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Consumer Reports: Concert Ticket Woes

Shari DiPaola bought a ticket online to see her favorite band for hundreds of dollars. Then she realized she over paid. 

“I saw that the cost was in the 50 something dollars. I was mortified. I was so angry,” says Shari DiPaola.

Software called bots allows brokers to scoop up tickets at lightning speed and resell them online at a huge mark up. 

So how do you avoid getting gouged?

“One thing you can do is go through the official ticket seller like Ticketmaster, and create an account. That way, you won’t have to log on and enter payment details during which time a bot can go in and grab your seats,” Tod Marks with Consumer Reports suggests.

Take advantage of presales through sites like TicketCrusader.com and PreSalePasswordInfo.com And look out for credit card promotions which offer card holders first dibs and discounts.

“We also found if you visit the  resale sites closer to the event itself, ticket prices can plummet. So patience really does pay off," says Marks.

Consumer Reports tracked prices for a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game through sites like ScoreBig, FanxChange and SeatGeek and found more than a $50 difference compared to the box office price. On the day of the event, for a similar ticket the price went down almost $80 to about $23.

And forget going to a concert in a group. Buying fewer tickets ups your chances for success. 

As for Shari, she learned from her high priced mistake and plans to change how she’ll buy tickets from now on.

“I felt foolish absolutely ridiculous for spending that much money. I’m not going to do it again,” DiPaola says.

The effort to crackdown on the use of bots has already begun. The House of Representatives just passed a bill that would make it illegal for people to use them and make it illegal to sell bot software or tickets knowingly bought through bots. The bill is now pending in the Senate. 

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