Read these 22 Using a Ticket Broker Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Tickets tips and hundreds of other topics.
Becoming a ticket broker is as easy as buying a ticket for face value and turning around and selling it for a profit. Keep in mind that selling secondary tickets is not always legal and is sometimes restricted by the state you live in. Check with your state's laws before you begin. Ticket buying can be a lucrative business if you know what you are doing, experts say. The Internet company eventexperts.net trains people to become online ticket brokers and offers these tips for those who wish to start:
You can't get to see King Tut, but you figure someone else might as well buy your tickets before Tut gets up and walks like an Egyptian. What do you do? You don't want to be a scalper or Egyptian giver. That would be un-pharaoh.
One of your options, other than to sell tickets on eBay where you're lumped in with the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich, is selling tickets through a qualified ticket broker. Many ticket brokers such as Ticketmaster just deal with venues and event promoters, but sometimes your Los Angeles ticket broker, Chicago ticket broker or New York Ticket Broker will sell tickets from King Tut fans like you.
You can either sell your tickets directly, which means the ticket broker buys them outright from you, or on consignment, which means a possible higher dollar return--85 percent of the $600 (Tut tickets are $110) as opposed to 50 to 75 percent when a ticket broker buys your Tut tickets outright. You state the asking price, and your New York ticket broker decides, in buying tickets, whether it will accept your price.
If the ticket broker already has enough King Tut tickets to fill a pyramid, you may have to look elsewhere when selling your tickets. Also, if there isn't enough demand, the broker sends back your tickets faster than you can say Cleopatra. Now don't say you were uninformed when you're trying to sell your tickets on eBay right next to the supposed treasure of King Tut. Denial is a river in...well, let's just say denial has no place in selling tickets.
Your real estate broker and your stockbroker have it. Does your New York ticket broker? The answer: Yes. Real estate brokers and stock brokers have professional associations that vet them. Real estate brokers have NAREB, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers. Stockbrokers have NASD, or the National Association of Securities Dealers.
When you deal with a ticket broker, whether she's your New York ticket broker, a Chicago ticket broker, a Los Angeles ticket broker, or an online ticket broker, make sure she has a logo on her Web site and in her office: "NATB." NATB is the National Association of Ticket Brokers.
What does NATB do? NATB makes it easier for you, the fan, to get more tickets at a fair price. Example: You Chicago ticket broker will tell you that a secondary ticket market has opened up for White Sox tickets. This prevents scalping and exorbitant markups.
A NATB member ticket broker protects you by:
You're an eBay and Sotheby's whiz, but for Tony Bennett tickets, you want to go through a ticket auction--moderated by a ticket broker, of course. Should you? We did caution you against buying tickets on eBay, but we meant you shouldn't purchase from individual sellers. Even that "secondary market" that's opened up in Illinois is a source of concern for your Chicago ticket broker, who worries that ticket buyers may be defrauded.
If you feel safer buying through a broker and want to compete for rarer seats (front row at the Philharmonic, for example), buy through a ticket broker auction. Your Los Angeles ticket broker often sells Lakers tickets on eBay, and Ticketmaster has its own auction service competing with "Bob the broker," as Ticketmaster CEO John Pleasants called your online ticket broker.
The Ticketmaster auction product allows artists and promoters to sell directly to ticket buyers. So if a ticket broker doesn't offer an online auction, does that mean you're getting scalped? Not necessarily, if the ticket broker can get you the seats you want and offers discounts or promotions. If you do buy from that New York ticket broker on eBay or through the ticket broker's auction service, make sure you read all the sale policies. Check seller feedback on eBay. Though Tony Bennett tickets will have to wait. Sotheby's has a Chagall up for sale.
Ticketmaster! Ticket broker! Ticketmaster! Ticket broker! Let's call the whole thing off. A Los Angeles ticket broker sells tickets in what Ticketmaster calls "the secondary market." Your Chicago ticket broker will sell Cole Porter musical seats for more than face value, whereas Ticketmaster prides itself on selling tickets for face value.
