The Dark Knight Rises Sells Out: Would You Buy $500 Tickets from a Scalper?

How much are you willing to pay to be first in line to see Bane break Batman’s back?

I love Batman. He’s my favorite superhero. And I love superheroes. The Dark Knight Rises is coming out next month, and I am already anticipating it. I have not, however, bought tickets for the opening. Nor am I likely to. Because they might cost upward of $100. Indeed, there are reports that The Dark Knight Rises is completely sold out for the opening, and that scalpers are selling tickets for $150. Some IMAX versions of the tickets are reportedly being scalped for $500.

Yikes.

But if it’s really important for you to see the latest Batman movie as soon as you possibly can, and that’s how you want to spend your money, I won’t judge you. For my part, I am more likely to see The Dark Knight Rises a few days after it opens, hopefully at a time when there aren’t many children about. (Unfortunately, many a movie experience has been ruined for me when parents bring children too young to the theater, and they start kicking the back of my seat, asking questions like, “Why did he die?” in quavery voices.) I’d really like to spend the gas money and pay a little extra to drive to see it in an IMAX theater, but we’ll see how things go.

And I probably won’t buy scalped tickets. I’ve been lucky in the past to get good tickets from scalpers, but the prices that some want for The Dark Knight Rises sort of make my stomach turn. Besides, after a few days, I’ll be able to buy tickets online from the theater, at regular prices, and hopefully go at a time when it’s not quite so full. (Although I can’t hold out much hope for that. The theater was still quite full for The Avengers¬†when I saw it for a second time three weeks after the open. I fully expect The Dark Knight Rises to blow The Avengers out of the water.)

What If You Do Decide to Buy Scalped Tickets to The Dark Knight Rises?

If you are set on seeing Batman when it opens, and you decide that the only way to prevail is to get scalped tickets, it pays to be careful. Very¬†careful. I remember the consternation that some unfortunates experienced as they found out their scalped tickets to a Jim Gaffigan show were fake. You don’t want that to happen to you. Here are some tips for buying tickets on the secondary market:

  • Go legit first: There are plenty of legitimate ticket resellers. Consider those folks first.
  • Inspect the tickets: Make sure to inspect tickets, and do your best to determine if they are fake or not. It can be hard to tell the difference, but sometimes the little things matter. Check the dates and times, since you might think you are getting one showing, but actually getting another (or worse, it might be a ticket for a showing that’s past).
  • Approach later: Sometimes, especially if you buy from scalpers at the event, you can get a better price as the showtime approaches. (When buying sporting events tickets, you can often get great deals if you buy at the end of the first quarter.)
  • Make sure the shipping is fast enough: When you buy online, double check the delivery policy. If the tickets are being mailed, you want to ensure that they arrive in time. It might also be worth it to pay more for shipping, and to insist the seller insure the package, or have it delivered certified. If you’re already paying $150 for tickets, you might as well make sure they arrive safe and on time.

It’s impossible to avoid all of the risk associated with buying scalped tickets. However, you can reduce it. One way is to consider buying on eBay, which offers a consumer-friendly policy. If it turns out the tickets are fake (and you’ll have to prove it), eBay can take the money from the seller and return it to you.

And, of course, don’t forget that you still have to arrive hours early. Even you score a ticket to the first showing in your town, chances are that the tickets are general admission. So if you want to get your favorite seat, you’ll have to line up and wait.

What do you think? How much would you pay for first-rate tickets to a big event? And would you buy from a scalper?

Written by Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit is a freelance writer and professional blogger, specializing in personal finance, small business, and investing topics. She writes for a number of financial web sites and blogs, and has been featured in numerous media. Read about life as a freelancer at MirandaMarquit.com and in her book Confessions of a Professional Blogger.

2 Responses to The Dark Knight Rises Sells Out: Would You Buy $500 Tickets from a Scalper?

  1. For a movie?
    I actually understand the one time sport events (although I’m not a sport fan) and the music concerts (I bought tickets to see Sting at a charity auction, $600 for two tix).
    But a movie? I’ve never seen movie tickets scalped. We have multiplex theaters that have 16 screens and when a blockbuster opens, it can be on 4-6 screens, so even if a few shows are sold out, you can get the next time. They also run the new movies early, 10am or earlier.

    • Yeah. This is all about being at the first showing. People are really into that sometimes. But I think $600 for two tix to Sting isn’t bad at all.

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