What Are Presale Tickets?

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You’ve probably purchased tickets for some kind of athletic or entertainment event before, but you’ve probably never taken part in exclusive access to select tickets before the rest of the public: a presale. Learn about a presale, how to get in on one and some important things to remember when taking part in one.


Ticket vendors often set aside a number of tickets for an Internet presale of a concert, sporting event or other major event at a large venue. In a presale, certain groups of people with a common characteristic -- members of a club, for example -- are given exclusive access to purchase this allocation of tickets before the rest of the general public. Presale tickets can be obtained by the same methods as the vendor usually offers, whether online, in person or via telephone. Occasionally presales are conducted exclusively online.

Access to Presale Tickets

A password is frequently needed to purchase presale tickets. These are provided by the various organizations and individuals sponsoring the presale. In order to make yourself a candidate for presales, it is recommended that you join the fan clubs of your favorite musicians and athletic teams and sign up for local radio station mailing lists, as these are frequent sponsors of presales and membership will gain you access to the necessary codes. You can also purchase individual presale codes online, giving you access to one particular event presale without requiring you to sign up for any clubs or lists.


If you can’t get your hands on a presale code, don’t worry that an event will sell out in the presale before you and the rest of the general public will have your chance to purchase. Presale tickets are limited; some of the seats in the venue are reserved for the public onsale, when the presale ends. Not being a member of clubs or mailing lists doesn’t prevent you from taking part in presales, though. Sometimes vendors host their own presales, and exclusive presales are often offered to carriers of a specific credit card. Keep your eyes peeled so you don’t miss an opportunity open to you.

Things to Consider

There is no guarantee to secure better seats in a presale, and better seats can often be obtained in the public onsale. The prices of presale tickets are the same as those on sale for the public, but securing your tickets for high-demand events in the presale can be crucial. With fewer people vying for tickets, your chances of obtaining yours at list price is higher than during the public release, eliminating the need to purchase from a ticket broker at a higher price. Presales are not offered for all concerts or sporting events; don’t rely on privileged access for your next outing.


About the Author

Alyssa Brode began writing in 2001. She served as a staff writer for her high school newspaper, "The Arrowhead," and has been freelancing ever since. She has a Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College of Rider University with a double major in voice performance and computer information systems and is pursuing a Master of Music in opera performance.

Photo Credits

  • Jemal Countess/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images