Airline search engines have made it really easy to search the entire world to find the cheapest ticket — you no longer have to search manually. While Kayak offers the “Explore” tool that allows you to put in your home airport and see a map of the world with all the flights on it, Google Flights also has a similar – and better – tool to use. If you are flexible with where you want to go (i.e., anywhere but home), use this tool to figure out where to go:
Don’t search for or buy multiple tickets in a single purchase. Airlines always show the highest ticket price in a group of tickets. For example, if you are a family of four and searching for four seats, the airline will find four seats together and show your fare based on the highest ticket price. So if seat A is $200, seats B and C are $300, and seat D is $400, it will price those tickets as $400 each instead of adding up the individual ticket prices. Therefore, always search for tickets as a single person. Afterwards, in the checkout process, you can pick your seats so you and your family are sitting together.
Besides season tickets, the other common reselling opportunity is for big events, most notably music concerts, comedians, and shows. These are obviously less consistent in nature than season tickets, but are also potentially more lucrative, given that many events are for one night only and sometimes in very high demand. Selling tickets for individual shows is also obviously less of a time and financial commitment.
Choose a suitable price. There is much debate as to how much a scalper should charge for an upmarked event ticket. Ultimately, it depends on the original price, quality of seat, and predicted demand for the ticket in question. Generally speaking, if a show has sold out, it becomes a seller's market. Many professional scalpers tend to upmark resold tickets by 50%.
No matter how good it sounds, you should never book the first fare you see. Start your search by checking a few of the major online travel providers such as Travelocity, TripAdvisor Flights or Kayak. SmarterTravel’s sister site, Airfarewatchdog, is another good source of cheap airfare. Checking these sites will give you a preliminary idea of which airlines fly your particular itinerary, what the going rate is and which restrictions might apply. Armed with this information, you can head directly to the airline website to see if the same flights are any cheaper (some airlines guarantee to offer the lowest possible fares on their own websites). While you’re there, check to see if the airline is running any sales or promotions to your destination.
Some think that aggregators such as Skyscanner or Kayak always lead to an online travel agent (OTA) with the cheapest flight price. But while they can help with some airlines, others are better booked directly. These include low-cost carriers such as Norwegian, and charter airlines such as Thomas Cook. Anything but a standard full-service international carrier will often have cheaper prices if you book through the airline itself.
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.
I’m an oddity in the miles/points game. I’ve been in it a few years now and I still don’t have a business card! I don’t mind flying any alliance though at the moment I am an elite for a skyteam airline… and I don’t have any hotel loyalty. Anyways, the only time I resell on stubhub is whenever I have to fulfill a minimum spend for the bonus points (most of the time it ranges $1500-$3000 for a period of 3 months) but I really utilized my reselling skills a year ago when I had to meet $10k minimum spends for the the citi AAexec cards!
5. Know your laws: There's no federal law against scalping, but you'll need to find out what's in play where you live. In New York, for instance, the state let its sky's-the-limit scalping permission lapse in June 2010. Now somewhat strict, but cloudy, rules supposedly govern both online and onsite transactions there. Whether the activity is being rigorously monitored is anyone's guess.
General question for anyone in the know about this. So I'm trying to get tix from StubHub (as usual) for opening night vs. DC but I'm not paying $27 a seat for my wife and I to sit at the very top. I guess I'm considering "doing business" with the gentlemen outside of the arena next to the police and the bucket drummers. This is my first time doing this.
But by leaving money on the table, Springsteen and his ilk might be doing their fans an inadvertent disservice. Jared Smith, the president of Ticketmaster North America, told me that the artists who charge the least tend to see the most scalping. Springsteen and others have angrily denounced scalping at their shows, but their prices are guaranteeing the very existence of that secondary market, which has become ever more sophisticated over the years. Many scalpers now use computer programs to monopolize ticket buying when seats go on sale, which forces many fans to buy from resellers. One of the surest ways to eliminate scalping, Smith told me, is to charge a more accurate price in the first place.
If you wait until the last minute to book, airfare can be outrageously expensive. You might be able to save up to 60% by booking a Priceline Express Deal. You won't know the exact the flight times or carrier, but, if there are only a few available flights, you might be able to make an educated guess based on the travel windows Priceline provides before you book.
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Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) canceled his first scheduled show in 35 years over insane ticket scalping last week, taking a stand against the state of New York for not allowing paperless ticket shows — that’s when everyone has to pick up their tickets at the box office before the event. So it got us thinking — what is the best methodology for acquiring tickets to sold-out shows?
Hello, i’m buying tickets for a sold twenty one pilots show in Tulsa. The tickets were all sold out on the site originally where you he the tickets from, but I found some other tickets on vivid seats and some other cites. I haven’t bought a ticket yet I’m planning to, it’s just I’m scared the tickets are fake and they won’t be able to let me on the show I really want to go.
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.
It pays to plan ahead. The closer you are to your traveling day the more you pay. Why? Because a while back some smart guys and gals at an airline figured out that business travelers tend to schedule meetings at the last minute and have the least flexibility. So while the airlines stick it to the business folk, a well-organized vacationer can take advantage. To find the best fares for you, search for your trip on KAYAK and complete your booking 21 days or more in advance; for next best try for 14 or more. You still here? What are you waiting for?
Let’s face the ground realities. Automated bot programs are going to increase, and are not going to stop for legal or ethical reasons. If you try to stop them using traditional approaches, they find another way to get into your website. They will come back. If you want to protect your web property, customers, and your brand competitiveness, it’s going to be a constant battle against the bots, and it’s about time you use a reliable bot prevention solution.
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.
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.
As an industry leader, with access to nearly limitless data, Ticketmaster can determine fairly precisely just how much fans are willing to pay for every kind of show. Generally speaking, Smith says, artists who charged a lot more for the best 1,000 or so seats would reduce the incentive for scalpers to buy these tickets; it would also allow artists to charge even less for the rest of the seats in the house. Kid Rock told me that on his forthcoming tour, he is planning on charging a lot more than usual for “platinum seating” so that all other seats — including those in the first two rows — can be around $20. “It’s a smart thing for me to do,” he said. “We’re going to make money; I’m going to make money. I want to prove there is a better way to do this.”
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.