How To Find and Buy Sold Out Tickets…Properly

Jun 1, 2010



Update: You can now sell tickets right on SeatGeek!

So you procrastinated on buying tickets and now they are sold out. Ugh. Well don’t panic too much because there are a few simple ways to find sold out tickets online using ticket search engines (if you clicked that link you might be wondering where are we on that list…we were just about to launch SeatGeek!).

Primary Market – Why are you always sold out?

When tickets go on sale in the primary market they are sold at face value and are often quickly scooped up by diligent fans, ticket brokers, corporations, and other organizations (not to mention season tickets – though that is a discussion for another time). Legions of fans, looking to secure their spots, wait in lines (real or digital) to be the first to access these tickets when they hit the market. Many are afraid of what will happen if they sell out: 1) Where will I be able to find tickets? 2) What will happen to prices?

Fortunately we can help you with both those questions…

Insert: The Secondary Ticket Market…find tickets that are sold out

When tickets sell out on the primary market, that is when the real fun begins. Resale tickets have grown immensely in popularity as the secondary market has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry with sites like StubHub leading the charge. It is this active secondary market that offers you the opportunity to find and buy sold out tickets because there are many options to choose from. The same breadth, scope, and activity that makes the secondary market a great source for finding tickets, also can make the search process a little difficult.

However, at SeatGeek we built the tools to help you sort through through the depths of the market. We offer aggregation from the the major secondary ticket sites for side-by-side price comparison, as well as a ticket price forecasts. Why forecasts? Unlike the primary market, resale ticket prices fluctuate, but you can use our ticket prices forecasts to make sense of these fluctuations and buy sold out tickets with assurance that you are not overpaying and that your are purchasing at the right time.

As our co-founder Jack discussed in SmartMoney, roughly 80% of tickets sold on the secondary market are professional ticket brokers, but at the same time about 40% of resale tickets are at or below face value. There is a lot of opportunity to find the tickets you are looking for at the right price, you just have to do your homework…

Search and Understand the Different Ticket Markets

First, read the following resources:

Note, the secondary market offers access to an extensive inventory of tickets, so you can always find the events you want to attend if you know where to look. Using a ticket search engine provides a comprehensive look into all the sold out tickets that are availalbe, as well as a clear picture of the average asking price in the market (with more transparency than the primary market).

Now that you understand the basics of the market, we have provided a summary checklist you can follow next time you are looking for tickets.

Checklist for Buying Sold Out Tickets

  1. Identify the event or game

  2. Use a ticket search engine to find available tickets

  3. Compare prices, deals, and inventory across major sites via the aggregation provided by ticket search sites

  4. Compare the price of the tickets to their face value price

  5. View price forecasts, if prices are going up, buy now – if prices are going down, set up an email alert to buy later

  6. Buy when the price is right, and enjoy!