The Definitive Guide to Concert Ticket Fees and How To Avoid Them
In the late 1990’s, the secondary ticket market was almost non-existent. Direct ticket providers, such as Ticketmaster, were the main source for sports and concert tickets. However, following the Dot-Com Bubble, the ticket industry drastically changed as a result of the Internet. In ten years, the secondary market evolved into a $3 billion online industry, that grew by 50% YOY (year over year) from 2002 to 2007. Some estimate that the secondary ticket market now makes up 15% of gross event sales.
The competitive landscape is filled with websites like StubHub, Facebook Marketplace, Ebay, and Craigslist. There are several hundred sites to post and purchase tickets; and, it is often difficult to discern what fees are being charged since fee structures are extremely inconsistent from site to site. Many popular ticketing companies, like StubHub and Ticketnetwork, don’t include their “service charge” in the list price. RazorGator charges a 25% “connection fee” upon reaching the checkout page. For some listings on Tickets Inventory, the “service fee” fluctuates based on ticket price and is higher for standard delivery. We also found StubHub and other sites charge a higher “buyer fee” for events in high demand, such as the Super Bowl. Even the shipping rates will make you scratch your head in confusion – $15 for same day purchase, $30 for Saturday delivery, $16.99 for overnight delivery, unless the event is less than four days away, for which overnight delivery is $24.95…
To make your ticket search more easy and transparent, SeatGeek has researched eleven of the largest reseller sites and compiled their shipping and service charge fees in the tables below.
Sample Listing of Resale Fees
Cheapest Sites to Buy Tickets – Based on $100 List Price
Ticket Provider Seller FeeSeller’s ProfitsBuyer FeeAfter FeesShippingFinal Price
*EBAY Listing Fees - 11.0% of the initial $50.00, plus 6.0% of the remaining balance ($50.01–$1,000.00) of the total amount of the sale.
**Selectively purchase tickets at “market” price based on event demand
***Service charge is variable based on price of ticket
In terms of fees, Ebay is the cheapest of the eleven sites reviewed. There is no charge to the buyer for purchasing a ticket and shipping is often free. In the example above, a ticket posted for $100 on Ebay would net the seller $1.50 and save the buyer $24 more than any other secondary market ticket site. However, this does not mean Ebay offers a better value for ticket buyers. Ebay does not offer Buyer Protection, which consequently places most of the risk on the buyer for event cancellations, state reselling regulations, shipping mishap, etc. In addition, data shows that most Ebay tickets are priced near market prices, which means that the sellers are benefiting most from Ebay’s low fees.
As you can see in the table above, there is a high price disparity between the cheapest and most expensive ticket resellers. A ticket listed on RazorGator for $100 would cost $18 more than a comparable ticket on StubHub, after including shipping and service fees. Since shipping fees can vary so much from site to site, we’ve broken down the shipping costs in the table below:
Shipping Costs for Ticket Resellers
Ticket Provider ETicketsStandard ShippingOvernight ShippingSame DayNotes
As a ticket seller, the last thing you want to consider is whether reselling is illegal. Some states have stricter stances on ticket reselling; while other states have made the practice completely legal. For instance, the state of Hawaii permits secondary market ticket sales for every event (Hawaii Revenue Statute § 440-17) aside from boxing, for which tickets cannot be resold for more than its face value.
Resale Laws by State
For more detail on ticket resale laws: The Curious Case of US Ticket Resale Laws