Ticket scalpers have gotten a bad rap in the public eye for a long time (though they have always been beloved by those desperately in need of tickets). However, with the advent of the Internet has come a rethinking of what it means to buy and sell tickets, and now it is more possible than ever to make a real profit from reselling tickets.
If you are interested in making a few extra dollars the next time the reigning Super Bowl champions or superstar pop singer comes to town, take the time to learn how to maximize your profits from reselling tickets.
Where to Sell Tickets
With online ticket markets taking off in recent years, you no longer need to wait outside of busy sports arenas and concert venues in order to sell your tickets. Instead of having only one option to get rid of your tickets, you now have almost the opposite: with so many websites to choose from, how do you know which is the best one to resell ticket Every veteran reseller knows that the first place on the Internet for most products is eBay. It gets enormous traffic and allows you to instigate bidding wars. Best of all, you won’t be paying the same big fees that ticket sellers are notorious for. However, eBay does come with its own problems when selling tickets.
First and foremost, eBay does not help you make sure that your activity is legal. Ticket reselling is subject to different legal policies in different states, and sometimes those can get a bit confusing. There is no onus on eBay to make sure that you are selling your tickets legally, which means you could end up in a messy situation if you aren’t careful.
Beyond this, some people may not love the idea of buying on eBay when ticket sites will ensure them access to their tickets right away. You will want to make sure that you have a straightforward process in order for sending ticket verification over to your buyer quickly after receiving payment.
While eBay works fine, there are other websites that are specifically tailored to the buying and reselling of tickets. These sites take away both of the above problems, as they are all designed to avoid allowing illegal transactions, and they all ensure immediate transfer once the transaction is completed. But which site is right for you?
The most popular site is StubHub. The major benefit of their popularity is that your tickets are much more likely to be seen when listed on their site. They receive much more traffic than any of their competitors, which means there are more eyeballs on your tickets each time you list them. That goes a long way towards getting your tickets sold.
The other big benefit of using such a heavily trafficked site to resell your tickets is that you can more easily monitor the market for the particular event that you are selling tickets for. You can easily tell what buyers should be able to expect, which allows you to adjust your prices to best maximize your odds of selling your tickets while making the best profit that you can. Since this is the name of the game with reselling tickets, StubHub puts you at an immediate advantage.
The big downside of StubHub is that they will charge you a 15% commission, and will also charge the buyer a 10% fee. This means that you will have to resell your tickets for quite a bit more than you normally would in order to make the resale worthwhile, but also means that buyers are going to be paying even more than they usually would when you raise your prices. Altogether, this is an unappealing feature of selling tickets on StubHub, but it is how they make their money. You may not like it, but it is here to stay.
This may leave you looking for another option, but the reality of reselling tickets is that all of the websites that you will look to will also take a cut of your commission. They will all charge the buyer fees as well. In fact, StubHub’s additional charges are about as good as it gets in the ticket reselling game.
What does this mean? It means that you will just have to do a little bit better when it comes time to place your bets on which tickets are worth getting in on and which would be better left alone.
If you are looking for a site to utilize for best results, you will probably want to make the most of StubHub’s superior traffic and legal safety. While you can have success using eBay, you will want to make sure that you know what you are doing if you are going to tread into those waters.
How to Resell Tickets for a Profit
Now comes the fun part.
The basic principle of reselling tickets is incredibly simple: you need to be able to sell your tickets for more than you bought them for. Easy enough, right?
The trick is obviously to find the events that are going to see their prices rise, but first you will want to make sure you understand exactly how to calculate the price at which you would break even. It is important that you take this into account before purchasing the tickets, as sometimes you will be surprised by how much more you need to make.
Let’s say you purchased a concert ticket for $85 and you want to resell it on StubHub, where you will have to send 15 percent of your commission to them. That means you will need to sell the tickets for at least $100 in order to break even on this transaction, as they will take 15 percent of your $100 asking price once you complete the sale, leaving you with your initial $85.
