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(Credit: Cesare Andrea Ferrari, Shutterstock / Cesare Andrea Ferrari)

Let's face it. Concert, theatre, and sports tickets already seem overpriced, even at face value. But when you tack on all the ticket distributor's service fees or, worse, the exorbitant markups from ticket brokers and resellers on sold-out shows, then you're really spending too much on that "can't miss" event. Before you support the scalpers and their bots -- which buy up tickets to resell to you for far more money -- check out our tips and tricks and nine of our favorite concert and event ticket apps for scoring cheap concert tickets and cheap seats at sporting and theatrical events.

SEE: OK Go bassist Tim Nordwind's top apps

How do I find out about the hottest events before everybody else?

Check artist websites and social media, venue websites, and ticket distributors, such as Live Nation (Android, iOS), so you know who's coming to your town and when. You can also subscribe to artist and venue newsletters or get alerts from ticket distributor sites when your favorite artist comes to town. If the artist's site has a blog with an RSS feed, use Newsify (iOS), Feedly (Android), or RSS Bot (Mac) to get notified as soon as their next tour is announced. You can also set Google Alerts to get email notifications when specific events hit the Web.

What can I do to ensure that I get tickets when they go on sale to the public?

Act fast. Have the event page loaded, and be ready to purchase. If the page isn't loading due to user overload, the Easy Auto Refresh extension will auto-refresh the page for you after a prescribed number of seconds till the buy button appears once the tickets go on sale or, if tickets are sold out, till tickets get re-released if customers don't complete transactions within the time limit. Since many ticket distribution companies incorporate Captcha into the buying process in hopes of deterring scalper bots, you can use an add-on such as Adblock Plus for Chrome (Web) or Rumola (Firefox, Chrome) to skip this annoying extra step.

How can I save money on live music, theatre, and sports tickets?

There are lots of ways to get discount concert tickets and cheap theatre tickets. You can buy directly from the box office. If it's a sporting event -- like the San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers -- then you can save money by waiting for a less popular opponent like the Cincinnati Reds or attending a weekday game instead of one on a weekend. Theatre fans can pick matinees or weekdays to save significant money on show tickets. Also, when buying your tickets, ensure that you use the eBates (Android, iOS) app on your mobile device or the eBates Chrome extension on your desktop browser for extra cash-back savings on partner sites, such as Ticketmaster.

If event tickets are sold out, is all hope lost?

No. Sellers often hold back tickets till shortly before the event. Also, some ticket distributors cancel orders by known scalpers and redistribute those tickets to the general public, just hours after the event goes on sale to the general public. Season-ticket holders may even sell tickets to concerts or other events back just hours before an event. So keep checking. Ticketmaster.com users can now resell tickets for concerts and other events on that site as well as on TicketsNow.com, but buyers may actually be paying more per ticket based on service and seller markup. You can also check Craigslist.org, Cheaptickets.com, TicketZoom.com, and TicketWood.com (an aggregator of multiple resale sites) for last-minute deals. Tip: Sellers and ticket brokers typically drop the ticket prices of unsold tickets just hours before the show. Note: If you are purchasing paperless tickets from a reseller, make sure that the tickets can be transferred between sellers, since many ticket companies, in an effort to thwart scalping, are requiring ticket buyers to use their own tickets and show identification as proof. So you might be better off if the buyer is attending the show and selling you their plus one.

How do I get presale tickets?

Credit card companies -- such as American Express, Citibank, and MasterCard -- regularly offer presale ticket deals to cardholders. Make sure you subscribe to their notification emails, though, so you're alerted. Another way is to join an artist fan club since presale ticket codes for priority tickets are often available to fan club members first. You can also head to sites such as TicketCrusader.com, PresalePasswordInfo.com, and Presale.codes to get these codes before you purchase. Purchasing season tickets is a third way to get early access to events. Of course, this is a pricier option, since you're paying for multiple events in advance.

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Best Concert and Event Ticket Apps

Ticketmaster (Android, iOS)

The 5-star Ticketmaster mobile app is the premier app for buying, transferring, and reselling concert, theatre, and sporting event tickets. The app will also notify you when your favorite shows go on sale, so you can get seats in time.

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(Credit: Ticketmaster)

SeatGeek (Android, iOS)

Buy tickets with SeatGeek, assured that your tickets are a good value (with DealScore) and provide an excellent view of the stage (with the interactive seat chart).

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StubHub (Android, iOS)

Backed by its FanProtect guarantee, major reseller StubHub sells trusted mobile tickets to all the major events, but be prepared for ticket markups and transaction fees. If you're willing to wait till the last minute, you can often procure tickets for reduced prices.

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Bandsintown Concerts (Android, iOS)

With the beautifully designed Bandsintown app, you'll be alerted in real time when your favorite artists hit the road, so you can prepare to buy concert tickets before they sell out. You can also buy new and resale tickets through the app and get recommendations for similar artists to check out.

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Goldstar Events (Android, iOS)

Forget ticket broker price hikes. Goldstar cuts out the middleman, directly partnering with event producers to sell deeply discounted tickets for concerts, as well as major theatre, sports, and comedy events.

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TicketLiquidator (Android, iOS)

Get reduced-price tickets to the hottest sold-out events from trusted sellers on Ticket Liquidator. A 100 percent money-back guarantee and 24/7 customer support for all orders only sweeten the pot.

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TickPick (Android, iOS)

TickPick is your ticket to the most coveted, sold-out events, without all the fees charged by many online resellers. Tickets are also scored by value, so you get the most for your money. If the pricing is still too high, set an alert to receive price-drop notifications.

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FlipTix (Android, iOS)

FlipTix is differentiating itself from competitors by helping fans to legitimately sell their tickets after leaving a show or festival early. That way buyers who see ticket listings on FlipTix's marketplace -- for events at BLK Live, in Scottsdale, or for the KAABOO-Del Mar festival, for example -- are always guaranteed a verified ticket for the remainder of the show that is always below face value and without added fees.

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TodayTix (Android, iOS)

TodayTix partners directly with box offices to help you secure last-minute tickets to the biggest Broadway and Off-Broadway theatrical presentations at deep discounts.

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(Credit: TodayTix)

eBay ( Android, iOS)

StubHub's parent company, eBay is more than a marketplace for your used CDs. It is also a go-to place for regularly priced and discounted event tickets.

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Also see