By: Revanche

Adventures in concert ticket buying

November 26, 2006

I have a bloggery, budgetary dilemma.

It all started when I resolved not to buy Christmas presents this year because I hadn’t any good ideas and I refuse to buy obligatory, unimaginative/thoughtless gifts. Funds aren’t any too abundant, either, so it made sense.

But then I overheard my parents raving about Andrea Bocelli and that mixed it up with my guilt over not being the best daughter around, so I decided just to check if he’s touring. Yes, I’m trying to buy their love. Wait, no, I already have their love. I’m trying to buy their approval. Ah heck with it, I’m just trying to buy myself an indulgence or seven. Let’s be honest, a couple of concert tickets should get me off easy for anything I screw up for a few months, right? Er, I mean, wouldn’t that be an awesome *early* Christmas gift? =) Uh, anyway, he just happens to be booked at the Honda Center in a couple weeks, and the tickets have been on sale for about two months now.

I’ve never bought concert tickets before. And, since I rarely go out, other than visiting BoyDucky, my monthly recreation budget hovers around … <$100. It's really kind of a sick cycle: I don't go out so I don't budget for it, so I don't go out. But mostly, all that means is that I have NO IDEA what normal concert tickets might cost. When I saw that the lowest prices started at $75, and even a first time ticket-buyer like me knows that the cheapest tickets are probably gone now, I realized that I'd have to resort to finding discount or alternative ticket sellers. Little did I know what a strange anti-budget world I'd be stepping into.

I unsuccessfully googled for a little bit, then realized – duh! eBay! So I checked eBay and oh. my. LORD. They have tickets selling for over a thousand dollars!! And for the low-end buyers like me, they have listings starting at $450 and up. $300 per pair actually started looking reasonable.

That got me thinking: I know that eBay basically reflects what I suppose “average” consumers are willing to pay. But, eBay’s listings have a way of really making prices, that I’d normally never consider rational, look like a pretty good deal. And I wonder what that does to a budget? I mean, the temptation to just BUY something without seeing the price in the bigger picture, for me, was overwhelming. Suddenly I forgot that $200 or $300 is actually a LOT of money. I mean, it’s no $750, right?

My problem is that I have no qualms setting a limit for myself. Miniducky, I say, you may spend X amount on yourself this month. No more than that. But when looking at an unbudgeted gift, especially a gift I’ve never shopped for before, how exactly should I set a limit for what’s reasonable and what’s not?

Case in point: is Signor Bocelli worth $150/pair? $200? $300? It’s a Christmas gift, and not one I’m likely to have the opportunity to give again. There’s no doubt that I will get them tickets, but which ones? Do I target the REALLY nice seats? After all, this is a one time shot. And, as TBH has said before, why work so hard to save if I can’t splurge for my loved ones?

Conversely, isn’t that kind of the same argument I could pose for every instance of gift buying? And doesn’t that add up REALLY fast?

I’ll post my solution when I hear your thoughts. Um, and after I HAVE a solution.

4 Responses to “Adventures in concert ticket buying”

  1. Anonymous says:

    You don’t know me, but I got your blog in my mailbox because I’m a Bocelli fan, and receive virtually anything that has his name in their posts. I’ve seen Andrea 50 plus times, and if your parents are fans, I think they’ll love any seat you can get them. My theory is, if you can’t get first 15 rows on the main floor, don’t even bother with the main floor, and move onto an upper level. While the very top (commonly called the nosebleed section)will of course be the cheapest, if you can get the first risers, that’s way preferable. And not at the very side so they can still see the overhead screen if they’re too far to actually get a good view of the tenor. Keep in mind that most of the songs he sings in concert are opera arias, saving the “pop” songs for the end and for encores. So, if you’re parents only like the pop songs, they have to be prepared for this. I hope I’ve been some help, and let me say, if you were my daughter, this would buy you at least 2 years of brownie points.

  2. Hey Anon! This is the best anonymous comment ever, thank you for taking the time!

    They are definitely fans of his opera arias, so I’m very determined to get something for them. How frequently has Bocelli toured the US? I couldn’t get a good sense of how often he might be back in SoCal (and whether or not I’ll have a chance at getting them better seats next time to make up for the poorer seats now).

    So the middle section (in the Honda Center I think these would be either the 200/300 sections?) would be preferable to anything towards the back/sides on the floor?

  3. Anonymous says:

    If you’re in the back of a main floor, usually the floor is so level you can’t see much anyway, so why spend the extra when you’re going to be spending your time looking at the overhead screen anyway. Andrea tours the U.S. at least once a year, and sometimes twice. He’s generally on the west and east coasts (something that really bugs us midwesterners), so the odds are he’ll be in Cal. in 2007, but not necessarily Southern Cal. I’ve seen him at the Duck Pond before, and isn’t this the newly named Honda Center? I was on the main floor, in about the 10th row, but remember, I’ve been doing this for years, and generally buy my seats before they’re on sale to the general public. Trust me, I’m a groupie. I’ve even been lucky enough to meet him a few times, and he’s just in nice in person as one might imagine him to be. Your parents have good taste. I think they’ll be thrilled wherever they’re sitting!! Good luck to you!!

  4. MoneyFwd says:

    I agree with the anonymous person. Generally the seating doesn’t really matter unless it’s and obstructed view seat. And the price sounds about right. It sucks having to dish out so much, but if they’ll enjoy it, it should cover them for a while.

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