Getting tickets to a blockbuster concert nowadays is difficult. They are usually sold out within 10 minutes, sometimes even less. A lot of people are wondering how that happens. Well, it’s all because of ticket bots.
Ticket bots, by themselves, are neither bad nor good. They are just tools used by some to get as many tickets as they need. Of course, a lot of ticket bots are used for scalping, which some may see as unethical.
In order to shed light on the topic, we’ll go through every aspect of a ticket bot, from what they are to how to use them effectively. In the end, you’ll be able to decide if using ticket bots is something worthwhile.
What are ticket bots?
Ticket bots are a piece of software that is used to automate the purchase of tickets. They are able to run many instances simultaneously, allowing users to get as many tickets as their hardware can handle.
Of course, ticket bots have a slightly wider use case than just ticket buying. Authorized websites can sometimes use them to check prices or available stock. After all, it’s simply software that does things automatically. Yet, when most people are talking about ticket bots, they are referring to third-party users.
Some bots also have advanced features such as price scraping. It is used to find the best prices by going to several websites and buying from those that have the best offer. Additionally, if the prices get too high, some ticket bots will stop buying.
Before continuing onwards, it should be noted that it’s important to check the laws surrounding ticket bots. While ticketing has been around for over a decade, countries started enacting legislation in recent years.
For example, the 2016 BOTS Act in the USA forbids the circumvention of security measures of online ticket issuers. That essentially means that buying tickets with any type of automated software is illegal.
The EU and several other countries have enacted similar legislation to protect the ticketing industry. As such, we strongly suggest that you consult with a legal professional before doing anything with a ticket bot.
How do ticket bots work?
There are several essential features that each ticket bot on the market offers. Essentially, they have to automate everything from account creation to checkout. As such, most of the automation with ticket bots rests with filling out the necessary details.
Since all of the forms, registrations, and everything else is filled out automatically, they beat regular customers by a wide margin. Even if both arrive at the website at the same time, bots will be able to buy a few tickets before any regular user can get one.
Additionally, some bots provide online ticket sales monitoring. They are able to keep track of numerous websites and are constantly watching when new tickets drop. Bots start buying tickets en masse. Sometimes, regular users won’t be even informed about the sale by the time a ticket bot starts buying.
Finally, ticket bots have a distinct advantage, because they can open hundreds of windows at once. Not only are they able to blaze through the ticket buying process, but they do it simultaneously. Of course, they do not buy as much as possible as ticketing websites would quickly notice.
Ticket bots use a lot of randomization features, such as built-in delays, to make themselves seem genuine. When buying tickets, they may also add random amounts to reduce suspicion even further. As a result, ticketing websites have a hard time detecting a bot that acts similarly to a human.
Of course, as one might expect, many people use a ticket bot not just to buy tickets for their group of friends. A large part of it goes on the secondary market (also called ticket resale market). In fact, it’s highly likely that nearly every single bot does ticketing exactly for that purpose.
Ticket scalping exists, because it’s highly profitable. Concert tickets, for example, can easily be sold for at least twice as much as the original asking price (as long as local laws do not forbid such mark-ups). In fact, using a ticket bot is so profitable that the entire industry, according to Forbes, is worth about $16 billion.
Since a single ticket bot can buy out so much stock, they can pretty much set any price they want. There is usually no way for the ticketing provider to get more stock, making the process even more effective.
As a result, regular customers turn to buying tickets from botters. Since there is no stock available anywhere else, they have to buy tickets at whatever the asking price botters set. In turn, that promotes the usage of a ticket bot, which sets the entire thing back into motion.
While the process may seem exceedingly simple, ticketing with a bot isn’t cheap or easy. Again, due to the profitability of the industry, ticket bot developers usually charge exorbitant prices for licenses.
Additionally, there’s a lot of secondary requirements for ticketing. Most ticketing websites limit the amount of tickets that can be bought per account, household, or address. Creating many accounts is required to bypass that limit.
Ticketing sites, however, aren’t dumb. They realize that people will buy tickets using bots. As a result, they track IP addresses. If the same IP address is used for many accounts or purchases, it’s a clear indicator that someone is ticketing with a bot. As a result, a ticket seller has an easy time banning such a user.
Bypassing that restriction is possible with the use of proxies. In fact, without proxies, ticketing websites would be able to detect and ban all bots.
Proxies and buying tickets
Proxies are intermediary servers that take the traffic from the source and deliver it to the destination. While there are many aspects to it, the most important one is that it changes the IP address that the destination website sees.
In our case, ticketing websites would see the IP address of the proxy server instead of the real one. As a result, detecting whether a ticketing bot is in use would be nearly impossible if enough proxies are in use.
Of course, a large enough IP pool is required, because any small discrepancy could cause the ticketing website to notice the overuse of an address. Usually, ticketing botters set up rotating proxies and assign a random IP address for each account.
While there are different types, most ticket bots use residential proxies. These are IP addresses acquired from household devices. They get their IPs from an Internet Service Provider. As such, they seem like genuine visitors to ticketing websites, making it even harder to detect bot action.
Just getting residential proxies isn’t enough for ticketing, however. As mentioned above, a large enough pool is required to reduce the likelihood of using the same IP address. Additionally, highly customizable location settings are preferred. These can be used to reduce load times by finding out the ones closest to the ticketing website’s servers and to bypass geographical restrictions.
Buying tickets with bots is the name of the game nowadays. It can be a powerful tool for someone looking to start a venture and for those looking to just grab entry to venues.
They are, however, just one piece of the puzzle for anyone looking to do ticketing at a large scale. The other piece is sourcing high-quality residential proxies that will protect the user from a ban.