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NBA | Apr 3, 2024 | 8 min read

How to Buy and Sell NBA Playoff Tickets (2024)

Written by
Chris Babu
A basketball game with NBA Playoff tickets

From sold-out crowds to buzzer-beater shots to elimination games, the emotion and stakes are high as teams look to play their way into the NBA Finals. With all this excitement, NBA playoff tickets are often in high demand and expensive. Let’s take a look at the best ways to buy and sell NBA playoff tickets.

When do NBA Playoff Tickets Go on Sale? 

It depends on whether your team has secured a postseason bid. Teams may not clinch a postseason berth until the very last day of the regular season. Tickets tend to be posted when playoff berths are secured, so be on the lookout for playoff ticket information soon after (or sometimes before) your team clinches a playoff or play-in spot. The best way to get information on playoff ticket presales/onsales is to join the team’s email list. 

The NBA Playoff Schedule

The 2024 NBA Playoff Schedule

NBA play-in games (April 16th-19th) kick off April’s action, with four lucky teams (two per conference) making it out of the play-in tournament into the NBA Playoffs, which start on April 20th, 2024. 

The stakes heat up in May, as the Conference Semifinals and Finals tip off. May culminates with the decision on which two teams have advanced to the NBA Finals. 

In June, the NBA Finals start on Thursday, June 6th, and wrap up by June 23rd at the latest (in the event of a Game 7).  We are almost assured of an exciting NBA Finals this year, as the star power of the top contending teams will make for games that fans won’t want to miss!

How to Buy NBA Playoff Tickets

Should NBA season ticket holders purchase an NBA playoff package?

Do season ticket holders get NBA Playoff tickets? If you’re already a season ticket holder, then you’re likely to get first dibs on them—and at the lowest possible price.

If the team charges a reasonable amount and you follow all our tips below when you need to resell, you should get good value out of NBA playoff tickets. 

If you are unsure about whether to purchase your playoff tickets or are thinking of declining your playoff package, please email us at with your section/row/seat numbers and round-by-round cost information, and a selling expert will provide the next steps. 

Should I pay my playoffs off in full or choose the “pay-as-we-go” payment plan option?

If you can afford to pay your playoff in full, we advise doing so. A key benefit is that you can list your tickets immediately, which means you compete against much fewer sellers and benefit from the highest-volume sales periods.

Those paying using the “pay-as-we-go” method may not be able to list until the team advances to the next round (sometimes with a slight lag), by which point many of the great sales have already happened. 

Should I buy the pre-sale for additional playoff tickets?

It depends. It may be attractive if the team offers additional playoff tickets with zero buying fees, but you’ll want to do your research first.  Look at the resale prices on Ticketmaster, StubHub, and VividSeats; if the prices are already near the price you are going to pay, it’s not worth the risk of trying to flip for a profit. 

It does help if you buy three (or more) seats together, as pairs have a lot of selling competition.

We recommend avoiding buying additional tickets for game one of a series, as that game has the least turnaround time between the game being set and the game happening. 

If you have season tickets, you’re likely to get the first chance to buy NBA Finals tickets at the lowest possible price as well. Thanks to TiqAssist, season ticket holders can resell NBA Finals tickets with ease. 

Not an NBA season ticket holder? 

Depending on the demand, there are opportunities to buy NBA playoff tickets from the team through a series of NBA playoff ticket presales. The same goes for those trying to buy NBA Finals tickets. If you are on a team’s season ticket holder waitlist, you will likely get first access to these presales. With these presales, act fast to give yourself a chance. Buying tickets directly from the team and avoiding the secondary market is always likely to be the most affordable option.  Sign up to the team’s email list to get the earliest access and presale windows. 

If you’re going to buy NBA Playoff Tickets on a resale marketplace, be sure to check out multiple marketplaces before purchasing. Different marketplaces have different prices, so be sure to shop around for the best value. Here’s a quick look at 5 of the top resale marketplaces to get NBA Playoff Tickets:

Basketball Fan Who Sells NBA Playoff Tickets

How to Sell NBA Playoff Tickets

Selling NBA playoff tickets is often much harder than regular season tickets. Believe it or not, it’s very easy to lose money if you don’t stay on top of the very volatile NBA playoff ticket market. Not only do you have more dollars at stake, given the cost of playoff tickets, but the market is more dynamic, given the compressed time windows to sell tickets. Too often, the day, time, and opponent are only announced 48-72 hours before tipoff, which is terrible for fans trying to resell NBA playoff tickets. The same goes for those trying to sell NBA Finals tickets. It’s often a firesale trying to sell out a whole stadium in that short period. 

