One of the things I find most annoying about buying tickets to a sporting event or concert is scalpers who want to charge double the original cost of a ticket. Attending live events can be quite costly considering most ticket prices for events start around $50 and go up from there!

I am a huge fan of attending live events and try to make it out to many throughout the year. Because of this, I have learned some tricks and tips to save money on tickets so you don’t have to pay those crazy inflated prices. In some cases, I have even managed to get into popular events for FREE and I will show you how below.

Save Money On TicketsTicketmaster Tricks

If the event you want to see is selling tickets through Ticketmaster, there are a couple of tricks to getting tickets to sold-out or expected to sell-out events:

Pre-Sale Codes: If you are fortunate enough to find the event a week or two before the tickets go on sale, quite often you will notice several pre-sale options. These are typically limited releases of tickets for corporate partners of a show or concert. One of the most common of these is AMEX who offer something called “Front of the Line”. This is a pre-release of tickets exclusive to American Express cardholders. I know this sounds like a bit more work, but there are several FREE American Express cards out there, so you can get a card just for these kind of scenarios if you are the type of person that buys tickets on a regular basis. I have managed to get tickets to many sold-out shows thanks to this method! If there is another corporate partner listed in the pre-sale code, the best way to figure out these codes is either by Googling the pre-sale code details, or by searching on social media (Twitter or Facebook). Most companies will post the information about these pre-sale codes on their social media channels as a way to engage with their followers.

Keep Trying – Everyone thinks that if they don’t manage to get tickets for a popular event in the first 15 minutes then there are no tickets left. That is not true! I have managed to get so many tickets later on in the day on the first day of an event that looks sold out by simply retrying over and over.

Buy Singles – If an event has a large General Admission area, try searching for singles instead of pairs. Ticketmaster seems to always be able to find multiple single tickets for these areas but never can locate a pair.

24-72hr Window Before The Event – Even though an event claims to be sold-out, it is never sold out completely! Tickets area always held back for corporate partners, radio stations and other media outlets, as well as for disability seating. If these tickets are not sold or claimed in advance, they are released on Ticketmaster typically between 24 and 72 hours before the event. This is a bit of a gamble as there may be others looking for these tickets, but this is a way I have managed to get tickets to many sold out events just days before.

Other Sites

Stubhub – Stubhub is probably the largest ticket resale site on the Internet. I typically use Stubhub for less popular sporting events, because tickets are commonly listed for under their face value. For example, if the Toronto Raptors are playing any other mediocre team, it is quite common to find tickets for as low as $5! For the best deals on Stubhub either by well in advance, or wait until less than 24 hours before the event.

Kijiji/Craigslist – These are the 2 largest classified sites in North America and both have very active ticket sections. This option is a bit more buyer beware though, because there are several dishonest people lurking on these sites, though all my experiences have been positive. My rules are always to get a phone number, make sure you aren’t getting ticket printouts (ask for original tickets) and I try to get a read on the seller themselves. If there is anything fishy, just walk away! Like Stubhub, these sites are both great for buying tickets to less popular events, or buying very last-minute tickets. If an event is not that popular people will often scramble last-minute to get rid of their tickets, and often will take whatever they can get for them. Don’t be afraid to negotiate if you see there are a lot of similar listings on the site.

Fan Forums – Many fan forums often have a ticket sales section on them. Forums are typically against scalping so this is a great way to get tickets for their original cost (and sometimes less!). For example, I am a big fan of Toronto FC and when I want to find tickets to their games, I always check the Red Patch Boys Forum ticket trader section where I can usually get a great deal on tickets last-minute. In some cases people will even give away their tickets just to have another fan in attendance at the game since many games never sell out.

Blogs / Giveaways – Many events will reach out to bloggers to give away some tickets to an event to generate some buzz for the event. For example, I gave away a pair of tickets to the AutoShow on this blog just a few weeks ago. The best way to find these kind of Giveaways is to go to Google and search for the event name plus either “giveaway” or “win tickets”. Enter as many contests as you can related to your event of choice and hopefully you will win one! Here are some tips on how to win contests that I had someone write for the site just a few days ago.

Twitter / Facebook – Twitter and Facebook are usually the best ways to find free tickets. Try to find out who the main people involved with the event you want to attend are, and follow them all on Twitter. Follow any PR companies listed on the event website and keep an eye out on their social media channels for giveaways. Twitter is a great way to find people selling tickets as well as the companies and people who are involved with the events themselves.

Start Your Own Blog – One of the best ways to free tickets to popular events is to start your own blog. If you write about all the events you attend you can reach out to many events and ask if you can cover their event. All you have to do is snap some pictures and write a little blurb about the event and many will let you in for free. The better your blog is, the more events will want you to come and cover them! If you need help with this step, just send me an email.


Scalpers – One last way to save money on ticket prices, is to show up to an event late! If an event is already 30 minutes in, Scalpers will be much more willing to negotiate on a good price for tickets as they would rather sell them for something then get stuck with extra tickets. The later you go, the better the prices might be but scalpers won’t stick around if they sell all their tickets. This option runs the risk of you missing the event, but if you don’t mind that risk you can strike a great deal.

I hope this article is helpful, and if you have any tips of your own or found this article useful I’d love to hear in the comments section below.