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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 24th Apr 06, 8:18 AM
    • 8,111Posts
    • 42,248Thanks
    MSE Martin
    0 WOW
    Great Ways To Cut Booking Fees Hunt
    • #1
    • 24th Apr 06, 8:18 AM
    0 WOW
    Great Ways To Cut Booking Fees Hunt 24th Apr 06 at 8:18 AM
    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


    Last edited by MSE Archna; 25-04-2006 at 3:29 PM.
    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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Page 1
  • anthony vernon
    • #2
    • 25th Apr 06, 8:26 PM
    theatre ticket discounts
    • #2
    • 25th Apr 06, 8:26 PM
    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
  • rwoods
    • #3
    • 25th Apr 06, 8:59 PM
    Cheaper Tickets
    • #3
    • 25th Apr 06, 8:59 PM
    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
  • mse_jstap
    • #4
    • 25th Apr 06, 11:11 PM
    • #4
    • 25th Apr 06, 11:11 PM
    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!.
    • notken
    • By notken 26th Apr 06, 6:22 AM
    • 82 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    notken
    • #5
    • 26th Apr 06, 6:22 AM
    • #5
    • 26th Apr 06, 6:22 AM
    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
  • scootermacc
    • #6
    • 26th Apr 06, 8:37 AM
    • #6
    • 26th Apr 06, 8:37 AM
    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.
    by rwoods
    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
  • flashman_62
    • #7
    • 26th Apr 06, 10:11 AM
    • #7
    • 26th Apr 06, 10:11 AM
    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.
    by scootermacc
    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
  • Howells
    • #8
    • 26th Apr 06, 10:21 AM
    • #8
    • 26th Apr 06, 10:21 AM
    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.
    by notken
    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!

    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
  • pthov
    • #9
    • 26th Apr 06, 10:21 AM
    • #9
    • 26th Apr 06, 10:21 AM
    One other tip on concert ticket sales - if a show is listed as SOLD OUT, it might not be!
    by scootermacc
    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!
    • Middlestitch
    • By Middlestitch 26th Apr 06, 12:13 PM
    • 1,320 Posts
    • 2,410 Thanks
    Middlestitch
    There are often lots of useful hints and tips re discounted bookings, plus fantastically useful seatings plan showing best/reasonable/poor value seats at www.theatremonkey.com
    Last edited by MSE Jenny; 28-04-2006 at 4:00 PM.
  • lee c
    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
  • clayts
    A few tips :

    (1) If you can't get to the venue box office it's always worth shopping around the agencies online as invariably some tickets are sold at more than one agency : key ones are Ticketweb, SeeTickets, WeGotTickets, Alive, Ticketline : some of these are better than others with regards to booking fees (We Got Tickets in particular are a little cheaper)

    (2) Check local independent record shops for tickets for the smaller bands - eg here in Nottingham, Selectadisc Records sell tickets for Rock City/Rescue Rooms with a minimal booking charge of about 50p, if that.

    (3) Blag a free ticket - if the group has an official website try contacting them and say you'll write a full review. Alternatively try one of the online or paper music magazines or, better still, your local newspaper : chances are they can get you on the guest list in return for a written review and maybe some photos. MInd you, this is unlikely to work for big names, only smaller bands.
    Last edited by MSE Jenny; 28-04-2006 at 4:00 PM.
  • janet evans
    Theatre bookings
    Nat West also offer 25% discount on event and theatre tickets through their Advantage Premier account. This costs £14.95 per month, and offers many other benefits. I have used the service a few times, and it works perfectly.
  • hangman
    Sometimes shows are on sale through more than one agency with hugely different booking fees. For smaller music shows, try wegottickets.com - they charge the lowest booking fee by far (max 10% and often less) AND there's no postage as all tickets are electronic - no junk mail either. They don't have that many shows yet, but getting more all the time.
  • oibaldy
    ...This was a saving of £4-£5 over the same concert at Manchester Apollo where tickets have to be bought through an agency.
    by rwoods
    Living in the Midlands, this probably doesn't help you, but tickets for the Manchester Apollo can be bought without booking fees by going to the booking office at the Palace Theatre, since it forms part of the same group.

