Avoid large fees for online concert tickets with these tips.
For those hoping to see a favorite band in concert, the availability of online concert tickets has made purchasing tickets faster, easier and about as hassle-free as possible. Users can simply open up their Web browser, navigate to the first big-name concert ticket retailer, enter the name of the show they want to see and start clicking. However, all of that convenience and reduced stress comes with a price: additional ticket fees, sometimes quite substantial ones.
A recent check on Ticketmaster.com, the world's largest Internet ticket seller, found that convenience or processing charges added an average of about $15 to the cost of each concert ticket. On top of that, there may be a printing or shipping charge to receive the tickets in any way other than picking them up in person or having them sent via the U.S. Postal Service.
For those who choose to print their ticket confirmations on their own computer, there is an additional fee of $2.50 per ticket. Selecting some method of express delivery raises the cost to an additional $19.50 per ticket.
So, for example, $100 per ticket for a relatively popular show will easily end up costing a concertgoer an additional $34.50 per ticket, or nearly $70 for a pair of tickets, for the convenience of buying them online. For those who can afford it, the speed, convenience and time savings may be more than worth it.
For those counting their pennies, however, there are other methods to try.
One Web site, NoFeesTickets, advertises concert tickets for the same shows advertised by the larger online ticket sellers, but without any additional fees noted.
JustGreatTickets.com similarly boasts that while many of the sites with which it competes offer tickets that appear to be lower-priced at first, they then add other fees during the final steps of the order process that can increase the cost of each ticket by up to 25 percent.
Hallmark Tickets notes that many of its largest competitors only disclose the amount of their processing fees in the terms and conditions section of the site, hoping that many ticket buyers will gloss over that information. They point out that, typically, processing fees are not refundable if a concert is rained out or otherwise cancelled. They vehemently conclude that while these practices may be legal, Hallmark Tickets considers it deceptive, dishonest and flat out wrong.
A final discount online ticket seller, CheapPremiumTickets.com, shares with ticket buyers that the service or processing fees charged by many competitors are ostensibly to ensure that ticket orders are processed efficiently. However, similar to Hallmark Tickets, they point out that customers should not have to spend more money on an unnecessary expense in order to make sure that orders are processed correctly.
Other alternatives include auction sites such as eBay, Stubhub, Craigslist and PreferredSeat.com.
If all else fails, one can always avoid extra fees by securing tickets the old-fashioned way: by box office. It's important to plan ahead for these endeavors -- depending on the popularity of the show, concertgoers may camp out in line to purchase the best seats.
Not all lines are overnight ones, of course, and sometimes it is as easy as walking up to the box office during regular business hours and purchasing the concert tickets. In this scenario, one additional way to save is to take advantage of special offers or coupons from the concert venue, sometimes provided to frequent customers or from local and national coupon providers, such as Entertainment.com.