Concert Tickets - Buy Tickets Online

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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For all of its failings, the current concert ticket industry has evolved into a relatively democratic system for music fans worldwide. In the old days, concert mavens who lived outside of major metropolitan areas had to travel huge distances to wait in long lines at music stores and show venues. With the rise of internet ticketing, however, all of that has changed.

Today, consumers can not only buy their tickets from computer terminals in the nation's backwaters and nether reaches, but trade online with other fans as well. Internet auction sites, personals listings, and fan clubs have become the primary destinations for these ticket trades. These new avenues provide a number of advantages over the traditional system.

The Advantages of Buying Concert Tickets Online

The clearest benefit of buying concert tickets online is convenience. Browse concert listings, check venues, look for updated times and dates, and speak in real time to other fans, all from your own living room, bedroom, or basement. If it turns out that a wedding, birthday, or bar mitzvah dares to interfere with your upcoming Jimmy Buffet or Dave Matthews show, you needn't fear. Selling your tickets over the Web is easy and legal.

Another advantage of purchasing your concert tickets online is all the support you receive from ticket vendors, event planners, and other fans. Most online retailers feature links to concert seating charts, maps, and directions to help you prepare for the show. While you're at it, you can also order bootlegs, B-sides, and other rarities from your favorite artists simply by linking to fan pages that in turn link to informational sites.

You Get What You Pay for...

...or, more accurately, you pay for that which you get. If you're new to the world of online ticketing, you may be in for a few nasty surprises, chief among these the "convenience and handling" charge. While these fees remain permanent fixtures of the offline ticketing world as well, they have come to encompass much more on the Web. In the minds of ticket vendors, each value-added service you receive warrants a separate price boost.

A typical case finds a 16-year-old boy or girl buying passes to, say, an upcoming U2 show. At 50 bucks a piece, these tickets constitute a real bargain, since Bono and company charged upwards of 200 dollars a seat on their last tour. This teenager, who may (if lucky) earn an allowance of 20 bucks a week, now faces a 15-dollar convenience charge plus a 10-dollar handling charge. Throw in five dollars a piece for certified shipping, and that 50 bucks is now 80. If said teenager wants to take his or her significant other, the tab comes to a staggering 160 bucks! Worse still, the couple hasn't even parked the car yet.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

In the end, the decision to buy concert tickets online requires a simple cost-benefit analysis. The costs are easy. In addition to those listed above, there's that of your own free time and the dollar amount it carries. Is it really worth it to spend 10 hours haggling with online ticket brokers and viewing auction listings? Well, to some people it may be.

The benefits are impossible to quantify--at least for many fans. How much would a rock-and-roll die-hard spend to see The Rolling Stones or Paul McCartney play their final shows? How about at an "intimate" venue of, say, a thousand seats? Now imagine you're in the front row. Such once-in-a-lifetime opportunities are priceless for those who have the means to afford them. Now, thanks to online ticketing, greater numbers of music fans have the chance to procure tickets to see their idols on stage, no matter what the cost.


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