Do ticket prices drop on the day of a concert?

  • Posted on: 04 Jul 2024
    Do ticket prices drop on the day of a concert?

  • So, does the cost per ticket change on the day of the concert?

    If you are an avid concertgoer hunting for those elusive last-minute tickets, particularly for sold-out events, then you might be asking yourself this question. A reasonable assumption: if tickets by this time remain costly and there are still many available, even traditional laws of supply and demand make one expect that prices will drop. However, the picture is not painted in such black-and-white terms as mere economic reality would portray. Below are some of the most important insights on what happens to ticket prices before the concert day and during the night of the event.

    Scalpers: These are people who buy goods with intention of selling them at a higher price in the same market. Speculators: These are people who purchase goods with intention of reselling in the same market but at a higher price.

    The phenomenon that prices increase while interest in hot concerts increases can also be observed in the secondary ticket market. This is mainly because of ticket touts and hoarders, who are always in the business of buying tickets with the intention of reselling them at higher rates. These middlemen expect that there will be a high demand and shortage of supply for big concerts, especially those that are months in advance sold out. But as the show dates draw near, they will release tickets in calibrated amounts with extortionate ticket prices to exploit the fans. The most expensive asking price tends to appear the day before or the day of the concert. Today, sharp operators call it the ‘panic zone’ where desperate groups will pay top dollar.

    Dynamic Pricing Algorithms

    Factors that make resale prices very high include dynamic pricing algorithms present in top-tier resale sites such as StubHub. These autonomous systems not only consider the availability of the product and the need of the consumer but also competency in pricing by other competitors to ensure the sellers gain the highest possible profit in real-time. It means that when many buyers are interested in the few available tickets, the algorithms will change the listing prices to a higher value. Sellers only need to input a floor price and the rest is handled by a number of smart algorithms that can adjust the price repeatedly right up to the event. The following are such outcomes: premium prices which are sustained even at the final stage of the process.

    While buyers continue to hold on to the belief that prices will come down someday, they are willing to offer a higher price for the product.

    Yet, in spite of the increasingly obvious contradiction, fans continue to hold on to the dream of going cheaper as the show schedules approach. This becomes another force that supports resale prices on concert day, known as snap up prices. There are still so many consumers who are rushing to the secondary market in search of discounts and this makes the scalpers benefit from high prices despite the tickets being sold a few hours prior to the event. If large number of buyers refused to buy products at these high prices, then the scalpers would be left with no option other than reducing prices in order to ensure that the products move. However, when enough people continue to buy goods at high prices, the act of lowering the prices becomes futile.

    He has built a new model that has a dual focus: promoters and artist supply.

    In the primary ticket side, artists and promoters manage the supply side by ‘withholding’ tickets even when the concerts are ‘sold out.’ Most big shows reveal only seventy to eighty-five percent of the capacity of their venue to the public. The rest is retained for future press/radio airwave dissemination, special appearances by artists/industry professionals, promotional distribution to the fan club/membership base, early presales, and so on. This strict supply control implies that almost no unsold primary tickets to the event are put up for sale with the aim of undercutting secondary ticket prices. Another argument for why promoters are not motivated to pressure resellers to lower their prices is that they have sold all their copies and they are not going to benefit from the sales as they have transferred ownership of the copies to consumers.

    The reality is that prices sometimes do come down, so the argument that this is going to make the cost of credit too high and therefore hinder affordable access to credit is bogus.

    However, all these pricing forces do not always hold the truth, because in rare instances, one may find resale concert tickets having a huge reduction on the day of the show. These specific situations include:

    Technological advancements or decreases in product demand due to unfavorable weather/other unforeseeable circumstances

    Less-interested unpopular, or forgettable policies/acts

    Lower profile concerts where scalper minorities have an impact

    Lack of tickets for primary elections (exceptionally few).

    They often appear as errors that include tickets sold below their actual value.

    Sellers with expiring ticket listings should not reject reasonable and affordable prices for their tickets

    Such bulk tickets are not often put up for sale by the artist and they are usually offered at cheaper prices than the general ones.

    Thus, while last-minute deals are not beyond the realms of possibility, they are incredibly calculated, highly dependent on an element of luck and the heavenly bodies synchronising to orchestrate the ideal concert. When it comes to most of the top-shelf events with zero tickets available to the general public, buyers should cross out their plans to get the tickets cheaper the morning of the event. It’s sad but true that such concert economics are unsustainable; as long as the hysterical fans continue to part with their dollars, inflated ticket prices will remain steadfast to the final notes.