So that goes back to the notion of value. So I value the certainty of having great tickets to the Rolling Stones or the Red Sox versus the Yankees. So I’m willing to pay a premium just to get that certainty. But much like what you see in life, and in pricing in general, if you’re willing to wait it out and deal with the uncertainty, you can get the best tickets at face value, if not lower, if you wait until the very last minute.


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.
Increasingly, airlines are launching "private" sales, reserving their very best fares for their own sites. With the exception of Southwest (www.southwest.com), now the second largest carrier by passengers flown, most of the airlines that do this are smaller domestic airlines or large international carriers, but we've even seen Delta do it, and we're not talking here just about last-minute weekend fares. Air New Zealand, Aloha, Malaysia, Frontier, Qantas, Singapore, SAS, Spirit, and others are using this strategy. Alaska Airlines has almost-weekly 20 percent off sales that you won't find anywhere but Alaska's site (www.alaskaairlines.com). Niche carriers like USA3000 (www.usa3000.com) and Allegiant Air (www.allegiantair.com) usually don't share their fare data with third-party sites at all, and although USA3000 fares are included in Sidestep.com searches, that airline has frequent $10 off sales that are only valid only on its website.
Today's business climate has forced most companies to operate in the "lean and mean" mode. This is probably evidenced most with everyday expenses such as business travel. While our willingness to help the company reduce necessary costs for travel and entertainment by securing the lowest possible airfare available, the reality is that oftentimes the lowest airfare is not necessarily a cost savings for the company but an additional expense.
Since Low Cost Carriers only sell their tickets through their web sites and not through large travel sites it’s difficult to compare costs and find routes for budget airlines. (Kayak, Vayama, Travelocity, Expedia and the other big travel sites don’t always have information on the low cost carriers.) That’s where web sites like Skyscanner and Which Budget come in handy. Find the best route and price from these web sites then make your way to that airline’s site to purchase the tickets.
Increasingly, airlines are launching "private" sales, reserving their very best fares for their own sites. With the exception of Southwest (www.southwest.com), now the second largest carrier by passengers flown, most of the airlines that do this are smaller domestic airlines or large international carriers, but we've even seen Delta do it, and we're not talking here just about last-minute weekend fares. Air New Zealand, Aloha, Malaysia, Frontier, Qantas, Singapore, SAS, Spirit, and others are using this strategy. Alaska Airlines has almost-weekly 20 percent off sales that you won't find anywhere but Alaska's site (www.alaskaairlines.com). Niche carriers like USA3000 (www.usa3000.com) and Allegiant Air (www.allegiantair.com) usually don't share their fare data with third-party sites at all, and although USA3000 fares are included in Sidestep.com searches, that airline has frequent $10 off sales that are only valid only on its website.

So there’s the two ways of doing it, one, a market research type, which we discuss on the Amazon by varying prices. Or second, I feel that the front line really has a lot of intuition on what customers are willing to pay. And that front line has a lot of market research that they can share with the people who set prices to help set the right price.


Copying ultra-low-cost airlines such as Spirit and Frontier, now Delta, American and United also sell bare-bones economy class fares. On domestic routes, they typically cost $40-$60 round-trip less than regular economy, although the savings can be greater to international destinations. Buy one of these fares and, except on Delta, you'll pay even for a carry-on bag unless it's small enough to fit under the seat in front of you; you won't be able to choose a specific seat before check-in (which means you'll end up in a dreaded middle seat), and your fare will be entirely non-refundable and non-changeable. Although I'd never buy one of these airfares, my millennial friends, who apparently travel with just a change of clothes and a toothbrush stuffed into a backpack that slides under the seat, tell me that they're worth the inconvenience.

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.


Especially during peak travel periods, making reservations late in the game can cost you a lot of money. Airline ticket prices typically go up in the last two weeks before flying, so if you’re planning ahead, try to make the call before this deadline. And if you’re traveling internationally, you’ll want to book even earlier — from three to six months in advance — for the best deals. For more on specific booking deadlines and recommendations, see Want the Lowest Fare? Here’s When to Book.

In Google Chrome or Safari, incognito is enabled by hitting Command (or “Control” if using PC), Shift, “N”. For Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, hit Command (or “Control” if using a PC), Shift, “P”. This will open a new browser window where your information is not tracked, thus not inflating prices as you search. Note: if you’re using an older version of OS X, open Safari then click “Safari” in the menu bar, and select “Private Browsing”.
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!
In a world filled with more options than ever, it's your job as a consumer to stay informed. Luckily, the businesses that want you to choose them have made it easier than ever to stay up to date. Whether you have a trip coming up soon, or simply know that you'll be planning a vacation sometime next year, take some time to prepare. When the time comes, you'll have all the information you need to get the best deal. 

