If you’ve ever been frustrated with the process of buying tickets from Ticketmaster for a sporting event or concert because they seem to sell out within minutes or seconds of going on sale, you are not alone.
Tickets for some concerts are a hot item. How hot? Here are some stats on concerts that have sold out in record times.
- Bruno Mars tickets went on sale for two shows in Hawaii and the tickets sold so quickly that only 6% of those who stood in line to buy tickets were actually able to purchase them
- One Direction performed in the UK a few years ago and sold out one show in just over 10 seconds.
- Several Justin Bieber concerts in North America have sold out in under than 30 seconds.
After the tickets are sold out, in many cases they end up on secondary ticket websites like StubHub.com for significantly more than their face value.
A lot of people start to wonder how can this be, and who is buying these tickets.
The answer? Ticket bots.
Ticket Bots –What Are They?
A ticket bot is a software program created to automatically reserve tickets for a Ticketmaster on-sale event as soon as they go on sale.
Bots have become more and more popular as tickets are sold almost exclusively online – which opens up an opportunity to skip the line – electronically.
Ticket bots are the most common but other types are gaining in popularity. They can be used for various different purposes like reserving camping spots, marathon registrations, securing cheap flight tickets and reserving tables at popular restaurants. They can even be designed to notify someone when tickets get released rather than actually buying them.
How Do They Work?
The software is able to bypass the ‘captcha’ images (a combination of letters and numbers used to prevent automated ticket bots) and can be set to run at a specific time.
In the case of a concert or sporting event, the program is set to run as soon as tickets go on sale.
It needs to be configured by an end user to ensure it is set correctly, but the actual buying of the tickets is done instantaneously by the program.
For example: if tickets for a huge concert go on sale at 10am, the user would configure the program to run at that time and once 10am hits, the pre-selected number of tickets are bought immediately. This results in the best seats being purchased instantaneously before any human is able to buy them.
Who Is Buying Them?
Ticket bots are usually bought by ticket ‘brokers’ who buy large amounts of tickets and then resell them on the secondary market at inflated prices. The tickets are usually resold on sites such as Tickets Now (owned by Ticketmaster) StubHub, Craigslist or Kijiji.
Garth Brooks performed in Calgary, Alberta and tickets that were originally priced at $62 were listed on eBay minutes after they went on sale for over $7,000 per ticket.
This has enraged many fans that are unable to buy tickets despite their best efforts.
Changes to the Industry
Ticketmaster has introduced paperless tickets, which allow the fan(s) admittance without an actual paper ticket. This is seen as an attempt to limit the reseller market and if more concerts adopt this approach, the reseller market would likely decrease.
This system isn’t perfect though, as it requires the original credit card used to buy the tickets to be shown at the admission gate. If you can’t use your tickets or want to give them to a friend, they’d need your credit card to get in.
How to Increase the Odds of Getting Tickets
Click here for some tips on how to increase your odds of scoring tickets to a game or concert.
Last year I tried buying tickets from Ticketmaster online to a concert and had absolutely no luck. I was online exactly when the tickets went on sale (10am) and got onto the site, only to see the tickets had sold out within seconds.
Since I refuse to pay thousands of dollars for tickets on the resale market, I simply didn’t go to the concert.
Have you ever had a frustrating experience buying tickets online with Ticketmaster?
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