Keep in mind that this discussion only deals with event tickets RESOLD via auction or similar resale method on the internet.
From 2006 – 2008 I conducted a good amount of research on the subject of ticket scalping and resold ticket prices. A specific element of the study examined internet ticket reselling for 57 concerts in 36 cities across the United States. This research uncovered information that could help the average person make better decisions about when and how they buy tickets from auctions or other internet resellers. Typically, people try to buy tickets from resellers right when the go on sale or just before the show. The big secret is, supply seems to be highly constrained by demand during the first few days that tickets go on sale. Conversely, demand and supply tend to become better friends in the couple of weeks leading up to an event.
PROOF: the charts posted on this page show sold auction ticket prices as red dots from the point the tickets go on sale until the concert date. You will notice that the ticket prices during the first coulple of months are all over the place and are especially pricey when the tickets went on sale at ticketmaster. You will also notice that in the two weeks leading up to the concert, a buying and selling frenzy brings most of the auctioned ticket prices down, sometimes below the price published ticket price represented by the blue line. It is my opinion that the BEST time to look for and buy tickets at auction or from other internet sources is in the two weeks leading up to a given event.
There are some exceptions to my opinion, specifically, when the concert is not sold out, when the venue is too small (less than 5,000 capacity) and the entertainment is really popular, or when a huge artist with a very loyal following appears on an infrequent basis (Jimmy Buffet is a good example). I will talk about other exceptions on this blog, you should check out the how to section frequently for more information.