So I began the slow grind of making a living from selling tickets on the internet. For years my only purchases were concert tickets, and there is no secret to getting concert tickets even though many people think that all ticket brokers have some kind of inside connection. To get good concert ticket you would have to figure out the event onsale time, and ideally the first presale time and buy the tickets the second they went onsale. I became an expert on how to buy tickets online for all sorts of concerts. The only problem with this is that you had to be near a computer at a specific time nearly everyday to buy these tickets, and I did not feel great about competing for tickets with the common fan and then marking them up and selling them to them 10 minutes after the Ticketmaster sale. I felt there had to be a better way to make a living from being a ticket broker and that is when I stumbled upon the world of sports tickets, and oh what a glorious world.
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.
SARAH GREEN: Welcome to the HBR IdeaCast from Harvard Business Review. I’m Sarah Green. Today we’re talking about something that affects every business, pricing. But we’re looking to the fringes of ticket scalping for some advice. I’m talking with Rafi Mohammed, who is a pricing strategy consultant and author of The 1% Windfall: How Successful Companies Use Price to Profit and Grow. He also blogs for HBR.org, and, so I hear, gets a lot of great tickets on the secondary market. Rafi, thanks so much for joining us today.
“And if you’re not sure where to go, use Skyscanner’s handy Map View feature to find the best-value destinations from your local airport. You can easily set filters to your travel month and for direct or indirect routes. Then it’s simply a matter of scrolling through the map and you’ll see the best value destinations – with some of the best bargains already highlighted for you.”
So the best way to get a good deal on a ticket is to cut out the middleman entirely. Get there early and walk through the parking lot, asking if anyone has extra tickets. If it’s a sold-out event, there’s a good chance you might get the ticket for face value, as fellow fans are often looking just to break even on a ticket. If the event is not sold out, there’s a good chance you’ll get the ticket at a discount. Some fans will even fork over an extra for free if they didn’t pay for the ticket themselves, seeing you as an opportunity to pay a favor forward. Professional scalpers, however, never look to break even or give things away.

Copying ultra-low-cost airlines such as Spirit and Frontier, now Delta, American and United also sell bare-bones economy class fares. On domestic routes, they typically cost $40-$60 round-trip less than regular economy, although the savings can be greater to international destinations. Buy one of these fares and, except on Delta, you'll pay even for a carry-on bag unless it's small enough to fit under the seat in front of you; you won't be able to choose a specific seat before check-in (which means you'll end up in a dreaded middle seat), and your fare will be entirely non-refundable and non-changeable. Although I'd never buy one of these airfares, my millennial friends, who apparently travel with just a change of clothes and a toothbrush stuffed into a backpack that slides under the seat, tell me that they're worth the inconvenience.
Fall means sweater weather, crunchy leaves, bonfires and family time. Take the season to explore the great outdoors while temperatures are crisp and the summer crowds have dispersed. We've rounded up 12 rentals available on popular home-sharing websites that are perfect for an autumn weekend getaway. From a remodeled train car remodel to a cozy Victorian, there is something for every taste and preference. Prices are listed per-night and may vary by date.  (Lauren Hill)
Also Cassie Blaza L wrote, “When I do buy tickets off someone at the venue I gauge the persons’ validity by whether they look like they belong in that scene fashion and conversation wise. You can tell pretty quickly, at least in NYC, who the guys are that showed up outside exclusively to make money and leave. They aren’t dressed for a show, can’t name a song by the artist, don’t have friends with them, and generally don’t look like they belong.”

Having a baseline fare is a good starting point. Not only can you work this expense into your budget as a line item and save for it, you feel like you have your bearings when it's time to research fares. Budget $1,000+ for international fares, and around $400 for domestic fares. If your fare ends up being higher, you can adjust other trip expenses accordingly, like cutting what you spend on souvenirs and gifts.

When you use reward miles to pay for a last-minute award flight, it's not uncommon for the airline to charge a "close-in" fee. One of the few airlines to not charge this fee is Delta. If you're a Medallion member, you can also enjoy free first class and premium seating upgrades for any unsold seats, which is a second way you can save money on airfare.


Cheapest days to fly: Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. According to a FareCompare.com study, the cheapest days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday for domestic travel. "If you can’t book cheap days for your entire flight, do it for one leg of the trip and you’ll still see some savings," according to the website. For international travel, weekdays are usually cheaper than weekends, says FareCompare. Friday and Sunday are the most expensive days for domestic travel.

Springsteen’s style might seem more altruistic, but performers who undercharge their fans can paradoxically reap higher profits than those who maximize each ticket price. It’s a strategy similar to the one employed by ventures like casinos and cruise ships, which take a hit on admission prices but make their money once the customers are inside. Concert promoters can overcharge on everything from beer sales to T-shirts, and the benefits of low-priced tickets can accrue significantly over the years as loyal fans return. In part, this explains why artists like Springsteen and Petty are content to undercharge at the gate while others, perhaps wary of their own staying power, are eager to capitalize while they can.
Conor Boyland explains this concept in further detail: “What I usually do if I’m forced to buy a ticket on the street, is ask to see all of the tickets. check the numbercode (numbers above the barcode), if all of the numbers, or even a few pairs, match; they are fakes.” Also, know the the original cost of the ticket and be sure to check the one you’re buying to make sure it’s correct.
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