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Great Ways To Cut Booking Fees Hunt

36 replies 40.5K views
MSE_MartinMSE_Martin Money Saving ExpertMoneySaving Expert
8.3K posts
✭✭✭✭
What's it about?

Whether it's the Take That comeback tour or Tom Jones, Alan B'Stard or Cats book a ticket to see your favourite band and shows and you can pay half as much again for the privilege. Fees of £15-£20 on top of the ticket price are not uncommon.

What to do?

So I thought I'd tap MoneySavers' huge wealth of knowledge to share tried and tested methods to help cut the cost of booking tickets to concerts, shows and exhibitions.

Click reply and let me know what you did to shave off the pounds. If possible pls include:

a) The name of the show
b) Booking agent
c) Your method
d) How much you saved

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Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
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Replies

  • we have a royalties gold account with the royal bank of scotland that costs £12.00 per month, there are several benefits including 25% discount with no booking fees for theatre or concert tickets, you can purchase 4 at a time, so 4 westend best seats are £55.00 x 4 = £220, with royalties you would pay £165.00 with free delivery and no booking fee.

    good luck moneysavers :T
  • rwoodsrwoods Forumite
    3 posts
    Living in the midlands I often have a choice of venues for any given tour.

    I've found it pays to always search for the venue's own website rather than going through an agency. The best venues are those which maintain there own box office rather than outsourcing it to a seperate company.

    For example I saw Rufus Wainwright at the Birmingham Symphony Hall which only charge £1 for postage and no booking fee. This was a saving of £4-£5 over the same concert at Manchester Apollo where tickets have to be bought through an agency.

    The thing which really annoys me is when you're initially quoted a ticket price, the next page adds a booking fee and then the final page will add a further "service charge". Surely any admin or postage charge should be absorbed within a single booking fee per ticket?

    Rob
  • Anyone who is a fan of show/events/live bands that take place at London’s Astoria or Kentish Town's Forum venue can pay £0 booking fees and £0 delivery by buying the tickets in person from the Astoria box office.

    At the Astoria box office I purchased tickets for 2 gigs, one for the Astoria, one for the Forum, saving myself £3.50 per ticket on booking fee and a £5 delivery charge. If I had booked these online I would have paid an extra £17 if I had booked them through the biggest internet ticket retailer.

    Obviously this is only of benefit to those who live in London, but it beats paying those extra fees!.
  • notkennotken Forumite
    82 posts
    I agree. The likes of Ticketmaster I find particularly galling. They charge at least £1.50 postage, yet it's a second class stamp and they stuff the envelope full of third-party advertising. They should be paying *us* for posting this trash. As a result I haven't bought a single ticket from Ticketmaster for over three years now. If I see something I want to go to and it's only available through Ticketmaster, I don't go.

    For booking, I've found Express Events to be excellent: hard-to-find tickets at excellent prices and usually no extras over the face value. Often less than face-value.

    For Arsenal tickets (come on you Gunners), I use Ticketmaster's Web site to see what tickets are available and then call or write to the stadium to buy them, saving several pounds per ticket.

    This has been a bugbear of mine for a long time, so I'm very grateful that MSE is covering it at last.

    Cheers,
    Steve
  • rwoods wrote:
    I've found it pays to always search for the venue's own website rather than going through an agency. The best venues are those which maintain there own box office rather than outsourcing it to a seperate company.

    I echo this. Buying from the venue directly if the best way to get the lowest booking fee. Concert promoters themselves generally don't sell tickets directly, although you could try this is you know who they are.

    I regularly go to the Birmingham Academy - buying tickets through their own website generally saves money on the booking fee compared to the likes of Ticketmaster.

    One other tip on concert ticket sales - if a show is listed as SOLD OUT, it might not be! When a gig goes on sale, the promoters often hold a fixed allocation for the record company/band/support band to buy tickets for guests from. If the record company/band/support band don't buy them all, the excess will be released through certain ticket agents at a later date. So, if you contact the concert PROMOTER when a show is listed as sold out, and ask them if there are any record company holds, and could you get added to a waiting list for any returns?, you might get lucky! If the show recently went on sale and sold out quickly, you might get lucky! If the show sold out ages ago, its less likely... no guarantees.
    Named after my cat, picture coming shortly
  • One other tip on concert ticket sales - if a show is listed as SOLD OUT, it might not be! When a gig goes on sale, the promoters often hold a fixed allocation for the record company/band/support band to buy tickets for guests from. If the record company/band/support band don't buy them all, the excess will be released through certain ticket agents at a later date. So, if you contact the concert PROMOTER when a show is listed as sold out, and ask them if there are any record company holds, and could you get added to a waiting list for any returns?, you might get lucky! If the show recently went on sale and sold out quickly, you might get lucky! If the show sold out ages ago, its less likely... no guarantees.

    Never thought of contacting the promoter directly, so will try that one!

    I live in Preston and most of the gigs i go to are in Manchester so I have to use agencies. If you do buy tickets direct from the box office or another outlet do you just pay the face value of the ticket or do you have to pay admin/booking/cc charge?

    I got myself caught out a few years ago because i didn't realise that different ticket agencies sell tickets for the same gig. So when I saw they had sold out i gave up and went onto e-bay, but still missed out :(

    I hope Kraftwerk tour again soon ;)
  • HowellsHowells Forumite
    65 posts
    notken wrote:
    I agree. The likes of Ticketmaster I find particularly galling. They charge at least £1.50 postage, yet it's a second class stamp and they stuff the envelope full of third-party advertising. They should be paying *us* for posting this trash.

    I hate ticketmasters policy, charging around £3.50 for EACH ticket and then £1.50/£2 for postage, even if you want to pick them up from the venue!:mad:

    I went to find out about tickets to see Little Britain in Cardiff for 4 and all the extra charges were adding about £16 to the total amount. In the end I went in person to the CIA Box Office in Cardiff and bought with cash (as they still wanted to charge £3.50 per ticket even with a Debit Card). The only annoying thing about this was that when the event was postponed and then cancelled, I had to take the tickets back in person to get a refund!

    What annoys me is that all these charges should be in the ticket price in the first place (well maybe not for postage but they shouldn't charge for you to pick them up)!

    Grrrrr, it makes me so mad
  • pthovpthov Forumite
    10 posts
    One other tip on concert ticket sales - if a show is listed as SOLD OUT, it might not be!

    Remember also that each ticket agency often has its own allocation of tickets, so if one agent has sold out other agents might still have some left. You should also shop around - different agents charge different fees for the same tickets and it can also vary from show to show.

    If you want cheap tickets (eg in the gods) then you might need to shop around there as well because some agents don't sell the complete range of tickets or might have sold their allocation of the cheaper ones.

    Bear in mind that some venues' own box offices are linked to an agency - if I phone the lady on the desk at the Grand Opera House in York it is charged through Ticketmaster with all the fees but if I go in and buy from the same lady in person there are no fees!
  • MiddlestitchMiddlestitch Forumite
    1.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    ✭✭✭
    There are often lots of useful hints and tips re discounted bookings, plus fantastically useful seatings plan showing best/reasonable/poor value seats at https://www.theatremonkey.com
  • lee_c_3lee_c_3 Forumite
    49 posts
    Dont go on the NEC website. Trying to buy George Michael tickets on sunday at 10 am. By 30 seconds past 10 am the web site had crashed.

    Complete waste of time.

    I also know the owner of Capital Sound, (Not Capital Radio). Although I have not tapped him up for tickets yet. Perhaps a back stage pass at one of Kylies next gigs if she does another.

    Cheers
    Lee
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