Some Netizens say that Ticketmaster is a waiting game, albeit one with pre-sale notifications. In contrast, ticket brokers often have the seats you desire and you can compare ticket broker prices. Your ticket broker may even have a "name your price" option. Plus, Ticketmaster tends to sell out rather quickly. In contrast, Ticketmaster warns against fans buying tickets from a sell out ticket broker: "Traditionally, the reselling of tickets has been done by third parties in an aftermarket that is often insecure, potentially fraudulent, and may provide poor value to consumers."
The National Association of Ticket Brokers and the Better Business Bureau certify that your Los Angeles ticket broker, competing with Ticketmaster on West Hollywood home turf, will deliver those Cole Porter musical or "Spamalot" tickets. You may be tempted to go with the bigger name, but check out a few broker sites before you automatically buy from Ticketmaster. Madison Square Garden primarily does business through Ticketmaster, but your online New York ticket broker can get you MSG venue seats too. Don't call the whole thing off--just call a ticket broker, shop and compare. You're the top!
"Only Available in Pack of Four," "1 left," "Available in Group of 3." These sound like the restrictions on that coupon sale. Actually, they're the tickets your Los Angeles ticket broker, New York ticket broker, or Chicago ticket broker have available for a given date and section. It's terrific news if you're buying tickets for your family of four, but what if you need six tickets? Why is your broker controlling the number of tickets you can buy?
Your ticket broker gets inventory from sellers who have a set number of tickets to unload. It's not that your ticket broker has a lack of concern over Aunt Millie and Uncle Jake. Your ticket broker sells tickets on the secondary market, which means he takes what people selling tickets offer him. You might pick up extra tickets at a fan marketplace, or choose tickets for a different night. Oh wait--you can get the four-pack. Aunt Millie and Uncle Jake just saw a coupon sale with their names on it.
Remember when Luciano Pavarotti cancelled shows faster than he could eat pasta? If you got a great deal on a perfect night buying tickets to Pavarotti from a Los Angeles ticket broker or New York ticket broker (don't forget the Chicago ticker broker--Pavarotti probably likes deep-dish), how would you get your money back? You couldn't recover the lire, or Euros (the lire has been replaced), if Pavarotti's concert got washed out in New Orleans, or was cancelled because of:
If you buy Yankees tickets and the players are locked out or rained out, you have to exchange the tickets at Yankee Stadium. If Pavarotti just has a stomachache and will perform next week, your average ticket broker will honor tickets for the rescheduled event. You most likely won't a refund, so thank the ticket broker and bring Pavarotti some Maalox.
You want tickets to "Fiddler on the Roof," and like Tevye's daughters Tzeitel, Hodel and Chava, you want the perfect match. Your first thought is to go to a yenta, er, ticket broker or Ticketmaster. Great idea. But will your matchmaker make you a matchless match?
What does a Los Angeles ticket broker or Chicago ticket broker actually do for you? Simply put, your ticket broker yenta, like a real estate broker or stockbroker, puts you in Texas, buying tickets, together with a party in New Jersey, selling tickets--just so long as that party is a professional ticket seller, venue rep or event promoter. Unlike Yenta, though, the broker doesn't just put the buyer and seller together and expect you to hit it off. The ticket broker buys the tickets outright or on commission from the seller in Jersey, then presents the goods to you.
You decide if it's love at first sight, and you buy those seats for "Fiddler." The broker can keep a fee when it comes to buying tickets on consignment, but as in buying tickets outright, is at the mercy of you, the would-be Tzeitel. You have a choice, unlike most of Yenta's clients. So it's in the broker's interest to help you fall in love with buying tickets for "Fiddler" at the right price. Don't be afraid of the matchmaker. Just know what you want, and don't think of yourself as a girl from a poor family. Just hum "If I Were A Rich Man."
You're indecisive. You couldn't face choosing between black and green for the living room, so you ended up with the "Wicked" look. Now you're trying to decide on buying tickets for "Wicked." Do you purchase tickets for Saturday night and have your Chicago ticket broker or New York ticket broker hold them? This news may make you say, "I'm melting, melting...wait, no I'm not, yes I am."
Your Ticketmaster broker or other ticket broker normally won't hold tickets while you dither indefinitely. The ticket broker has to answer to the seller, who has to make quick business decisions. The seller may or may not grant a hold request when selling "Wicked" tickets. While the seller may give you points for your living room decor, your seats will typically be on hold for just an hour or two.
