Event Tickets: Avoid Ticketmaster

I am not a fan of Ticketmaster and their monopoly. Their fees have nothing to do with their costs, or any logical reasons. It’s whatever they can get away with.

Last month, the Canadian Competition Bureau made a little dent into their immoral business practices. They fined Ticketmaster $4.5 million for misleading pricing when advertised ticket prices were up to 65% higher for so-called ‘mandatory fees’ late in the purchase process. They didn’t address the issue that Ticketmaster actually partners with scalpers to drive up prices, doesn’t release all available tickets the day of sale, and many more issues. Here’s a CBC Investigative report story of some of the still existing business practices: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/ticketmaster-prices-scalpers-bruno-mars-1.4826914

It’s the reason I don’t go to at least one concert a year as I won’t pay those insane fees. Years ago, Ticketmaster went to promoters and venues and gave them pretty much whatever they wanted in order to be the exclusive seller. That’s how they can get the big fees.

According to Rolling Stones (and I’ll post the link to the article) it’s even worse than that. Apparently, Ticketmaster sells face value tickets to their own scalpers in order to re-sell them at much higher rates on the secondary market. One recent concert was advertising $900 tickets just a few rows up from the original $140 face value tickets! Ticketmaster is denying the accuracy of the story – of course.

The good news is that, with so much going on, you can get a deal and not pay Ticketmaster. Many concerts or events aren’t sold out – or even close. If you can wait until the last few days, or are prepared to not sit in the primo seats, you’ll likely get tickets even below face value! In November, I was in Arizona and found $15 tickets in Anaheim for the Ducks vs. Oilers hockey game. They were $40 face value plus $17 fees if I had bought them online. But $15 was a purchase I was willing to make.

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