The 2017 concert season is about to start, and bands from U2 and Def Leppard to Garth Brooks and Zac Brown are announcing their summer concert lineups right now.
But before you grab the first tickets that pop up, one woman has an important warning.
Google For Tickets
When Garth Brooks announced his 2017 world tour, longtime fans like Karen Lavelle jumped on their laptops, and Googled for tickets at 10 a.m., the moment they went on sale.
Lavelle was thrilled that tickets for this show would be reasonable. "The ad said all tickets $74.98, so no matter where you sit, everything was the same price."
But when she and her friend entered their credit card numbers, she was stunned.
"They were $130 each," she said.
It turns out Lavelle didn't buy her tickets fromTicketmaster, the official seller, but from a third party seller, Vivid Seats.
"There were a bunch of them on this site," Lavelle said, "with prices from $350 down to $95, they were all over the place."
She and her friend had bought from a third party ticket site, not realizing it in the heat of the moment when tickets went on sale.
It happens all the time, because ticket buying is a stressful experience, and you don't have time to sit back and think.
Ticket Master or Master Tickets?
Last last year I spoke with Belinda Johnson, who thought she was buying Maroon 5 tickets from Ticketmaster.
"When the site came up it looked official," Johnson said, "so I thought I was on the Ticketmaster site."
Only problem: What she thought was Ticketmaster was MasterTickets.center, a site that looks surprisingly like Ticketmaster.
The $80 Maroon 5 tickets on the official site cost her $147 each in the end. "I ended up paying 90 percent more for these tickets," Johnson said.
Sites show up before Ticketmaster
Vivid Seats is a legitimate third party seller, and has an "A Plus" rating from the Better Business Bureau. There is nothing wrong with buying from them.
But they may pop up before Ticketmaster in your search for seats. And if you are in a rush to buy, like Karen Lavelle, you may end up paying a lot more than you planned.
So if you want list price tickets, make sure you are on Ticketmaster.com so you don't waste your money. _____________
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