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Smart Ticket Buying Guide and Tips

Cliff Kurtzman Photo
  By Cliff Kurtzman
      Executive Director

Tips and strategies for getting the most out of buying tickets in the secondary ticket market:

  1. What does it mean to buy a ticket in the "secondary ticket market"? When is it a good deal to do so?
  2. Is it legal to resell tickets? Isn't this scalping?
  3. Is a more expensive ticket always a better ticket?
  4. Will ticket prices increase or decrease as it gets closer to the event date?
  5. When is the best time to buy sports playoff tickets?
  6. What should someone do if there are no tickets listed for an event they want to attend?
  7. When does it not make sense to buy tickets in the ticket exchange?
  8. Is it worth paying a premium to get a better seat?

  1. What does it mean to buy a ticket in the "secondary ticket market"? When is it a good deal to do so?
    Buying tickets in the secondary ticket market means that you are purchasing tickets from someone who previously acquired tickets for an event and is now offering those tickets for resale. In the MyCityRocks Ticket Exchange, you will find tickets listed by individuals and licensed ticket brokers who are willing to give up their seats at a stated price. The price that they ask for their ticket may be more or less than the original face value of the ticket. This is a bit different than buying tickets in the "primary ticket market," where you buy your ticket from the event's box office at the face value price of the ticket, plus service fees. Buying tickets in the secondary market can be a very good deal when an event is sold-out, if the seats you want are no longer available direct from the box office, as well as when you are able to find someone selling their tickets in the secondary ticket market at less than face value.
    This guide is intended to give you some tips on how to maximize your value when buying tickets on the secondary ticket market.
  2. Is it legal to resell tickets? Isn't this scalping?
    With just a few small exceptions, the reselling of event tickets is legal now virtually everywhere, as long as it does not take place on the premises of the venue. No, it isn't "scalping." Scalpers are unlicensed people who whisper "hey psst... need any tickets" at you when you approach a venue. We don't recommend that you buy tickets from scalpers, because if you do, then your purchase will not be covered by the same kind of guarantees that you get when you buy through the MyCityRocks Ticket Exchange. The folks who sell tickets on our site are licensed ticket brokers along with individuals just like you who bought tickets and are now looking to sell them because they no longer wish to attend an event.
  3. Is a more expensive ticket always a better ticket?
    Usually, but not always. This is because ticket prices in our ticket exchange are set by each individual ticket seller at the price point at which they are willing to give up their seat. Different people place different values on their tickets, so a more expensive seat is not in every case a better seat. Feel free to consult the seating chart for the venue (click the link at the top right of each ticket listing page on our site) and then select the seat that best meets your needs.
  4. Will ticket prices increase or decrease as it gets closer to the event date?
    Waiting until the very last minute to buy tickets can be very risky business! For some events, ticket prices in the secondary market will drop if there are still lots of tickets for sale as an event approaches. We've seen some people try and wait to get the lowest possible price. But over and over again we've heard from folks who have waited too long and were very upset as a result. Sometimes prices will actually rise in the final days before an event, or the tickets will sell out completely, even on our site, and people are unable to find tickets at any price. Ticket delivery logistics can also become much more complicated if one waits too long.
    We frequently receive notes from distraught folks who were planning to buy certain tickets listed in the Exchange but then came back to find them already sold, or unavailable due to other complications. One mother of four wrote in to tell us she had visited our site the night before an event and had submitted purchase requests for two sets of two tickets so her kids could attend a show they were dying to see. Well it turned out that one of the two ticket sellers was not able to deliver the tickets to her in time for the event, and it was too late for our customer service folks to find another ticket seller for her. Of course, she was not charged for the two tickets that could not be delivered, but she still had to choose which two of her four children were going to get to use the other two tickets. She wasn't happy about it, and nor were we, but she had just waited too long.
    On the other side of the coin, Ticket Exchange customer Mary in Bothell, Washington got her tickets earlier and wrote to us to mention that "We rec'd the tickets in plenty of time. It was nice to know the day before TicketMaster started selling the tickets, that I'd "locked in" the two tickets I needed, by going through MyCityRocks Ticket Exchange. Just the peace of mind knowing I had my tickets secured, made me happy! And, my daughter, too. Excellent service."
    So the bottom line is that if you need tickets at the very last minute, our sellers will do their very best to get them to you, but if you want to reduce the risks you will miss an event and be certain that you will get the seats that you want, don't wait too long to get your tickets... buy them before someone else does!
    [If you do need to buy tickets within one business day of an event, we strongly recommend that you phone our call center (toll free within the USA at 1-866-968-2386 7:00 am - 1:00 am eastern time, seven days a week) so that one of our customer service reps can help you complete the transaction, rather than making the purchase through the web site.]
