|Welcome To Tickets By Trent|
No - You Do NOT Have To Sell The House !!
There are a few ~ Secrets ~ and simple techniques that can help you find very good seats at a reasonable price ( Be sure to read the Where Should I Sit page ! )
A note on Traditional Hard Tickets vs Ticketfast and other Print At Home tickets. While print at home tickets can be easily copied ( just a matter of printing out more than one copy, or photo copying them ) they have become so prominent that you are at a real disadvantage if you choose not to buy them. Instead, I suggest that you read my Ebay guide HERE and perhaps you'll feel a little better about them.
The KEY to finding quality seats at a reasonable price is to monitor the market on as constant a basis as you can... I know - you probably do not have the time or desire to spend all day at the keyboard, but setting up an effective search will allow you to monitor searches in mere minutes.
If after reading this page you prefer to skip setting up a detailed search, you can use the box to the right to visit Ticket Liquidator - They have inventory for most events nationwide, at very competitive prices.
We are going to concentrate our search on my two favorite sources - Ebay, and Stub Hub .
Generally speaking, you are going to find better prices on Ebay. On the other hand, Stub Hub offers a little more assurance and a useful guarantee - If you arrive at the show and you are denied entry, they will do everything they can to get you into the show ( usually in better seats ).
Of course Ebay has a buyer protection policy ( remains in effect until 10 days after the event date ) and it will get you your money back if it turns out your tickets are not authentic - but it won't get you into the show! With that said, I still encourage you to consider Ebay - Just be sure to read the info regarding Ebay seller feedback.
Ebay or Not To Ebay ?
To a large degree your decision to buy tickets from Ebay will depend on your experience with Ebay. Personally, I find that it's a fantastic source - just be sure to pay attention to feedback. I have written an Ebay guide as to how to set up an EFFECTIVE Ebay search. Rather than cut and paste it here, please follow THIS LINK to my guide.
Stub Hub Searches
We'll start our search @ Stub's home page.
Finding events on Stub Hub is very simple - just type the event or artist's name into the search box and Stub will display all matches in chronological order. Include the city in your search and you'll narrow the results down to what you are looking for very quickly !
Once you have clicked on a specific show, available tickets will be shown sorted by price - low to high - That's actually great, so don't change it ! This would be a great time to cut and paste the link for future use - remember : "monitor the market on as constant a basis as you can... "
NOTE : For some events, Stub Hub uses interactive maps where you can choose specific sections or zones. These events are generally those that take place in stadiums, or very large arenas. I cover how to approach those searches below, but for now let's assume our event does not have an interactive map.
Hopefully you have read the Where Do I Sit page, but most of us do not have an unlimited budget so... We are going to focus first on price, and then on location. Keep in mind that Stub Hub will charge a 10% fee in addition to the prices displayed ( as well as a 15% cut from the seller! ).
We now have two options - the quickest is to just use the Price Range ( orange bar ) sliding scale to set the maximum that you are willing to spend, and then simply focus on the Section and Row columns and see if there is anything you like.
Alternately, and the method I recommend, is to ignore the Price Range function - instead, just keep track of the Price column out of the corner of your eye while focusing on the Section and Row columns ( it's a LOT easier than it sounds ). By using this method, you'll not miss out on a seat that is just a few dollars out of your predetermined range.
This may take a little practice, but you'll find that once you have "trained" your eye, you can scroll through a lot of listings and ignore everything except what you are looking for - for instance, if you are looking for the first 12 rows, you will be surprised at how quick and easy it is to look through a lot of listings and ignore any number that is not 12 or lower.
It might also be useful to note how many total tickets are available ( just below and to the right of the seating chart ). I include this info on my Word doc and note the info every time I repeat the search. You will probably notice that the number will keep increasing for a while as brokers are uploading their inventory to Stub, and then start to decrease as tix are sold. The decrease is what you want to pay attention to - this should tell you whether or not tix are selling quickly ( prices likely to stay stable or rise ) or slowly ( the opposite ).
Events With An Interactive Map :
You should have two options to filter results. The first is to click on specific sections on the interactive map - you can in fact choose more than one section, and Stub will display the available seats, from lowest priced to highest. Also - notice that you can just hover over any given section, and it will display how many seats are available in that section, and at what price.
Just below the map you should also be able to choose a specific zone, or several zones.
Toy around with these options a bit until you are able to narrow down the results to a manageable level, and be sure to cut and paste the link. YES - When you visit Stub again using the link, the results will still be filtered !
At this point we need to decide a few things - what rows are we looking for in these sections, and how much are we willing to pay? These can be fluid - you may find that the price you have set is not realistic for the row that you want, or perhaps the opposite - you can get a lot closer than you thought for the price you are willing to pay.
OK - Here is where we save a lot of time. We can focus our actual ~searching~ at this point by concentrating on one of two columns ( I generally do both, but only one at a time ) PRICE, or ROW. If looking at price, you merely need to look at the available tickets by scrolling down until you get to the price limit that you have set.
If looking at row, you have two options. You can click on ~Row~ at the top of the column, and it will sort by row. I do NOT recommend doing this - the resulting sort will pull up a lot of seats that are out of your price range, and since the sort is not by price, you will have to look at the price of every listing - line by line.
Try this instead : Leave the sort by price ( low to high ) but focus on the ~ Row ~ column. Ignore anything that is not within what you are looking for, BUT - also be aware of the price column ( corner of your eye kind of thing ) and stop your search once you get to the max that you are willing to spend.
This may take a little practice, but you will find that once you have "trained" your eye, you can scroll through a lot of listings and ignore everything except what you are looking for ( for instance, if you are looking for the first 12 rows, you will be surprised at how quick and easy it is to look through a lot of listings and ignore any number that is not 12 or lower.
A Few Other Secondary Sources
There really aren't many other sources you need to visit, but in the interest of fairness I'll list all of the " Major Players " here, as well as a list of the latest break down of Secondary Market share ( ranking system is shown as a score, not a percentage ) as reported by Ticket News 1/2012. You decide which are worth a visit.
Stub Hub 41.55
Ticket Liquidator 9.98
Tickets Now 9.00
Ticket Network 6.09
Vivid Seats 3.70
You should note that Ebay does not participate in this ranking system ( except in that they own Stub Hub ). Based on my personal experience, I would guess that Ebay sales are roughly 1/4 of Stub's, so - they would likely score right around a 10.0.
Also note : Many medium to large brokers belong to a network ( Ticket Network as listed above ) meaning that all of their sites will display the same inventory, but at different prices, as each member can set their own mark up percentage. Rather than sort through a Google search for national brokers, or even one in your area, do this: Visit Ticket Liquidator - this site is actually a part of the network, and always displays the lowest price that can be found on any network sites.
Finally, there are some sites that will supposedly search many sites for you at once. The fact that the VAST majority of brokers do not use or even monitor these sites should tell you something : At best they are incomplete, ignoring / missing sources and therefor a relatively large percentage of available seats, and at worse will merely point you to a Ticket Network site.