Update: You can now sell tickets right on SeatGeek

Secondary Ticket Market Definition

The Secondary Ticket Market: Also known as the resale market — and occasionally stylized as the 2ndary market — is the ticket market that exists between fans, brokers, etc. of event tickets after they have been purchased from the primary ticket market (i.e. Ticketmaster, the box office, official team/artist website, etc.)

In the first part of this post we presented our guide to the primary ticket markets.  Now we will drill-down on the secondary ticket market and conclude with a side-by-side comparison.

Secondary Ticket Market, Brokers and Resellers

Resale Market P2P

‘Person-to-person’ buying often from a friend who has an extra ticket (if your lucky you can get a “friendly” discount). Most recently this type of ticket purchasing has received a tech upgrade via markets such as Craigslist and Facebook.

P2P Pros

  • Directly buying from people in your extended network or location (can result in discounts)
  • Sites like Craiglist and Facebook have broadened access to P2P ticket buyers and sellers

P2P Cons

  • Limited, unreliable selection
  • No guaranteed availability of tickets to future events

Resale Market Scalpers

Scalpers resell tickets direct to ticket-seekers. Scalping is typically executed in the vicinity of the venue of a sporting event or concert. Scalping is not to be confused with secondary ticket websites that offer secure checkouts from legitimate companies.

Scalper Pros

  • Allows for last minute purchasing and facilitates spontaneous access to top events
  • Instant gratification – you buy directly with people at or near the event you will be attending

Scalper Cons

  • No price guarantee – popular ticket events might be bring ticket prices outside your budget
  • Significant risk of buying fraudulent, forged tickets
  • It helps to have basic negotiation skills
  • No guarantees or return policy

Secondary No Scalp Zones

No scalp zones are designated locations where fans sell extra tickets they have at face value – typically located at or in the immediate vicinity of the venue (see ‘Scalp Free Zone, Fenway Park)

No Scalp Zone Pros

  • These locations are fixed, so you always know where to look for available tickets
  • Allows for last minute purchases of extra face value tickets from fellow fans

No Scalp Zone Cons

  • Limited availability – most stadiums don’t have such zones
  • No guarantee that their will be extra tickets in the no scalp zone for a given game (this problem worsens with the most popular games)

Secondary Ticket Market Websites

Secondary ticket websites are technology driven website hubs for reselling tickets, allowing access to ticket deals and sold out tickets. The secondary ticket market has revolutionized the ticket industry and has grown to be a $15 Billion industry according to Sports Marketing Quarterly. Major players in the space include StubHub, RazorGator, and TicketsNow.

Secondary Ticket Website Pros

  • Access to sold out and cheap tickets
  • Tickets available for all major games, concerts, and events
  • Optimized site flows provide a solid user experience
  • Price fluctuations allow for discount and bargain shopping

Secondary Ticket Website Cons

  • Can’t get tickets when they first go on sale
  • Do not provide insight on price movements, which can be unsettling for the potential ticket buyer
  • Can be hard to evaluate which tickets are the best deal

Secondary Ticket Market Aggregators –

Do the countless number of secondary ticket websites, aggregators such as SeatGeek (our company), TicketStumbler (UPDATE:TicketStumbler is no longer active), SeatKarma, Tickex and FanSnap have launched ticket search engines where users can browse and compare sports and music tickets from all the major providers in one place (at SeatGeek we combine this with ticket forecasting, deal discovery, and event discovery to help users save time and money).

Ticket Search Engine/Aggregator Pros

  • All the benefits of secondary ticket websites
  • Side-by-side ticket price comparisons from all the major sites
  • Access to a larger inventory of tickets across all major secondary ticket networks, increasing your chances of finding both cheap and sold out tickets
  • At SeatGeek, we take it a step farther by providing ticket price forecasts and “goodness of deal” metrics to help users buy at the right time and save money

Ticket Search Engine/Aggregator Cons

  • Can’t get tickets when they first go on sale
  • Users are redirected for checkout at trusted partner sites, breaking the flow of the user experience

Sports and Concert Ticket Market Conclusions

Primary Ticket Market

  • + Paying face value (plus fees) reduces uncertainty
  • + Person-to-person interaction at box offices
  • + Primary authorized sellers like Ticketmaster offer a broad selection and a good consumer experience
  • – Box offices often have long lines
  • – Primary market tickets often sell out quickly
  • – Complex, opaque fee structure
  • – Prices are fixed so you cannot find deals below face value

Secondary Ticket Market

  • + Exhaustive inventory–you can always find tickets for the events you want to attend
  • + Using an aggregator, you can get a comprehensive picture of what’s available
  • + Some sites (like, ahem, SeatGeek) offer detailed analytics and price forecasts, ensuring you get the best deals
  • + Offer the possibility of getting tickets well below face value
  • + More transparent fees than primary market
  • – Tickets not available immediately after they go on sale
  • – Uncertainty due to price fluctuations

Use the above pros/cons comparison to determine which market and sub-market best fits your needs. Hopefully after reading this you feel like a smarter ticket buyer. Knowing the characteristics of each market, as well as the pros and cons, should help you to make smarter decisions that suit your specific purchasing needs and ultimately help you save time and money.

