Thursday, 13 October 2011

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Earning My Daughters Love Via StubHub

My wife informed me yesterday that my girls would like to go to the Selena Gomez concert in Vancouver this weekend.  Now I probably should have seen this coming.  I know that my girls are huge fans of Selena's, and I knew that she was going to be in Vancouver this weekend.  A really good Dad would have been proactive and booked tickets when the pre-sale started back in August.  A really good Dad would have gotten great seats so that the girls could be as close to their favorite singer as possible.  A really good Dad would have already made arrangements for everybody to get off school/work early on Friday, so that we'd have time to drive to Vancouver for the show.

Yup, that's what he'd have done.

What I did, however, was let everything slide until somebody actually told me that I had to make this happen.  Typical for me, but not a problem. As a good Dad, I love my daughters and want to make them happy, and if there's one thing I'm good at it's last minute planning.  I'll just log on to Ticketmaster and we'll have ourselves some tickets in no....ummm....what do they mean SOLD OUT?  Since when do Wizards of Waverly Place stars sell out 15,000 seat arenas?  Who the heck bought all those tickets? (I made the mistake of asking my wife that question.  She pointed out that they were probably bought by Dad's who love their daughters and wanted to make them happy.  Ouch.)

Alright, this isn't a problem for me.  In my pre-married life I used to work for a ticket scalper (The stories of which would require an entire blog to themselves.  If you ever see a blog called "Twits Trying to Buy Tickets" you'll know I've branched out.) so I know the ins and outs of this secondary ticket market, although it's really not as tough as it used to be.  In the old days you had to carefully check the background of anyone who offered to sell you tickets to make sure they were legit.  Then after a while everybody started selling their tickets on E-bay, and all you had to do was check their rating.  Now, you just go to StubHub.

Arizona last year, when we didn't have to buy tickets.
StubHub is perfect for guys like me who never do anything until the last possible moment.  Essentially it's just a list of people who want to sell their tickets, but as long as you buy through StubHub, they guarantee that the tickets will be genuine.  I'm not really sure how they know that the tickets are real, but I'm a sucker for the term "guaranteed" and once I hear that word I'm full speed ahead.  It also helps that I've used the site several times before without even a hint of a problem.  You pick your concert, and there will be a list of all tickets available for sale, how many seats there are together, their location, and the price that the seller is asking for them.  Every bit of information that you could need to make a decision.

Except one.  StubHub can't help you with the most important decision that you have to make - "How much ticket do I have to buy?" Unfortunately no mathematical equation that you learned in Algebra 12 is going to help you to figure this out (Once again proving that you'll never need to know that stuff again once you graduate.)  Your job is to somehow walk the line between getting good enough seats, and not spending too much money.  It's not an easy balancing act to perform.  If you spend the night of the concert listening to "Dad these seats are amazing! I can almost touch her!" then you've overspent.  On the other hand, if you hear the words "We should have brought the binoculars!" then you went too low.  Helpful hint for you: If your kids look disappointed when you arrive at your chosen seats, tell them that you bought those seats because you know that the people in front of you are short and it will be easier for them to see.  It's a shot in the dark, but you've got a 50/50 chance of being right.

If you're in this area, you've screwed up.
I spent a little while this afternoon going over the available seats for Selena, which ran the range from "Are these seats even in the arena?" to "For that price Selena will bring us drinks and popcorn right?" until I found some decent tickets that were priced at 85 cents over face value.  I'm not sure who decided that 85 cents was their line in the sand for making a profit, but even with a small service charge from StubHub tacked on, I was pretty happy with the price. I've done this enough now to know what kind of seats are needed to earn my daughters love and admiration for the next little bit, so now I just hope that we can make it there on time, and I hope that it's a good show, but most of all, I hope that the people in front of us are short.


  1. That was quite the zing from your wife! I used Stub Hub over the summer with great success, as a seller. I bought pre-sale tickets to see Manchester United/Barca in DC. When the regular sale came out, I bought two more seats that were better. Now being stuck with two tickets, I listed them on Stub Hub, and no joke I sold them 3 minutes later for face value...

  2. You went to cheer for Barcelona right? :)

  3. You were a ticket scalper?? Oh man, I'd love to hear those stories. I had way too many interactions with ticket scalpers back in my pre-teen Backstreet Boy obsession days.

    I can't believe I just admitted that.

  4. Oh you were one of "THEM"! I hated working the boy band shows. Teenage girls never understood why I wouldn't sell them tickets up close to Justin/Lance/Nick for face value. At least those fans weren't scary. Try telling a Hells Angel that you're can't sell him tickets to the Stones at a discount.

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  8. When the regular sale came out, I bought two more seats that were better. Now being stuck with two tickets, I listed them on Stub Hub, and no joke I sold them 3 minutes later for face value... Remodeling Contractors

  9. Even my kids are huge fans of Selena. Wed didn't missed any of her concert.

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