Yesterday Jacqueline and I had the pleasure of going to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena CA. It was a perfect day for a game, and we had perfect seats (USC side, 20 yard line, 24th Row, middle seats).
Did I pay $400-$750 a seat like my neighbors? Nope. I paid face value ($145 a ticket). This miracle came from off the beaten ticket path. I tried the Ticketmaster lottery a few weeks ago and found 2 tix in the end zone/nosebleed and passed. I tried Stub-Hub and found great tickets for a small fortune. Found the same scalpers on Ebay.
The solution was found on Craigslist. I searched (via Yahoo) for "Rose Bowl" and "Craigslist" and found a match in Phoenix. The listing claimed that I could buy two seats on the 20 yard line for face value. Of course, in this day and age, you should be wary of anything that sounds too good to be true. But you also shouldn't totally ignore it either. So, I shot off an email to the owner of the tixs, expressing my interest and confirming the price. I also inquired (as a safety measure) if he/she had an Ebay/Paypal account.
The owner replied that he didn't use Ebay, but I could call him to discuss. I Googled his name and found a variety of matches in Phoenix such as Linked In, etc. He was for real. I called him and talked to him long enough to find out that he'd bought the tickets through a group work purchase, couldn't make the trip to LA, and merely wanted his money back. Based on the old school system of mutual trust, he offered to overnight them to me, send me the Fedex tracking number and then I'd send him a check.
I did it. To review: I had his real name. He had a job at a Fortune 20 company and I now had his work and home phone number. His voice tone convinced me he wasn't a pro ticket seller. The kicker was that the search also showed where he'd commented on the Notre Dame Nation blog and inquired there about some tix. When he and I talked, one of the first things he mentioned is that he was from Indiana, and really a big Notre Dame fan. With all of that data, I took the plunge.
The tickets showed up the next day. We went to the game and they were authentic and the seats were breathtaking. In this modern age, many people are willing to pay 100% to 200% percent more for tickets from websites with safeguards (Stub Hub's refund policy, Ebay's ratings system). Is it really worth the cost? With a little research, and a great deal of tenacity — you can find your dream seats for a song too.