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Would you get into debt for Harry Styles tickets?


Would you get into debt for Harry Styles tickets?

It’s not always in style to spend, spend, spend on gigs…

Harry Styles fans have been taking to social media to complain about how much money securing tickets to his current tour is setting them back, with some paying out almost £400 more than initially expected for a pair of tickets.

Following the news that some die hard devotees of the ex-One Direction singer have been left unable to pay for their rent and essential bills to secure their tour tickets, Brean Horne, personal finance expert at NerdWallet shares her advice to music lovers. Brean covers how to keep costs as low as possible when purchasing tickets, as well as signs to be wary of in order to avoid being taken advantage of.

“After the events of COVID-19 putting a stop to live music concerts and festivals for well over a year, it is hardly surprising that music-lovers are eager to make up for lost time and secure their chance of seeing a favourite artist perform live.

“That being said, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure your ticket purchasing journey is as smooth and cost effective as possible:

Set a ticket budget and stick to it

As has become all too apparent with the recent Harry Styles example, the desire to secure tickets and ensure a chance of seeing your favourite artist live in the flesh can often overtake common sense and rationality when it comes to overspending.

This is why it’s important to set yourself a realistic budget. The likes of Ticketmaster’s ‘dynamic pricing’ structure means that prices for certain events will increase to coincide with a rise in demand. Calculating the top end amount you’re willing to pay out for tickets – that you are not willing to exceed under any circumstances – should help to keep the process as affordable as possible.

You should also budget for the so-called ‘hidden fees’ that are included with many ticket purchases. These can include booking fees, transaction fees, handling fees and, delivery charges.

Prepare in advance of ticket release 

When it comes to securing the best tickets, the early bid catches the worm.

So, if you are particularly interested in seeing a singer or artist live, sign up to their mailing lists and follow their official accounts on social media, to keep updated on tour dates and ticket releases.

If you live in close proximity to a popular music venue, it’s also worth signing up to their mailing list or newsletter, as they will inform you of the latest ticket alerts and may also offer pre-sales to local individuals. It can also be useful to sign up to the big ticket agencies, such as Ticketmaster, AXS, and The Ticket Factory to take advantage of any pre-sale offers they have.

Once you know which venue you are attempting to secure tickets to, study the seating plan in order to gain a rough idea of where you’d be happy to be located during the concert. Make notes of the block numbers you’d be willing to pay for, to save yourself a panic once the countdown to order tickets begins.

On the sale day itself, set yourself up with plenty of time to spare. Login to all of your ticket accounts, ensure your electronic devices have the sufficient battery and there’s somewhere you can charge them if needed. You should also keep all passwords close by in case you are unexpectedly signed out of a website.

Finally, beware of the refresh button when purchasing tickets online. Even if the sale page states that tickets are sold out, they can often reappear on websites minutes or even hours after the initial rush. This could be due to customers not buying the seats they’d been allocated, payments failing, or more allocated tickets being added to your chosen venue or date.

Ensure the website you’re using is legitimate 

Ideally, tickets should be purchased from the event’s official seller or the venue itself, so you can be sure you are being charged the fairest price and that the sale is genuine.

However, if you are thinking about buying tickets from an unofficial seller, there are a few red flags to look out for. Never purchase tickets from a site if:

  • The website doesn’t start with ‘https’ – this could indicate the site isn’t secure and that your bank details could be vulnerable.
  • The website is advertising tickets that aren’t officially on sale yet  – if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • The website doesn’t state clear ways of contacting them should you have any issues to discuss with them.

Understand how trustworthy reseller sites operate

In the event you are unsuccessful in your initial attempts to secure tickets, try not to become too disheartened. There are various other options available via reseller sites nearer the time that you can keep an eye on, although it’s important to understand how to spot the legitimate ones that aren’t looking to scam you out of your hard earned cash.

Reselling sites like Viagogo and Stubhub operate to help those looking to secure tickets to sold out events, buy tickets that were initially purchased by private sellers and official sellers. Certain events and venues have strict rules on reselling tickets and the procedures around doing so, so be sure any ticket you purchase through one of these sites is valid before handing your money over.

Use protected payment methods to secure your tickets 

Where possible, use a credit card to pay for tickets so that they are protected under 75 of the Consumer Rights Act. This entitles you to a refund for purchases over £100 if there’s an issue such as cancellation or if you were missold tickets. If the value of your tickets is under £100 or you use a Debit Card instead, you may be able to claim your money back through a scheme called Chargeback instead. Avoid paying for tickets using a bank transfer as it may be a scam and you are unlikely to get your money back if the tickets are fraudulent.

Many ticket sellers now offer customers a ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ option for tickets, giving them the chance to spread the cost of an order into digestible 3, 6, or 9 monthly payments. While in theory this is a useful idea to allow everyone the chance to see their favourite artists perform, it does run the risk of causing a music lover to dig themselves into financial debt if they take advantage of it for multiple events they wish to attend, that they may struggle to pay for.

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