NEW YORK (WABC) --Getting affordable tickets to the hottest shows in town can seem impossible. Not only are tickets expensive, bit many shows sell out quickly. Consumer Reports explains why and offers some useful tips on how to get good seats at a decent price.
Shari DiPaola bought a ticket online to see her favorite band for hundreds of dollars. Then, she realized she over paid.
"I saw that the cost was in the $50-something," she said. "I was mortified. I was so angry."
Software called "bots" allows brokers to scoop up tickets at lightning speed and resell them online at a huge mark up. So how do you avoid getting gouged?
"One thing you can do is go through the official ticket seller, like Ticketmaster, and create an account," Consumer Reports' Tod Maks said. "That way, you won't have to log on and enter payment details, during which time a bot can go in and grab your seats."
Take advantage of presales through sites like TicketCrusader.com and PreSalePasswordInfo.com, and look out for credit card promotions that offer card holders first dibs and discounts.
"We also found if you visit the resale sites closer to the event itself, ticket prices can plummet," Marks said. "So patience really does pay off."
Consumer Reports tracked prices for a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game through sites like ScoreBig, FanxChange and SeatGeek and found more than a $50 difference compared to the box office price. On the day of the event, for a similar ticket the price went down almost $80 to about $23.
And forget going to a concert in a group, because buying fewer tickets ups your chances for success.
As for DiPaola, she learned from her high-priced mistake and plans to change how she'll buy tickets from now on.
"I felt foolish, absolutely ridiculous for spending that much money," she said. "I'm not going to do it again."
The effort to crack down on the use of bots has already begun. The House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would make it illegal for people to use them, and make it illegal to sell bot software or tickets knowingly bought through bots. The bill is now pending in the Senate.