StubHub, the world's largest ticket marketplace, recent survey findings show that the landscape of ticket buying on the secondary market is trending towards last-minute purchases, and this procrastination is paying off for StubHub fans. Compared to three years ago, more than half of respondents said they are making more last-minute plans, and nearly 30 percent said they have attended sporting events or concerts planned within three days of the event. Further, while many of the fans surveyed perceived that tickets would be more expensive closer to the event, StubHub found that on average those who waited until the day of an event paid 30 percent less than if they had purchased tickets one month prior.
So far in 2012, the average ticket price for a concert or marquee sporting event one month from the event date was $95 on StubHub. However, just three days away from the event the average ticket price dropped to $66, and within 24 hours of the event the average ticket price was $62. This means that fans who want to purchase tickets to high-profile games, such as the NHL or NBA playoffs, can likely score the best deal by waiting until game day to purchase.
Since May 1, there have been more than 32,000 last-minute (within three days) transactions for NBA and NHL playoffs games, and of that, roughly 10% took place within two hours of the event. Further, people who waited until right before game time purchased more than 1,000 tickets for $5 or less, including 10 tickets at 39 cents each for Game 1 of the Celtics at Hawks matchup in Atlanta.
“Because event tickets eventually expire, we find that sellers often lower their prices gradually as the event date approaches, and dramatically on the day of the event,” said Ray Elias, Chief Marketing Officer of StubHub. “This is obviously demand driven, and can vary based on the number of buyers competing. If you can deal with some uncertainty, and don’t need to make specific plans, there are tremendous deals to be found on StubHub by waiting. On the other hand, if you are traveling, or just need to know where you will be sitting well in advance, waiting may not be the best option.”
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