Build a relationship. "The question isn't how much is it to fly from here to there, the question is, 'Who's asking?'" Brancatelli says. If you carry the airline's credit card, you automatically have a leg up on other travelers. Credit cards tied to airlines now offer perks that were once standard, such as free checked bags, priority boarding and seat selection, so they may be worth signing up for if you fly frequently on one airline.

Best of all, you can tailor your ticket brokering venture to suit whatever schedule you happen to be on. Need to make a few extra bucks on the side while working a full time job? Ticket brokering can provide that. Want to earn six figures buying and selling tickets full time? You can do that too. It’s all completely open ended, and you’ll get out of it however much you put in.
Buy tickets early. If you're going to be using an online outlet to sell, you won't be doing yourself any services if you wait to strike. Keep your eye out for presales and wide-release sale dates.[2] The sooner you buy tickets, the better tickets you'll have at your disposal. Better tickets will maximize the likelihood of being to sell them off to a potential customer.
You've seen and heard them as you walk into a concert or sports event: ticket scalpers. A ticket scalper is someone who buys tickets to an entertainment or sporting event and then turns around and sells those tickets on the street for a higher price. While it's sometimes against the law to scalp tickets, it's usually not illegal for someone to buy tickets from a scalper. However, you are taking a risk by doing business using cash, in the street, with someone you don't know. It is hard to protect yourself from fraud when your dealing with a random street scalper.
I strongly recommend buying what’s referred to as an open-jaw ticket. This means you arrive-at and depart-from different cities. For example fly New York to London on your outbound trip, but return Paris to New York on your inbound trip. You save time and money by not having to return to your arrival city (where you’ve already been). The main downside to this is that the very cheapest deals in the airline industry are often tied to the same city (e.g. a return Los Angeles-Hong Kong ticket) but excluding the very cheapest deals – which most people don’t get anyways – the cost of an open jaw ticket can be fairly similar to a more standard ticket. Be sure to check this out.
Well, little did we know that the game was sold out. Anyways, it took forever to get (2) decent tickets which ended up 5th row 35 yard line. Just needed 1 more ticket. While we are standing there some guy comes up and says he doesn't have a ticket, but he can get us into the game. Well, it was about game time and there were NO scalpers anywhere. He waves to the guy at the gate collecting tickets who waves back. He says,"You give me $40, I get you in the door, but you have to find your own seat. Well, we paid and I ended up sitting two rows behind my brother and friend until owners of those seats showed up near halftime then I moved a few seats over rest of game. Success.

Several great comparison sites help you find the best tickets. The AARP Travel Center powered by Expedia aggregates most airlines and prices, and you can narrow your search according to date flexibility, number of stops and so on. Kayak is particularly good as an aggregator of airline fare sites. It will open several windows to show you what Expedia, Priceline and others offer. Once you know these prices, check the airline websites; occasionally, airlines have sales they don't post on comparison sites. Also, check the sites of discount airlines like Southwest, jetBlue and RyanAir, whose fares aren't necessarily included on comparison sites. Finally, be sure each quoted fare includes taxes and fees, and read the small print on any "sale" price for your ticket.
And so after that, there was a lot of discussion about this. Amazon came out and said that, we aren’t going to offer different prices to different customers at the same time. So what they didn’t say is that, we are not going to vary prices over time. They just said they were going to stop that practice. So what you are seeing on the web is that, since it’s a great experimental venue and you could see how people react, you are going to see on the web more price experimentation by all types of retailers, to try and figure out what is exactly the right price for products.
The Google-powered ITA Matrix lets you search for one-way, round trip, or multi-city flights and specify parameters like airline and routing. It's also great for searching with flexible terms, if, for example, you want to search for an entire month of fares. You don't book directly through the ITA Matrix; rather, you book directly with airlines once you've found a fare.
My husband and I are big concert goers and we are are always buying tickets. We have recently had our first child and are now realizing that we won’t always be able to make it to the concerts we buy tickets for. Because of this, we have been looking for concert ticket services, or other ways that we can re sell some of our tickets. I didn’t realize it was illegal to use certain third parties, I will have to keep doing research on what our best options will be.
Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards: Southwest's rewards program is strong, especially if you make frequent domestic trips. Your reward comes from dollars spent, based on fare class—that's six points per dollar on "Wanna Get Away" tickets; 10 points per dollar on "Anytime" tickets; and 12 points per dollar on "Business Select” tickets. When it comes to redeeming there are no blackout dates, not even holidays, and no change fees or cancellation fees, either.
Remember that it’s all in the timing. SeatGeek’s Flaherty said that no matter the event, a better deal is likely to emerge the longer you delay your purchase (see “Patience Pays Off,” below). Optimally, the time to act is within 48 hours of showtime, according to SeatGeek’s statistics. “Tickets are perishable goods,” Flaherty explained. “On the resale market, the price typically decreases the closer you get to the event, though you might lose some flexibility, like the ability to get five seats together.”

