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Santiago Martin
Santiago Martin

How To Buy Tickets On Ticketmaster Before They Sell Out VERIFIED

The deluge temporarily crashed Ticketmaster's site Tuesday and fueled hours-long wait times to buy tickets. The chaos led to calls from U.S. senators and the Tennessee attorney general for probes into the ticket seller's market power and sales practices.

how to buy tickets on ticketmaster before they sell out


Ticketmaster is the "primary" seller of the Taylor Swift tour, for example. Event tickets that appear on a primary seller's site are ones being sold for the first time and at face value (i.e., the price printed on the ticket).

Sometimes, that might happen if a reseller sells multiples of the same ticket; only the initially scanned ticket will work at the door. In other cases, a reseller may be selling you tickets they haven't even secured yet.

There's a surefire way when buying online, experts said: First, navigate to an artist's or event venue's website and click through from there for tickets. Doing so will bring you to the primary seller's page.

"When there are simply no tickets available, I understand fans want to see a show, but they run risk of overpaying or running into fake tickets, scammers," said Tim Gray, CEO of Grayscale Marketing and vice president of marketing for Romeo Entertainment Group, a talent buyer and concert promoter.

In these cases, a bot (which may even pose as someone you know) might entice you to click on a fake link for a livestream to a sold-out concert, or tell you they can no longer use event tickets they'd purchased. These are often attempts to steal your personal information or credit card number, Gray said.

He encourages fans who buy tickets this way to click on the social-media profile in question and look for potential red flags, such as very few prior posts, which signals the account was likely just created. Fans can also do a Google search for consumer reviews of the seller in question, which may give an indication as to whether others have suffered a scam.

Compounding the issues are the tickets already available for resale: Reporting from CBS New York found an instance of a third party selling tickets for up to $17,000 a seat. Fans online flagged tickets going for as much as $22,500 apiece. In their statement, Ticketmaster said that "90% fewer tickets are currently posted for resale ... than a typical on sale," and said that their site is not currently reselling any tickets for the tour. Every ticket was sold to a buyer with a Verified Fan code, Ticketmaster said.

Except fans have the added pressure of trying to buy the same exact tickets at the same exact time as thousands of other Swifties. That can lead some to spend significantly more than they initially budgeted.

But the issue extends beyond Swift. Most concertgoers have dealt with inflated prices over the past few years, as they try to beat bots and increased demand. When Bruce Springsteen announced his latest tour, for example, some ticket prices surpassed $5,000 as a result of dynamic pricing. At the time, Ticketmaster said only 11% of the tickets were part of the variable-priced Platinum category.

Yet even those ticket sales were a debacle, with fans getting locked out of buying tickets or experiencing errors with Ticketmaster's system. Many people were unexpectedly kicked out of the queue or unable to check out once they'd gotten through.

There are many problems with the way Taylor Swift's tickets are being sold, almost all of them structural and almost all of which stack the deck against fans. I know this because, in college, I was a ticket broker and learned tricks of the trade. I've long since stopped selling tickets, but, since then, I've spent more than a decade reporting on Ticketmaster, ticket brokers, and the ticket resale market. I've also published a months-long investigation about Wiseguy Tickets, a company that "broke" Ticketmaster with bots and was ultimately raided by the FBI after buying thousands upon thousands of tickets for America's most popular shows.

Presales nominally give fans extra chances to buy tickets if they are busy during any of the onsales. In practice, however, there's not really any reason to think this is actually the case. Ticket brokers (also known as scalpers) are better at buying tickets than the general public, because they do it as a job, and have all sorts of advantages. I know this, because, as I've mentioned before, I was a ticket broker for a short period in college.

Serious ticket brokers, though, have far more advantages. There is rarely a presale that ticket brokers don't have access to. There are a variety of pay forums (Shows on Sale, which costs $150 per month, is one of the largest) where brokers share strategy, sell software, and share presale passwords. Ticket brokers join artist fan clubs, because they can make up the joining fee in profit on the tickets.

