Buying And Selling Broadway Show Tickets

When it comes to buy Broadway show tickets these days, scene is really the worse. Few years ago, you only had to deal with idiotic Ticketmaster and now the pain is extended to 100s of brokers that have mushroomed to somehow “lawfully” buying off all the nicest seats and later sells it with the price tag of 2X or more. No wonder shows like Wicked and Lion King are now suddenly sold out for next 8 months or so. These guys even have their “national association” and just makes me wonder what they did to the system so as to make their whole thing a perfectly “legal business”.

This entire anomaly could be blamed on this worst ticketing website of the World. Not only they charge “convenience fee” of $5 per ticket for using their annoying website but unlike anything else on the Net, they have absolutely no returns policy! I think they are the good subjects to study how to force customer to knowingly pay more then they should, how to have no returns policy, worst possible customer service and still maintain almost a monopoly.

Anyway, if you get in to buying/selling Broadway show tickets, here are some tips:

If you are buying at last minute, try eBay. However if you are after those popular shows, don’t rely on “manual” bidding. It doesn’t work. You may quickly realize that most bids on such auctions occur in the last 60 seconds of auction (known as “bidding war”). The bid prices literally go twice for these tickets during the last few seconds. This is courtesy of the automated programs (robots) called snipers which bids on your behalf in last few seconds before the auction closes. The one web-based sniper that I used and which reliably worked was eSnipe. But there are tons of others out there. Other place to look out is Craig’s list and stub hub, especially if you wanted to sell your tickets at the last moment.

Overall, let’s all continue to hate and investigate how Ticketmaster manages to stay alive (and use that knowledge to kill it one day).

Principal Research Engineer

A program trying to understand what it’s computing.