How to Sell Tickets for Top Dollar
By Steve Gillman
Most of us who are older than forty think of ticket scalping
as a sleazy activity that takes place in the shadows outside
a concert venue or a sports stadium. It used to be - and mostly
still is - frowned upon by the original sellers of the tickets.
In theory a band or football stadium could refuse to admit a
secondary buyer of tickets if there is a rule about that previously
established, although I have not heard of this happening lately
(nor would they really know you were the second buyer most of
the time). In any case, contrary to what some people believe,
there are no federal laws regulating this activity.
What do the states have to say about ticket scalping? It is
legal in all fifty states, but some do regulate the business
in minor ways. Selling outside of the venues, for example, is
illegal because of the possibility of fraud as well as the potential
crime and nuisance issues. A few states even limit how much a
markup from face value is allowed. Fortunately it is possible
to sell concert tickets and others without having to know the
laws. Just use one of the online services that handles the deals
for you and makes sure you are in compliance with any regulations.
For example, my friend recently bought tickets to see A
Perfect Circle at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver. He
paid $100 for two tickets, waiting for the opening moment they
went on sale - knowing that all the decent seats would sell out
quickly. A Perfect Circle is a group with a dedicated
following. The group's members have worked in or with Ashes
Divide, Puscifer, The Smashing Pumpkins, Nine
Inch Nails, Devo, and The Vandals.
Because of a scheduling conflict he wasn't going to make it
to the concert, so he went online to sell the pair. At StubHub
he found a buyer within two days who paid $200. StubHub takes
15% (as well as 10% from the buyer - there the real money maker),
but they handle the transaction and even provide a printable
FedEx label so shipping is covered. The buyer pays, the tickets
are sent and when received the money is paid to the seller. My
friend cleared a $70 profit.
Obviously this works best as a way to make money if you really
keep on top of which bands are popular, which basketball games
are going to sell out and so on. This is something that can be
learned though, and the losses would not be huge if you started
small and grew your business as you learned the ins and outs
of scalping tickets.
How Much Can You Make?
Obviously what you can make from buying and selling tickets
depends on how in touch you are with what's hot and how motivated
you are. You might have to get up in the middle of the night
or wait in lines to buy some tickets when they first come out.
But my friend tells me that at the time he bought his two tickets
he could have purchased a dozen more sets of similar quality.
If there were buyers for those thirteen sets would have meant
a profit of over $900 for a couple hours work.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Playoffs and other big sporting events are the ones likely
to sell out and attract serious buyers in the secondary market.
With musical groups you want to look for those who have dedicated
followers and don't tour too often, so when they do they sell
Look for patterns, like all the good seats selling out every
time a particular band plays live.
Check online to see what tickets are selling for as a group
tours. If front row tickets are doubling the face value every
time, get ready to buy and sell those concert tickets at the
Qualifications / Requirements
Ticket scalping is something anyone with money to buy a couple
tickets can try.
Buy a couple tickets for a local event, preferably something
you would enjoy going to. List them for sale on a site that handles
these deals. If you can't sell them for a profit you can at least
enjoy the show.
- On of the leaders in the business of processing ticket scalping
deals. Of course they don't call it that, but they will walk
you through the process of how to sell tickets to a variety of