TicketScam

I don’t like going to concerts. They’re crowded, you usually can’t see the stage well, and the music is either too loud or the performers are screaming and out of breath. Not the best experience. I haven’t been to a live show in some ten years.

So you’ll understand how big a deal Matisyahu must be for me as I consider purchasing tickets for his upcoming tour.

He’s playing at Catalyst in Santa Cruz, and tickets are listed as $35 each. Sounds reasonable, right? Ah, but wait.

Tickets: $35
Fee: $3 (per ticket)
Processing: $0.50
Tax: 5% (per ticket)

There’s a “fee” and a “processing fee”. Suddenly a ticket is actually $40.25. But wait, there’s more. You want to actually get those tickets? Well, you’ll have to pay for that too.

Will-call: $1
Mail: $3.50
Print at Home: $2
Secure: $10

Yes, they’ll charge you a buck for standing in line. For saving them printing costs? They’ll double the charge. For the cost of a forty-one cent stamp (“Mail”) they’ll charge you $3.50.

And “secure” delivery? That’s the United States Postal Service’s 1-Day Priority Mail, which costs $4.60, with “insured” delivery, which $2.45 for up to $200: $7.05. Why the extra $2.95?

So what will four tickets cost? 4 x ($35 + $3 + $1.75) + $0.50 = $159.50 plus delivery.

Total: $160.50 – $169.50.

So each ticket really costs as much as $42.38, not the advertised $35. That’s a 20% premium!

Here’s what’d odd though: If they’d just advertised the price as $42.50 per ticket, and “thrown in” 1-day shipping, free Print At Home and Will-call, I wouldn’t have even blinked.

I understand the reason behind this though: it’s pure marketing. They’ve figured they’ll get people “in the door” at $35, not $40, and once in the door, they at least have a chance of selling you. After all, advertising $140 for four tickets will get more eyeballs than $170 for those same tickets, even if the latter is your true out-of-pocket cost.

Will I still buy the tix? There’s a decent chance I will. But it will be knowing I’m being nickel-and-dime’d to death.

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