Sunday, 19 February 2012

5 Things You Need to Know When Dealing With Ticket Brokers

You've heard the stories about the cost of a Hannah Montana ticket or people selling fake Super Bowl tickets, so what do you do if you're in the market for high-dollar entertainment and you need to buy your tickets on the secondary market? Here are 5 simple tips to help you avoid ticket fraud and paying more than you need to.
#1 How To Avoid Paying $2,400 for Hannah Montana Ticket
Always, as in all-ways, try to get your tickets from the official box office first. The secondary market only exists because more people want to attend these events than the venues can hold, and those people are willing to pay more than face value to be there.
If you fail to do your best to get your tickets from the original source before they are gone and sold on the secondary market, chances are you're going to pay a lot more for them. Being a season ticket holder will get you first crack at World Series tickets. Artists like Hannah Montana usually pre-release a select group of tickets to their fan club members. And credit cards such as American Express also have pre-sale offers available, so make sure you exhaust all ways at your disposal to get those tickets from the original source.
#2 How to Avoid Fake Super Bowl Tickets
Unless you're one of the lucky and few persons to actually receive two of the 1,000 tickets offered by the NFL through the NFL's Super Bowl ticket drawing, or you know somebody who knows somebody; you're going to have to get your tickets on the secondary market. Do not purchase from a scalper at the venue the day of the Super Bowl and do not purchase tickets from anyone other than a reputable ticket broker.
#3 Know Who You're Dealing With
Get your tickets directly from an established online broker. Make sure the online broker you choose has been in business for over ten years (a good sign of trust and reliability). Make sure they're BBB members (with a satisfactory BBB rating). Make sure they're members of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB). Make sure they have a secure website (SSL Certificate) before purchasing. And make sure they have a working 800 number and a physical business location, so you know who to call or visit if there's a problem with your order.
#4 Protect Yourself With A Guarantee
You wouldn't fork over a load of cash to just anyone hoping they'll return with tickets in time for your event, so don't give your money to any broker that doesn't guarantee you will get your tickets in time for the event or your money back. Most reputable brokers offer at least a 100% guarantee. At least one broker boasts a "200% Money back Guarantee" and although they are a reputable online broker, you're on your own to call in and find out more about that 200% guarantee because they don't cover it in writing on their website.
#5 Shop Around
It's common knowledge in the industry that hundreds of brokers can sell the same ticket. A few heavyweights in the industry offer access to a large database of tickets. That means lots of brokers have access to the same inventory but mark them up differently.
Be sure to shop around. And be sure to add your tickets to the shopping cart where you will find the total purchase price including shipping and processing fees. You'll be surprised how much money you can save doing this. Some companies tack on an additional 20% or more in service fees while some only markup their inventory 10%, or even less.
The key is to shop 3 to 4 of the top, reputable online ticket brokers all the way through the cart process until you know what your card is going to be charged. That way you get a good look at the markup and shipping costs associated with each site.
Be very careful that you DO NOT complete the purchase when shopping prices. Tickets are non refundable, once a broker sells them, they do not want to have to sell them again and they will rarely let you out of a sale if you accidentally confirm your purchase online.
Some tickets will look cheaper on one site than another at first glance, but often higher shipping and service fees throughout the buying process will actually cost you more. A $14.95 shipping fee and 20% markup on a $90.00 ticket on one site means $122.95 per ticket. The same ticket listed at $95.00 on another site at 10% markup and $17.95 for shipping is actually cheaper.
The secondary ticket market is big business these days. The higher the demand for tickets the less likely you'll be able to find them at the box office, but that doesn't mean you're out of luck. It just means you'll have to pay more if you really want to attend the event. Armed with these 5 tips you're ready to protect yourself from fraud and exorbitant prices while shopping. Stick to established, reliable online brokers and you can shop with confidence.
Brian Talbot is a Web Content Developer at TickCo Premium Seating where he has spent the last 6 years writing content for use on the TickCo website and related syndication.

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