This Beyoncé fan scored a cheap ticket — by waiting until the last minute to buy
Ticket prices often come down the closer it gets to showtime, says independent broker
If you've been hoping to see Beyoncé at her last Canadian tour stop in Vancouver on Monday but can't afford the steep ticket prices, you might be able to score a deal — if you're willing to wait.
That's what fan Zaid Dagamseh did when the music icon performed in Toronto earlier this summer and resellers were listing prime seats to that show between $1,200 and $30,000 a pop.
"Does Beyoncé know how expensive her tickets are?" Dagamseh told Cost of Living.
"I don't know what her concept of expensive is — like, if she even knows what laundry detergent costs. I am sure Beyoncé is like, what's two grand? That's like breakfast or something."
Dagamseh wanted to pay $200, which is roughly what a seat in the nosebleeds was selling for when tickets to the Renaissance World Tour were first released back in February. But Dagamseh didn't want to watch Queen Bey on a screen from afar, he wanted to sit up close — and figured he could do that if he waited until the last minute to buy his ticket.
According to one Toronto-based independent ticket broker, Dagamseh's odds were pretty good.
"Ticket prices move in a free market economy," said Shiraz Mawani, who helps people find tickets to events and resells them. "So prices move up, prices move down. But as it gets closer to the event, generally prices come down."
The fact that Beyoncé was doing back-to-back concerts in Toronto was also in Dagamseh's favour, Mawani said.
"If there are two shows, it basically means there's twice the amount of inventory available and you can kind of run into an opportunity to potentially find something a bit cheaper."
To find out how far prices would fall, the Cost of Living team took screenshots of several tickets to Beyoncé's July 8 concert at Rogers Centre that resellers on StubHub reduced in price at the last minute.
In the hour leading up to the show, floor seats that had been listed for thousands of dollars just a few hours earlier started dropping in price.
Dagamseh was gambling that the same scenario would play out for Beyoncé's second show on July 9. While he didn't find a seat next to the stage, he bought a front row ticket in the section just above the floor.
The ticket had a face value of $680, but Dagamseh got it for $200 — less than a third of the original price — from a Facebook buy-and-sell group, 15 minutes before the show started.
How to spot a scammer
Mawani says buying event tickets from Facebook and other social media outlets can be risky.
"Obviously, there's no 100 per cent perfect way of doing it when you are doing a private transaction like that," he said.
To make the process safer, Mawani suggests checking the seller's Facebook profile and looking around for red flags. If it was created within a few weeks, that's a sign a person may be advertising fake tickets.
He says you should only buy from a seller with a history of posts and photos that go back several years, and who lives in the same city or country where the concert is happening.
Buyers should also insist on sending money to strangers through PayPal and use the paying for an item or service feature as it entitles buyers to a reimbursement if sellers don't deliver the tickets.
Mawani says he was once burned by a private seller on Craigslist who was selling four tickets to a Toronto Maple Leafs game. After sending the money by Interac e-transfer, Mawani said the seller ghosted him.
"No response. The guy disappears … emails bouncing back. Nothing I can do."
E-transfers "cannot be reversed once a recipient has deposited the funds," according to the Interac website.
Girls' night ruined
That's what happened to Amanda Dias and her three friends when they went to see Beyoncé's second Toronto show this summer. They never made it through the gates of Rogers Centre because two of the four tickets they purchased from a reseller on StubHub three weeks prior had already been scanned by another ticketholder.
Dias said it was a relief to know she will be reimbursed for her ticket, but is still out hundreds of dollars from the gas she spent travelling from Georgetown, Ont., to the Big Smoke, plus Uber rides and a new outfit she bought for the concert.
"It was girls' night," Dias said. "I have a four year old at home, so I made major arrangements to come here."
With big stadium concerts like Coldplay and Aerosmith coming through Canada this fall, there are plenty of opportunities to try and score a last minute seat. But likely — just one seat.
Lucky for Dagamseh, that was all he needed.
"If you want to sit together, you're gambling. It's going to be tough," said Dagamseh.
"If you're a lone ranger, you're all good."