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Theatre Ticket Offers

Dazed and confused?

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#1 wickedgrin

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 04:52 PM

With the exception of the "hit" shows such as The Audience or the Book of Mormon we as potential customers are now bombarded by "offers". It never used to be like this. The price was the price - albeit not at the stratospheric prices of today.

Not only is there TKTS in Leicester Sq (long established for offering tickets on the day at a discount for unsold seats) but we now have "flash" sales for limited periods with massive discounts on top prices 30% to 50%. Sites offering discounted, or free tickets, sites offering a "round up" of all the offers currently available. Day seats, seats available online at 10.00am on Monday for 10 and then sold out at 10.06am. Meal and hotel deals. Free wine and programmes for "theatre club" nights etc. ALL with great savings and discounts.

At the other extreme we have "dynamic pricing" where the prices change (go up?) due to demand or how early you book.

BUT is it just me that is totally confused and overwhelmed with this. Booking a theatre ticket used to be so straight forward - decide what you want to see and phone the box office (before the days of online bookings!) Now you really have to "shop around" for the "best deal" like a bargain holiday or a flight. Confused? You bet!

Is there an argument for reducing prices and not having the offers? Or has theatre tickets become like buying a sofa - no-one buys unless it's "half price" when we all know it was never full price to begin with!!

I am dazed, confused and exhausted - LOL

#2 Deal J

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:16 PM

I think like most industries the 'offers' only come when supply exceeds demand, which is why we seldom see reduced prices for the big hits in town. I agree though, for many shows the prices are crazy - I thought Premium Seats were bad enough, but discovering tickets for certain West End plays were selling for over £100 truly shocked me.

The offers do make things confusing, and often frustrating - particularly when a 'Flash Sale' comes on the same day you've just paid full price (as has happened to me many times recently). I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to see many of the various new productions about town, but the original prices make this very difficult, especially for something I'm not sure about but would like to take a risk on. Sadly my personal rule has become "Must See: Full Price; Anything Else: Wait for an offer, or miss out".
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#3 freckles

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:49 AM

I welcome the offers as I couldn't afford to see as much as I do otherwise. Yes, it can be a bit fiddly working out the best deal, but Twitter especially is a useful alert system, as is this board a lot of the time.
My rule is "find an offer or miss out" as I simply can't afford full price - unless it's a treat, birthday money or something like that. I get to see probably 90% of what I want to, one way or another, although sometimes I have to wait a while, or accept a high balcony seat. But on the other hand I have had some fantastic bargains!

#4 Titan

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:03 AM

I dont see the issue to be honest. Its like anything, the price is the price and then if things arnt selling they go on sale.  The deals tend to be much the same from agency to agency, and you need to shop around anyway in terms of finding the best seat allocations from different agencies.  Like anything, you take a risk if you pay full price and it then goes on sale at a cheaper price, but again that happens in all retail areas.  Ive been getting email offers for a good decade at least, but I think what has changed is the amount of agencies out there now, and how your contact details seem to get passed from one company to another.

If you do find it confusing use theatremonkey, they pretty much list all current available offers so you just need to go there and see whats around

Dynamic pricing I quite like as it rewards early bookers who are probably theatre fans and not going along with hype created after opening.

#5 canadian_turtle

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:44 AM

View PostDeal J, on 07 May 2013 - 11:16 PM, said:

The offers do make things confusing, and often frustrating - particularly when a 'Flash Sale' comes on the same day you've just paid full price (as has happened to me many times recently).

This has happened to me too and it's really frustrating. Which means that nowadays I rarely book a show in advance (unless it's something I am really desperate to see or the preview prices are too much of a bargain to pass up) as I know I'll be able to get a better price closer to the date either through a special offer or by dayseating the show.

#6 Coggit

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 09:28 AM

Personally, I never buy anything for full price unless I know it's not going to get cheaper. The only thing I've paid full price for recently was This House which I'm seeing on Monday. I'll plan on booking for the Book of Mormon soon too, so I'll more than likely pay full price for that too. There are deals for the like 80% of everything in the West End, if you're paying full price for a show which is likely to have discounts, then well, ask yourself why? Seems like a waste of money.
2013 Theatre
[West End] Shrek****, The Phantom of the Opera***, Spamalot****,The Phantom of the Opera*****, Viva Forever*, Jersey Boys****, This House***, The Book of Mormon*****, Marinda Sings Live! ***** (Booked for: Stephen Ward, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
[UK Tour] The Phantom of the Opera*****, Rocky Horror Show***, Hairspray****, The 39 Steps**, The Mousetrap***, Starlight Express****, Rocky Horror Show****

#7 popcultureboy

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 09:46 AM

Quote

nowadays I rarely book a show in advance

And that attitude is becoming ever more widespread, unless it's an "event" show. So it becomes a vicious circle, doesn't it? The combination of way too high prices and way too many offers is pretty hideous.

#8 Coggit

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 09:51 AM

View Postpopcultureboy, on 08 May 2013 - 09:46 AM, said:

And that attitude is becoming ever more widespread, unless it's an "event" show. So it becomes a vicious circle, doesn't it? The combination of way too high prices and way too many offers is pretty hideous.

The main reason I don't book too far in advance is because of prices. Prices for the theatre are ridiculously expensive. It's shocking that some premium seats are £100+. It's mind-blowing, really. If theatres were to reduce their prices, I'd probably book more in advance (and in some cases, such as The Book of Mormon, I wish I just bit the bullet and did it). But as it stands, I refuse to pay these ridiculous prices (mainly because I cannot afford to).
2013 Theatre
[West End] Shrek****, The Phantom of the Opera***, Spamalot****,The Phantom of the Opera*****, Viva Forever*, Jersey Boys****, This House***, The Book of Mormon*****, Marinda Sings Live! ***** (Booked for: Stephen Ward, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
[UK Tour] The Phantom of the Opera*****, Rocky Horror Show***, Hairspray****, The 39 Steps**, The Mousetrap***, Starlight Express****, Rocky Horror Show****

#9 freckles

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 10:39 AM

Booking in advance can work in your favour though if there are special preview prices.
The Commitments has very good pricing, & I believe that The Full Monty is doing the same.
Not all shows go as low as these two but you can often save a good percentage by booking in the preview period, or at theatres like Southwark Playhouse who offer "airline" pricing; the earlier you book the cheaper it is.
But if there are no preview offers, I rarely book in advance as prices come down more often than not.

#10 wickedgrin

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 10:41 AM

Agree with all the above posters. I am not alone in not booking in advance because (unless it is an exceptional show) there will be deals to off set the high prices. So in my view the high prices in the first place becomes self defeating as people refuse to book ahead and wait for the offers. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy! As a regular theatre goer I cannot afford the full price anyway but am staggered that anyone would pay say £65 for A Chorus Line when it is currently on offer for £35 routinely. This must hugely affect the grosses of WE shows. I can only assume that a combination of people paying full price AND offer prices works out better for the producers than routinely say charging £50 top price?




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