Stock photo of event tickets that have been purchased on Ticketmaster.

Image Credit: Nerdy Girl (CC BY 2.0)

When it comes to purchasing sports or concert tickets, there is no brand out there more recognizable than Ticketmaster. When a hot act like Sam Smith or Bruno Mars announces their tour schedule , how and when to purchase tickets on Ticketmaster is often the next thought to come to mind.

Ticketmaster IS NOT a ticket broker. They are a primary ticket marketplace meaning they are not re-selling tickets, they are instead the first to offer tickets for an event. The primary ticket market is where fans can purchase their tickets at face value rather than being "scalped". Being able to successfully buy tickets on Ticketmaster as soon as they go on sale, however, often requires some strategy or experience. 

Purchasing your Tickets when they first go on Sale

  • Arrange for Ticketmaster alerts to be sent to your email for every event. 
  • Follow Ticketmaster on Twitter and like their Facebook page to receive additional alerts. 
  • Sign up for a Ticketmaster account immediately if you don't have one already. Include all of your billing info and designate your city.
  • Sign into your account before the sale begins. 
  • Rather than searching for your ideal section, choose the 'best available seats' option to save time. 
  • Use only one browser window when purchasing your tickets - using multiple windows is prohibited. (You can use multiple browsers when making your purchase - Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. You can also use multiple computers/laptops/tablets.)
  • Only refresh your computer every 4 or 5 seconds. Refreshing too often can get your IP address banned from Ticketmaster indefinitely. 
  • Download the Ticketmaster apps for Iphone and Android phones so you can make your purchases on the go away from home. Purchasers also won't have to enter a security code when using a mobile device. Ticketmaster also sets aside many tickets for mobile sales only. 
  • The event provider sometimes adds additional shows if the first is a sellout. Make sure to check back on Ticketmaster a few hours after the initial sale. 
  • Join your favorite artist's fan club to potentially be able to access presale tickets. 
  • Consider taking a road trip to a larger venue where tickets may not be in such high demand. 


Presale Codes for Credit Card Holders

If you own any of the following credit cards, use these presale codes when making your next purchase on Ticketmaster. 





American Express




Other Miscellaneous Tips

  • The typical Ticketmaster sale will take place at 10 AM on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays. Pay attention to their announcements though, sales can be announced for any day of the week. Also pay attention to your time zone.
  • Try ordering your tickets from Ticketmaster via telephone. Their phone number during regular business hours is 800-745-3000. Their after hours phone number is 866-448-7849. 
  • Try purchasing your tickets in person at a Ticketmaster retail outlet such as a Wal Mart or Kroger. To find the retail outlet closest to you, visit .
  • The fewer number of tickets you are searching for, the more luck you'll have. Finding six seats together in the same row is much more difficult than just finding two seats together. 
  • Even though an event is sold out, keep in mind that there will always be tickets available for purchase elsewhere. Stubhub, Ebay, TicketNetwork, Ticket Monster and RazorGator always have tickets to sold out events. The question then becomes how much over face value are you willing to pay for your tickets on those sites? Secondary ticket websites such as these will also allow you to choose almost exactly where you would like to sit. 
  • After purchasing, the quickest and often cheapest way to get your tickets is to use the print at home options. Most ticket websites will charge a small $3-$6 charge for this option. 

Best of luck to all of you when treading the Ticketmaster waters. If you would like to see a directory of alternatives to Ticketmaster, just check out our 'Buy Tickets' page


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