(and why are tickets from a broker so expensive?)
Here you are, shopping online for tickets, and you've come across dozens of web sites that claim to be "ticket brokers". Like most people, you're probably wondering what exactly that means. "Ticket broker"? Is that like a stock broker?
Yes, actually, it is. A broker in the general sense means "One that acts as an agent for others, as in negotiating contracts, purchases, or sales in return for a fee or commission." In the world of tickets this definition also applies. A ticket broker purchases tickets from the primary ticket holder and re-sells those tickets to customers for a fee.
So, is Ticket Liquidator a broker?
No. Ticket Liquidator is not a broker in this more traditional sense-- we're more like a comparison-shopping network. We never directly purchase any tickets. Much like eBay, we merely display ticket inventory that is held by ticket brokers. For most events, the percentage of tickets held by ticket brokers is actually quite small, with the vast majority of inventory going to fans directly via public sales. Ticket Liquidator exists as a one-stop shopping hub that brings together those small groups of tickets from professional brokers and offers them all in one place. The Ticket Liquidator system makes it easy for you to find the tickets you're looking for without having to wade through a hundred different web sites. It also lets us show you all the pricing and seating options that are out there, so you can make an informed purchasing decision.
Okay, but what's with those prices?
Demand for many popular performers is so high that tickets sell out quickly, and even ticket brokers can end up paying more than face price for the tickets they buy. Still, not all tickets held by brokers sell for above face value. A sizable portion of inventory on our site is actually selling for less than the initial sale price. However, lots of tickets are expensive, there's no doubt about that. Ticket brokers set the prices of the tickets we list, so all we can do at Ticket Liquidator is create technological efficiencies to bring our costs down as much as possible, thus lowering the price you pay as much as possible in the secondary market.
Is there any advantage to buying tickets from a broker?
I'm glad you asked.
There are actually a lot of great reasons to buy tickets from a broker:
You can get tickets for those notoriously hard-to-get-into events. Hugely popular shows and games can sell out in less than 15 minutes, and if you're not one of the lucky customers who gets to the front of the virtual line, you're out of luck. After that initial sales frenzy, brokers go to work finding and purchasing tickets from customers who've got extra tickets, who can't make it to the show after all, or who'd just rather re-sell their tickets for a profit. The brokers then make all those tickets available to you when there otherwise would have been none. Sure, you have to pay a bit more for the ticket when there's all that extra work involved, but isn't an expensive ticket better than no ticket at all?
2. Location, Location, Location
When you buy from a broker, you usually have your pick of all the best seats in the house. Even if you'd managed to be one of the lucky few who got tickets originally from the venue, you wouldn't have had much choice about your seat location-- you'd just choose from whatever was left by the time you got there. When you buy from a broker, you take your pick of all the unoccupied seats in the venue. There's no other way to get front-row seats for an event that's been "sold out" for months.
3. Timing and Convenience
Tickets often go on sale months before a show begins (or months before you even hear about it!), and it's difficult for most people to plan so far in advance. Brokers offer tickets during that entire period of time between when an event sells out and when the event actually takes place. A big part of the convenience of buying from a broker is this ability to buy tickets closer to the actual date of the event.
4. Impressing your Friends
If you live in New York City, you know that getting in to see Wicked or Spamalot is considered next to impossible. You either have to buy tickets six months in advance or have some kind of connection. It seems like only Donald Trump and Mayor Bloomberg could decide to go see Wicked this weekend and have tickets on their desk by the next day. And it's not just Broadway shows that have this reputation. How about the Super Bowl, the World Series, or a U2 concert? Brokers are like your inside connection to those otherwise exclusive events. While some people will wait in cancellation lines for days hoping to scrape up last-minute discards, you can point and click front-row tickets right to your front door. How cool is that?