And the first is, there’s just a great deal of uncertainty when a ticket price is set, whether it’s for a baseball game that the Red Sox are doing well or not, or even a rock concert. The Rolling Stones can be very hot in some cities and not so hot in other cities. And so one of the key reasons is due to this uncertainty, many sports teams and musicians tend to be conservative, and set a low price. The second key reason is there’s generally a hesitancy to set prices too high, because there’s a brand or goodwill associated with these entities, and they don’t want to set prices too high to damage that.

Domestic airfares can change up to three times a day during the week, and once a day on weekends. Because airfares fluctuate like the stock market, you need to check them every day, sometimes two or three times a day, if you're serious about saving money. And another little tip: be sure to clear the "cookies" on your Internet browser (on Explorer you do this under the "tools" menu and "Internet options" sub menu). Why? If a fare changes between two separate searches done over time on the same route, some fare search engines may return the results you viewed earlier rather than the new results.


While it's possible to book your flights on most search sites (they certainly hope you will, to garner their commission), I use these sites only as a first step. Once I've zeroed in on which airline has the best deal for my trip, I check the airline's own site to compare fares. You can often avoid added costs by booking direct (the commissions are charged either as higher prices or in the form of fees for booking through a third party). And airlines may offer bonuses (such as extra frequent-flier miles) to those who book direct.

One of these sites is Jack's Flight Club* (JFC), which is independently run and sends its members email alerts with details of cheap flights. If you're flexible about when and where you go, this can be a good way to grab a bargain – its basic service is free, though right now we've blagged a free 30-day trial of its premium service which spots more deals.
However, past trends do tell us a little about when the right time to book a flight is. The website CheapAir.com completed a study that determined 47 days in advance was the cheapest time to book domestic fares. And as for international fares, they concluded that the time frames varied wildly based on where you are flying to with the number of days ranging from 46 to 318 days in advance.
Now, there are caveats, so don't go booking out an entire planeful of tickets just for shits and giggles. First, with most airlines, you can cancel/change your ticket up to seven days before you’re scheduled to travel and still get a full refund. (The notable exception is American Airlines, which instead allows you to hold a ticket up to 24 hours at the price you see.) Second, you need to book directly with the airline's website, and not through a third-party booking site, although big ones like Expedia or Travelocity offer policies similar to those of airlines. But the big takeaway: You can have buyer's remorse for up to a full day. And some airlines -- like Southwest -- have even more generous refund policies that let you change plans up until right before you take off.
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However, Jack from Jack’s Flight Club has this advice: “If you need a last-minute flight, and you don’t want to pay over the odds, be flexible with your airline choice. Some of the smaller carriers and those that specialise in package holidays to beach destinations will discount unsold seats as the departure time nears. Use Skyscanner’s Search Everywhere tool to find these deals. Simply input the nearest Whole Month for your travel dates, select ‘direct only’ and hit Search Flights. Then scroll down the list of destinations until you see one with an insanely good deal.
Don’t go lugging an oversized suitcase filled with a whole semester’s worth of clothes (or weird contraband) through TSA, but if you’ve got a small- or medium-sized bag you’re willing to part with for a few hours, taking it to the gate and volunteering to gate check it can save you a bag fee. It also earns you goodwill with the flight crew, as you appear to be sacrificing something for the good of the plane, even though you’re just being cheap. Of course, this doesn’t apply to airlines that charge for carry-ons to begin with, and you’re probably out of luck (meaning, there’d be an administrative fee of around $50) if you’re flying Economy Plus on a legacy carrier, too.
FareCompare's Seaney says not to make the mistake of booking too far in advance — this is when fares are usually higher. A study by CheapAir.com found that the prime booking window for a domestic flight is 21 to 112 days out; 54 days in advance, on average, is a good time to buy. Seaney says to start shopping three months in advance for domestic travel and five months out for international travel so that you'll be prepared to pounce when the price is right. Sales tend to show up online on Tuesdays, he says.
Knowing which tickets will sell out is exactly what we do here at ticketflipping. We look at hundreds of shows to select which will most likely sell out. By understanding the ticket scalping economics, we examine each shows popularity, venues capacity, location, etc... There are hundreds of factors which can influence how much a show will sell out and how much the tickets will increase in price. If you want to learn how select these tickets check out these 4 training videos which explain the overall ticket scalping economics.
Online travel agencies, such as Kayak, Travelocity and Orbitz, have made the search for inexpensive airfare easier than ever. Perhaps because of that, many travelers begin and end their search for airfares with one of these sites. Yet there is more a traveler can do to find moderately priced airfares with fewer stops and/or better timing; stopping after the initial search means missing out on these opportunities.
I’m planning on leaving from DFW/Fort Worth airport (DFW) and want to go to Frankfort, Germany from June 19, 2018 and stay in Frankfort for 8 hours (as my aunt lives there) and take a connecting flight to Casablanca, Morocco (CMN) and arrive there on June 20th (we want to take Lufthansa as it does that connecting flight like this) then we want to stay in Morocco for 5 weeks and go back to Frankfort on June 30 or 31 (whichever is cheaper) and stay there for around 3 weeks and go back to Dallas on Aug 20 or 21 (whichever is cheaper as I have to go back to college).
Why pay a fare at all when you can use your frequent flier miles? Although redeeming miles has gotten more difficult in recent years, it’s still a good option to consider, particularly if you’re booking early; airlines designate a limited number of seats on each flight as eligible for award travel, and these seats go quickly. Some credit cards can help you build up miles more quickly; see How to Choose the Best Travel Credit Card to learn more.
Nevertheless, it is entirely up to you whether you prefer to splash out on regular air tickets or put in the effort to score some of the amazing deals out there! But even if you're a very busy person and don't feel the savings are worth your time, you can still use a concierge service like those you get with good credit cards to do all the grueling work for you. You can never be too rich to save money. 

