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Author: Subject: Ticketmaster Auctions Tickets?

Sublime Peach





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  posted on 7/14/2006 at 03:08 PM
I went to the Ticketmaster site to look for tickets for the John Mayer Sheryl Crowe show here in Indy and they are offering an auction for the premium seats. I have never heard of this before. Does anybody know anymore about this?

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 7/14/2006 at 03:29 PM
Yup - I used it for Roger Waters in MSG on 9/13 and got (arguably) the two best seats in the house. Looking at the tix now; row A, right on the center isle, front row.

I saw the same thing you did and started investigating. Since I've bought my share of tix from the secondary market in order to get close, I had a feeling what they might be worth, so I put in a bid I thought was high, but not ridiculous. Turns out that I won.

Not a day later, I see an article on the front page of USA Today referencing this new "feature" that TicketMaster is offering in conjunction with certain events. In a move to get a piece of the broker market for themselves and the artists, they figured "if we can't beat 'em, let's join them". Supposidly they are spliting the excess with the artist, instead of letting the brokers make all the profits.

So it worked for me, but I was also planning on paying more to get within the first 10-15 rows anyway. Give it a shot - what can you loose?

 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 7/14/2006 at 03:48 PM
I also purchased tix for Waters at PNC through the TM auction. Ended up getting kind of shabby seats for a premium price, close but far to the side. You really don't know what seats you've bought until after the auction has ended, only section/sometimes row when bidding. I'd have rather been in a farther row/middle section, which went for less dough. I guess there is some luck involved, like anything else. The auction kind of left a bad taste in my mouth, overall. However, I'm afraid it is the way things will be going in the future.
 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 7/14/2006 at 04:00 PM
I thought about ending up in the situation Mule describes, but I figured at worst I could break even by selling the seats from the auction, and then go to the secondary market for something I'd rather have.
 

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  posted on 7/14/2006 at 04:19 PM
quote:
Yup - I used it for Roger Waters in MSG on 9/13 and got (arguably) the two best seats in the house. Looking at the tix now; row A, right on the center isle, front row.

I saw the same thing you did and started investigating. Since I've bought my share of tix from the secondary market in order to get close, I had a feeling what they might be worth, so I put in a bid I thought was high, but not ridiculous. Turns out that I won.

Not a day later, I see an article on the front page of USA Today referencing this new "feature" that TicketMaster is offering in conjunction with certain events. In a move to get a piece of the broker market for themselves and the artists, they figured "if we can't beat 'em, let's join them". Supposidly they are spliting the excess with the artist, instead of letting the brokers make all the profits.

So it worked for me, but I was also planning on paying more to get within the first 10-15 rows anyway. Give it a shot - what can you loose?


Mind if I ask what you paid?

 

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Sublime Peach



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  posted on 7/14/2006 at 05:11 PM
There has got to be a better way.
 

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  posted on 7/14/2006 at 05:54 PM
Just another way to suck money from the concert going public IMO.
 

Sublime Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2006 at 12:30 PM
quote:
Just another way to suck money from the concert going public IMO.


AMEN BRO!! And they complain that tix sales are down? If the average joe wants to go to, lets say 5 shows over the summer time but can't afford all of them. It will be widdled down to just 2-3 of the ones he/she wants to goto and can fit inot the budget and the others will be sacrificed.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2006 at 01:02 PM
quote:
Mind if I ask what you paid?

$780/ticket

I was watching the brokers on comparable seating (first 5 rows) and associated costs. Some of the other venues had already begun selling their tix for this tour by the time of the MSG auction, so comparative info was available. I was seeing 2-4k per ticket for being close and in the center. Just checking right now, similar seats for this show are listed at about 2k apiece. I could possibly more than double my money, but I'd rather see the show instead.

I have 2 other tickets in Section 3, row O (15 rows from the stage) that I'll probably sell. Seat numbers that should be close to the center of that section, and therefore fairly close to center stage. Anyone interested? PM me...

 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2006 at 01:43 PM
I feel like I just read something about this. It's supposed to be a way to "compete" with scalpers, where at least you know you're getting authentic tickets at high prices as opposed to paying out the rear end and then getting fakes. I can't remember where I read it, but if I can find the article, I'll post a link.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2006 at 02:05 PM
From the NY Times, I am not sure about the date:


Ticketmaster Auction Will Let Highest Bidder Set Concert Prices
By CHRIS NELSON

Three years after Ticketmaster introduced ticketFast, its online print-at-home ticketing service, consumers have so embraced it that the company now sells a half-million home-printed tickets for sporting and entertainment events each month in North America. Where ticketFast is available, 30 percent of tickets sold are now printed at home, said the company, which is by far the nation's largest ticket agency.

