SMART BUYING


2 Costly Entertainment Fees to Avoid

Cable. If you get broadband Internet access through your cable company, one way to trim the cost is to avoid the modem rental fee -- typically about $7 per month, or $84 per year.

SEE ALSO: How to Wipe Out Other Pesky Fees

Most cable companies won’t tell you that you can purchase your own modem, but by shopping on eBay, Amazon or at an electronics store such as Best Buy, you can usually purchase a modem for the cost of a year’s worth of fees. Check with your cable provider to make sure that the modem you purchase is compatible with your service.

Tickets. When you order tickets for sports or entertainment events, you’ll pay service charges that can increase your cost by up to 50% of the ticket’s face value. Those fees typically include a convenience fee for paying with your credit card, an order-processing fee, a facilities fee imposed by venues, state and local taxes, and a delivery fee. For a Coldplay concert in July, for example, Ticketmaster was charging $23 in fees on a $60 ticket.

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You can avoid some fees if you buy at the box office or take delivery by standard mail (or print them out at home). For example, Ticketmaster says it usually doesn’t charge its $6 order-processing fee when you buy from one of its retail outlets (including Walmart and Kroger stores; for more, see www.ticketmaster.com/h/retaillocations.html). But you’ll still pay a delivery fee of $3. (If you pick up tickets at the box office, there’s no charge.) Ticketmaster usually mails tickets free and charges $3 or less, depending on the location, for its TicketFast (electronic delivery) option. You may save on the price of the ticket at brokers and resale Web sites, such as StubHub and TicketsNow, but you won’t save on the fees.

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