Do ticket prices go up or down as concert time nears?
June 1, 2011 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Sold out concert - Do ticket prices go up or down as concert time nears?

There's a sold out concert this Saturday night at a medium sized (10,000 seat?) venue near where I live. Several hundred tickets are available on StubHub for the show, but they're asking more than I can pay right now. If I wait until Friday night or even Saturday afternoon, should I expect ticket prices to go up, down, or disappear altogether? I know every show is different. Just looking for some general guidelines or experience, if there are any.

I don't want to deal with scalpers on-site, and I picked StubHub because I can print at home and am less likely to get ripped off.
posted by cnc to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My experience is that once it gets to the final few days before the show, even if it's sold out, you will see prices on Stubhub go down. Sellers will start to worry that they will not be able to sell them at all, so they will lower prices last minute just to make sure they sell.
posted by fac21 at 11:48 AM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

It'll help if we know who it is and where they are playing.

Generally, prices will go up until right before the show, although when the "right before" happens depends on the popularity of the band and where you are. If you're seeing an indie band in Podunk, you might be able to score tickets right outside the venue the night of from people (not scalpers, and you can usually tell the difference) who were surprised with an extra ticket and/or StubHub prices will start dropping depending on spread of the supply/number of individual ticket sellers. If you're trying to see Lady Gaga in Madison Square Garden, waiting for ticket prices to drop is a lost cause. show pages is a good place to hit up for extra tickets. I've regretted not getting rid of extra tickets through there.
posted by griphus at 12:00 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Tickets expire with a value of $0 once the show has started; therefore, ticket prices will go to $0 as expiration approaches.

Concert tickets are like stock options, for what it's worth.
posted by dfriedman at 12:01 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Tickets expire with a value of $0 once the show has started...

This is only true for venues that don't let people in once the show starts. Tickets approach a value of $0 once the show begins. Every show I have been to has people showing up after all the opening acts and a few songs into the main act's set.
posted by griphus at 12:06 PM on June 1, 2011

I scalped tickets for spending money in high school many years ago. For a coveted sporting event or a hot concert, tickets would hold their value. I would say that the ability to get someone to pay you for tickets about 20 minutes after game starts or about 10 minutes after main act comes on stage is almost nil. But, I would not give away my extra tickets. Usually I had made enough that eating a few tickets was worth it to me. I actually had some regular customers who I would sometimes give them an extra seat if they needed it. For a mediocre act or regular game, ticket prices would drop before the show started.

My biggest competition was either the season ticket holder who just wanted to dump his extras or the group of guys/gals whose buddy bailed and asked them to sell the ticket in front of the venue. I am willing to bet big money that that will happen at your show. I went to 3 shows at SPAC last year and every show I was able to either walk up to the box office and buy a return and in one case get an upgrade or buy a ticket from one of those buddies dumping his friend's seat.

I would know my top price and wait for it on stub hub but if I could not get it, I would go to the arena pretty confident of getting in at a good price (face value).
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:22 PM on June 1, 2011

This is what seatgeek is great at telling you. Try them.
posted by jourman2 at 12:28 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

When I watch for tickets, they are usually high the first couple of weeks after they go on sale, drop and then start going back up a couple weeks out from the show.

If it’s a Ticketmaster or Live Nation event, keep checking for tickets. If it’s not a must see show, occasionally I’ll wait and have found good tickets released a day or two before the performance.
posted by iscavenger at 12:37 PM on June 1, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for all the info! The show is Adele at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. I'm hoping if I wait, prices will come down to a price I can pay.
posted by cnc at 1:59 PM on June 1, 2011

Response by poster: Adding - didn't know about SeatGeek. Seems very cool. Checking it out now.
posted by cnc at 2:02 PM on June 1, 2011

Anecdotal: I was hoping for some last minute price drops on Adele in Denver. Never happened. If you want to see her, drop the cash.
posted by FlamingBore at 2:56 PM on June 1, 2011

Seatgeek is great if just for the secondary market aggregation features.

Forecast: Buy now
No Price Change
SeatGeek forecasts that ticket prices will remain the same between now and this event.
$266 --
posted by jourman2 at 4:25 PM on June 1, 2011

They generally go down, since people want to make back whatever money they've spent on the ticket they no longer want. I've sold extra tickets to big festivals at a discount because I want to make back SOME money.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:38 AM on June 2, 2011

Response by poster: Just updating the thread for future reference. Tickets have gone down from $120 - $130 to just under $100 per ticket. This is about 33 hours before the show. It's an outdoor show and it's supposed to rain, so that could have something to do with it. Will update again tomorrow.
posted by cnc at 11:07 AM on June 3, 2011

I think ticket prices are going down because Adele canceled the rest of her tour. DO NOT BUY.
posted by FreezBoy at 12:59 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Looks like she has laryngitis so the shows are canceled.
posted by vickyverky at 5:37 PM on June 3, 2011

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