But consumers many of whom have complained for years about climbing ticket prices and Ticketmaster service charges may be less eager for the next phase of Ticketmaster's Internet evolution.

Late this year the company plans to begin auctioning the best seats to concerts through ticketmaster.com.

With no official price ceiling on such tickets, Ticketmaster will be able to compete with brokers and scalpers for the highest price a market will bear.

"The tickets are worth what they're worth," said John Pleasants, Ticketmaster's president and chief executive. "If somebody wants to charge $50 for a ticket, but it's actually worth $1,000 on eBay, the ticket's worth $1,000. I think more and more, our clients the promoters, the clients in the buildings and the bands themselves are saying to themselves, `Maybe that money should be coming to me instead of Bob the Broker.' "

EBay has long been a busy marketplace for tickets auctioned by brokers and others. Late last week, for example, it had more than 22,000 listings for ticket sales.

Venue operators, promoters and performers will decide whether to participate in the Ticketmaster auctions, Mr. Pleasants said. In June, the company tested the system for the Lennox Lewis-Vitali Klitschko boxing match at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The minimum bid for the package two ringside seats, a boxing glove autographed by Mr. Lewis and access to workouts, among other features was $3,000, and the top payer spent about $7,000, a Staples Center spokesman, Michael Roth, said.

Once the auction service goes live, Ticketmaster will receive flat fees or a percentage of the winning bids, to be decided with the operators of each event, said Sean Moriarty, Ticketmaster's executive vice president for products, technology and operations.

Along with home printing, auctions are central to "a new age of the ticket," Mr. Pleasants said. In the second quarter of this year, tickets sold online, with or without home printing, represented 51 percent of Ticketmaster's ticket sales. The rest were sold by phone or at walk-up locations.

Ticket Forwarding allows season ticket holders for several sports teams (including the New York Knicks, Rangers and Giants) to e-mail extra tickets to other users, with Ticketmaster charging the sender $1.95 per transaction.

TicketExchange provides a forum for season ticket holders to auction tickets online. The seller and buyer pay Ticketmaster 5 percent to 10 percent of the resale price, a fee the company splits with the team.

In the case of the ticketFast home-printing service, buyers pay an additional $1.75 to $2.50 per order, with the fee set by the event operator. Home printing has won converts among people who want tickets immediately, instead of receiving them by mail or a delivery service or having to stand in line at a will-call window.

One satisfied customer is Brian Resnik, 29, of Tampa, Fla., who says the home-printing fee is a bargain compared with the $19.50 that Ticketmaster charges for two-day shipping through United Parcel Service.

But some other users, who praised the convenience of home printing, objected to being charged an extra fee.

"It's kind of mind-boggling to me," said Joe Guckin, 41, of Philadelphia, who used ticketFast to buy tickets for a Baltimore Orioles home game last season. "You're printing up the ticket, on your printer at home, your paper, your ink, etc. and you have to pay for that?"

The company replies that home-printing consumers are helping to pay for the technology that makes the service possible.

Ticketmaster has spent $15 million to $20 million to outfit almost 700 stadiums, arenas, theaters and concert halls in this country and Canada with bar-code scanners that read and authenticate the tickets and computers that capture information such as which seats are filled and which doors have the most traffic, Mr. Moriarty said. In 2003, the company has sold 400,000 to 600,000 ticketFast tickets each month.

Some ticketFast customers, like Diane DeRooy, 52, of Seattle, complain that Ticketmaster assesses a lot of fees even before levying the print-at-home charge. A ticket to see Crosby, Stills & Nash on Friday at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., for example, carries $13.80 in venue, processing and convenience fees, plus a $2.50 charge for the home-printing option. Without the fees, a ticket costs $30.25 to $70.25.

Many of those customers are skeptical about Ticketmaster's plans to auction the best seats to concerts.

"The band's biggest fans ought to have the best seats, not the band's richest fans," said Tim Todd, 47, of Kansas City, Mo., who used ticketFast recently to buy tickets for a concert by the rock group Phish. Ticketmaster would be, in essence, official scalpers, Mr. Guckin said, voicing a sentiment expressed by some other customers.

