or duplicates of at-home printouts. You really shouldn’t risk it because it would be very disappointing to already be at the venue and find out your tickets are fake.
Here are some links to help with second hand ticket purchasing, if you were not able to get tickets directly through Ticketmaster. I’ve put them in the order of most reliable to least.
This site is probably the most popular and used one by the general public. This means more listings of tickets that need to be resold. More listings of tickets means more options to choose from based on your seat preference and price range.
This site has a Fan Protect Guarantee which means:
- You’ll get the tickets you ordered in time for the event and they’ll be valid for entry
- If any of the above does not occur, they’ll locate comparable replacement tickets or send you a refund
- They handle all customer support issues, so sellers will never contact you directly
- You’ll get a refund if your event is cancelled and not rescheduled
Stubhub is the only site that has a guarantee that the tickets are valid for entry. This is very reassuring to buyers because obviously no one wants to get scammed.
Another tip I have for Stubhub is if you are planning to purchase tickets to wait up until the day of the show. This trick sometimes allows you to get a fantastic price but also has a risk. A few hours before, prices usually drop drastically. Based on what I’ve seen, prices are highest right after the ticket sales end on Ticketmaster and the closer it gets to the actual show, the prices raise. A few hours before the show they drop a big amount because people are desperately trying to get rid of them.
If you decide to purchase tickets right before the show, only pick the ones with the “Instant Download” marking on them. This allows you to download them and print them right at home and go straight to the show. Stubhub leaves postings up until the event is actually over, including tickets that need to be delivered which require many days in advance notice. If you happen to purchase those, you wouldn’t get your tickets in time and you would have to go through the complicated process of receiving a refund. They have a search filter that allows you to see only the tickets that are available for instant download that you can use.
Buying tickets hours right before your event is beneficial because they are sometimes posted for lower than face value, which is obviously a great deal. On the other hand, if you wait until last minute there might not be any seats that are in your favor to purchase. It could be because of the price range or just the location of the seats. It could also be that a minimal amount of seats are available for instant download.
Http://TicketsNow.com: I’ve used this site before, and I got great tickets that worked for valid entry at a reasonable price. The listing price is not the actual price because they do ad service fees in during checkout. If you want to know what you are going to pay, click “Buy,” then check out and it will show you the costs with service fees and shipping.
They don’t guarantee valid entry tickets like Stubhub, but they do ensure a full refund if they are not valid tickets. This means that there could be scammers on there, so I would be careful and try Stubhub first.
Http://craigslist.com: This is the most risky out of all three and the last resort for me. I’ve used it before and it ended up fine, plus I got the tickets for face value. Craigslist is good because there are no additional services fees like Stubhub or Ticketsnow. When you are purchasing a high priced ticket, the service fees really make the difference. There are many scammers on here, so beware. Make sure to meet in a public place because meeting someone from the internet can be dangerous, obviously. I like Starbucks because it’s small, but public. If anything were to happen, it’s not too crowded to where people wouldn’t notice. Do not meet at the arena before the concert. I’ve had a friend do that and her tickets were inauthentic, and obviously it was too late to purchase another pair if she even could.
Real tickets from Ticketmaster has ink that usually doesn’t wash off with water. It may smear a bit, but just barely. You can get a bit of water and wipe it on the ticket to see if the ink runs. If it runs completely off, they are not real tickets. This only works with the hard copy or actual stub of the tickets, not the print at home version. Scammers may try to scam you by making multiple copies of the print at home tickets as well as trying to print authentic looking physical stub hard copies of the tickets. It’s best to purchase from individuals with photos of the actual stub ticket on their listing. Craigslist gives you a search option for “photo only” so you can always utilize that tool.
One last tip I have for ticket buying is you can try to wait in line at the venue box office on the day of the concert. If it is a sold out show, right before, the venue usually releases more tickets. This only applies to sold out shows. For shows that aren’t sold out, they usually don’t release more. You can tell if a show is sold out or not by going on Ticketmaster and trying to search for seats. If it says, “We’re sorry no matches have been found.” This usually means it’s sold out. Try doing that about a week or so before the actual show. If you purchase tickets on Ticketmaster right when they go on sale, sometimes it gives you the same message because of the high traffic on the page.
The seating in the floor area is usually just fold out chairs, so sometimes they add more seats and sell more tickets if a show is sold out. They also sometimes have other sections of seating available to sell too. Purchasing direct from the venue means no Ticketmaster service fees like there are when you buy online through Ticketmaster. This also applies if you go to the venue the day tickets go on sale. Waiting in line at the venue the day of is a gamble because sometimes they only release a small amount and if you are not one of the few who are in front of the line to purchase tickets, then you are out of luck.
I hope that you have gained a better knowledge based on my advice and I hope that you enjoy the show for whatever tickets you end up purchasing!