  • NBA Play-In games can be the most challenging to sell as they are often the last spots to be clinched. To make matters worse for those trying to resell NBA Play-In tickets, the window between the last game of the season and tip-off of NBA Play-In games is ~48 hours. All facts that are not good for those trying to resell NBA Play-in tickets! 
  • The First Round isn’t much better, as it also has compressed timelines. Game times and opponents often won’t be sorted out until ~48 hours in advance if play-in teams are involved. That doesn’t leave much margin for error when trying to sell your NBA playoff tickets. 
  • Fans of teams expecting to make deeper playoff runs or have made deep runs in the past may choose not to buy Play-in tickets or first-round tickets.
  • “If-necessary” games (games 5/6/7 in a series) can also be challenging to sell if you don’t list early. For games 5/6/7, there are early sales at high profits to be had when the series is first locked in. If you miss that window, sales for if-necessary games often don’t happen at high volumes until the game is locked in, which potentially leaves just 48 hours to resell NBA playoff tickets. 
  • Game 7’s can create resale problems for the next round.  If the winner would host the next round, that can lead to just a 2-3 day turnaround to sell tickets for Game 1 of the following series.
  • Lastly, buyers are becoming more comfortable with last-minute ticket buying each year. Technology to make last-minute buying smooth is advancing, and the secret is out that buying tickets last minute is, on average, cheaper. 

What are the highest-value NBA Playoff games?

  • High-demand opponents (Lakers, Warriors, Celtics, your team’s rival, etc.)
  • Home Games, #3 and #4.  Home Game 2 can yield a great sale price if you price competitively to start 
  • Evening games and weekend games
  • Potential clinching games

What are the lowest-value NBA Playoff games?

  • Low-demand opponents (Hawks, Magic, not a team rival, etc.)
  • Games that collide with key holidays (watch out for Mother’s Day!)
  • Home Games 1 and 2. List these games ASAP or plan on attending. The key reason for game 1’s poor sales performance is that there will be just 48-72 hours to sell the tickets after the date/time of the game is announced. Given that people already made plans and it’s too late to cancel, that leads to an extremely high supply on the resale market, and demand can be very low, particularly for the noon/early afternoon games. 
  • Day games and Monday/Tuesday games
  • Elimination games – particularly if the home team is down big in the series
  • Conflict with the local NHL team playing

Check out our guide on How to Sell NBA Tickets for tips on how to price NBA Playoff Tickets.

Top Season Ticket Holder Strategies to Resell NBA Playoff Tickets

List NBA playoff tickets as early as possible. You can start to sell NBA Playoff tickets and sell NBA Finals tickets as soon as the resale marketplaces support it. Take advantage of the various sales spikes that happen when:

  1. Your team qualifies for the playoffs 
  2. The opponent is determined
  3. The day/time of the game is announced 
  4. Each presale concludes on the team’s official ticket site
  5. The public sale happens on the team’s official ticket site

After #4 and #5 in particular, eager buyers flock to the secondary market to secure tickets in the event the team sold out of tickets.

For non-season ticket holders, buying from the team directly is usually the cheapest, but at some point, the inventory runs out.  So this is a great time to sell on resale marketplaces, as those buyers that plan early scoop up whatever tickets are available on the resale marketplace.

If you want to sell your NBA Finals tickets, try to sell them as soon as possible as well, beating the flood of tickets onto the secondary market. Thanks to TiqAssist, season ticket holders can resell NBA Finals tickets with ease. Learn more about TiqAssist.

When TiqAssist is able to sell our tickets in advance of these events, we generally get sales prices 3-4 times higher than if we still have tickets after all these events have passed. It pays to list and sell early!

Price aggressively

(ie, price at or even below comparable seats)  

1. If you haven’t sold within a few hours of the team onsale, prices start falling very quickly, as it can be a matter of days, if not hours, before the game happens.  A stadium full of sellers trying to sell their tickets in just 24-72 hours leads to huge price decreases. 

2. Based on the number of “low-resale-value” factors that apply to the game, you will want to price slightly below comparable seats. Pricing your tickets an extra 5 or 10% higher than the competition is not worth the risk of your tickets potentially falling 50% in value.

Partnering With TiqAssist to Sell NBA Playoff Tickets

One of the biggest benefits of being a season ticket holder is being able to be first in line to purchase playoff tickets.

And if you have tickets and can’t make the game, it’s only natural to want to get them to someone who can attend. That’s where TiqAssist comes in. At TiqAssist, we make NBA ticket resale simple by:

  • Saving you 30+ minutes per listing and professionally pricing your tickets
  • Getting you higher sale prices by listing seats on 10+ marketplaces, reaching up to 5x the buyers
  • Offering a 100% sale guarantee, or we’ll offer cash for your seats, allowing you not to stress if your tickets get sold

To learn more about best practices around ticket resale and the top ticket resale marketplaces, read our blog article onHow to resell tickets online.

If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love having TiqAssist’s selling experts and technology fully manage your ticket resale for you. Just click “List” for any game on your personalized dashboard, and you’re done!

Learn more about how to sell NBA Basketball tickets for your favorite teams here.

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