Industry watchers agree that auctions will affect all concertgoers. Prime seats are undervalued in the marketplace, said Alan B. Krueger, a professor at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, who has studied ticket prices. He predicts that once auctions begin revealing a ticket's market value, prices as a whole will climb faster.

Gary Bongiovanni, editor of the concert industry trade magazine, Pollstar, predicted that all ticket prices would become more fluid. After a promoter assesses initial sales from an auction, remaining ticket prices could be raised or lowered to meet goals.

The notion of ticket auctions is annoying, Mr. Resnik said, but he is resigned to them.

"I guess the capitalist inside me would say, `Hey, if that's what they can get for tickets, I guess that's just something I can't afford, like a yacht and a Learjet.' "

 

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  posted on 7/15/2006 at 02:50 PM
quote:
"The band's biggest fans ought to have the best seats, not the band's richest fans," said Tim Todd, 47, of Kansas City, Mo., who used ticketFast recently to buy tickets for a concert by the rock group Phish. Ticketmaster would be, in essence, official scalpers, Mr. Guckin said, voicing a sentiment expressed by some other customers.

In a perfect world, I agree with this guy. But today's reality is that the ticket market for a major event is national - if not international - in scope. I remember being a young guy growing up near NYC, and if there was an event I wanted to see, you could reasonably depend on most of the audience being local. And if you knew when tickets went on sale, you could go to the box office and have a reasonable chance of getting decent seats. At least as good a chance as anyone else.

The internet changed all that, and it's not going to return to those quaint practices of the past. Add in the fact that it's fairly cheap to fly around the country, and many are willing to travel further to see something they really want. Much as I don't like it either, TicketMaster's move is logical. In my case, I'm much more happy to know that Roger Waters gets some portion of the higher price I paid to sit in the front row than some schmuck scalper.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2006 at 11:43 PM
This is totally in the hands of the consumer. Pay if you like but the other option is to just not go. I guess it all depends on how bad you want to see an artist. Never mind the auctions prices, the regular cost when they go on sale to the public is insane for most acts right now. They are testing what people will pay. And for most of these artists, they are getting it.

Two years ago tickets in the $200-$400 range was unthinkable. Now it is common. Many of these older artists are just cashing in before calling it quits.

If you have the money, why not pay $780 for a Roger Waters ticket? No offence but I have seen Roger many times and I just wouldn't spend that money. I saw him front row center with Clapton on guitar. Ticket price was $32 which was unheard of at the time. Pink Floyd second row $18 on Animals tour. What could possibly justify any inflation increase like that? Nothing. Just greedy people with a monopoly on the system. Sure they will cut a few people in on it, venues and artists. But the public get screwed. If people don't pay crazy prices then they would drop but that won't happen. Attendance at concerts has been way down for years. They have compensated by just steadily increasing prices and inventing fees.

Hey if you want to see an artist like Roger up close and don't mind paying. More power to you. As you say, you would pay a scalper anyway. I just think it is a sign for me to stop going I guess. In a two week period here in Sept. The Who and Clapton will cost a concert goer $600. Take along your wife and you are looking at a cost that is similar to going on a damn cruise. To journey twenty minutes from home and listen to four hours of music? Just no logic there. Clapton gets me this time only because he made a very smart choice in choosing band members.

Hell for $780 I think I could buy a seat for an entire Mule tour. With a few bucks left over for some beer.

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2006 at 02:09 AM
quote:
This is totally in the hands of the consumer. Pay if you like but the other option is to just not go. I guess it all depends on how bad you want to see an artist. Never mind the auctions prices, the regular cost when they go on sale to the public is insane for most acts right now. They are testing what people will pay. And for most of these artists, they are getting it.

Totally agree with you. But I'd add that this test is over, the results are in, and like any other commodity, supply and demand has set the price. I can't imagine any scenario where this goes back to what previously existed.

However, one recent experience might show a way. Tom Waits is coming to Asheville, NC in a few weeks, and tickets went on sale via TicketMaster Friday at 10 AM. I was online prior and waiting to jump in. Got some decent seats for normal pricing ($75/per). But due to the guidelines for this show, tickets can only be picked up at will-call, day of the show. So almost no one will be able to distribute these in any secondary way. That's one way around the problem - but it probably creates other problems for the venue, some patrons, etc. Can you imagine trying to do that for a big show at MSG?

