Getting affordable tickets to the hottest shows in town can seem impossible. Not only are tickets expensive, many shows sell out quickly. Consumer Reports explains why and has some useful tips on how to get good seats at a decent price.
Shari DiPaola bought a ticket online to see her favorite band for hundreds of dollars. Then she realized she over paid.
"I saw that the cost was in the 50-something dollars. I was mortified. I was so angry," DiPaola said.
Software called "bots" allows brokers to scoop up tickets at lightning speed and resell them online at a huge mark up. So how do you avoid getting gouged?
"One thing you can do is go through the official ticket seller, like Ticketmaster, and create an account. That way, you won't have to log on and enter payment details during which time a bot can go in and grab your seats," said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports.
Take advantage of presales through sites like TicketCrusader.com and PreSalePasswordInfo.com and look out for credit card promotions which offer card holders first dibs and discounts.
"We also found if you visit the resale sites closer to the event itself, ticket prices can plummet. So patience really does pay off," Marks said.
Consumer Reports tracked prices for a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game through sites like ScoreBig, FanxChange and SeatGeek and found more than a $50 difference compared to the box office price. On the day of the event, for a similar ticket the price went down almost $80 to about $23.
Forget going to a concert in a group. Buying fewer tickets ups your chances for success.
As for Shari, she learned from her high priced mistake and plans to change how she'll buy tickets from now on.
"I felt foolish. Absolutely ridiculous for spending that much money. I'm not going to do it again," DiPaola said.
The effort to crack down on the use of bots has already begun. The House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would make it illegal for people to use them and make it illegal to sell bot software or tickets knowingly bought through bots. The bill is now pending in the Senate.
All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2016. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not for profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org
Consumer Reports: Buy concert tickets at decent price