When it comes to buying concert tickets, there are several factors to consider in order to get the best deals and ensure a great live music experience. Some key considerations include venue, timing, presales vs general admission, verified resale platforms, and more. Keep reading for a comprehensive guide on finding the optimal place to purchase tickets for your favorite musicians and bands.
Buy Directly from the Venue
One of the best ways to buy concert tickets is directly through the venue’s box office or website. This allows you to avoid any extra processing fees that come with using a third-party seller. Venues will typically have presales and special offers for fans as well. Sign up for email lists and fan clubs to get presale code access. Downsides are that popular shows will still sell out quickly, and it’s harder to compare all your options in one place.
Use an Official Ticket Resale Site
Major ticket sellers like Ticketmaster and AXS have official resale marketplaces where fans can safely sell extra tickets. This is a reliable option since you are still going through the original ticket issuer. Prices are set by individual sellers but tend to be market value. StubHub and Vivid Seats are also popular verified resellers. Benefits include buyer guarantees on valid tickets and competitive prices. Look for sites that offer refunds if your event is canceled.
Take Advantage of Presales
Getting early access through presales is key to scoring the best seats at face value. Presales happen before the general public on-sale through promoters, credit card companies, and fan clubs. Signing up for an artist’s newsletter or following their social media are easy ways to unlock presale codes. Set multiple browser tabs before the presale starts to load into ticket queues faster.
Use an Online Ticket Marketplace
Major online ticket marketplaces include StubHub, Vivid Seats, SeatGeek, TicketNetwork and Ticketmaster. These sites consolidate tickets from a range of sources like season ticket holders or brokers looking to resell. Benefits are easily comparing prices in one spot, ratings/reviews, buyer guarantees and competitive deals. Drawbacks can be high fees and less recourse for scams on some sites.
Time Your Purchase Strategically
Timing your ticket purchase can result in big savings. Prices typically start high when on-sales begin, then dip as the event nears. Aim to buy 1-3 weeks out for smaller shows, or 4-6 weeks out for major concerts. Day of the show can offer last minute deals too. Holidays, birthdays or bad weather can impact demand. Set up price alerts and track listings on resale sites.
Use Membership Programs and Loyalty Discounts
Many live entertainment venues have membership programs that unlock special offers like presale ticket access and discounts. Sports teams, theaters, concert halls and more use these fan clubs to reward loyal customers. Citi Private Pass, Chase Experiences and AMEX Offers also provide presales and exclusive deals through credit card membership.
Go For General Admission or Lawn Seating
General admission areas and lawn seating at outdoor venues are often cheaper than buying reserved seats. While you won’t have an assigned spot, getting to the venue early secures a good viewing spot. These tickets also have lower demand on resale markets, so you can find deals if other types of tickets are out of your budget.
Purchase at the Box Office
Buying tickets directly at the venue box office allows you to avoid online fees that can add 20-30% extra to your order. If the event hasn’t sold out, there is a good chance tickets are still available at face value on the day of the show. The downside is having to go in person and possibly wait in long lines.
Use a Ticket Deal Website
Sites like Groupon and LivingSocial frequently offer discounted tickets for concerts and shows as limited time deals. While quantities are lower, you can sometimes score up to 50% off face value. These make great gifts too since you can print or email the voucher. Read the fine print to understand any limitations.
Enter Ticket Lotteries and Giveaways
For very popular shows, entering lotteries, giveaways and contests can provide a shot at free or cheap tickets. Radio stations, venues, promoters, and sponsors will often raffle off tickets to generate buzz. It takes some luck and persistence, but wins feel extra sweet. Most are tied to social media promotions now.
Join a Fan Club
Dedicated fan clubs through artists, record labels, or concert promoters give die-hard fans early ticket access, exclusive merch, and other perks. Prices vary, but are reasonable for super fans. Common benefits include presale tickets, VIP packages, meet and greets, discounts, raffle entries, and more.
Wait Until the Last Minute
Procrastination can pay off when buying tickets! Unsold tickets will get discounted drastically in the final hours as sellers scramble to unload their extras. Risks are that the event does sell out or you miss preferred seats. Flexibility on dates helps last minute deals for smaller concerts and games.
Buy Season or Flex Packages
Venues like concert halls, theaters and sports arenas typically offer discounted packages on season tickets or flex plans. This allows you to lock in seats for multiple events at once. Great if you plan on attending a majority of scheduled events. Packages have seat restrictions.
Invest in VIP or Premier Seating
While more expensive, VIP and premier tickets include extra amenities like premium lounge access, food and drinks, private entrances, and the best seats. Meet and greet packages are also offered for celebrity fans. Budgeting more per ticket guarantees a higher caliber experience.
Choose E-Tickets When Possible
Many major ticketing sites now use e-tickets and mobile entry. This saves on shipping fees and there is no risk of losing printed tickets. You’ll receive a proof of purchase by email to show on your phone when entering events. Greens fees can apply too.
Join a Fan Facebook Group
Musicians, sports teams, and major venues have dedicated fan groups on Facebook. Members will often post about looking for tickets or selling extras within the community. Useful for sold out shows. Make sure to use PayPal Goods and Services.
Comparison of Major Ticket Sellers
|Around 25% of ticket price
|Refunds if event canceled
|Primary tickets, verified resale marketplace
|10-15% fees for sellers and buyers
|Guaranteed valid tickets
|Resale marketplace only
|10-20% depending on event type
|100% Buyer Guarantee on valid tickets
|Verified resale tickets
|10-20% on final ticket price
|Refund if event canceled
|Primary and resale marketplace
|Around 25% in fees
|Primary ticket seller and resale marketplace
|Typically 20-25% fees
|150% money back guarantee
|Ticket resale marketplace
Be Wary of Scams and Fake Tickets
Unfortunately, many counterfeit tickets are sold online and outside venues. Stick to reputable, verified sellers to avoid getting scammed. Warning signs include prices too good to be true, spelling errors, generic venue images, or pressure to pay with unconventional methods. Scannable barcodes and ticket guarantees are ideal.
Compare Prices Across Multiple Sites
Every ticket seller, primary or resale, has a different pricing model and fees. Comparing listings across two or three marketplaces can help you find hidden deals. Some sites offer bidding options too. Make sure to factor in total costs like fees and shipping.
See if Promo Codes are Available
Check sites like RetailMeNot, Groupon Coupons or PromoCodeWatch for any valid promo codes before you purchase tickets. Active codes can help you save on fees or get a percentage off your total order. Student and military discounts are sometimes offered too.
Pros and Cons of Primary vs Resale Ticketing
|Direct from venue
|– No seller fees
– Face value prices
– Secure refunds
|– Sell out quickly
– Limited flexibility
|Ticketmaster, AXS, etc.
|– Verified authenticity
– Buyer guarantees
|– Higher fees
– Subject to dynamic pricing
|StubHub, Vivid Seats, etc.
|– Wider selection
– Competitive pricing
– Reliable delivery
|– Higher buyer costs
– Scam risks on some sites
|Facebook Groups, Craigslist
|– Cheaper direct buys
– Last minute deals
|– Requires vetting sellers
– No guarantees
Finding the optimal place to buy concert and event tickets takes research, flexibility, and good timing. Use presales, fan clubs, and loyalty programs to gain early access to tickets at face value rates. Comparison shop across primary ticket sellers and verified resale marketplaces. Don’t rule out Facebook groups and general admission seats either. While buying directly from venues is ideal, reputable online ticket platforms make it fast and easy to evaluate all your options in one spot.