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5 Reasons Why It’s More Difficult Than It Used to Be To Score Concert Tickets

Concert Tickets
Flickr, Rhys Asplundh

Ever try to buy tickets to a big concert, only to be shut out after a few minutes that the tickets went on sale? Or perhaps the best tickets were in the nosebleeds. Or if you were able to score tickets, the price is way above face value, like those sold on sites like StubHub. Why is that?

There are a few reasons for this, five of which are listed and explained here:

  1. Credit Card Presales: We see this for many of the shows at the Cajundome, for example. There is usually an American Express presale where cardholders can scoop up tickets. The problem with this is that these tickets get in the hands of brokers, who may ask double the price they paid.
  2. Fan Clubs: If you’ve ever joined an artist’s fan club, you know that you can buy tickets in advance. Same thing goes for you Rowdy Friends. We send you out a presale code often for concerts. A lot of scalpers join fan clubs though. That is never good.
  3. Some Bands Scalp Their Own Tickets: They just put something in their tour rider (concert contract) that says a certain number of tickets have to be set aside.  Then they resell those tickets on third party sites. Katy Perry was accused of doing this back in 2011 after the got its hand on her tour rider.
  4. You Have to Compete with “Scalper” Bots: These are computer programs that flood a particular site with ticket requests as fast as possible. Most sites have safeguards against it by having you enter a specific word at the bottom of the page before it accepts your payment. But scalpers get past that by hiring real people in places like India or the Philippines, who manually type in whatever they need to after the program takes care of the more time-consuming stuff.
  5. Inflated Service Fees: Don’t let me get fired up about this one! We’ve all seen the $10 fee on a $40 ticket. Ticketmaster realized that if you’re willing to pay for expensive fees, then you’ll have no problem paying a higher service fee. On top of that highway robbery, some bands negotiate into their contract to get a percentage of the fee!


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