Buying tickets for a sporting event or concert from Ticketmaster can be a frustrating experience. By the time most fans have a chance to login and search for tickets when they go on sale, many of the tickets are gone.
Some of these tickets end up on the resale market for hundreds or thousands of dollars more than the original price.
Related: Why Your Favorite Concerts Sell Out
Ticket bots are programs designed to buy event tickets the instant they go on sale, which means fans are either stuck without a ticket or left paying sky-high prices.
About two years ago I tried buying tickets for a major concert in my city. I assumed I would be able to get tickets since I started searching as soon as they went on sale.
Unfortunately, they all sold out instantly and I didn’t end up going to the concert.
Since then I’ve tried different methods of getting tickets and have found some work better than others.
Here are some tips I have learnt to score tickets and avoid paying sky-high ticket prices on the resale market.
Join the Fan Club
Many artists have a fan club or mailing list offering exclusive access to tickets. If your favorite artist announces a concert, consider signing up for their fan club (if you aren’t already a member) – it’s likely you’ll have a shot at first crack at tickets. You may need to pay a fee to join, but it may be worth it depending on how much you like the artist.
Use Your Cell Phone
Ticket bots are designed to work on a regular PC and they aren’t created to be compatible with mobile phones. This means you may have a better shot if you login using your smart phone to access the Ticketmaster website rather than a desktop computer.
Credit Card Rewards Programs
American Express currently offers ‘Front of the Line’ access for cardholders that gives them exclusive access to select concert tickets before they get released to the general public. Click here to learn more about the program.
After tickets initially go on sale (and sell out), many fans surge onto online classified sites and buy up the resale tickets at astronomical prices. For a concert my wife and I recently got tickets to, we waited 5 weeks after they went on sale before buying. We got a good pair of seats for their original cost – on the resale market. We saved about $300 by waiting until after the tickets had gone on sale.
Check for Multiple Dates
If an event sells out in minutes and there is only one date in your city, keep a close eye on the website for another date added. I have seen one concert date sell out in minutes and many fans become frustrated with being shut out of Ticketmaster – only to have another date added within hours without fans realizing it.
When people go onto the Ticketmaster website to buy tickets, many don’t realize that some tickets aren’t even released yet.
I have scored some good tickets on Ticketmaster weeks after they went on sale. This is because some events release tickets in phases (with the initial release being the biggest one).
If you don’t get the tickets you want right away, check back often as they do pop up after they go on sale even if it is initially all sold out.
This is such a proven way to get tickets that there are even bots designed to simply notify the user as soon as tickets get released.
Consider Going Alone
The odds of you scoring a great seat are much higher if you search for a single ticket rather than two side-by-side seats. The more seats you want in a row, the lower your odds are of getting good ones. You are more likely to get a good single seat and you’ll have a better chance of scoring a deal on the resale market for one seat because there is less demand for them.
Scalpers are looking to maximize their profits and they tend to stick to bigger venues – which mean less competition for the smaller venues.
Tickets for a concert in Saskatoon are likely to cost significantly less than those in Toronto. If you can, consider travelling to a smaller venue that has cheaper prices and more tickets available.
Can’t Beat Them…So Join Them?
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