Seven tips to scoring scalped tickets

The best seat I've ever had at a baseball game was a box behind the visitor's dugout, watching the Reds host the Cubs. Better yet, I bought it at a steal from a season ticket holder who was unable to attend that night.

Yep, I bought a scalped ticket. If you know the laws and, crucially, how those laws are enforced (if at all), and follow a few guidelines, you might be able to score a coup, too.

1. Have realistic expectations. Don't expect to buy scalped tickets to a sure-fire sellout. The only time I was shut out was on a Saturday at Wrigley Field, and I should have known better.

2. Know what a real ticket looks like. Arrive early at the stadium and ask a friendly-looking fan to hold up his ticket for you, explaining that you want to avoid buying a counterfeit.
3. Hang out near the entrance to the main parking lot. Hold up your hand and indicate with your fingers how many tickets you need. Season ticket holders looking to dump their tickets for the game don't want to pay for parking and hike to the entrance, not if they can instead sell them at curbside. The people hawking near the gate are pros who know how to squeeze out top dollar. That's not the price you want to pay.

4. Thanks to Mr. Thrifty for this one – wear the home team colors, a cheese head or logoed clothing. Fans give fans a break.

5. Make sure you have a seating chart, so you can tell the nosebleed section from prime seating.

6. If you don't connect in the parking lot, you can resort to those selling near the entrance, but wait until the last moment. Once the crowd is inside, ticket prices can drop dramatically.

7. At early games of a weekend tournament, leave when you see the losing team fans begin to leave; they may want to sell tickets they bought in hopes their team would go to the finals.
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