The internet has become a boon for the secondary ticket market for sporting and entertainment events, which includes tickets bought and sold by professional brokers, speculators and season ticket holders. Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends some smart shopping advice to save money before trying to score those event seats.
“Shopping for entertainment tickets has changed with the growth technology as there are mobile sales options, ticket resellers, and even online ticket auctions that are driven by consumers,” says Danielle Primrose, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Mainland British Columbia. “Despite all these advantages, you still hear about consumers struggling to get tickets at fair prices.”
The secondary ticket sales market is estimated by some to be worth $4.5 billion annually, with companies like Stubhub.com offering a way for consumers to buy and sell tickets. Consumers can pay significantly higher ticket price mark-ups in the secondary market, but there are other risks.
Consumers who go online to classifieds like Craigslist.ca and Kijiji.ca can also face legitimate concerns about fraudulent tickets being sold.
To secure tickets from anything from concerts to sporting events, BBB offers the following advice to consumers:
1. Use social media to gain an edge. Many authorized fan websites for music groups and sports teams will have mailing lists or updates about presales. Consumers may want to sign up for these mailing lists to get advanced notice of a ticket pre-sales.
2. Ask about dynamic pricing options. Find out if the primary ticket seller uses dynamic pricing options. In cases of sporting events, some tickets may be cheaper if the visiting team is in less demand. Ticket prices for concerts can change right until the day of the event.
3. Comparison shop. Check out online comparison websites like Tickpick.com to get an estimate of ticket price values to ensure that if you are buying above face-value, that you are not being price gouged.
4. Ticket protection for online buys. If you use a fan-to-fan website like Stubhub.com or eBay.com look at whether the website has any protections in place in case your tickets ends up a fake, or for non-delivery of the ticket.
5. Procrastination may be the best money-saving option. If you wait until the event day you may be in luck for a discount on rush tickets from the box office. Some companies offer exclusive half-price tickets on the event day. All of these options may help to reduce the convenience fees associated with regularly ticket purchases.
Before shopping with any company, visit the company’s Business Review at the Better Business Bureau website: www.mbc.bbb.org.