I was talking summer concerts with a co-worker the other day and as we went over the ones we’d like to go to, he said something that definitely got my attention and made me think about whether I’ve had it all wrong when it comes to ticket buying.

The common thought planted in our heads is that once tickets go on sale you need to grab them right away otherwise you’re going to have to pay more than face value through other sources like EBay, Stub Hub among others.

But what I heard my co-worker say I heard once before and that is it’s best to wait until the last minute to buy the tickets. It saves the stress of dialing over and over or hitting “enter” over and over on your computer just to try and get through. An added bonus? Sometimes the prices go down on the tickets as you get closer.

With few exceptions, prices drop in the days just before an event according to one 2013 article I read by Kelli B. Grant of The Wall Street Journal. Will Flaherty, a spokesman for SeatGeek.com, a website that provides search and price forecasting for consumers had this to say:

“Even when comparing prices the day before the day of the event to the day of the event, it would be about 10% cheaper to wait until the event day to buy,” said Flaherty.

SeatGeek.com also released data in 2013 that says secondary-market buyers pay an average of 29.6% more than day-of buyers.

But the reality is this strategy has its risks. Experts say selection on the day of the event might only have just dozens of open seats and when it comes to concerts you have to take into consideration the artist you want to see and demand level of that artist. Promoters have a good finger on the pulse of the market so if you’re going to wait until last minute to see a full-blown reunion of the original Guns N’ Roses lineup you might find prices actually increase due to the high demand.

So what does it come down to then? Do you jump on it right away and buy the tickets the second they’re released to the public or do you go with the “patience is a virtue” method and take your chances on good seats at a good price?


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