When I tried to get good seats for The Eagles concert a few years ago I was surprised at the premium price for not so premium seats. Recently, a listener called and said she was having a similar problem finding tickets for this summer's Fleetwood Mac show in Denver. So, why are good tickets so hard to get and why are they so expensive?You may think it's because the demand is so high for tickets that they're nearly sold-out as soon as they're available. That's true, but not necessarily in the way you think. Here are a few reasons why good tickets for big shows can be both incredibly expensive and frequently hard to get.

  1. Credit Card Presales. Companies like American Express and Visa reserve tickets and hold presales where card members can buy them before they go on sale to the general public. Unfortunately, these tickets also end up in the hands of brokers who resell them for a premium.
  2. Artist Fan Clubs. Many bands will allocate a certain number of tickets to be sold to members of their fan club. Scalpers join fan clubs as multiple members then use different credit cards to buy large quantities of tickets.
  3. Some Bands Scalp Their Own Tickets. It's in their tour rider the band gets a certain number of tickets to use at their disposal. Some end up in the hands of their celebrity friends, others are sold through resellers like StubHub.
  4. You're Competing With 'Scalper Bots.' These computer programs hit the ticket sellers site with as many ticket requests as possible. If a ticket site has safeguards to stop the bots, the scalpers hire real people to manually type in whatever information the computer program isn't able to submit automatically.
  5. Ticket Sellers Inflate Service Fees. The more expensive the ticket, the more likely you are to be hit with a high service fee. But the seller isn't the only one to blame, some bands have it in their contract they get a percentage of that service fee.

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