If you disagree with our assessment of the market or have additional discussion points, please comment below.

List of Secondary Ticket Markets

  • 2 Ticket Guys
  • 303ticketconnect.com
  • A Great Place to Sit
  • ABC Tickets
  • Admit One
  • Alchemistix
  • Alliance Tickets
  • AmpTix
  • Asc Ticket
  • Atlas Tickets
  • Avery Tickets
  • Bakersan Ticket Service
  • Big Dog Tickets
  • Bly Ticket Group
  • Boulder Tickets
  • Brock’s Tickets
  • Cali Tickets
  • Charm City Tickets
  • Club House Tickets
  • Colorado Ticket Service
  • Craigslist Tickets
  • CRTTickets
  • dealnology
  • Denver Ticket
  • Dolly’s Tickets
  • Down in Front
  • dream team tickets
  • DreamTix
  • Dynamic Tickets
  • Easy Seat
  • Ebay
  • Empire Tickets
  • Epic Seats
  • Erics Events
  • EventUsa
  • Fanatic Fan Tix
  • Fanboy Tickets
  • Fanxchange
  • Free Ticket Exchange
  • Full Action Tickets
  • Get Tix
  • Glory Days Tickets
  • GoTickets
  • Gottixx
  • Greystone Tickets
  • Hammer Sports
  • Hawkstixx
  • Headline Tickets Now
  • Hotline Entertainment
  • I need a miracle
  • I Want Great Seats
  • I Want My Tickets
  • iconcerttickets
  • In Seats
  • Internet Tickets Outlet
  • INVIGORatix
  • Lante Tickets
  • Little Larry’s Tickets
  • Lookup Tickets
  • Lowdown Tickets
  • Lower Level Tickets
  • Magic City Tickets
  • MavCowTickets
  • Minnetonka Tickets
  • mnticketking
  • Momentum Tickets
  • Mr Ticket King
  • MyTicketDude.com
  • Pick A Ticket
  • Pick A Ticket Entertainment LLC
  • Pittsburgh Ticket Company
  • Porkys Tickets
  • Prime Sports
  • Prime Ticket Service
  • Prime Time Stubs
  • Primesport
  • Quality Ticket Deals
  • Razorgator
  • ReadyNowTickets
  • Red Stick Tickets
  • Red Zone Tickets
  • RocketPoster_test
  • SeatHippo
  • Seats Up Front
  • Sell Ticket Service
  • shytowntickets
  • Sling Tickets
  • Small World Tickets
  • SocialChair
  • Southeastern Tickets
  • Star One Tickets
  • StubHub
  • Stubmenu
  • Super Fan Tickets
  • Super Seats USA
  • Super Star Tickets
  • Supreme Seats
  • The Ticket Woman
  • Ticket Champ
  • Ticket Man
  • Ticket Network
  • Ticket Yard
  • TicketCapo
  • Ticketcity
  • TicketFish.com
  • TicketKing
  • TicketMann
  • TicketNix
  • TicketProxy
  • Tickets 2 All USA
  • Tickets Canada
  • Tickets Deluxe
  • Tickets.ca
  • Tickets321.com
  • Ticketsnow
  • TicketsRus
  • Ticketstumbler
  • Tix International
  • Tixburgh
  • TN Direct
  • Total Travel and Tickets
  • Uberseat
  • Ultimate Ticket Shop
  • Up Close Ticket Source
  • Valley of the Sun
  • Viagogo
  • VIP Seats
  • vip tickets
  • VIP Tickets Vegas
  • VIPTicketPlace
  • Vivid Seats
  • WanaMaker Tickets
  • William Penn Tickets
  • Worldwide Tickets
  • YourTicketCentral

More on ticket sellers >

Secondary Ticket Market Research

Ticket Resale Laws

Resellers, check out our latest blog post on ticket resale laws here.

Sports and Concert Ticket Fees

The Definitive Guide to Concert Ticket Fees and How To Avoid Them

What is SeatGeek?
SeatGeek is a ticket search engine (aka ticket aggregator) that enables fans to quickly and easily find the best price for sports and concert events on the secondary ticket market