Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Virtual Ticket Scalping: Is There Any Income Potential?

I think it's always a worthwhile exercise to try and come up with ways to earn additional income. More specifically, the more 'passive' it can be, the more worthwhile it is. One way I've been thinking about lately, and have actually tried on a small scale is by reselling concert/entertainment event tickets.

I decided to try a couple trial efforts and followed some guidelines:
- Buy the tickets from Ticketmaster when they go onsale playing the "Saturday @10am browser refresh game"
- Buy two sets (one more expensive to sell, one cheaper to use)...hopefully the profit pays for the cheap tickets
- Only buy tickets at an amount I felt the event was worth if I ended up having to use the expensive tickets
- Try to sell the tickets through StubHub even though fees are high (10% for buyer, 15% for seller) because of comfortability, ease of use, guarantees
- Avoid EBay because my profile has minimal feedback, it's not very flexible as far as changing/removing items, and fraud kind of worries me

Trial 1:
Event - The Police
Tickets - 2 @ 12th row center
Cost - $250 each plus fees
Situation - These were pricey, but hyped as the biggest show of the summer and one I was very excited to see. I couldn't get any takers at a profit, so we decided to use these as an anniversary gift to ourselves. We were able to sell the cheap (lol, ~$80 each) tickets and made enough to cover beer and a cab to the hotel.

Trial 2:
Event - Jewell
Tickets - 2 @ 7th row center
Cost - $75 each plus fees
Situation - The show was very close to being sold out, but I was not able to sell these at a profit or even break-even (after StubHub fees). I offered them up for purchase price through an email at work about a week before the show. Luckily, someone responded within an hour and gave me a couple bucks extra.

Thoughts going forward:
- I need to investigate alternative selling places such as CraigsList, reselling on Ticketmaster, and any others.
- I don't think I want to buy tickets for any shows I wouldn't go to myself (Unfortunately this rules out some popular and highly profitable shows such as Hannah Montana).
- I would do a 'same day' trip to 4 decent size markets, and 'weekend trip' to 4 more so that should give me a good variety to choose from.
- I need to find another way to get good tickets for regular price, sites like this help for pre-sales, but there must be other ways. I don't understand how I can login right at the time they go onsale and sometimes get stuck with tickets 20+ rows back.

Has anyone tried this or have any suggestions?

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