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Selling Event Tickets on the Internet

Selling Event Tickets on the Internet

Kostya V.

December 16th, 2015

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Frequent event-goers know that life happens and that both short- and long-term planning doesn’t always work 100%. This article will describe several options that you may consider in case you can’t attend an event due to an important reason such as personal personal issues, your boss being an asshole and not giving you a day off, or your friend who you got ticket for is feeling under the weather. Regardless of what your reasons are, you don’t have to lose the money that you spent on the ticket. In fact, you can get most of the paid amount back — if not all of it — and I am going to tell you about my favorite several ways to sell event tickets. Before we begin, I would like to point out that I am not a scalper and I don’t sell event tickets to make a profit. So, if you are looking for a tutorial on how to become a successful scalper or promoter, this article is not for you. These article is for wise boys and girls who want to preserve their hard-earned rave funds for future events and help out fellow ravers who weren’t able to buy a ticket before they were sold out.

A photo posted by Rave Area (@sfravearea) on

Method #1: Ask your friends if they are looking for extra tickets.
Interestingly, I’ve met only several people who attend EDM events by themselves. All other people I know, go to events at least in pairs, or more often with bunch of other people who are referred to as “rave fam”. Sometimes, it is worth asking your rave family if they know someone who would like to buy your ticket. It is possible that people YOU know may help find you a potential buyer. This option to re-sell your tickets has two big advantages: you sell your ticket to someone related to your rave crew (which may improve morale of the group since another friend is going to the event now) and you know that this person will pay you for the ticket. Friends don’t screw each other over because if they do, they don’t remain friends for long.

Method #2: Craigslist
Listing tickets on Craigslist.com has never failed me. Just make sure that you list your tickets on the event day. Even if you do it the day before, it is probably going to be somewhere on the 10th page of the search results by the time most people start looking for it. Also, always ask for the payment before you transfer tickets. Ironically, the first time I got screwed by a person on Craigslist was a couple of weeks ago. This person promised to pay for my tickets the next day, but he never did (name: Steven and last 4 digit of his phone #: 7658). One more thing, a lot of people on Craigslist are looking to meet with you, pay cash, and get hard tickets. If your preference is to get paid online through PayPal or Venmo and send e-tickets, you should specify it in your posting to let people now that you are not interested in scheduling a meeting to exchange tickets for dollar bills.

A photo posted by Rave Area (@sfravearea) on

By the way, I always price my tickets below the face value which is probably the reason why I always able to sell them. Lets say that I buy my ticket for $50. In this case, I will list them for $45 while others charge the face value or even more. $5 that I miss on the transaction is like a premium on insurance policy that I pay to make sure that I don’t lose 100% of the ticket value.

One extra piece of advice: have a printer handy in case all your potential buyers want to meet with you to get the tickets. Of course, it is less convenient than to conduct business online, but you can always schedule a meeting at a location convenient to you.

Method#3: Stubhub.comStubhub is an online secondary-market ticket marketplace owned by eBay. What I personally like the most about Stubhub is that Stubhub takes care of the transaction from the moment your listing goes live to the moment you receive the payment. There are a couple of very simple steps in the process that require your participation:

  • You need to provide very basic information about your tickets (e.g. event name, date, time, location, etc) and you need to upload soft copies of your tickets to the site (if available)
  • Set any price you want. Stubhub will help you with the pricing by showing what others are asking for the same tickets. You will see both the lowest and highest prices with everything in the middle. This is a very useful tool that helps to understand what you ticket price should be in order to make sure that somebody will be willing to purchase your tickets. Setting a lower price will probably result in selling your tickets sooner while setting a higher price may seem like a better deal, but there is a risk that, if your price is too high, people will just go after cheaper options.

However, the convenience of using Stubhub comes at a price. Although there are no registration or membership fees, you will be charge a commission if somebody purchases your tickets. For example, if you sell your tickets for $100 dollars, you will be charged a fee of 10%-15% and your payout will be just $85-$90.

Method #4: Facebook
Most of us use Facebook all day every day, so it is a logical place to start looking for tickets buyers. There are multiple places where you can market your tickets:
Your own feed. Just post a status update with information about the tickets such as Event Name, Location, Date, and Price. If you have enough rave heads on your friends list, chances are somebody will reserve the tickets in the comment section right away.
EDM groups and pages are good places to market your ticket as well. By listing them in one of the group, you can be sure that your posting will reach its target audience. People use Facebook group to buy and sell tickets all the time. And why shouldn’t they? It’s free, convenient, and somewhat safe (hint: when dealing with strangers, check to see if you have common friends who you can ask about the person you about to do business with).
With all the advantages of Facebook, it has certain downsides. You have to do a lot of work to sell your tickets: find a buyer, negotiate the terms, transfer tickets, make sure you get paid. Therefore if convenience of the transaction is the most important factor for you, you should consider using other methods, but selling tickets on Facebook is still very effective and can be extremely easy if you lucky enough to deal with good people.

A photo posted by Rave Area (@sfravearea) on

Method #5: Selling Tickets at the Venue
Another option would be to wait until the day of event and to try to sell the ticket at the venue before the event. This is my least favorite option. I don’t like to wait until the very last moment to sell my tickets because it puts me at risk of not being able to find a buyer or being forced to sell it at a huge discount. At the same time, I have done it in the past and my experience was pretty positive. There was a person walking along the line and asking if people had extra tickets. I said I had one, that person gave me cash, and I handed him my ticket. This couldn’t be any easier.

Conclusion: Never lose your money again
I described 5 ways to re-sell event tickets, but these are just my preferred methods while there are many other options available that work for other people just as well. Bottom line selling event tickets to get back your money and help a fellow raver to attend the event is a win-win situation.

Let me know what usually works for you and if you ever had any weird/funny/negative experiences trying to re-sell event tickets. You can reach me by sending an email to info@sfravearea.com or using @sfravearea handle on Twitter.