A recent change to Ticketmaster has been confusing concertgoers, and causing some to overpay by hundreds of dollars.
The number one concert ticket seller, in an attempt to compete with StubHub and other resellers, has now become a reseller itself.
But as one West Chester, Ohio woman learned, you could end up paying a lot more than face value for your next concert seats, if you don't read the fine print carefully.
Heidi Woods wanted to celebrate her birthday by seeing the Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton in concert at Cincinnati's Riverbend Music Center.
So they went to Ticketmaster.com, the venue's official seller, and purchased tickets.
"It was for $686 for 4 tickets," Woods said. It sounded pricey, but she chipped in."I had agreed to pay for half," she said.
"And I thought it seemed kind of high. But I didn't think that much if it, until I went online last week to see where our seats were, because I thought maybe my friend had gotten VIP seats. "
That's where she got a shock, because those $150 seats were not VIP seats, or even up close.
Paid double the list price
"When I went online," she said, "I saw there were still seats available in the same row as we are in, and those were $86."
Days before the show, tickets were selling for half what she paid. "We paid $83 more per ticket," she said.
What happened to Woods is something you need to know if you are hunting for tickets to a hot concert or Broadway show in the future.
If you haven't bought from Ticketmaster in a couple of years, you may not know that they no longer sell just original tickets. In some cases the majority of their seats, after the first day or two of sale, are put up by third party sellers.
But you may not realize you're buying 3rd party tickets, because you no longer have to leave the main Ticketmaster page to buy them, as you had to do until last year. They now show up on the first page showing your concert.
"It's very hard to tell who you are buying from, because you go to Ticketmaster and assume it is a legitimate site," Woods said.
The small print does say "resale" but Woods thinks it should be more clear.
With some shows (depending on venue) you can click on seats in a seating chart, and the resale tickets typically show up in red, with the original tickets in blue.
We contacted Ticketmaster, which promised to look into Wood's concerns, but since she bought from a legitimate 3rd party seller, and received the tickets, the site will not give her a refund.
So take your time, and know the original price of tickets. That will help you know if you are buying original issued seats, or marked-up tickets from a reseller, so you don't waste your money.
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