The Problem With Event Tickets

Everyone wants to save money on event tickets because they’re often ridiculously expensive. Take a few moments and check out ticket prices for sporting events, Broadway plays, comedy shows and concerts. Tickets can be hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of dollars.

Most of the time, we pony up the money for the seats we want and try to enjoy the event (or we fume about the money we wasted). We may skip the event altogether because we just can’t afford the $400 (or $600 or $800 or $2,000) for the pair of Portland Trail Blazer tickets we want.

Sure we can sit in the nosebleed section or buy standing room only tickets and use binoculars and call ourselves true fans, but sometimes it’s nice to enjoy the finer things in life, like good seats.

Read on.

The Secondary Market

Before I explain how to find good deals on event tickets, it’s helpful to understand how ticketing apps that utilize the secondary market—like SeatGeek or StubHub—work.

You may want to check out my article on SeatGeek which offers a detailed explanation of SeatGeek and the secondary market.

In a nutshell, ticketing apps like SeatGeek and Stubhub work by selling tickets on the secondary market. This means that most of the tickets bought using such apps are pre-owned tickets. These tickets have already been purchased from the primary ticket market.

The Seller Process

If someone purchased tickets for $100 and then decides to sell the tickets for whatever reason, they’re going to want that $100 back and maybe more, especially if the event is sold out and nobody can find tickets. In this case the purchaser might have to pay a premium.

Let’s take this a bit further. Imagine you are the original ticket holder. Imagine you bought the tickets from the primary ticket market (Ticketmaster or the box office, official website, etc.) for $100. Now imagine that you need to sell the tickets for some reason.

You open up your SeatGeek app, figure out how to sell your tickets, set a price for $180, sit back and see what happens.

There are a few possible outcomes. Someone might buy your tickets for $180 and you’ll have made $80 profit. This happens when the tickets are scarce.

Another possible outcome is that as the event approaches, your tickets do not sell. Imagine that there’s only one day left before the actual event and your tickets haven’t sold. What will you do?

If you cared about your money, you’d probably lower your ticket prices. Of course you wouldn’t want to take a loss, so you’d lower the price of the tickets to $100 and hope to recoup your original investment.

Someone might purchase the tickets for $100. Or the tickets might not sell. Now imagine there’s only a few hours before the start of the event. What will you do now?

Again, if you cared about your money, you’d lower the ticket prices even more. At this point you might be willing to take a loss on your event tickets because recouping at least some of your original investment is better than losing the entire amount.

As an event ticket purchaser, these are the types of situations that can save you money on event tickets.

Now that you understand the process that ticket sellers on the secondary market experience, you can use this information to your advantage.

The Buyer Process

So, event ticketing apps like SeatGeek and StubHub allow you to find tickets to sold-out events. As has been seen, these tickets won’t always be a good deal. Often they will be significantly overpriced as sellers try to use scarcity to their advantage. That being said, finding an overpriced ticket to a sold-out event is, at times, better than not being able to find a ticket at all. But that’s not the point of this article.

The point of this article is how to save money on event tickets. So here’s how to do it, in simple terms.

Download an event ticket app that sells tickets on the secondary market. Wait until close to the event time. Check ticket prices and save big as sellers realize their tickets aren’t going to sell and lower the price. Also, you can save an additional $20 (details at the end of this article).

Isn’t This a Risky Way to Purchase Tickets?

Yes, this method is a risky way to purchase tickets. Sometimes it doesn’t work. Here are the downsides to attempting this method.

  • You might not find tickets to your event.
  • You might find some good deals as you wait and watch but someone else might be doing the same thing and purchase those tickets out from under you.
  • It might be stressful for you.

My Ticket Purchasing Method

My suggestion is to use this method when you don’t have to go an event. Here’s how I do it.

I am a Portland Trail Blazer fanatic (as you probably already supposed looking at the name of this website). I like attending Blazer games. But often tickets to games are ridiculously expensive.

Sometimes I will go with a friend to a local Blazers hotspot a few hours before a game and relax. We’ll chit-chat and check tickets prices on SeatGeek. Typically, as tip-off comes closer, we’ll start to see ticket prices drop. Once we see a great deal in seats we want, we’ll jump on them. We’ve gotten lower-level tickets for ridiculously low prices using this method.

If we don’t see deals we like, we’ll just stay where we are and enjoy the game. It’s a low-risk, high-reward situation.

Pros and Cons of Secondary Market Ticketing Apps

Ticketing apps like SeatGeek that utilize the secondary market are really good for some things and not so good for others.


  • Tickets purchasers may be able to find tickets to sold-out events.
  • Event tickets may be found for exceptionally cheap prices.
  • Convenience. Tickets can be found for all sorts of events in all sorts of locations and purchased with a few clicks on your mobile device or computer.
  • Notifications. You can track events you’re interested in a receive notifications about ticket availability, price drops, etc.


  • Getting your tickets doesn’t always work the same way and sometimes it can be a bit confusing.
  • Event tickets can be overpriced as sellers try to gouge potential buyers.

Save Even More Money on Event Tickets

I have a way for you to save even a bit more money on event tickets. And that’s by using my SeatGeek promo code when you purchase your event tickets. My promo code is TRUEBLAZERFAN.

Simply download the SeatGeek app (or visit the SeatGeek website on your computer) and use my promo code on your first purchase and you’ll save $20. Also, when you use my promo code, I’ll make a small commission. This helps me continue to be able to produce high quality Portland Trail Blazer highlights on my YouTube channel.