Several great comparison sites help you find the best tickets. The AARP Travel Center powered by Expedia aggregates most airlines and prices, and you can narrow your search according to date flexibility, number of stops and so on. Kayak is particularly good as an aggregator of airline fare sites. It will open several windows to show you what Expedia, Priceline and others offer. Once you know these prices, check the airline websites; occasionally, airlines have sales they don't post on comparison sites. Also, check the sites of discount airlines like Southwest, jetBlue and RyanAir, whose fares aren't necessarily included on comparison sites. Finally, be sure each quoted fare includes taxes and fees, and read the small print on any "sale" price for your ticket.
Thanks for your reply, Mike. You make some very fair points. To be fair to me, I think I at least alluded to a number of them. And this is not intended to be a deep dive on ticket reselling (although recall that there is a Part 2 coming Saturday). I can’t imagine anyone would stick with any reselling activity (tickets or otherwise) if it had a less than 50/50 profit/loss rate. Of course, overall profit margin is the more important factor. When I first got started doing this, it was tough to get over the losses (and they will happen – as I highlight more in Part 2).

Even if you think an airline's safe as houses, it's important to protect yourself as fully as possible. The easiest way is to book on a credit card, as when a flight costs more than £100, Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act means the card company's equally liable if something goes wrong (see the full Section 75 Refunds guide, or the Chargeback guide for protection on debit card purchases).
While most business (and frequent) travelers feel good about doing their part by booking the lowest possible fare, they may be doing themselves and their company a disservice. The first disservice would be to themselves because the lowest fares often do not give the most elite qualifying points for their frequent flyer program. In fact, some of the lowest fares may not qualify for frequent flyer miles at all, depending on a flight's specific route.
If you still need to book the whole kit and kaboodle, a flight and hotel package can save you cash. Airlines and third-party booking sites all offer travel packages. Some of the best options are Costco Travel or through your airline or hotel loyalty program (i.e. Marriott Flights and Nights) so you can get some bonus points and book a cheap flight simultaneously.

