Are “Best Available Tickets” really the best thing to buy from Ticketmaster?
So you’re sitting in front of the computer at 9:59am, patiently waiting for tickets to go on sale, anxiously watching the seconds tick down to 10 AM, knowing that tickets will soon be available…
You know you want to buy two or four or even six tickets, but not sure what section you like:
- Should you be going for general admission floor tickets?
- Should you be looking for reserved seats in the lower level?
- Floor tickets?
- Lower level tickets?
- Or Upper-level/Mezzanine tickets?
How can you get the best possible tickets that will sell for the highest possible profit? Can you trust the Ticketmaster Best Available option?
Most of the time – Yes.
Your best option is in fact to select the best available seats and let Ticketmaster sort everything out for you.
If you can get great seats on the floor or a lower-level section through Ticketmaster’s best available option it would be foolish to choose tickets way up in the middle of nowhere if you have a the chance of grabbing floor tickets right up front.
Now, there are few cases when floor tickets or best available isn’t going to be the best choice and could actually be the worst. In these situations you’re going to want to manually choose a section or price range.
The first key to this is doing your research before a presale or general public onsale. It’s your task to check pricing on eBay and Stubhub to see tickets that have already sold, and those listed for sale. Yes, tickets can be sold before they go on sale for the event, but how that happens is a topic for another day…
Are General Admission Tickets Profitable?
If you’re targeting a show that has a general admission (GA) floor, compare the sold price for those floor tickets to those in other sections – in many cases the seats in the first few rows in the lower-level are selling for much, much more than the general admission pit. There are many good reasons for that, especially if a general admission floor and set up includes a “mosh pit” – in many cases if you’re planning to attend such a show, you may prefer to have a nice safe reserved seat where you can enjoy yourself without worrying about being pushed around.
It really makes a lot of sense, especially for shows where there are children involved, or for shows that appeal to an older crowd. In some cases, general admission floor seats do have chairs, but you’ll have to stand in line in order to get those great seats at the front. Rather then camp out, many patrons will prefer to buy tickets that provide a designated seat, making the experience a sure thing instead of a gamble. YOU need to do this kind of research well before you get tickets on your screen.
If you’re looking at tickets and aren’t sure whether you’re going to buy them or not, the battle is already lost.
Avoid Over-Priced “Experience Package” Seats
What you’re trying to avoid is super-high priced floor tickets that may be sold as part of an experience package or a very, very high price for the front sections at the show. Madonna has done this recently with tickets on the floor for a show at Madison Square Garden. If face value is $350, I can tell you, you’re going to have a hard time reselling those for more.
This is one of the two biggest profit killing mistakes that new ticket brokers make: Buying whatever comes up and paying top dollar for your inventory. It might be a better option to buy reserved seats in the lower section, or even front row tickets on an upper level.
Reserved seats and upper-level section where the initial face-value of the ticket might be $60 or $70 but could sell for well over $200 could net you a much bigger profit.
Investigate Price Tiers
Check prices and know if there is a price tier that should be avoided ahead of time. If you’re going to go with best available, make sure you understand that you may be pulling those high-priced and low-margin tickets.
Check The Existing Availability
If a show had a presale and you are wanting to buy tickets during the general onsale, check StubHub first to see what tickets are listed for sale and what section they’re in. Many brokers that bought during the presale will have already listed their tickets for sale there. You may discover that a large area of the floor has already sold during the presale and good seats may be hard to come by. In that case, you may want to try aiming at specific sections like the lower or upper levels.
It all comes down to doing your research and being prepared so you can be informed and know what tickets you’re targeting ahead of time!