When I first read about ScoreBig in the Wall Street Journal, I was nervous: I was scared that ScoreBig.com made it to market with the same idea that I was working on first. But before I discuss my Score Big tickets review, I want to applaud them. They have changed their tag line (a lot), but they have never veered from their original mission statement, which is to sell tickets below face value. Evident by the numerous ScoreBig slogans over the years:
- Great Seats For Less.
- Always below box office price.
- Always below box office price. Guaranteed.
- Great Tickets. Below Box Office Price.
There’s one BIG problem (well maybe a couple), the tickets that we usually want to buy (from ScoreBig and other secondary ticket sites) are the tickets that are sold-out and not below face value. So with my experience, about 75% of the events that I want to attend, are unavailable on ScoreBig. I live in NYC, so for example, when I search for NY Giants tickets, there are no ScoreBig tickets or listings available.
ScoreBig.com, has done a great job replicating Priceline.com, however, Priceline has a “buy it now” option and shows you what the current market price is. Unfortunately, Score Big treats face value as the same thing as the market price, which isn’t fair or true.
To play devil’s advocate (with myself), ScoreBig is not the only one that treats the face value as the “real price” or fair price. Consumers and fans typically revert back to the face value price as it gives them some basis for the initial cost of the ticket, however, with the proliferation of dynamic ticket pricing the “face value price” can change daily or hourly, thus blurring the lines of face value and market value even further.
Here’s the kicker, even if ScoreBig has the event that you are looking for and you can bid on those tickets for below face value, whose to say those same tickets aren’t cheaper elsewhere? (Here’s my blatant plug: check TICKPICK)
Inspecting How ScoreBig Works
Assuming you are able to find the event you want to attend, here’s how ScoreBig works:
- Select quantity.
- Select seat rating (typically 1 to 5 stars).
- Examine retail price and the deal you can expect: typically 10%, 25%, or 50% discount from face.
- Enter “bid price” and assess probability of success.
- Enter credit card info and submit your bid.
- Receive an instant answer.
- If bid is not accepted, review / accept counter offer.
My biggest issue with how ScoreBig works, is that it’s a black box and you never truly benefit from their system. You benefit from Priceline because they have their own hotel & flight inventory and they’re willing to sell their inventory at lower prices verses the competition.
Roughly 90% of ScoreBig tickets come from ticket brokers. Ticket Brokers provide thousands of ticket listings to ScoreBig, Stubhub, TickPick and other ticket sites. The only way ScoreBig can add real value to the system is if they convince professional sports teams and other original primary ticket issuers to sell their unsold tickets at prices below the current market price. And although ScoreBig provides a solution for sports teams, companies such as Ticket Market Solutions sell unsold inventory on behalf of sports teams at prices below face value already.
If you are just trying to figure out a ScoreBig bidding strategy then I also have a couple tips for you. First, it’s important to know that 70% of the time sports and concert ticket prices decrease as it get’s closer to the event. So unlike most bidding strategies I wouldn’t suggest starting with one price and then increasing your price every 24 hours. The most important thing to do is to price shop, so you should take a look at the ticket listings on Stubhub (make sure to account for their 10% fees) as well as our tickets on TickPick (which are all-in prices, so no math needed). These current market prices will provide you with a bar and you should obviously never bid more than the current market price.
Look at ticket prices of seats in equivalent star ratings on TickPick; I would then place a bid at a 15% discount to the all-in ticket price seen on TickPick (for example if tickets are listed for $100, bid $85). If your bid is not accepted, repeat this decreasing the discount from 15% to 10% over time (check ticket prices each time as they change daily). Want more tips? Read on…
Why TickPick is Better than ScoreBig
TickPick is better than ScoreBig not only because of our transparent ticket ranking system, but because we allow fans to truly name their price. Scorebig only allows you to place bids on select events, and for the events that are available you are only allowed to place bids on select, yet specific sections which cannot be altered. With ScoreBig’s bidding platform you place the same bid price for all of the seats and you have to pay the same price for the first row or last row in your selected sections. What I tell people is that when you are bidding on ScoreBig, you need to be comfortable with receiving the worst seats in the selected star rating.
TickPick presents it’s users with the ability to buy, bid and sell tickets to all events, regardless if it’s below or above face value. We provide buyers with transparent information, letting them know what they can buy tickets for and we use algorithms to rank tickets to one another, helping you find the best deal (determined by price and seat location).
TickPick’s bidding platform is entirely different than ScoreBig. Users are able to customize exactly what sections they want to bid on and what prices they want to pay. You can set one price for your selected seats, or different prices based on the seat location, for example you can choose how much you want to pay for the best seats and how much you want to pay for the worst seats.
Unlike ScoreBig’s model, users know what they can pay today, so if you are bidding you are hoping you can save money through (an automated) negotiation process with the seller, or that ticket prices will go down in the future. Therefore when bids are placed on TickPick there’s no immediate answer. Instead users select a bid expiration time (available all the way up until event time) and they can cancel their bids at anytime up until a seller sells them tickets. Roughly 70% of events see a decrease in prices as the event gets closer, which is why TickPick’s bidding approach is perfect for the ticket industry and allows fans to get the best deals.
ScoreBig Customer Reviews
“The question of whether ScoreBig is a service that I’d use or recommend is another story. My experiences with customer service and their so-called “deals” are questionable.” - George Gilmer
The Best ScoreBig Site Review from Yelp:
“It’s unfortunate that ScoreBig has received so many negative reviews so far. I’ve read some of them, and while all of them are true and not necessarily special to that person’s situation, I don’t think many people understand how event tickets work. I’ve been with ScoreBig since they were first in beta and when I received a hand-written note after my first ticket purchase. They have not disappointed since. The process is fun. And yes, while the face value of the ticket itself can often just match whatever you paid for AFTER the percentage marked down, it’s probably because ScoreBig’s tickets are from season ticket or group sale pricing (which are already marked down). You will regardless, be getting a discount.
Besides, with no fees and free shipping, how can you complain and say that you didn’t get ENOUGH of a discount?”
The Worst ScoreBig User Review from Yelp:
“ScoreBig is a scam in the sense that I have always been able to find a ticket of the same quality for any event that I have been interested in (sports, music concert) for less money than I would be able to aquire it for via ScoreBig and I assume that anyone else that is able to make a purchase on ScoreBig will be able to as well. Scorebig is no different than any other ticket agency except that is uses a gimmick by letting you “bid” on the ticket. Believe me, no bid will be accepted unless it is the price that the ticket will be sold for by other ticket agencies including any fees and other charges. There is simply no need to use ScoreBig.”
Other Similar ScoreBig Ticket Site Reviews
Brett Goldberg is an entrepreneur, live event fanatic and ex-investment banker. He is the Co-Founder of Tickpick, a ticket marketplace that allows users to buy, sell & bid on tickets to sports, concerts and other live events. TickPick strives to increase transparency and efficiency within the ticket industry.