Before you buy, help out your ticket broker, who is not at all ambivalent about moving on to the next client. Make a list of your blackout dates and choose the best date from the remaining calendar days. Stick with your decision. Decide when you want to go to the theatre and what time. Now you can't choose between Chinese and Mexican. Fortunately, there's that funky Aztec-Cantonese place near the theater. And you discovered you hate both green and black. Rainbow wallpaper for you!
Understanding cyberspace lingo is hard enough, now you see mysterious cryptic messages when you're trying to buy your tickets. You'll probably see them at Ticketmaster's fan market for buying tickets and selling tickets. You'll definitely see them on a ticket broker site. Notations such as "50 yard line," Xlnt seats middle orchestra," or "4-pack only for center court" help you decide on your tickets.
They are the recommendations and information given by sellers like you or event merchants. Your New York ticket broker, Chicago ticket broker, or Los Angeles ticket broker posts the hints to help you decide. Buying tickets is easier once you have a description that goes beyond a seating chart. Before you buy your tickets, say TIA to your ticket broker -- that's Thanks In Advance!
You bought tickets for "Wicked" from a New York ticket broker to treat your in-laws. Unfortunately, your mother-in-law won't go because she says they ripped off her life story. Can you exchange them for "The Lion King" and feel the love tonight?
Many ticket brokers operate at a loss in order to get you the best deals when you're buying tickets. A New York ticket broker, Los Angeles ticket broker or Chicago ticket broker strives to get you the best seats at a fair price. The ticket broker deals with several different corporate and individual sellers, so refunds and exchanges are difficult. Chances are your ticket broker has a no-refunds policy. Now you feel wicked. Double, bubble, toil and trouble. You have an opportunity to recoup your investment selling tickets through your ticket broker. Buy "The Lion King" tickets and sell your "Wicked" tickets on consignment--since "Wicked" is a hot property, chances are your tickets will be gone like the ruby slippers. To avoid getting yourself trapped by the Wicked Witch of changed plans, make sure your mother-in-law wants to see "The Lion King." Now you are happy with the great "Circle of Life."
You count on them to buy that Petunia Pickle diaper bag for your cousin's baby shower, but is it a good idea to trust eBay when it comes to buying tickets? Our short answer: No. eBay has leveled the playing field of buying and selling, but when you buy tickets from eBay as opposed to Ticketmaster or a New York ticket broker, you risk misrepresentation--you're dealing with individuals who may exaggerate the benefits of those Black Eyed Peas tickets. ]
Your casual eBay seller may not be set up to ship merchandise on time. You don't want your tickets for a Christmas concert to arrive on New Year's! Many eBay sellers selling tickets hawk tickets for specific seats that they already own as opposed to a ticket broker, who gives you a range of seating. Plus, some eBay sellers will give you a seating chart of the venue, but some won't--a Chicago ticket broker will usually provide a detailed map of Wrigley Field.
A Los Angeles ticket broker will even give you advice on how to avoid the nightmare L.A. commute. You can still risk buying tickets on eBay just as you can trade stocks and make travel reservations online without the middleman. But if you don't want to be stuck behind a pole in other people's seats for a concert they couldn't be bothered to go to, buy from a ticket broker. You can still buy that diaper bag, though.
Ever notice that when you're buying a home you think is cheap, you get the repair costs as well as closing costs? Plus, the home is a fixer-upper in a neighborhood that hasn't been refurbished since the 1960s. By contrast, that $700,000 home in the great location is less expensive in the long run. The same goes for paying more than face value for those New York Knicks or Celine Dion tickets.
While Ticketmaster and other ticket broker services charge face value as opposed to fair market value, there are all kinds of additional fees. A New York ticket broker pays a premium when buying tickets for The Producers from a seller, because The Producers is a hot property, especially if the tickets are for Broadway on a Saturday night.
Buying tickets at more than face value isn't a bad thing and it isn't illegal. In certain states, there may be restrictions, just as there are in the real estate market. You wouldn't buy a house at ten times its appraised value, for example, so don't balk at paying more for a desirable property. It's less expensive to buy great seats at the St. James Theatre for the Producers than it is to buy seats where you can't even see Nathan Lane bust a move. So forget the "cozy" deal and trust your broker--unless your ticket broker talked you into that bad real estate deal in the first place.
Ticket buying and selling at online auctions can get complicated. For example, if you are a seller, you will have to pay seller fees.
If you use the online auction sites, you will have to pay a fee to list your item and then again pay a fee when your item is sold. Your fee will depend upon how much money you list and sell your item for. It can get confusing, so be sure to read the site's policies thoroughly before beginning.
For example, after your ticket sells, you will have to pay a fee to these sites for anywhere between 2 and 5 percent of the first $25 you earned on the ticket. Then, you will pay an additional fee based on the rest of what you earned.
Whether you are ordering theater tickets or sports tickets online or sports tickets, before you choose an online ticket broker, you should make sure you pick a reputable company that will guard your personal information in this day and age of identity theft and credit card fraud.
First off, it's a good idea to choose a ticket broker that is affiliated with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Online Reliability Program to increase your chances of doing business with a reputable company. It's also great if they are members of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB), which uphold high standards in the ticket broker industry.
Second, read what encryption technology and other safety measures an online ticket broker is using. For example, some companies have the BBB seal on its website and uses encryption and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology to protect your sensitive information. SSL is the standard technology used on e-commerce sites today. You can also look for companies that use Hacker Safe's Scan Alert , yet another security feature.
Look for such security features to ease your mind when doing business with online ticket brokers.
If you are looking to do business with a Chicago ticket broker, there are plenty based in the Chicago area that may be able to give you a leg up on Chicago events.
Here are some examples:
The online ticket reselling market rakes in about $2 billion a year and is growing, according to Chicagobusiness.com. However, there are so many online ticket brokers cropping up on the Internet that it can be hard to decide which one to do business with. Chicagobusiness.com listed the following as the most popular website for secondary ticket buying and selling:
If you are traveling to Los Angeles and would like to attend a Los Angeles Dodgers or Los Angeles Lakers game or you heard your favorite band is playing at The Staples Center, make sure you either stop in or go online to check out the prices of a Los Angeles ticket broker who is based there. That is because a broker based in the city may have an inside advantage on tickets because they know the city and ticket contacts there so well. It's worth checking their prices and seats and comparing them to other companies. Check out the yellow pages either in your phone book or online for more Los Angeles ticket brokers.
When buying anything, there are times when customers just aren't happy with their purchase. If you buy tickets from a ticket broker and are unhappy with them, here's how to distinguish whether or not you have the right to seek justice from that company. If you feel you have been wronged and wonder if it was the broker's fault, here are some guidelines courtesy of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB):
Valid complaints against a broker include:
If you are wary about buying tickets second-hand from online ticket brokers or a ticket broker business, here are some tips from the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) for doing business safely in the second hand ticket market:
Ticket brokers get tickets from season ticket holders, wholesalers, conventional public sales and advertising. The broker then sells you the ticket second-hand and charges an additional fee for his or her trouble and expense. Ticket brokers have a vast network of contacts so they can obtain tickets that are both hard to get and sold out. Reputable ticket brokers will guarantee ticket legitimacy, maintain an "office storefront" with contact information, whether it is an actual brick-and-mortar store or an online ticket agency with a good website, and strive to maintain good customer relations.
If you are looking to buy two types of sports tickets -- tickets to The National Finals Rodeo or to baseball spring training -- through a ticket broker, Sportsfanmagazine.com, a Web site dedicated to news about sports, sports fans and sports culture, recommends using teamonetickets.com and here's why:
The National Finals Rodeo (The Super Bowl of Rodeo) is held every year in Las Vegas. Team One is known for seating its customers in prime locations during the 10 day rodeo, even in the coveted Gold Buckle seats. The company even provides customers a guide to Las Vegas hotels.
Baseball spring training tickets: Team One Tickets has great prices and very accurate seating charts for both Arizona and Florida locations.
According to Sportsfanmagazine.com, Team One Tickets is one of the oldest, most experienced ticket brokers in the country. It has been in the ticket business since 1979 and has been selling tickets online since 1995. The company is in good standing with the Better Business Bureau and guarantees each ticket it sells is authentic.