How To Sell Tickets for Profit
Learning how to sell tickets for a profit is an easy way to get a part-time business up and running overnight. It's easy to keep your day job while starting this as a part-time work from home job. Understanding how to actually sell the tickets is pretty straightforward. As a general rule you actually make your profit or loss when you buy the ticket as opposed to when you sell it. Of course, you don't actually collect your money until a sale is finalized, but what I mean is that knowing which tickets to buy to make money is more important than how you actually sell the tickets. Having said that, the way you approach selling your tickets can have a big impact on your bottom line. The most important thing to keep in mind is that there is a methodology to the selling process and each avenue has it's own share of pros and cons.
There were three main ways that I sold tickets. I haven't been actively involved in ticket selling lately so it's possible these options have changed slightly in terms of fee structure, etc. It's also possible that new (hopefully superior) alternatives have popped up. I know Razor Gator and some other Stubhub type sites are out there, but I predominately used Stubhub. While I suggest you do your own exhaustive research, the three methods for selling tickets that I'll be discussing are:
Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Here's the list in order of convenience for the seller:
Here's the list in terms of transaction fees from lowest to highest
My listing strategy (thought process) generally went like this:
- List on Stubhub because it's the most convenient
- When an event was 10 days from happening I'd take it off Stubhub and list it in an auction on eBay
- If the event was local and I had hard tickets I'd consider listing it on both Stubhub and Craigslist. Even though Craigslist was much more of a hassle than Stubhub sometimes the savings on transaction fees (especially for very expensive tickets since Stubhub takes a constant 15%) made it worth it to deal with Craiglist.
How to seperate yourself from the other ticket resellers.
As I mentioned on the make money online proof page it's usually a very good idea to get your tickets listed as quickly as possible. This has a lot to do with the emotional frenzy of fans who were shut out from the public sale. Often times they'll go straight from being denied on Ticketmaster to Stubhub, eBay, and Craigslist looking for the best deal they can find on tickets. For most of these potential customers they only buy tickets at most a few times a year, and for many of them it's more like once or twice a year. The day tickets go on sale they want to be certain they get theirs, because they don't realize the nature of most ticket cycles.
The typical nature of a ticket cycle is that tickets are sold for the biggest premium when they first go on sale to the public. As time passes potential ticket buyers stop obsessing about the event that's weeks or moths away. When the event is only a couple of days away you'll often find tickets at their cheapest. Often times lots of ticket resellers who miscalculated the market are now trying to unload their tickets or face eating everything they paid for them. I'm not saying this to scare you off from starting a ticket business, but I'm just trying to educate you on how to not let this happen to you.
A recent example is what happened with Coachella in 2012. The day tickets went on sale people were going nuts about how quickly they sold out. Stubhub was immediately filled with people asking over $1,000 for a ticket to the three day music festival in Southern California. Just a few weeks later and still about 8 weeks out from the event there are still over a thousand tickets for Sale on Stubhub and now the cheapest ones are priced below $500.
A lot of people got greedy and thought they could make an easy profit by flipping Coachella tickets. What they didn't account for is that although well over a hundred thousand people go to the Coachella music festival every year, with the exception of VIP tickets / wrist bands all of the tickets are essentially General Admission. In the last chapter the sections titled the best seats in the house, who is my customer, and the venue seating chart all have examples that if Coachella ticket resellers had read before buying their tickets they might have rethought their strategies.
Someone who bought Coachella tickets at face value and sold them for a reasonable profit within 48 hours of fans of the festival striking out on Ticketmaster probably safely make a quick buck. However, fans who got tickets at face value and were enticed by asking prices on Stubhub in excess of $1,500 probably posted their tickets for prices that they'll never sell at. The only time this sort of long shot strategy makes sense is if you're planning to go to the event yourself, unless you can make a huge profit. In that somewhat rare scenario "overpricing" your tickets can be a logical strategy.
These are the other sections in this chapter: