Advance ticket sales

Yes, I have whined about the ticket selling processes before.  I guess the Olympics ticket buying experience was the most challenging, but let’s talk about closer to home:

Presale?

They should actually call it THE sale. If you have ever purchased tickets online, you probably know what I mean. Purchasing sports tickets or concert tickets online will probably get you a “presale” offer some day in the future. If you have the right charge card, you might get a presale offer as well. The more tickets you buy and the more cards you have means the greater possibility for a presale code. That is your chance to get tickets before everyone else, or is it?

Yes, I have purchased plenty of tickets and have lots of charge cards, but it does not seem to have helped. A couple years ago there was a 2 day “presale” for tickets to Maroon 5 at Ravinia Festival. I thought it would be a great idea to go with a friend, but I unfortunately decided to wait until the second day so I could ask him if he really wanted to go. That was because we saw them once before. I was thinking an outdoor concert would be great but incorrectly concluded I had plenty of time to get the tickets. With an affirmative answer from my friend, I checked back the second day to get our great tickets to the show before the M5 fans moved like Jagger to the virtual box office. Not only were they sold out, you could already find a lot of them listed on Stub Hub. Some had more lawn seats listed than they would have been able to buy, meaning they had real accomplices for the cyber ticket office. If you were eagerly awaiting the tickets to go on sale, you waited in vain. If you got into the website 5 seconds after the tickets allegedly went on sale, you found nothing. Ticket sellers now avoid the big crush of buyers that used to cause their sites to crash when the sale began. Now buyers drift in during the “presale” so the “onsale” date no longer exists.

Despite the reality of the situation, I eagerly attacked the next opportunity that held something I wanted, Chicago Bulls playoff tickets. When I found the email with a code for presale of playoff tickets I was on the site and ready to pay up for a seat to what could have been a run to the 7th Bulls trophy (It wasn’t anyway). I passed right by round one games and went for round two, game B, but there was nothing. No worries, I went on to game A, then game C but I had no luck. WTF? OK, we will have to go to round 1, game A. Game B? You know the rest of the story, no tickets. They were gone before they were “on sale.”

So what does “on sale to the general public” mean? By the time the presale starts, they are on sale to the general public. If you did not get a presale code, ask around. You probably have a friend who could give you one. You might have a better chance buying Olympics tickets on their lottery system. That is the system where you send in your order but no one really knows how they fill the orders. You just wait for months to see if they will take your money, but I digress.

I suppose if I check Stub Hub or one of the other resale sites, I will find Bulls playoff tickets or other highly coveted tickets when the time comes. I have purchased tickets there before for something I wanted. Yes, I got M5 tix there for Ravinia. I will probably get Bulls play-off tickets there too.  Just keep in mind that tickets are no longer “on sale” for any hot event. There is presale and post presale, aka Stub Hub, Vivid Seats or ebay (who owns Stub Hub). If you wait for tix to go on sale, you waited too long.

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