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Tips On Buying Sports Tickets Using eBay and Other Online Sources

Published 11/6/07 (Modified 3/9/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

I'm a huge Washington Redskins football fan and my friend, who is from Philly, roots for the Philadelphia Eagles. It just so happens the Philadelphia Eagles are playing my Skins at Fedex Field in Landover, Maryland this coming Sunday and we are hankering to go. I'm going to be busting out my Redskins gear - and nothing crazy like body paint, and nothing lame like the "D" and the cutout "fence" some cheesy fans bring to games. It'll just be nice, clean trash talking. I hope I can convince him to wear his Eagles gear.

But getting to the game won't be easy. We aren't season ticket holders and because the Washington Redskins are so popular, tickets will be difficult to obtain. The game is also a division game so tickets will be extra expensive due to popular demand for them.

We Will Score Some Tickets

Regardless, we are determined to bid and win a pair of tickets to the Redskins-Eagles game. I tend to avoid popular online stores that sell tickets since they generally charge a higher markup and an unfair premium for them. You won't find any lucrative deals through sites like Ticketmaster - I've looked. Our best bet will be to rely on amateur scalpers that sell tickets through online sources like eBay and Craigslist. It's a bit more work, but that's where the deals are.

But, I've been trying for the last few days, and haven't been successful yet. I keep getting outbid by other crazy fans who keep hiking up their bids at the very last moment. I've tried sniping in at the last second but their maximum proxy bids still outshine mine. I probably will have to increase my maximum bidding price to win an auction.

Since I've done this before, I've learned a few things. When you buy tickets online for sporting events like football, there are certain things you have to consider as you make your purchase:

  1. Seat Location - I always like to pull up the stadium seating chart to decide what vantage point I would like. Some like to sit closer to the field near the 50 yard line, while others like to sit higher in the stands or in the endzone area. Sitting closer to the field you become more involved in the crowd action, but sitting higher up you perhaps get a better complete view of the entire field. I personally prefer being closer to the field. After all, how else is the opposing team supposed to hear my taunts? :)
  2. Budget - After doing some searches through eBay, you should have a general idea of what is the reasonable market value for tickets. You should have also figured out that prices vary greatly depending on where the seats are. located The closer they are to the center of the field (the 50 yard line in the case of football) and the closer the seating row is in relation to the field, the more expensive they are. Since I want a seat closer to the field where prices are higher, I've had to increase my ticket budget several times to better compete with other auction bidders. I think this time I bid high enough to win.
  3. Parking - Parking is very expensive at football games and most sporting events. If the auction includes parking, this is an attractive addition to consider. Parking at the Redskins Fedex Field cash lots can cost $35 or more.
  4. Cost and Speed of Shipping, Or Pickup - If the game will be happening in a week, you will need the tickets to be sent to you using overnight shipping. This is obviously a more expensive option but you don't want to miss out because you were unable to receive your winning tickets by game time. Some online auction sellers will give you the option of picking up the tickets in person, but will most likely require you to pay in cash. If you choose to pick up in person you won't be able to make the eBay purchase through a shopping portal like Fatwallet to earn 1% cash back or get additional cash back using reward credit cards.

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