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How to buy tickets for the Dallas Mavericks playoff run

The ticket buying experience can be a nightmare but there are ways to improve

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Utah Jazz v Dallas Mavericks - Game Five Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks have won their first playoff series since the 2011 season. Fans have an opportunity to take children and young teens to the most meaningful Mavericks’ games in over a decade. Unfortunately, the dream of watching the Mavericks play in the playoffs is preceded by the nightmare of purchasing tickets on the secondary market.

Here is the best way to streamline the process.

Hope you are lucky enough to get tickets in the initial release

The Mavericks will release the majority of the tickets to the general public at one time. There will be infinitely more requests for tickets at this exact time then there are tickets meaning the system creates a bit of a lottery where a combination of the speed of one’s internet and the luck which one has. If you are lucky enough to get one of these tickets, enjoy going to the game. Do not attempt to scalp them in order to profit off of other Mavericks fans. These tickets will be released today, April 29th, at 10:00 am CST.

Exercise patience

If on the other hand, you are one of the vast majority who are unable to secure tickets through this initial release, do not panic. The secondary market prices are never higher than immediately after the release. People who purchase the tickets to sell them, immediately become in possession of a depreciating asset. The ticket absolutely must be sold by the time the game starts or the seller has lost their initial investment in addition to potential profits. There is no pressure on the seller after the release so they are free to ask for an exorbitant sum, knowing that they can lower the price later if no one meets their request.

Deadlines make deals, and there is no more clear deadline than the one associated with a ticket to a sporting event. For all of the value that those tickets have, if they are not sold by game time, they are worth nothing.

Understand the fees associated with resale sites

Ticketmaster and Stubhub are among the most popular ticket resale sites. They all provide an incredible service in that they provide a secondary market where fans can buy and sell tickets with no fear of the tickets being fake. Aside from being an incredibly fun sports movie, in the movie Hardball, there is a scene where ticket scalpers charge a fan an exorbitant price only for the fan to realize that he has just purchased a ticket for a game that has already been paid.

That was a legitimate fear with old-school scalping. Even if you inspected a physical ticket, there was a very real danger that the ticket could have been faked or copied. If you purchase a ticket from any of the reputable resale sites, there is virtually no chance of an issue with the ticket. If there is an issue, they have protections that insure the purchaser will be allowed to see the game they paid to see.

This fear also applies to buying a ticket online from a fan on a site such as Twitter or Facebook. If you do not know the person you are purchasing a ticket from, you can very well send money and never see it again. If you are selling directly, and you send the ticket first, you may never see the money.

This is why the service of regulating the secondary ticket market comes at a cost and that cost is not cheap. Ticketmaster charges a 23 percent premium to the buyer in addition to a $2.95 order processing fee. This fee is not a huge deal when purchasing a ticket that is less than $30. But when the tickets are hundreds of dollars, these fees add up.

Stubhub charges a smaller 10 percent premium to the buyer but also a 15 percent premium to the seller in addition to their own convenience fee. This means the price is both much lower than the purchase price and much more than the seller is receiving for selling those tickets. Seatgeek is also among the most popular sites but it is more of an aggregation of other resale sites. It has an engine which searches other websites for tickets rather than being a true secondary market itself.

These fees do not apply to seats which are sold directly from the Mavericks. Those are referred to as “standard price seats” on and Ticketmaster. One of the untold secrets of the ticket buying game is that after the initial sale, there will still be other standard price seats released in a trickle until the day of the game. Those seats are generally much cheaper because they are face value and do not have the fees mentioned earlier. Continue to check for these seats until you find one or a resale ticket that is reasonably priced.

Enjoy the game

If one can afford to go without putting themselves in a difficult position it is absolutely worth going. Make sure your phone is fully charged as tickets are in digital form now and trying to get in after a phone dies is a giant hassle one would do well to avoid. This is not an advertisement, but life is about doing the things one enjoys. Going to a playoff game is an incredible atmosphere. That atmosphere only grows the deeper into the playoffs the team goes.