Step 1: Don't despair if the Web site says a concert is sold out. Call the box office—more tickets may be available. If you have to make a trip to the venue, console yourself with the knowledge that you'll avoid service fees and other charges.
Step 2: If tickets really are sold out (or if you want to see if you can beat the retail price), check the offerings at SeatGeek.com, which consolidates the best deals on sites such as StubHub.com and eBay.com. With these sites, you can pay by credit card or PayPal; they will mail you the tickets or let you download them. If Craigslist has the best price, pick up your tickets in person and be prepared to pay cash. Unlike some online ticket vendors, Craigslist has no protection against fraud. Ask the seller to meet you at the box office so you can be sure the tickets are legit.
Step 3: If tickets are too pricey, check online again the day of or even a few hours before the concert, when sellers often slash prices to avoid being left holding the bag. You can also call the box office the day of the show. More tickets are sometimes released at the last minute.
The payoff—You'll land the seats you want at the right price.