Presale vs. Regular Sales on Ticketmaster

Purchasing tickets for concerts are usually done on Ticketmaster. Which is a site that sells tickets for almost all concerts. Other ways you can buy tickets is directly from the venue or through re-sell sites like Stubhub. Sites like Stubhub are usually full of people who have bought tickets and for whatever reason can not attend the event anymore, so they sell them back. There are also people who buy tickets for the purpose of reselling them at a high price to make money. All these tickets that are sold through the venue or resold are Ticketmaster tickets usually since they are the only monopoly for tickets.

Since the majority of the buying begins through Ticketmaster, I want to discuss something I’ve dealt with personally as an avid concert attendee. I often come across the problem of buying tickets during presale or general/regular sales on Ticketmaster.

Presales are basically an early access to purchasing tickets. Sometimes Ticketmaster usually has presales for concerts if you have a specific credit card, if you are in the artist’s fan club, or if you get a special passcode through the radio promotion or venue.  They usually release a small percentage of the tickets during presales. Having a hand up with the presales can determine whether or not you get great seats or nosebleed seats. Presales can also be hurtful to seating choice. It all depends on lucky, really.

You may think that having a presale passcode may give you the best seats since you get access before the general public, but that isn’t true. I know this based on personal experience. During presales, Ticketmaster only releases up to thirty percent of the seating. This means that seventy percent or more is still available to the general sale. In that thirty percent that they are releasing, only a small amount of it contains the “good” seating, such as floor seats. This means that you may end up with decent seats through presage, but you may still get better seats during regular sales, since only thirty percent is released.

This puts people like me in a jiffy. Should I buy the seats I got with the presale code, or wait to maybe get better seats during the general sale?

General sales also have their cons too. Since a special code or specific credit card is not needed and it is virtually open to everyone, it makes it a lot more difficult to get through on the Ticketmaster server. During general sales for popular artists, what usually happens is hundreds of people clicking on the same page, which causes traffic within the server. This makes it a lot harder to get good seating, since there is such a high volume of people trying to do the same thing you are. Sometimes you aren’t even able to get through and all the tickets end up being sold, which means the show is sold out. Then you are only left to buy tickets through second hand resell sites such as the aforementioned Stubhub or Ticketsnow. In this case, I probably should’ve purchased tickets through presale, because there is a lower volume of people doing that. By then, my presage tickets were long gone, and I am left with a concert to attend but no tickets in hand. 

Another scenario that has happened to me is that I ended up purchasing tickets during a presale, then I tried for tickets during regular sales and got better seating. In that case, I ended up selling the tickets I got during the presale. This is a messy scenario because making a listing and selling tickets through the resell sites are very time consuming. Not to mention, you are basically forced to sell it at a higher price than face value to receive face value back because sites like Stubhub charge you a service fee for using their site to sell your tickets. This may cause potential buyers not want to purchase your tickets because they know you are selling for higher than face value.

You can also sell your tickets through sites like Craigslist, which is a site where you post what you want to sell and can meet up with the person to sell them the item. This is also risky because many people can ask to meet up with you and change their mind last minute. Not to mention, it’s not the safest option. Buying tickets through sites other than Stubhub are pretty risky as well because they may be fake or copied. Stubhub has a certified guarantee that your tickets are always authentic, but their tickets are almost always pricier than normal.

Sometimes you may get lucky and get excellent seats through presale, but otherwise, it is just a big gamble. I hope my input on both ends of the spectrum help you decide what to do when you are having trouble deciding whether to do a presale for a concert or just go with regular sales.

I hope this blog assists you in any future purchases you make with Ticketmaster. Most of all, I hope that whatever tickets you do end up getting that you enjoy the show! :)


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One thought on “Presale vs. Regular Sales on Ticketmaster

  1. I definitely did not know anything about ticketmaster before reading this! The presale vs. general sale problem sounded like a definite dilemma that I had not considered before. There are a few minor issues, like one or two accidentally dropped words and in one case you wrote “lucky” instead of “luck.” Overall though the post is very thorough and informative without being so dry that it becomes unenjoyable.

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