NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Over the years, people have flocked to the secondary market as a place to get the best deals. The basic reason for this is that the secondary market is the most efficient mechanism to meet market demand.
More often than not, the teams did not do a good job predicting demand, and the secondary market stepped in to make billions. Over the last several years, teams have become more aggressive about variable pricing, altering prices depending on the opposition.
It's a reasonable tack: you're more likely to want to see your hometown team play a high-ranked rival than a team near the bottom.
The most aggressive example of this primary market optimization may be Boston Bruins playoff tickets this postseason. For the first round, the Bruins set their cheapest ticket prices at $155.
The cheapest ticket on the broad secondary market -- which includes all major ticket re-sellers -- was $124, a 20% discount. For the second round, the disparity between the two prices has grown even further. The cheapest face value ticket at Boston's TD Garden is selling for $221, almost as high as the $264 average price on the secondary market for Boston's first-round games. The cheapest secondary market ticket for the second round in Boston is $130, 41% below face value.