If you’re traveling within the United States, flying on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday will get you the lowest airfare because there are fewer fliers on these days, Mr. Seaney said. “You can save between 10 and 40 percent per ticket, if not more, compared to a Monday, Friday and Sunday, when air traffic is heavier,” he said. (Thursday falls between the two categories.)
Be ready to buy. Given how erratic airline pricing can be, you want to be ready to pounce on a good fare when you see it. Waiting to talk with your travel partner could cost you a good fare. As you delay, dates sell out and prices generally go up. Figure out in advance what constitutes a good fare, then grab it when you find it. A few airlines will let you pay a small fee to hold a fare for three days. US Department of Transportation regulations state that you're entitled to cancel or change a flight within 24 hours of purchase without a fee, but if you're changing flights, you may have to pay the fare difference. Airlines find sneaky ways around these rules, so call before buying if there's a decent chance you'll need to cancel.
As Steven Wandrey mentioned, “CoT isn’t verified but if someone has good rep ratings on there the chances are much higher than not that the tickets are legit.” That said, Stubhub doesn’t verify ticket sales either (but the buyer does have a credit card on file), and CashorTrade.org will assist you if any problems arise. Using CashorTrade.org can save you money compared to using the mighty corporate behemoth StubHub.
When searching for airfare, most travel sites (Travelocity, Kayak, Priceline, etc.) allow you to make travel dates flexible by one to three days in order to guarantee the cheapest options. Some sites also have a calendar tool that highlights which days in that month or the upcoming months have the lowest fares. Switching your plans by a few days or to a different weekend might be inconvenient, but it can end up saving you hundreds in the long run. I’m a huge fan of Google’s Flight Explorer.  Staying flexible is one of my top travel tips!

This is your first step, and it’s probably the most important. Ticket brokering can be fun and extremely lucrative, but it’s not for everyone. There are a lot of unpredictables, a lot of tough decisions, and a ton of organizational work that goes into this business. If you’re just learning about ticket brokering and you need an introduction on how it all works, this is not the career where you can simply “learn on the job.” What will end up happening is you’ll buy thousands of dollars worth of tickets that you can’t sell and you’ll just get discouraged.

Consumer Reports is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to helping consumers. We make it easy to buy the right product from a variety of retailers. Clicking a retailer link will take you to that retailer’s website to shop. When you shop through retailer links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission – 100% of the fees we collect are used to support our mission. Learn more. Our service is unbiased: retailers can’t influence placement. All prices are subject to change.
If it looks like the delay is going to cost you more than the airline is offering -- like if you had a non-refundable hotel reservation, or miss a private helicopter ride (look at you!) -- you’ve got 30 days to try and get as much money out of them as you can. But once you put a check into your bank account, you’ve essentially agreed to accept whatever you were offered.

John Breyault, vice president for public policy, telecommunications and fraud with the National Consumers League, says “legitimizing the resale market has been a win for consumers” because it has reduced the incidence of fraud. He acknowledges, though, that it hasn’t necessarily helped in terms of lower ticket prices. The best hope for consumers outraged when they see a ticket selling for many times its face value, he says, is a thriving legal resale market and federal anti-bot legislation with teeth.
The single best way to know a good deal is to periodically search a specific route, getting a feel for what a readily, widely available price often looks like. By putting in this little bit of legwork, you'll recognize an excellent fare when one (inevitably) pops up. Many deals last fewer than 24 hours, so booking quickly is essential. Be that annoying friend who calls persistently until someone can confirm their dates and get it booked—you may never see a fare that low again.
Companies who resell tickets are called ticket brokers. Some would argue they are scalpers, as well. However, reputable ticket brokers follow laws, register with the Better Business Bureau and National Association of Ticket Brokers, make you pay with a credit card and take steps to safeguard against fraud. So there is a difference between buying from a street scalper and an online "scalper," even if it hits your pocketbook the same way.
Don't travel at peak times, which means not flying on the Sunday after Thanksgiving or any other time when seats are coveted. Consider starting a summer trip before school is out. Visit Europe before May and after summer vacations. Be aware, however, that a tidal wave of boomers is expected to flood Europe in the fall, so don't count on bargain transatlantic flights at that time of year. 

