You know how almost every ticket site offers the exact same lineup of tickets with very different list prices and hidden fees? Being a total geek, I've just done some careful comparison shopping and thought I'd share the results for anybody who's in the market. (This is price comparison for advance non-rush purchases only, I can't speak to service and reliability.)
1. A few of the pooled brokers stand above the rest on pricing:
- If you want a fair, honest, upfront price without hidden fees, HallmarkTickets.com
is your one and only option.
- If the bottom line is your bottom line, VividSeats
is usually cheapest for moderate to expensive seats, TicketCity
for cheap seats and single-ticket orders.
2. The sites that advertise themselves as peer-to-peer ticket exchange services, like StubHub, RazorGator and TicketLiquidator, are generally the MOST expensive. They're really just listing the standard broker inventory at a hefty markup. StubHub is particularly slimy about hidden fees; definitely avoid StubHub.
3. The one broker that actually lists different, independent inventory is Ace Tickets. Check them separately.
The Details, If You Care
Here's a chart showing 10 brokers' pricing structures for the identical pair of premium seats to an upcoming home game:
Note that VividSeats has the very highest hidden fees, but still comes in cheapest. TicketCity's free standard shipping option can make it a good deal on cheap purchases, since shipping is a proportionally higher portion of the total cost. And Hallmark is actually honest and doesn't try to lure in customers with fake low list prices!
A special note on StubHub: out of all the brokers, only StubHub makes you give them your credit card information
before finally revealing the hidden fees on a final confirmation page. This is seriously slimy, and IMO shouldn't be legal. Imagine you went into a store and asked how much a tv set cost, and the salesman said this: "That television costs $300. Would you like to buy the $300 television? Great, come to the counter and swipe your card to purchase the $300 television. OK, now click to approve the $400 charge, and the $300 television is yours." That's StubHub.