Tips

Using Ticket Brokers to your Benefit
The advantages of purchasing on the secondary market


It is a sad reality that ticket brokers have a bad reputation. They’re often called “scalpers,” for crying out loud! Many people view them as price gougers who take advantage of a situation and are ruining the live entertainment industry. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Beyond buying up inventory and making sure artists sell tickets so they can afford to keep touring, ticket brokers offer fans a surefire opportunity to land dream seats to the shows they always wanted to see. For many, you simply can’t put a price on that. This is why this service often comes at a premium. But there are many ways a ticket broker offers benefits to the common fan.

Brokers often have the best seats
Using regular broker portals such as Ticketmaster, AXS, or Tickets.com does not guarantee you will get the best seats in the house. Most ticketing system are first come, first served, so if you start looking for tickets well after the show goes on sale, you’re going to find it difficult to find any front row seats. For ticket brokers, first row seats are extremely coveted and they are commonly the first ones in line to purchase tickets. Even when a show is completely sold out, you can probably find tickets on the secondary market. If you are looking for the best seats in the house, it is likely they are already in the hands of a ticket broker. You won’t have to do the dozens upon dozens of attempts, filling in an annoying captcha screen each time, to find tickets you will be happy with. Just turn to the secondary market and see what brokers are stocking. Venues are enormous and it is likely you’ll find a broker with seats you desire, all at a price you are willing to pay.

Prices go way down
In terms of demand, shows are always hottest when they are first announced. As the concert date approaches, demand is likely to go down. Because of this, brokers mark down prices in order to stay competitive and get rid of inventory. If you are looking for tickets but are having difficulty finding a good price, wait. As the show approaches, prices are bound to drop, regardless of how popular it is. Many brokers will be happy making anything for shows they invested in but have busted in terms of demand. Through some shopping and patience, it is very likely you can find seats for a price that is below face value.

Competition means you get what you want
The secondary market is very competitive. If you take a look at the secondary market for any show, you will see hundreds of tickets at incredibly wide price ranges. Brokers are completely willing to undercut their competitors in order to offload their inventory. When this happens, this drags down the entire market’s price point—a bonus for any fan looking for tickets. Use this to your advantage. The more brokers who are in for a show, the better the price you will see. Tickets for Paul McCartney and Justin Bieber, which normally go for as much as $100 face value, were valued for as little as $7 the week of the show. This was largely due to each show having several thousands of tickets still available. Use competition to your advantage in order to land great seats at an awesome price.

Ticket brokers run a legitimate business
In most jurisdictions, scalping is illegal. Ticket brokers manage to run their business because:
a. They don’t sell tickets on-site, and
b. There aren’t any federal guidelines over the inter-state commerce of selling tickets
This has created a booming ticket resale market that has plenty of legitimate, incorporated, licensed, bonded, and insured companies who are quite professional when it comes to reselling tickets. It is in their best interest to complete transactions professionally and to their clients’ satisfaction. While there are certainly scams out there, with a little research, you can find plenty of legitimate brokers who can offer a hassle-free and safe transaction. Check out a broker to make sure you are dealing with a professional. One way to find out is to see if they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB). Also, check any broker with the Better Business Bureau. That should give you a better picture if the company you are planning on dealing with is a good bet.

Using a credit card protects your transaction
Avoid using cash when purchasing resold tickets. Use any major credit card for these transactions. They offer plenty of protection should anything go wrong. Buying resold tickets could mean tickets may not arrive until as late as the week of the show, so don’t jump to conclusions. But, if the broker never ships, avoids communication, and keeps your money without getting your tickets, file a chargeback with your credit card company. If the broker doesn’t have a legitimate claim for why they busted your order, your money will be safe and sound back in your account. Many major resold ticket markets also offer further protections for busted orders, fining deadbeat brokers many percentage points of an order's total cash amount, making sure they don’t fail again and you get your money back.

People really don’t like bad brokers
Feel confident in entering the secondary market and finding tickets that you want. With a little bit of research, you can easily find if the broker you intend to do business with is reliable. And if they’re not, you can pretty easily find that, too. As most angry customers are likely to do, they are pretty vocal when they are unhappy. You will find an internet footprint of poor business practices if a broker is bad. At the same time, even good brokers will have complaints about them. Plenty of people will feel ripped off if they didn’t realize they were purchasing on the secondary market and will lash out at the broker when they don’t get their way. Wade through the angry misinformation to find the true stars of the secondary market.

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