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Buy and Sell Tickets Using eBay's StubHub

Have tickets you can't use? Don't want to pay full price?


Buy and Sell Tickets Using eBay's StubHub

StubHub is eBay's online venue for buying and selling entertainment, event, and sporting tickets of all kinds.

Photo: Twoellis / Dreamstime

Since eBay is the world's premier online marketplace, you may have wondered whether or not there place on eBay for buying and selling event tickets. After all, tickets are prime candidates for wheeling, dealing, and auctioning—sports tickets, performance tickets, events tickets, and so on—but at the same time, the present buyers and sellers with unique challenges.

As it turns out, eBay is so serious about facilitating the buying and selling of tickets that it acquired StubHub, an online marketplace dedicated exclusively to the buying and selling of tickets of various kinds, in 2007.

What Makes StubHub Different

The biggest thing that makes StubHub stand out from other kinds of online marketplaces, both the main eBay marketplace and other online trading venues like craigslist.com, is StubHub's specifically-for-tickets design. StubHub is aware of and makes it possible to buy, sell, and search according to things like seating, floor plans, and event dates and times at many sports, events, and performance venues around the world.

For buyers this means that StubHub can be used not just to buy "tickets to my event" but also to choose a particular performance day and time and seats (along with corresponding price levels).

For sellers, this means a way to sell tickets that actually values the tickets at what they're worth, even when buyers aren't intimately familiar with the venue or event in question. On StubHub, your "front and center" tickets won't compete with other sellers' "front and center" tickets on the basis of your back-and-forth claims, but rather on the buyers' own ability to see the location of the seats for each set of tickets for themselves.

StubHub also provides for a "reverse auction" model for sellers, by which tickets can be gradually discounted from a seller-provided starting price over a seller-specified period of time, toward a seller-specified final minimum price. This makes it possible to list tickets high well in advance of the event but to discount automatically if the tickets don't sell as the event draws near.

StubHub's Partnerships

The other thing that makes StubHub unique is the fact that it maintains relationships with many venues and organizations that sell tickets, meaning that you're less likely to run into trouble with the validity or transferrability of tickets you've bought online through StubHub (a perennial problem for tickets bought in many other ways online).

Many colleges and universities, for example, have partnered with StubHub as the official ticket-buying and ticket-selling marketplace for their sporting events. To shop for last-minute football game tickets for the Florida Gators, USC Trojans, Washington Huskies, Alabama Crimson Tide, or any of the schools in the Big East or Big Ten, for example, StubHub is the place to go for a competitively priced selection of tickets by seat that are guaranteed to be genuine.

How to Buy Tickets

Buying on StubHub is similar to buying tickets at any official venue online. Follow these steps:

  1. Visit the StubHub front page.
  2. Using the search tool on the left-hand side of the page, select the type of ticket you want to buy: sports tickets, concert tickets, or theater tickets.
  3. Just below that, enter your city and state if you are in the United States or your nearest major city if you are in Canada.
  4. Enter any relevant keywords: the name of the band or act, the name of the theater, the name of the sports team(s) involved, or similar.
  5. Select a date range if you're looking for tickets within a particular time frame.
  6. Click "Find" to find tickets matching your search criteria.
  7. You'll be shown a list of matching events, dates, and the lowest ticket price available for each of them. To buy tickets for a particular date, time, or event, click on the word "Buy" at the far right of your screen next to the date, time or event you'd like to attend.
  8. You'll be shown a seating chart (if applicable) for the venue and event and a list of available tickets. Just above these is a slider labeled "Price range." Set a price range on the slider or click on an area of the seating chart to narrow your search to tickets for that price range or that area of the venue, respectively.
  9. When you see the tickets you'd like to buy in the list on the right-hand side of your screen, click "Go" to go to a page where you can check out and arrange for ticket delivery.

How to Sell Tickets

Selling tickets on StubHub is similar in many ways to selling on eBay. You'll use a standardized web form to help you to list tickets for sale.

  1. Click on the "Sell" link at the upper-right of the main StubHub page.
  2. Log in using your StubHub account credentials. If you don't have a StubHub-specific account, you'll be asked to create one.
  3. You'll be shown a "What are you selling?" page. Browse through the category list for a category that matches your tickets or enter some keyword search terms for the event in question into the box at the top of the page to search for your event.
  4. When you see the event for which you have tickets you'd like to sell, check the checkbox next to the event and then click the "Continue" button.
  5. You'll be asked whether you have the tickets in your possession, given a choice of options for delivery, and asked to provide information about seating. You may also be asked to check a number of other venue-specific boxes that detail the ticket's properties and level of access. Click "Continue" when you're finished.
  6. You'll then be asked to price your tickets. On the right of your screen you'll see an information area that shows you what other sellers have priced their tickets at. You can either opt to sell at a fixed price or to provide a starting price and a minimum price and to have StubHub gradually discount the tickets for you so long as they remain unsold, down to your minimum price on the last sale date you specify. StubHub will keep a 15 percent commission, so be sure to take that into account as you price your tickets.
  7. Finally, StubHub will ask how you wish to be paid when your tickets sell. You can opt to be paid via PayPal, to have a check sent to you, or to have your earnings sent to one of a few major charities. You'll also be asked to provide credit card information to ensure that you hold up your end of the bargain as a seller once a buyer has paid.
  8. Click "Continue" to verify the details you've provided about your tickets and then to officially place them on sale.

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