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TechCrunch50: SeatGeek Advises You When to Buy Tickets to the Big Game: September 2009

It’s the ticket-scalping conundrum: Will it be cheaper to buy seats in advance of the event or will prices drop as it gets closer to game time and the sellers want to unload their wares?

SeatGeek, a new company that showed its stuff at the TechCrunch50 conference in San Francisco, aims to take the guesswork out of that decision.

“We have an algorithm that can forecast ticket prices,” said Jack Groetzinger, co-founder of the company. He compared it to Bing’s FareCast, which does something similar with airline tickets.

SeatGeek aggregates tickets on sale from most of the major re-sellers, like StubHubRazorGator,TicketsNow and others.

Say you’re interested in getting tickets to Oct. 4’s showdown between the Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies. SeatGeek searches available seats, and says you can get cheap seats for below face value, but you should wait — the price will probably go even lower. But if you want the medium or expensive seats, buy them now, as those prices will probably rise. (Perhaps the conclusion is that if Dodger fans can’t get close to the action, they’d rather stay home.)

Groetzinger, 25, and co-founder Russ D’Souza, 24, sold their earlier company, Scribnia (which D’Souza called “Yelp for authors and bloggers”) four months ago, and immediately started SeatGeek. They were living in Boston at the time, where Red Sox tickets are hard to come by and only available on the secondary market.

“We see this as a huge opportunity for a change-the-world type of business,” D’Souza said.

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