What is the point of taking the time to buy and sell these tickets if you are only going to be able to break even? There is none, which is why you need to set the bar higher. Focus on shows that you feel truly confident will see their ticket prices rise. So which shows should you be looking at?
The obvious and correct answer is that you need to find shows that are going to sell out. There are two factors that come into play when you are trying to find out which events are most likely to sell out.
Firstly, you will want to know how popular an artist or team is. The more popular they are, the more likely they are to sell out. If you know that a major pop singer is going to be coming to town, or that last year’s Super Bowl teams are meeting up in the regular season, it is a good bet that you will want to jump on those tickets early.
However, events like these can be rarer than you may like, and the tickets are going to be quite expensive even when they first go on sale. That is why you will want to keep the second factor in mind as well.
The second factor in whether a show will sell out is the size of the venue. It makes a big difference whether Taylor Swift is playing in a stadium with 30,000 seats versus a crowd of 15,000. The smaller the venue, the more likely it is that the show will sell out.
This can also be incredibly useful information to have when you are looking to work with less popular events, as mid-size comedy shows and concerts may sell out if a loyal following packs out a smaller venue.
The best thing you can do if you are going to get serious about buying and reselling tickets is to simply wait and watch. Spend a few months monitoring the process, taking note of opportunities that are available to you and paying attention to how they would have played out if you had really purchased them. Once you feel that you are able to regularly recognize a sell-out show waiting to happen, start pouncing on those tickets and raking in the money.
If you want to go about this process more casually, it is recommended that you start out by focusing on cheaper tickets so that you don’t get burned too badly by the learning curve. If you want to get serious about buying and reselling, there are a few steps you should take.
The first step is simply to be organized. Bust out the old spreadsheet software and start tracking the event, event type, venue, ticket prices, and time of year of available tickets. It is wisest that you start by focusing on a certain type of event (NBA games or local music shows, for example). This will make it easier for you to keep up with the news and events surrounding these events. If you put too much on your plate all at once, you may find yourself a bit overburdened later on.
Let’s say that Katy Perry is coming to town in January. You will want to make note that it is Katy Perry, she is a musician, she is playing at the big stadium downtown, the event is in January, tickets are going for $100 when first opened for sale, and when January comes around they are suddenly selling for $150. By tracking all of this information, you can start cluing yourself in on which factors make the biggest difference in ticket price fluctuations.
Do certain venues tend to sell out more often? Do rock shows tend to sell out more often than baseball games? There are a million things that can go into the success of a given event, but you will be wise to start tracking trends.
It may not seem like a big deal at first, but if you live in a place that is subject to harsh winters or rainy springs, it is definitely worth paying attention to what time of the year the events are taking place. People may not want to get out to a show if they think there will be a blizzard.
This level of monitoring may not be for you, but it will certainly help you stay efficient with your ticket reselling endeavors. At the very least, make sure to keep track of the tickets that you actually try to resell. Keeping track of your own success will at least give you a better idea of whether or not it is really worthwhile to buy tickets to the upcoming event.
Whether or not you are interested in diving deep into spreadsheets, you absolutely must stay on top of news in order to buy and resell tickets. You will want to know the moment that tickets go on sale, which means keeping track of which artists and sports teams are coming to town. If you wait around to hear it, you will probably not be getting the best deal on tickets.
This is the most important factor in making a profit while reselling tickets. It doesn’t matter how good you are at spotting a future sellout show if you aren’t able to get tickets at their lowest price.
The last thing to understand when you are buying and selling tickets is that it is a risk. There is no guarantee that your tickets will sell, which means you will want to be smart about which events you are buying for. If you can’t consistently predict which shows and games are going to sell out, you are going to have a hard time making a profit.
Worse yet, if you can’t even get your tickets to sell at your minimum required price, you will end up losing money. There is an investment involved, which means there is an opportunity for loss. The upshot of this particular investment is that in the worst-case scenario, you get to go out to a show or a game.
Still, keep things profitable by making smart investments and planning ahead. Before you know it, you just might be a master of reselling tickets.