  5. When is the best time to buy sports playoff tickets?
    For the best deals on premium playoff tickets, buy your tickets before it is 100% certain that your team is in the game. We will usually have season ticket holders listing their seats for sale much earlier just on the chance that their team will advance. If the team does not qualify for the playoff game, then the buyer gets their money back. But if the team does qualify for the game, then the buyer will get their ticket at a price that is usually lower than if they wait until their team qualifies.
    We were interviewed in the Delaware Country Daily Times (See Tickets for Phils available) about the availability of tickets for the 2008 baseball playoffs and World Series. At the time, the Phillies were still in the playoffs and had not yet won the pennant to head to the World Series. We noted that season ticket holders already had their World Series tickets listed for sale in the Ticket Exchange... if someone bought those tickets and the Phillies failed to advance, then the buyer would get their money back. But on the other hand, those who waited until after the Phillies won the pennant to buy the tickets found prices had increased.
    This tip applies to playoff games that are team and location dependant, such as the MLB playoffs, NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs, and NFL playoffs excluding the Super Bowl. If you buy a ticket for the Super Bowl or a college bowl game such as the Rose Bowl or the NCAA Basketball Playoffs, then that ticket is for the bowl game or playoff game regardless of what teams end up playing in it, and the above strategy will not apply.
  6. What should someone do if there are no tickets listed for an event they want to attend?
    There are two main reasons we might not have any ticket inventory listed for an event. Sometimes it is simply too early, and no one is yet able to offer their tickets up for sale. Other times, all the tickets in the secondary market will sell out and there will be nothing left to buy. Sometimes when this happens, we will find new ticket sellers willing to offer their tickets to our web site visitors. In either case, the best strategy is to bookmark the page on our site for the event you are interested in, and recheck it daily to see if any ticket inventory appears.
  7. When does it not make sense to buy tickets in the ticket exchange?
    Chances are, if you buy your tickets through our exchange you will have a better overall purchase experience and end up with seats that are just right for you. Avoiding the box office hassle, as well as the memory of sitting in great seats, is often worth any extra cost. Nonetheless, there are some situations where buying tickets on the secondary market is not the best deal.
    Sometimes a ticket seller will offer their general admission ticket for resale at a price greater than what is still available direct from the box office. It might make sense to have to pay a premium to buy a general admission ticket for an event that is sold out, but it doesn't make sense when it isn't. The bottom line is that if you can find the seat you want at the box office for less than someone is offering their ticket for sale in our exchange, then you might want to buy your ticket directly from the box office. But if you want a really good seat that isn't available from the box office, then it makes sense to buy your ticket using the MyCityRocks Ticket Exchange. Use our site to find good deals, and just ignore the sellers with unrealistic expectations!
  8. Is it worth paying a premium to get a better seat?
    Well, there is no one way to answer that question, as it depends on each individual's personal preferences, not to mention their finances!
    We know that the people who shop in the MyCityRocks Ticket Exchange work hard to earn an ability to enjoy their leisure and entertainment time in a quality fashion, just like we do. When a group of us from MyCityRocks decided we wanted to go see Ventriloquist/Comedian Jeff Dunham perform, we bought our seats from sellers in our own Ticket Exchange just the same as you would. We were thrilled to find someone selling six seats that were front row center in the huge arena that Jeff was performing in. We definitely paid a premium for those seats, but sitting right up front so we could see Jeff at work face-to-face was really cool and it made the experience very special (see these photos we took to see just how close we really were to Jeff). Jeff joked with one of the gals in our group during the show and gave her some t-shirts at the end for being a good sport. We felt the tickets were a very good investment and it helped us realize why people who use the MyCityRocks Tickets Exchange are often so very eager to see a show with this kind of premium seating.
For additional information on how the MyCityRocks Ticket Exchange works, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.


A Note From A Fan
MyCityRocks Ticket Exchange
Nikki in Westminster wrote (regarding tickets to see Larry The Cable Guy, Bill Engvall, and Jeff Foxworthy):
"Just wanted to let you guys know that you are all awesome. I bought tickets for Blue Collar Comedy Tour at the First Mariner Arena in Baltimore, MD. Not only were my tickets delivered to me faster than I was told, I had some of the best seats in the house! I was able to get a high-five from all of the guys in the Tour! I will be coming back to this site for all of my future purchases of tickets! Thank you so much!"


The MyCityRocks Ticket Exchange has great prices for: Cheap Tickets, Discount Tickets, Premium Tickets, VIP Tickets, Last Minute Tix, Front Row Seats, Floor Seats, Ringside Tickets, Club Suite, VIP Suites, Luxury Suite, Box Seating, Backstage Pass, Concert Passes, Sold Out Concerts, Pit Tickets, Balcony Theater, Mezzanine Theatre, and Orchestra Seats, All Tour Dates, Boletos de deportes, teatro, y conciertos. Not affiliated with TicketMaster, Ticket Master, LiveNation or Live Nation.