Selling theatre tickets
September 23, 2007 3:06 PM   Subscribe

In haste, I ordered tickets to a Cirque du Soleil event from a web site that charged much more per ticket than Ticketmaster. Now that I know the difference, how can get rid of these tickets and get my money back? Will I get in trouble for selling these tickets for more than they cost, and how do these companies get away with doing this?

I Googled Cirque du Soleil tickets and picked the first item. I also checked the box that stated that sales were final. When I went back and did some research, I noticed that I could have purchased tickets from Ticketmaster for much much less. I paid almost $300 more for tickets.
posted by Zobie to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
how do these companies get away with doing this?

It's not illegal, in many states. Ticket brokerage is a big, national business. I have a family member that is a ticket broker, and this is her company's entire business model. Not to sound harsh, but that you purchased in a hurry and are now suffering buyer's remorse doesn't mean that the company itself did anything wrong.

Will I get in trouble for selling these tickets for more than they cost

Take a look at this ticket reselling website at eBay, it seems to offer a way to learn what the legality is in your particular case.

You can get rid of the tickets by trying to sell them back to the company, or trying to sell them to another broker, or trying to sell them directly to another buyer via eBay or Craig's List. Selling to another buyer is likely the only way you'll get close to recouping all your expense; a broker is only going buy them from you at a substantially lower price than what you paid, with the hope of marking them back up and reselling them again.

Still, if the original broker priced them at [face value + $300] and you also paid for them at that price, it's clearly a reasonable market value or in the ballpark, so it shouldn't be hard to make back the bulk of your money.

IANAL of course. Take a bit of time on Google to find out what your local laws on ticket reselling are, before you decide what to do.
posted by pineapple at 4:28 PM on September 23, 2007

Things are worth exactly what somebody will pay for them. These companies get away with doing this in the very same manner you are asking us to help you do it: by selling to people who don't take the time to shop around.

Unless the company you bought from is actually scalping (i.e. buying up large numbers of tickets to create an artificial scarcity that drives up the price) I don't think you've really got grounds for complaint.

I wonder if we'll get an AskMe question from the person who buys these tickets in haste from you.
posted by flabdablet at 5:04 PM on September 23, 2007

As far as I've seen, your only chance is to sell them to someone for the $300. My dad- far from computer savvy- went through the same exact experience as you when getting tickets for himself and the wife, not even realizing there are other outlets than Ticketmaster until the tickets priced at well under $300 with the bill at $300 arrived in the mail. At first, he had just thought TM overcharged him and called them then realizing his mistake. He called up whomever he bought the overpriced tickets from, and they said pretty much what flabdablet said. You were willing to pay the price at the time, so it's worth the cost.
posted by jmd82 at 6:02 PM on September 23, 2007

Also, be aware of the following.

I've been to several Cirque shows and am a fan.

However, the last one I saw sucked and when I compared notes with people who had been to performances on other dates, I found it sucked because my performance dropped no fewer than four acts for that time. Now, I know there are injuries and such but dropping 45 minutes out of a 90-minute show and strecthing the rest really shows up.

I contacted Cirque to see if I could get even some cheapo seats for another performance and their response was not all all favorable ... or nice. They basically said tough beans, that's the way it is and thank you for your couple of hundred bucks.

So beware. You may or may not get the difference for your Cirque tickets, but you may also see a crappy show and your ticket money is more of a gamble than you may think.
posted by lpsguy at 6:39 AM on September 24, 2007

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