But if that were the norm, I'd rarely get to see artists I want to see. Living in Charlotte, we'll never see a David Gilmour, CSNY, Peter Gabriel, hell - even ABB is passing us by this year. So when I want to see these guys, I'm traveling (usually flying) somewhere. If I'm going to that expense and effort, I certainly want good seats. So for me, this works. I'm not crazy about the insane prices, but the experience is worth it.

Here's what I don't like though. A few weeks ago, I went to see Mark Knofler & Emmylou Harris at Radio City. Yes; I bought tickets via a broker - but they weren't insanely priced. I was sitting in the pit, second row center. I love Knopfler - the man can do no wrong IMO. There's an essential honesty that comes thru in all his stuff, and his bands are always made up of the finest players you could want. But after a few tunes, I noticed something: I was almost the only one in those first few rows who would stand at the end of a tune and give him a big cheer (richly deserved). I surmised that most of the folks around me were not really MK fans, but probably got the tickets thru some business connection, wealthy friend-of-a-friend, etc. And most of these jerks sat on thier hands for most of the show.

That really did piss me off. It was the first time it was so obvious that true fans may not be getting a chance at decent seats.

But again - this genie is out of the bottle and probably not going back in. In another respect; in over 40 years of buying records, CD's, audio equipment, DVD's, etc, I'm sure I'm well into six figures spent - and never once has any of that come close to the intensity and experiences of seeing live music. Pick your poison.

 

Peach Head



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  posted on 7/16/2006 at 10:51 AM
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
Just another way to suck money from the concert going public IMO.


AMEN BRO!! And they complain that tix sales are down? If the average joe wants to go to, lets say 5 shows over the summer time but can't afford all of them. It will be widdled down to just 2-3 of the ones he/she wants to goto and can fit inot the budget and the others will be sacrificed.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----







I can remember payin 15 bucks to see my first ABB show in 97.
I paid 16 bucks to see my first widespread panic show in 96.
Its damn near impossible to pay less than 75 if you can get em at all!

[Edited on 7/16/2006 by panicman]

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 7/16/2006 at 11:22 AM
I posted this on the GB asking Lana if she had any info about the sale of Raleigh tixs:

"I was not able to get tickets when they first went on sale so have been checking since then for a single ticket.

It seems that there are two different best available seats being sold..

Going thru Live Nation, they are offering a different "best available than TM - Sect 5 Row E Seat 8

TM is offering Sect 9 Row E Seat 11 as the best available

Any reasons for the discrepancy??

Thanks..."

Has anyone else run into this at any of the other Live Nation venues?? (Isnt this another word for Clear Channel venue??)

BTW, if anyone has an extra good seat for this show, please PM me.

 

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  posted on 7/16/2006 at 11:31 AM
I appreciate Lana's quick reply to me in the GB:

"Carol, how long are you waiting before comparing one "best available" with the other? I think what might be happening is that once you've looked at a seat, even if you don't purchase it and the system says you have only X minutes (2?) to do so, it becomes trapped in the system for at least 1/2 an hour. Neither you, nor anyone else, can access it for awhile even though it's technically still available and you're given another option. It's all the same ticket bank. Hope this makes sense."

I'll try 1/2 hr between trys and see what comes up...

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2006 at 04:18 PM
That is just f**kin' insane and anybody who defends it is an idiot.
I.M.H.O. of course

 

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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 7/16/2006 at 05:24 PM
quote:
I think what might be happening is that once you've looked at a seat, even if you don't purchase it and the system says you have only X minutes (2?) to do so, it becomes trapped in the system for at least 1/2 an hour. Neither you, nor anyone else, can access it for awhile even though it's technically still available and you're given another option. It's all the same ticket bank. Hope this makes sense."


I'm not so sure about this. I've dumped seats before, only to have the same ones bounce right back.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2006 at 09:05 PM
quote:
quote:
I think what might be happening is that once you've looked at a seat, even if you don't purchase it and the system says you have only X minutes (2?) to do so, it becomes trapped in the system for at least 1/2 an hour. Neither you, nor anyone else, can access it for awhile even though it's technically still available and you're given another option. It's all the same ticket bank. Hope this makes sense."


I'm not so sure about this. I've dumped seats before, only to have the same ones bounce right back.


Same here. A few times in a row actually. Even after that I usually get the seats right beside them come up.

 
 


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