Want a ticket? Name your price
TiqIQ searches out the cheapest prices
By Mark C. Brown Jun 11, 2013 9:39AM
If you want to call TiqIQ the Expedia of ticketing services, well, CEO Jesse Lawrence has no problem with that.
Basically the service does the same thing Expedia does -- looks for the best deal for consumers. But instead of selling airline tickets and hotel rooms, TiqIQ sells tickets for virtually any form of entertainment: theater, sports, concerts, comedy and more.
Face it - the secondary market, i.e. ticket-reselling, is here to stay. Tickets went on sale June 10 in Denver for "The Book of Mormon" with fans being blocked out and having servers crash. Meanwhile, hundreds of tickets were showing up on Stubhub, priced at close to $600 a ticket that minutes before had gone for $145 face value.
What TiqIQ does, Lawrence explained, is aggregate everyone who's selling tickets - from TicketsNow to some guy on eBay - and shows you everything available at the best prices. Enter your location and it'll automatically pull up the deal of the day - sometimes tickets that need to be sold quickly below face value (I can catch a couple of great baseball seats this evening for $14 each). And there's a mobile app coming next month, which will make last-minute purchases even easier and quicker. Through a combination of technology and using social media (including Facebook and Twitter), TiqIQ actually surpassed StubHub in ticket sales recently, Lawrence says, and now is second only to Ticketmaster itself in terms of unique monthly visitors.
The key is to properly price your tickets. The New York Times recently ran a story on ticket scalping, noting that people were spending hundreds over face value to get into a recent Tom Petty concert in a clear case of underpricing your tickets.
The Rolling Stones are doing some interesting pricing - and learning some hard lessons - in trying to wring every last dollar out of fans on what is generally believed to really be their final tour. Good seats are $650, but last-minute ticket dumps have dropped some of those seats to $85. As Lawrence notes, if you're sitting in a seat you paid $650 for six months ago there's going to be some "backlash" if you discover the guy next to you paid $85 two hours ago for essentially the same experience.
While TiqIQ offers some solutions, a fan still has to be savvy. Yeah, you might find a great bargain if you wait till just before game time to buy those baseball tickets. But if you were hoping to get a deal to take your kid to One Direction this year, the longer you waited the more you paid, Lawrence said.
You can also put in a bid of how much you're willing to pay for a certain event, and TiqIQ will see if someone will meet your demand. That might mean not knowing if you're going till the last minute, but it's also a great way to grab a deal.
Below is a fascinating chart of the highest and lowest prices that will get you in the building for the top 25 tours this summer. You can see that the act and more importantly the location can cause the price to fluctuate wildly. It's almost worth traveling to another city to get a better seat at a better price.