For popular shows, Ticketmaster has a ticket limit. For Taylor Swift shows, the limit is six tickets. Ticketmaster says it will cancel tickets (i.e. put them back into the onsale pool) bought by people who go beyond that limit. In practice, ticket brokers have various ways around this limit. Many ticket brokers simply use multiple names or addresses to hide the fact that they are going beyond limits. Ticket broker companies do this by buying tickets under the names of their employees. Individual brokers might do it by using a relative's credit card, opening a prepaid debit card, or hiring someone to let them use their credit card and repaying them immediately after they buy the tickets.

Professional ticket brokers also employ or contract "ticket pullers," who are basically people who are paid an hourly fee or commission to try to buy tickets the second they go on sale on behalf of the broker.

Wiseguy, for example, had dozens of people working out of their Las Vegas office who were all trying to pull tickets the second they went on sale. A good ticket puller will work on computers with fast internet connections and will have computers that can handle hundreds or thousands of browsers at a time.

People used to view ticket reselling unfavorably. The mere mention of the word scalping brings to mind shady characters loitering on street corners, selling concert tickets for a higher price to people who could not get one for themselves before they sold out. Keep in mind ticket reselling is different than scalping, which is illegal in many places.

Ticket reselling, which is mainly done online, means you buy concert or event tickets at a lower price and then sell them at a higher sale price to earn a profit. It could also mean ticket brokering or touting. You buy concert tickets from a licensed seller, such as a concert organizer, in bulk, and then resell them at a higher price.

StubHub is one of the most popular resale sites. You can list your tickets on the website for free. However, StubHub charges a commission fee slightly higher than other resale options when you do sell a ticket.

Ticket reselling can be profitable, although it might not seem so to some people. After all, why would someone buy a ticket for $1,000 when it was being sold for $700 earlier? Well on the one hand, if the concert tickets are for a famous artist, they sell out quickly as fans who need help getting their hands on tickets are ready to buy them at a higher price to hear their favorite artist live. On the other, if there is a last-minute rush for an event, people hurry to buy tickets and are willing to pay resellers a higher price.

Remember when Mike Tice, then Head Coach of the Minnesota Vikings was caught selling his Super Bowl Tickets? This practice is much more prevalent than the general public could imagine. In a previous life, we personally sourced over 100 great tickets to a Conference Semifinal basketball game through coaches in the conference alone.

Selling tickets is a moving target changing every day. Sometimes, due to circumstances beyond the content providers control, they end up with unused good seats which they cannot sell the traditional way. Enter ticket brokers.

These brokers still buy season tickets in bulk and sit on them, diversifying their portfolios by buying a number of different teams and looking to pay off the season with the biggest games, selling the down games for whatever they can get for them. Ever wonder why you can buy baseball tickets for $2 when the face value is $10?*

Even though the majority of these brokers are small and operate with less than $500k in cash, they are very resourceful. They open up dozens of credit cards, join every fan club, use services which alert them to on-sales and special codes, and spend their entire day trying to beat the system by buying up tickets. The common fan, who wakes up and lines up on a Saturday with one or two credit cards and a tablet or two ready to buy tickets at on-sale, stand little chance against even the small brokers who have dozens of browsers and cards open and at the ready.

We found that even though more than a quarter of concert tickets are purchased three months or more before a show, those early buyers are actually costing themselves money by getting their tickets that far in advance.

Tickets purchased that far in advance cost nearly 14% more than the average ticket price on the secondary market. On the flip side, we found that tickets cost 33% less than average when purchased the same day a concert is taking place. Tickets purchased the day before a show were also a good deal, costing 27% lower than average.

There was one point where Lumineers tickets notably diverged from overall trends thanks to a significant price spike six days before the concert when prices jumped to $284.20. Prices quickly normalized, however, as the day after that average ticket costs dropped by nearly $125 to $160.45.

From there, prices settled to under $100 for each of the four days immediately leading up to the concert. Two days before the show is when Lumineers fans got the best deal, paying just $71.65 on average for tickets.

If you prefer to purchase your tickets in person, you may visit our box office, which is located at our venue at 2915 N. Main, Houston, TX 77009. Our box office opens one hour before doors of any ticketed show. When visiting our box office, you may purchase tickets to any show on our schedule. 041b061a72


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