As the Co-CEO and Co-Founder of TickPick, going to concerts is part of my job, and there’s no one I’ve seen live more than Jay-Z.
This piece isn’t meant to change your mind about seeing Jay-Z’s new “4:44 Tour,” instead it’s a warning and gives advice on the best way to get tickets, because let me tell you, if you just buy your tickets on Ticketmaster and don’t do any research, you’re going to get hosed. It’s not like you’re going to get fake tickets… it’s that you’re likely going to overpay and have seats worse than what you can get if you do your research.
A Little (Jay-Z Ticket) History…
Jay-Z made a deal with Live Nation / Ticketmaster where he got paid an enormous up front fee of $150mm for 10 years of touring. What resulted from this were ticket prices that increased by at least 2x. For his 2012 tour, they advertised the cheapest face value tickets of $49, but they were hardly accessible. Instead, the average face value was $149. Interestingly enough, these tickets resold on sites like TickPick, and StubHub for below face value, meaning if you waited to buy tickets several weeks after the general on sale you would have paid less, counter to general wisdom.
So then, Jay-Z and Live Nation doubled down. They recently just announced another 10-year deal for $200 million. Am I really going to want to see Jay-Z when he’s 57 and I am 42?
What this Means for You
Similar to previous Jay-Z tours, things remain the same for Jay-Z’s 2017 tour. An overwhelming amount of tickets that will be available for resale will likely sell for below face value. In summary, here’s what this means for you:
- You will be able to buy tickets for the tour on Ticketmaster (or for resale)
- The traditional rules for jumping on tickets at “face value” don’t apply here
- Have your emotions under control before searching for tickets. Getting overzealous and purchasing tickets too early will backfire.
Here are our Suggestions for Buying Jay-Z Tickets
- When looking to buy Jay-Z tickets on Ticketmaster, make sure you’re comparing prices to the secondary market simultaneously.
- When price shopping, make sure you’re comparing the “Total” price, Ticketmaster’s face value has additional “convenience fees” that range from $10 to $50 a ticket.
- Of course we’re biased, but TickPick is your best comparison. We show all-in ticket prices and have no buyer fees, thus saving fans 10-15% compared to StubHub and Ticketmaster’s resale platform (TM+).
- Do be aware that when looking to buy Jay-Z tickets on Ticketmaster, they automatically have resale tickets included in your search. It’s possible that these tickets are cheaper than face value, but TM charges 20%+ in service fees which aren’t displayed until the checkout.
- If price shopping other resale sites, make sure to check the final price. Some resale sites don’t show you the total price until you enter your credit card information and make you believe that the “Sub-total” is the final price, but you’re then hit with a 20% hidden service charge.
Proof You Need to be Careful Buying Jay-Z Tickets
I write this article today as I myself got caught in this trap.
I bought two pairs of tickets, one for the United Center concert in Chicago and one for the Nassau Coliseum (NYCB).
At first I thought it was a no-brainer and a good deal, $199 for 19th row right off the stage. After fees that came to $225. Shortly after that I realized that prices are going to drop below face value so I’ve now listed these for resale on TickPick. I have them listed for $269 (that’s the all-in price that the buyer would pay) and I would be paid out $242. I also have them listed on StubHub where I would get paid out the same $242, however after the buyer fees the total price is $325 (a staggering 20% buyer fee on top of the 10% seller fee). Note: Ticketmaster verified resale tickets have a 24% buyer fee, on top of a 10% seller fee.
Often times, tickets for Jay-Z can even be found below face value on TickPick, and the price difference is only compounded by the simple fact that TicketMaster tacks on fees at checkout while TickPick has all-in pricing with no fees tacked onto the listed price. Take a look below at the listings available on TickPick as of 7/18 that are for “Platinum” tickets, which generally is defined as floor seats closer to the stage. You’ll notice that prices start at $339 per ticket in Section 7, row 21, and a pair would cost a buyer $678 total at checkout.
Cheapest TickPick listings in Sec. 7 for Jay-Z at the United Center in Chicago, IL on 12/5
Now compare these prices above for the five cheapest listings available on TickPick in Section 7 alone (where prices range from $339 per ticket in Row 21 to $479 per ticket in row 11) to the screenshot below of the last pair of tickets still available in Section 7 on TicketMaster (not their resale TM+ platform, but the actual retail face value).
Face value of tickets on TicketMaster in Sec. 7 for Jay-Z at the United Center in Chicago, IL on 12/5
You’ll notice that a pair of tickets purchased directly from TicketMaster in the same section as the above TickPick listings but in row 19 – which is a worse row than all but one of the above listings – will run a buyer a total of $1,190 total after fees.
Note that these tickets were showing as “$518.25 ea + Fees” on TicketMaster, which accounts for a total of a $154 markup on service fees alone, not including the drastic price difference of these tickets just at their face value compared to tickets on a resale marketplace like ours.
Detailed TicketMaster receipt that shows fees
Even worse, is if you try to buy tickets now, they’ve increased the prices / are selling significantly worse seats:
Stubhub Jay-z Listing:
Stubhub Checkout of the same tickets:
TickPick Jay-z Listing:
TickPick Checkout of Same Tickets:
So in this example, would you rather pay $503 for Section 234 row 6 or, $538 for Section 111 row 19? Right now that might be a hard question, but already since I listed these tickets for sale yesterday, I’ve now dropped them to $259 each for a total of $518. You can sure bet if they don’t sell soon, I’ll be dropping them even further.
To “rap” it up – yes, these tickets that I bought I’ve listed for above face value, but I can guarantee you that in a couple weeks, if these tickets don’t sell, I’ll have to drop them below the face value. Last piece of advice: based on historical ticket prices, the best time to buy tickets for Jay-Z’s concert is about 1 week prior to the event.