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How To Buy Tickets Online

Part One: Understanding Ticket Prices
Before You Buy Tickets Online

Getting online to buy tickets might seem odd at first for people more used to buying their tickets right at a box office where they get tickets directly in their hand at the instant of purchase, but the option to buy tickets online offers great convenience, more selection and options to compare sellers for the best price making buying tickets online a great choice. This article explores how to buy tickets online for sporting events, concerts and shows including Broadway theatre productio?s. Learn about ticket pricing, comparing online ticket outlets, selecting seats and choosing a method the get your tickets in your hands while saving both time and money.

A common mistake from people looking to buy tickets online happens when they simply look at the price of a ticket and look no further before their purchase. Consumers need to understand all of the elements that make up the price of a ticket bought online in order to buy the best ticket for their needs. While you might shrug off this concept by thinking the price remains the only meaningful item when looking at the cost of the ticket, the more important concept with buying tickets online reveals itself in the end when you discover most online ticket sale sites quote prices prior to calculating a final total. Quickly imagine a $40 online price vs. a $50 offer for the exact same tickets. On first glance the $40 quote looks like the winner, but by the end of the process what if the $50 tickets came with no added fees and the $40 tickets added a $10 service fee and a $5 shipping fee per seat during the final checkout to purchase the tickets making the $50 tickets the better buy. A number of elements make up the final true cost of a concert, theatre or sporting event ticket bought online, let's examine each of them.

Face Value Or Original Price Of Ticket

While the face value printed on a ticket might read as the most concrete aspect of a ticket price, to a certain extend the number on the ticket might bear the least direct relationship to the final price you pay to gain entry, particularly to a popular sold out event. The cost printed on tickets generally indicated the price if the seat were sold one an individual basis if bought directly from the sports team or event venue. For a Broadway play the face value on a ticket you buy online might represent the price paid by the original ticket holder, but many sporting events tickets started as a part of a season ticket package paid for at a significant discount from the number on the front of the ticket. In the ticket aftermarket supply and demand rules the day for sold out events. For tickets still available at the box office face value sets a relative ceiling.

Offer By Ticket Holder

When someone with tickets can't make it to a show or event some opt to offer the tickets for sale through a ticket brokerage service. Many of these services connect to various networks so that when looking to buy tickets online you may access many sources of tickets in one place as these networks aggregate the inventory of many smaller ticket broker agencies. The person offering the tickets for sale sets the net price they want to receive for their tickets. In terms of the percentage of a ticket price this element makes up the largest share of a ticket cost. In some cases tickets end up listed right at the face value, for events with many unsold regular seats the price might come with a discount, and for sold out or popular events the prices might carry a cost of many times the printed ticket value. While you can't negotiate prices you certainly get the option to select similar seats that may come with lower ticket prices.

Vendor Mark-Up

Ticket brokers and ticket network services build in a fee for themselves. In most cases these specific costs end up becoming a part of the price offered for the tickets or built into the overall service charges for the tickets or as a commission charged to the seller. While you may never see them you should understand they exist.

Service Fees

Service fees may emerge as the most important thing to understand about buying tickets online. Most online services where you buy tickets make their money from these service fees. This becomes very complicated when you realize that the bulk of the money made comes from these service fees and that as a consumer you usually do not see the service fees until you enter the checkout phase of the ticket buying process. In normal transactions while comparing prices people assume associated costs remain constant. Think about buying a big screen TV, you look at the exact same make and model at several stores and compare prices. Each store charges tax, and unless you live close to a bordering state all sellers charge the same tax. Think or service charges when you buy tickets more like the installation charge, except that you must purchase it. Now understand that these charges add 5% to 25% to the cost of the tickets and remember that you won't even know what they are until you checkout.

Delivery Charges

While delivery charges vary more from the delivery method you select than from variances between the ticket sellers, keep an eye on you're the exact figures quoted when calculating the true price of the tickets you wish to buy. To avoid delivery charges completely look for certain tickets that allow for free pick up at the "will call" window at the box office of the venue or hand delivery at a spot near the event like a local restaurant or bar. Technology even permits you to print certain tickets instantly online without additional fees. At the gate machines scan the barcode on the tickets, so as long as you print a valid barcode you may enter the event as well as those with fancy original souvenir tickets. This becomes an important element of ticket prices when you need to buy tickets the day of the event or one day before, where you face very high next day delivery charges or instant ticket printing for free. For the price conscious with little time left locating tickets to buy based on those with free delivery options make become a larger issue than price comparison between ticket sellers. Keep in mind, however, that many services offer the same tickets and the delivery options originate with those selling the tickets not the particular vendor you buy your tickets from.


Some sites offer discount coupons to customers who buy tickets online. You typically find a spot to enter a discount code at some point in the checkout process. In certain cases you may need to search a bit to learn where the coupon code entry spot resides, but most services that allow you to buy tickets online offer a spot like that someplace on their forms. With that said, many may not offer any discount coupon for the specific tickets you would like to buy or for any online ticket purchases at all. Other service might offer a discount coupon for buying online tickets at a measly 1% or 2%, even after advertising a discount code online to lure you in with an anticipation of a 30% to 50% price reduction. Unfortunately discounts that deep only exist in the imaginations of those reading a discount code for an online ticket purchase without their knowing the details of the true offer. In reality the largest widely offered public discount I ever saw through an online coupon topped out at 10%, and that came as a very short lived grand opening discount code. Even private discount codes or coupons not meant for large circulation don't exceed 10% off. Note further, that some discounts codes lower your ticket price alone which others bring down both the ticket price as well as the service fee. You should not ignore these discount coupons, but don't expect the type of savings you see when something like a fine jewelry store offers a sale or an online coupon that you might see for restaurant gift certificates where I have witnessed price cutting at 80%. A coupon for buying tickets online at a discount would look like this code: READZ5 which, by the way, represents a real discount code for 5% off both ticket prices and service charges at our Buy Tickets Site for being a good reader.

Comparison Shopping Online

Armed with all of the facts about how to buy tickets online you stand ready to comparison shop the various online services and walk away with the tickets for your event at the best prices. The most important advice, just to recap, involves doing your comparison price shopping for the tickets you want to buy just before you pay, after all shipping and service charges have been tacked on and you get to see the true price for the tickets. Good luck with buying your tickets and enjoy your event!