Can't make the show? Whether you bought those tickets months or minutes in advance of an event, using online ticket resellers to offer up your unusable concert or game tickets could potentially get you your money back or even make you a nice profit.
The growing popularity of consumer-to-consumer sales has resulted in a bevy of online ticket platforms. We'll review 10 options for selling your unwanted but valuable tickets.
Online options for selling your tickets
Here's a list of ticket resale platforms with a variety of different characteristics, such as ticket genre, seller-buyer communication and payment methods. Let's see how they stack up.
|Vivid Seats |
|Ticket City |
How to differentiate online ticket marketplaces
Some convenient features and costs are fairly standard from platform to platform. You can post the same tickets on multiple websites, for instance, without paying a fee to list on any of them. Once you sell the stubs on one site, you can then remove them from all the sites on which you posted them without a penalty.
In some cases, these go-between companies set themselves apart by doing any number of things, from helping you to price your tickets (without being too intrusive) to offering a variety of ways to receive payment. It's a hassle, for example, to sign up for a PayPal account if you're a one-time ticket-seller. It's much easier to have a variety of options (bank account, check, Venmo, et cetera) at your disposal.
Another key difference revolves around the fees applied to sellers and buyers. You may be wondering why the fees matter to you if you're the one selling. Well, consider that a buyer is more likely to purchase your tickets on one platform versus another if the platform itself charges a lower fee to the buyer. As a result, you can creep your asking price up a bit on the lower-fee platform.
As for the company's cut of your sale, our research found that non-classifieds-style platforms may charge 10% to 15% of the final price, cutting into your would-be profits.
Seller fees of Stubhub and other ticket sellers
Craigslist, Ticketmaster Verified, ticketiQ and Ticket City
|10%||StubHub*, Vivid Seats, Viagogo*, TicketNetwork and eBay|
Which ticket reseller is best for you?
The top option for you may change depending on your ticket situation. A best-case scenario: You have two tickets for a game or show that you would happily go to but, knowing there's considerable demand for the tickets, you could also imagine having plenty of fun with the money you would earn by selling them. In this case, you're in a win-win situation: List the tickets at a high, market rate. No sale? No problem. Sale, on the other hand, equals success.
Of course, you may find yourself in a less favorable situation. Whatever the case may be, your position (or predicament) can help you find the right online option.
For Concert and Sports Tickets
|StubHub||You don't want your lower-bowl NBA season tickets to go to waste.|
|StubHub's size and security gives you the best chance to sell your stubs. Plus, its intuitive interface will help you determine the right price, adjust that price on the go and seamlessly deliver the tickets to your buyer. Oh, and you won't ever have to interact with whoever makes the purchase.
If, on the other hand, you bought your concert passes on Ticketmaster and have more than a week before the show's date, use Ticketmaster's "Verified" reselling initiative to find a buyer there. This will connect you with a buyer like you and increase your profits in the absence of seller fees.
StubHub is also the place for your sports tickets. If you happen to be selling your own season tickets, be sure to include the parking pass, potentially in a separate sale; StubHub is the place for parking passes. To make sure you're not holding onto your stubs after kickoff, also post them on TicketNetwork and Vivid Seats, particularly if they're for a lesser-known college game.
When You Have One Extra Ticket
|Craigslist||A friend ditches you a few hours before a Mumford & Sons show.|
|The popular online classified-style site is where a quick, last-ditch posting can direct the buyer to meet in front of the venue's marquee, which would alleviate security concerns on your part and counterfeiting concerns on theirs. If, of course, you don't mind sitting next to a stranger.|
For Smaller Events
|SeatGeek, ticketIQ||An up-and-coming pop band is coming to your city but you need help promoting your listing.|
|Go with SeatGeek and/or ticketiQ, which can help you promote the event amongst your friends and transfer tickets to people easily. The former is Venmo-friendly and the latter encourages social media connecting.|
For Events with International Appeal
|Viagogo||There's an upcoming "friendly" between U.S., U.K soccer clubs.|
|It caters to many countries, England and other parts of the United Kingdom chief among them. Moreover, the site can be viewed in 13 languages and deals in 47 currencies. It's the most tourist-friendly option.|
For High Demand Tickets
|Ticket City||Your exceptional web browser timing netted you floor seats to Adele's next show.|
|This is the best first step. Whether you end up selling them to one of their professional ticket brokers or not, the response from a broker should be informative and helpful. (If they're beating down your door, you know it will be worth your time to research true value.) You should also consider creating a bidding war on eBay before posting it for a set amount on any of the other platforms. It's fine to wait to do the latter so that you don't have to reject a potential sale, which can be penalized on some platforms.|
Tips for getting rid of your resalable tickets
Buying tickets only for the sake of selling them is common practice for some, but there are obvious risks in getting passes to an event you don't personally have interest in attending. What if you're stuck with them? Amateur and pro ticket brokers invest a lot of time making sure this doesn't happen. Some of their strategies for success:
Using email newsletters, credit card perks, social media alerts and fan club memberships to buy pairs (or even numbers) of tickets for in-demand events that ideally involve audiences who can’t or won’t plan ahead enough to buy the tickets first themselves. The Super Bowl, a game played between two "TBD" teams, months after the fact, is a good example. (Familiarize yourself with state resale laws).
No matter your situation, take these steps when tickets are burning a hole in your pocket:
- Gauge the value of the tickets by looking at the face value and resale prices
- See if any of your family, friends or coworkers want to buy them, thus removing all fees from the process
- Post your tickets on multiple platforms, perhaps listing them at a higher price on lower-fee platforms
- Reach out to the marketplace’s support staff with questions
- Promote your listings on social media
- Consider increasing or decreasing your sale price depending upon supply (how many similar tickets available for sale?) and demand (how much time left before the event starts?)
- Avoid selling the same tickets twice by removing the tickets from all platforms once a sale is final
- If you’re reselling tickets frequently, track the data of every sale