A Lesson in Buying Tickets Online – How to Avoid Getting Taken by 3rd Party Vendors
Unless you live under a rock or just hate music, chances are you've been to a show to see either your favorite band or comedian at some point in your life. When buying tickets online, what comes to mind? Ticketmaster.com, StubHub.com, EventBrite.com are all household names when it comes to purchasing online tickets. But have you ever noticed that when shopping around, you find multiple listing prices? Yeah, it drives me nuts.
Let's use an upcoming event in Longview as an example. Hometown comedian Rodney Carrington is coming to Longview on Friday, July 7 to perform at Maude Cobb Convention Center. Tickets have been on sale since April 28 and while I know a lot of people saying they love Rodney and want to see him in Longview, they're saying the ticket prices are out of this world expensive. Some told me it was $200 per ticket and I thought, that can't be right. When we announced the show on KNUE, it was $42 per ticket (and it still is!).
It turns out, 3rd party ticket vendors are notorious for jacking up prices, which, in turn hurts the venue, the performer and you the person who wanted to go but can't afford it.
An article by Event Booking provides tips on how to spot these dishonest re-sellers. In summation, follow these rules:
- Buy tickets from the official venue website
- Buy tickets from the vendor that is affiliated with the show (you see this in an article that initially announces the show, generally)
- Buy tickets from the artist's official page
- Google is your friend, but can be your enemy - those links at the top with a yellow background? Those are pay-per-click 3rd party vendors. Don't trust 'em.
- An easy tip to follow is to see how many kinds of prices are listed. For the Rodney Carrington show, there are only two prices - GA and VIP. That's it. It's incredibly odd that we found Rodney Carrington tickets starting at $85 and ending at $414 per ticket - all GA because there are no seat numbers for this show...
Even an established name like vividseats.com is sometimes guilty of this. It's not illegal per se, but it seems immoral and streamlines a lot of money to those who play zero part in the performance - the venue, the sponsors or the artist.
So if you hear about a show that you really want to catch and Google search, make sure you do your homework so you don't wind up paying 300% or more of the original ticket price. And for those who were disappointed to see Rodney's show's ticket prices - go here. Since KNUE announced the show with Maude Cobb, you can expect the REAL price at $42 per ticket, not $192.
And for you overly-cautious folks, Longview's government website links to KNUE for the official ticket sales. You can also check the artist's page and they'll give you the legit link to tickets as well.
So go laugh your butt off and let your friends know that sometimes the ticket price you see is not the real price. Do your homework and follow the tips above so you can see your favorite show AND have enough money for dinner and drinks.