Photo of a man holding a StubHub gift card.

Image Credit: Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

When browsing various forums and online help services, it became obvious to me that not every sports fan is hip to the online ticket resource StubHub. I say resource only because Stubhub is not a ticket broker. Founded in 2000 by two former Stanford MBAs, Stubhub is essentially the middle man marketplace between the ticket seller and the ticket buyer. 

Stubhub follows the exact same concept as Ebay who purchased Stubhub in January 2007. The ticket sellers consist of either season ticket holders that are unable to attend the event or brokers out to make a profit. The price of the tickets are determined entirely by the owner of the tickets which is the appeal of using Stubhub. For every transaction, Stubhub takes a total commission of 25%, a small portion from both the buyer and seller. The commission comes via various surcharges during checkout.


No More Tickets By Mail

Stubhub has become revolutionary in that tickets are able to be purchased the day of the event and printed off at home. Before then, purchasers would often panic with the uncertainty that the tickets would not arrive in time. More specifically when they were shipped with the often unreliable United States Postal Service. The luxury of printing tickets at home isn't free, however. Fans can expect another small fee per ticket tacked on at checkout. Another advantage to this system would be the option to simply reprint the tickets if you were to misplace them at home. Nevertheless, tickets can still be mailed via FedEx to the buyer. If a particular city has a local Stubhub office, fans are also sometimes asked to pickup their tickets.


When Should I Purchase Tickets? Should I Wait?

Fans are often hesitant or unsure of when to purchase tickets to their favorite event. This is usually because they feel the tickets are out of their price range and they're hoping the price drops. If you wait until the day of the game to purchase your tickets, you will save on average about 30% compared to purchasing a month before the event. If you must make travel arrangements, however, waiting until the day of the game can be extremely risky. My advice would simply be to check Stubhub daily because the cost of tickets often reflect market price no matter the outlet (Ticketmaster, ScoreBig). Market price is determined primarily by demand.


What If My Tickets Are Fake?

This is likely the most common question asked about Stubhub. The company is perhaps the most reliable on the ticket market aside from Ticketmaster and has formed partnerships with almost every professional sports league in the United States. Stubhub has implemented a FanProtect Guarantee at which more information can be found here - Stubhub Guarantee. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen and whenever fans are issued invalid or counterfeit tickets, Stubhub will always make it right. Bad fan experiences are bad for business and certainly wouldn't lead to customer loyalty. The company also offers gift certificates and a rewards program as perks.


The Stubhub SmartPhone App

Ticket scanning from smartphones is a relatively new concept. Fans can do so by downloading the Stubhub app on their smartphone and finding their tickets under "Orders" on the app's menu. After your tickets are scanned, the staff member that scanned your ticket will often give you a thin paper version of your ticket as reference. 

The ticket market is vastly different than what it once was. Fans can expect new concepts such as paperless ticketing and dynamic pricing models to become more popular in coming years. If you have never used Stubhub, I encourage all sports or concert fans to visit the website, create an account and try it out and form their own opinion. 


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