Ticketmaster is a reviled service for a number of reasons—from folks being unable to afford show prices due to scalpers to the platform’s associated service fees. As a result, the application isn’t the most beloved of ticket brokering sites out there. In fact, the company has been slapped with a lawsuit “for engaging in anticompetitive, monopolistic practices,” according to CBS.
For folks who want to see their favorite acts live, however, they really don’t have much choice but to go through Ticketmaster. Even after swallowing the bitter pill of service charges and other taxes and fees, there are other issues with buying tickets through the app. That includes one that TikTok user Ben Watkins (@benwatkins864) discussed in a viral clip that has amassed more than 1.3 million views since it was posted on Sept. 30.
Thankfully, he showed a way to get past an annoying problem some folks have encountered while trying to buy a pair of tickets in a spot where three open seats are available. You won’t have to buy all three and sell the other one, or try to find a third friend to come with you. The hack requires just a little bit of web know-how and trickery, according to Watkins.
@benwatkins864 If ticketmaster is getting in your way when trying to buy 2 tickets to a show, try this hack! #concert #music #hack ♬ original sound – Ben Watkins
“Have you ever gone on Ticketmaster trying to buy two tickets to a show and wanted to buy two tickets where there were three available, but Ticketmaster wouldn’t let you do it because they didn’t wanna leave one seat? Well, if you have tried that, here’s something you can do to get around the system,” Watkins says.
The video then transitions to him browsing a seating chart on Ticketmaster website. He says, “So when you have the seating chart open on Ticketmaster you’re gonna click on the section that you wanna sit and if you see there’s three seats available. If you try to select only two of them, it will give you an error, uh oh! You’ve left one seat stranded. So it won’t let you do it.”
Here’s how to get around this problem. You’ve got to trick Ticketmaster into thinking that there’s someone who interested in buying just one ticket for themselves. Apparently, thisis pretty easy, because the site has an option that allows folks to hold tickets for a short amount of time while they get their payment information all lined up.
This is where private browsing or incognito modes on one’s web browser comes in handy. This ensures that whatever browsing sessions you’re performing under your regular web-browsing mode is independent of your other queries. In this instance, it’s being used to fool Ticketmaster into thinking that someone else is trying to buy the ticket for the other seat.
All you need to do is open an incognito window, go to the same show you’re trying to buy two tickets for, and select the purchase of the unwanted seat. Then you’ll go back to your standard window with the two seats you actually want. Ticketmaster will then allow you to select those seats and purchase them, because its system believes that there’s someone who is actively purchasing the single seat ticket.
“So then you can go next, and you can fill out all your payment information during that eight minutes that the other one’s held, and you’ve got your two tickets and then later you just go and x out of this other window and you’re good to go,” he explains.
The TikToker goes on to say, “So next time you need two tickets and there’s a third one getting in your way, try this.”
Numerous folks who saw the post thanked Watkins for the advice. One user wrote, “This is such a slay! Like, that random third seat is not *my* problem. You can deal, bajillion dollar company.”
Another person highlighted the double standard in Ticketmaster’s purchasing practices. “They won’t let you buy 2/3 seats, but they’ll let companies buy rows of seats and resell them for 2X the original price. Makes sense,” they wrote.
Someone else just liked the fact that folks can get one over on Ticketmaster with Watkins’ hack. “That’s a great hack! And, you get to stick it to TicketMaster,” the user wrote.
But there were other people who said when it comes to really popular concerts that it’s going to be impossible to even get to the incognito window due to the hordes of ticket purchasers who are clamoring to gobble up any and all seats. “Nah those seats are going to be gone for any popular concert by the time you get to the incognito window,” one user said.
The added benefit to this hack is that there are more solo tickets available, which could benefit folks who like to head to concerts by themselves. “As a person who goes solo to a lot of concerts… THANK YOU! That allows me to get closer to the stage!!” a user wrote.
The Daily Dot reached out to Ticketmaster via email and Watkins via TikTok comment for further information.