How to beat the Ticketmaster and Stubhub Monopoly on Concert Tickets
Alternatives to Ticketmaster and StubHub
StubHub advertises itself as a fan-to-fan ticket exchange where the fan that has the ticket sets the price that they wish to sell it. On their web site, they list their source of tickets from season ticket holders and other ticket holders. In reality, some estimate that 80 to 90 percent of their tickets come from ticket brokers. StubHub typically charges 10 to 15 percent commission to the seller of the ticket and marks the ticket price up another 10 to 15 percent. In instances where the event is in extremely high demand, some customers have reported paying as much as 150 percent more than the face value of the ticket that they purchased through StubHub.
Ticketmaster sells tickets at face value but charges a $2.50 service charge and a service fee that averages about 14 percent of the face value of the ticket. For these charges and fees, Ticketmaster allows the buyer the ability to download the actual ticket and print it out from the convenience of their home. This feature saves the buyer the cost of shipping a ticket to them and allows the buyer the ability to purchase the ticket the same day as the event.
There may be other options for obtaining event tickets than buying them through StubHub or Ticketmaster, but many of these other options are going to charge similar markups. Individuals or businesses that buy and resell tickets are going to have a markup in order to cover expenses in doing so. In addition, individuals and businesses expect some sort of compensation for brokering the tickets. Of the few that an individual may find at face value, it is a matter of being in the right place at the right time. The only individuals who can sell tickets at face value without losing money are people who won the ticket or received the ticket as a gift.
For those looking for an alternative vender, or to compare availability and prices of event tickets, there is TicketLiquidator. TicketLiquidator allows ticket holders to list their ticket at whatever price they want to receive for their ticket(s). The seller only pays a fee when someone buys his or her ticket(s). The buyer pays the price of the ticket(s), a fee to TicketLiquidator, and a delivery charge. As an example, two tickets to American Idols Live in Salt Lake City on July 6, 2011 will cost $83 for each ticket, $30.72 for a service fee, and $15 for standard delivery service or $25 for express delivery. The standard delivery service guarantees a delivery of two to three days. The post office has a flat rate cardboard envelope that they give to customers to use and they charge $4.95. The express delivery service guarantees one to two day’s service. Again, the post office supplies an express envelope to the customer and charges $18.30.
There are other sites that an individual may compare availability and price including TicketsNow, livenation, and getmein. An individual may compare these different sites and probably find tickets that save a substantial amount of money, perhaps enough to pay for dinner besides the cost of the tickets.
There are also other sources to consider when buying tickets such as Craigslist, the local newspaper, a national newspaper, or some other magazine or periodical. However, do not assume that the seller of tickets through these sources will not have some sort of markup. With the exception of Craigslist, the seller may have to pay for the advertisement of the tickets. He or she may have had to run the advertisement for several weeks. In addition, the seller may have purchased the tickets through Ticketmaster or StubHub and may have already invested well more than the face value of the ticket(s).
In closing, whichever source an individual decides to purchase tickets from, they need to make sure that there is some sort of guarantee that the tickets that they are buying are legitimate. Many dishonest people are selling counterfeit tickets. An individual may purchase tickets at a bargain price through Craigslist only to find out at the door that the tickets are not any good. While the prices may seem high through different ticket dealers, the legitimate ones only sell real tickets, and they always guarantee that what you are buying is real.