The other primary option for selling tickets is Craigslist. It is an amazing place for buyers and sellers to meet, but also a world fraught with potential scams and frustrations.  I can’t possibly get into all of the details of buying and selling on Craigslist here, but I’ll pass along a few key details.  Of course, the biggest benefit of selling via Craigslist is that there are no fees.  The downside is that you must interact with people.  And those people are always looking for a deal and usually horrible at communicating.
If you have status with an airline -- or even if you don’t -- ask for exit-row seats when you arrive at the gate.  Those seats cost extra, and are most frequently the only ones left empty, even on so-called “extremely full” flights; they’re often filled by traveling flight attendants and pilots (known as Dead Heads or Non-Revs) assigned available seats at the last minute. If you ask nicely and are super polite (which, frequent flyers will tell you, is a big factor in getting free stuff) the gate agent has the power to give them to you.

Remember that it’s all in the timing. SeatGeek’s Flaherty said that no matter the event, a better deal is likely to emerge the longer you delay your purchase (see “Patience Pays Off,” below). Optimally, the time to act is within 48 hours of showtime, according to SeatGeek’s statistics. “Tickets are perishable goods,” Flaherty explained. “On the resale market, the price typically decreases the closer you get to the event, though you might lose some flexibility, like the ability to get five seats together.”

Last-minute weekend fares are often great deals, but most people don't realize that they can construct itineraries by combining two of these fares. Let's say you want to fly from Boston to San Antonio next weekend, and you've signed up for all the weekly newsletters alerting you of these deals but there's no Boston/San Antonio deals listed. However, if there's a Boston to Atlanta fare for $128 round-trip, and an Atlanta to San Antonio fare for $108 round-trip, then there is indeed a Boston/San Antonio fare as well. Just buy two separate fares (we've noticed that Travelocity and some other sites do a good job of combining weekend fares in this manner). You can even combine such fares on two different airlines, but make sure you leave enough time in between connecting flights in case there's a delay.


Best time to buy: Tuesdays at 3 p.m. EST. If you don't find the discounts you're looking for in the early morning, a study by FareCompare.com says the best time to buy airline tickets and shop for travel (domestically) is on Tuesday at 3 p.m. EST. However, George Hobica, travel expert and journalist, argues that the best deals vary frequently, so there's not one specific day or time of the week to buy.
RAFI MOHAMMED: Well, you know, we can’t tell all the secrets, but I’m happy to share some of the key secrets. And it really comes down to uncertainty, and how you deal with uncertainty. And it’s been my experience that the closer you get to an event, whether it’s a rock concert or a sporting event, you see prices go down. And so obviously, if you’re taking a significant other, or celebrating a very important event, or going out with clients, you really don’t want to be sweating it out until the last second and hoping that prices are going to go down.
A couple of sites are better for flights to Europe than flights within Europe, and some nice features make their results easier to navigate. Expedia is easy to use and consistent at finding good fares. CheapoAir offers pricing tables for mixed-airline flights to and from Europe. Vayama specializes in international flights, with cheaper fares that might not show up elsewhere — but beware that its customer service doesn't have a stellar reputation for handling cancellations and changes. (For cheap flights within Europe, I prefer Skyscanner.)
Who likes ticket scalpers? Pose that question to a room full of average Joe’s and the showing of hands will be few. Call them mean, sharks, cheaters, or the lowest of the low, the reality is, they have little issue with their reputation. And name calling will not get you the tickets they have for the event you want to see. The fact is, most scalpers are very shrewd business people with excellent negotiating skills. Like a stock broker they buy low and sell high. So here is a quick list of five do’s and don’ts when seeking to buy tickets from a street scalper (in places where such activity is legal, of course!).
Not all season tickets are great. In fact, if the team doesn’t play in front of regular strong attendance, then you better be getting a very big discount or stay away. As I mention in the post, it doesn’t matter what kind of discount you get to the box office price, it’s all about your price versus the secondary market price. I have found that there are usually “sweet spots” (often very small sweet spots!) in season tickets. More expensive tickets are almost never the sweet spot, especially from a risk and percentage margin perspective.
Nobody likes junk mail, but getting on email lists for your local teams and venues (or in other markets with which you have good familiarity) is the best way to find out about hot new concert presale events and discounts.  Another benefit of being in the points/miles hobby is that often times Citi and American Express cardholders get special presale access (and sometimes discounted prices) to events.
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