Never Buy Tickets from Ticketmaster
Buying tickets from Ticketmaster.com is insane – as most fans already know. So why do it? You should never do it. In my ticket buying guide, I write that fans should never buy tickets through Ticketmaster unless absolutely necessary. First, Ticketmaster adds so many fees to their tickets they are essentially scalping tickets. Second, the odds you will pay higher than what Ticketmaster ends up charging is very rare.
This morning Chicago Bulls playoff tickets went on sale at 10 am since they clinched a playoff spot last night. Under normal circumstances, I would not buy tickets to early round playoff games ahead of time. I did not buy any tickets to the first two rounds of the Chicago Blackhawks playoff games even though their tickets are in much higher demand than Bulls tickets.
However, the wife (who teaches figure skating) has her annual ice show next weekend (April 23-25) on Friday and Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. When I asked what show I should attend, she replied me I only needed to attend the start of the show one day. I’m not sure what my plans are for Friday and Saturday night yet (the White Sox, Blackhawks and Milwaukee Bucks are all home). But, I know I will attend the Bulls playoff game on Sunday, April 25. Since the Bulls game starts at 2:30 pm (probably 2:45 pm based on NBA standards) and her ice show starts at 2 pm I should have enough time to watch the start of the ice show and still get to the Bulls first round playoff game on time. However, I will not have time to try and buy tickets from scalpers outside of the United Center. And, if I am really late, it’s possible there may not be many extra tickets available.
With that in mind, I logged onto ticketmaster.com this morning to purchase a ticket for Game 4 of the first round series between the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers. As usual, I wanted to buy the cheapest ticket I could for a Bulls game. For the playoffs my usual $10 seats are priced at $12 (the next price up for seats is $40 each). In addition, the $12 seats sell out quickly for playoff games. For example, today they sold out in less than 10 minutes.
However, my $12 ticket quickly went up in price. In the first screen it was $18.00 with the “convenience fee” and “additional taxes”. In the second screen, after selecting my delivery method, it now cost $23.05 (and that’s because I decided to pick up at Will Call and not pay the additional $2.50 for at-home printing) for the “order processing charge.” The cost of my ticket was double what the Bulls are charging.
This again is the main reason not to buy tickets ahead of time and only buy tickets on the secondary market. Granted I may not beat $23 outside of the United Center for a playoff game, but $23 at any other price level is still at least $17 under face value (and that does not include the ticketmaster.com fees that make a $40 ticket $51.59 for the NBA playoffs).