    I'd echo what others have said: if you can get to the venue ticket office, there are usually no additional charges (for cash), and indie record shops also do good deals. If you are going to the type of gig that indie shops support, you can usually pay on the door for about a quid extra which won't help you get tickets for stadia tours, but should help out for small bands on the up.
  • chatterbox7
    theatre tickets
    I wanted to see Lion King and after searching many ticket sites i decided when i was in london one day to go along to the theatre itself. I'm glad i did, not only was there no booking fee but I could also choose from their seating plan where we sat but the best bit was that i got a price reduction because my sister is registered disabled. i didnt need to bring the blue badge and didnt need to bring it on the night to prove i had it. Her ticket was approx half price! When i enquired about this originally over the phone and on web sites there was no offer of a price reduction.
    Also then got to take all the tickets home with me and not pay another high postage charge!
    would def goin person again but realise this isnt always possible!
    • annie-c
    • By annie-c 26th Apr 06, 6:57 PM
    • 2,517 Posts
    • 3,130 Thanks
    annie-c
    I rarely use ticket agents for London Theatre - the National Theatre, Royal Opera House and many others let you buy online or by phone at Box office prices with no booking fee and no more than a £1 charge for postage - which you can avoid by picking up tickets on the day.

    It can be hard to find box office websites online, because a Google search will usually come up with a massive list of agents for any given theatre/play - but I have built up a list of 'favourites' by always asking for website details & asking to be added to the mailing list whenever I ring a box office to book tickets for a particular play, ballet or whatever.
  • topgranny
    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!
    by pthov
    Oh my God! Have I really just seen a post where the writer has actually used an apostrophe - and correctly? Sorry if this doesn't follow the thread but it is so unusual I just had to comment!
    Always skip and eat your peas
  • twitch1979
    I Book a lot of gigs , mostly Indie alternative music but I have a wide variety of shows I go to . The best tips I can offer are ( This is slightly London orientated )

    A) Make sure you check multiple ticket agents for the best booking fees and delivery methods available . They can normally be found on the artist’s websites or on the venues or promoter website. If you cant find them the main ones are

    www.ticketmaster.co.uk - known for it high fee although the website does offer a good account facility and you can count on it not crashing when things get busy

    www.ticketweb.co.uk – part of ticketmaster although does offer reduced booking fee and the option of venue pick up on most events which can save £5 of registered delivery

    www.stargreen.com – normally the most expensive of them all but worth checking if you cant get availability elsewhere

    www.seeticekts.com – These guys tend to get most gigs and there website always dies when a large event goes on sale.

    B) Where possibly always go for venue pick up option . This can save you £5 per order . For this reason if ticektweb are doing the event then these guys are my personal favourite. Seetickets ( who also have a site under gigsandtours.com) don’t offer venue pickup unless the event is in the next few days and postage wouldn’t be possible . The best thing to do is book the ticket online . Ring them up, you can use this number 01159 454590 which will go straight to their customer serve team and you can request venue pick up as an option and they will refund the delivery. If customer services is busy or closed you will go through to their call canter and you will need to request a customer service call back for this to be done . The call centre can be very unhelpful however insist you want venue pick up and insist you want customer service to refund the delivery and they will call you back. I have as yet been unable to do this with ticketmaster but I am sure with a bit of persistence it can be done to.


    C) By far the best and cheapest way or them all is where and when possibly if you can go either directly to the ticket outlet or venue buying the tickets without booking fees and charges. The only let down is they normally only take cash and no credit cards.

    Using the above methods I save at least £20 a month in booking fees and postage charges . I hope you all can benefit from the above.
    Last edited by MSE Jenny; 28-04-2006 at 3:10 PM.
  • DameAmy
    Also, check www.lastminute.com who get an allocation on most theatre and music events, with varying booking fees. These fees are transaction fees which include postage on gig tickets.
    They sold first reserve George Michael tickets for a total of just over £67 including fees, where other sites were offering the same for about £100.
    It's worth checking out.
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