Have you ever tried to buy tickets to a concert or sporting event only to find out that the event was sold out in seconds/minutes? The real kicker is that if you were to check the inventory at Stubhub, TicketsNow, or TicketLiquidator you would find hundreds, if not thousands of tickets available at much higher prices than face value. It sure doesn’t seem fair, but rather than cry and complain, we should be taking advantage of a perfect opportunity to make some money. If you can’t beat them, join them! The only difference between you and them is that they have knowledge that you don’t.
If your willing to put in some time, research, and effort, then becoming a full or part-time ticket broker may be for you. The barrier to entry is minimal and you can start out as slowly or quickly as you want. I will provide you with the resources that you need to get started. The broker industry is a somewhat secret society but the information below should give you a very nice base on the things you need to know in order to become a full or part-time ticket broker.
Benefits of Becoming a Ticket Broker
* Very Low Start-Up costs.
* Supplement or Replace Your Current Income.
* Learn How to Buy Tickets to Events for the Lowest Possible Cost.
* Spend as Little or As Much Time as You Want With the Business.
THE SECONDARY TICKET MARKET – WHAT IS IT?
The secondary market is created when any ticket that is sold for an event by someone other than the primarary seller. For example, I could potentially go and buy a pair of Madonna tickets from Ticketmaster the morning that they go on sale and then later on sell them on Stubhub for a price that was more in line with the true market value. The 3 major players in the secondary market are Stubhub/eBay, TicketLiquidator (backed by Ticket Network), and TicketsNow (now owned by Ticketmaster.com). I’ve recently read that the event industry is a $10-$12 billion dollar industry. There are many people making money in the industry including both primary and secondary resellers. Heck, even the guy working the street corner at your local venue is getting his piece of the pie. We’re not interested in that guy though. We want to make money from the comfort of our homes. I should also note that selling tickets is not illegal in most states. In fact, many states have written legislation to remove these archaic laws. You will need to verify with your local/state laws to make sure you are in compliance.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER – IT’S NOT WHAT YOU KNOW, BUT WHO YOU KNOW
You’re not going to learn how to become a ticket broker by yourself. You will need the support of others in the broker community. The first place that you will want to visit and explore is EventExperts. You will want to learn about the ticket broker business from others who are already in the business. They have a great online community and I HIGHLY recommend surrounding yourself with people that know what they are talking about before buying and sell your first tickets. They not only offer a strong community, but they also have ‘experts’ that make predictions on whether or not a ticket will be a hot sell or not. As a member of their community you will have access to request predictions for your own events you’re considering buying. Many of the experts have been there for years and have a wealth of information to share. There is a minimal montly subscription fee, but I feel that it’s a very small price to pay for the information that you will receive, especially if you are new to the business. There is a great article on their site called HOW TO BECOME A TICKET BROKER that you should read if you want more information on the site.
You will also want to know when events are going to go on sale. Ticketmaster is the largest primary seller of tickets, but they certainly aren’t the only way to make money in this business. There are several websites that aggregate onsale data from the different primary sellers and make it much easier to determine what you would like to buy in a given day. Many of them also offer presale passwords that will generally give you a leg up Average Joe Concert Goer.
* PresalePassword – This is run by the same folks who run EventExperts. You will have the choice to buy a combo package when signing up that will include this site.
* ShowsOnSale – This site has some stricter guidelines to be approved for a membership. If you don’t already have a track record selling tickets then I don’t believe that it’s worth applying too. The information is excellent though! The application can be found on their site.
* OnsaleDate – Free trial is available. Daily emails showing all of the Ticketmaster onsales for that day can be setup for email every morning. The site is minimal but does its job well.
* Scourlist – Monthly subscription. This site has listings/passwords for many of the primary sellers including Ticketmaster, LiveNation, Tickets.com, House of Blues and many more.
Free Onsale/Password sites
* WiseGuys – Kind of ugly because of the blog format, but he does a good job at getting information up on the site.
* TicketHorde – Again, the format isn’t the best, but the information is good.
* SlickDeals – This is a message board thread, but it contains lots of good presale passwords.
* LiveDaily – This site is owned by Ticketmaster and does a pretty good job of providing you with latest concert announcements, etc.
* TicketNews – Ticket News is a blog sponsored by Ticket Network that contains articles on upcoming tours and industry news.
WHERE DO I SELL MY TICKETS?
The question should be where DON’T you sell your tickets. As a broker, you are going to want your tickets in every market that you possibly can. The more visibility your tickets have, the better your chances are at selling them. Most professional brokers have their tickets listed in all of the major markets. You may see the exact same tickets on Stubhub that you will see on Ticketsnow.com. This is very common. A broker will de-list their tickets in all markets once they receive notice that they have sold. You may be asking yourself, “What if they sell in two places at once?” This is possible, but it doesn’t happen often. In the ticket broker business this is known as “double selling”.
* Stubhub – Every broker should have an account with Stubhub. They have become a household name and generate a ton of traffic. Stubhub takes 15% of every sale so make sure to price accordingly.
* eBay – eBay is still a good place to sell tickets, but I would list your tickets as a BUY IT NOW price rather than putting them up for an auction. You will almost always get more money using BUY IT NOW.
* Craigslist – In the ticket broker world Craigslist is generally a good place to unload tickets for last minute events. The amount of time that you will spend going back and forth with a customer looking for a deal will prove too time consuming for your business as a primary market.
* TicketsNow – Ticketsnow recently changed their business model to allow individuals to sell tickets on their site. This website has lots of visibility especially since Ticketmaster links you directly to it for most sold out events.
Point of Sale System
When your business begins to grow and you have a substantial inventory it will become beneficial to join one of the major players in the ticket broker industry. You will be allowed to post tickets on the exchanges and your tickets will then be broadcast to hundreds of websites. You will also have the benefit of a Point of Sale system that will allow you to take credit cards and manage your sales/inventory.
* TicketNetwork – For about $2500/year you will have your own ticket website, a point of sale system, and access to millions of dollars in inventory.
* EventInventory – Until you have an established history, and know someone that can refer you into Event Inventory, you will probably be declined to use their Point of Sale system.