If I had to guess on the percentage of sports fans that could tell me the difference between Stubhub and Ticketmaster, I would place that mark at around 5%. Both companies sell tickets, sure, but their models are completely different.

Stubhub is what's called a secondary market ticket reseller and Ticketmaster is what's called a primary market ticket seller. There are pros and cons to dealing with each.

First, let's distinguish between the two by definition. The primary ticket market means the tickets are being sold for the very first time and at face value which is set by the event provider. You will still pay a few service fees upon checkout when using Ticketmaster or similar outlets.

The secondary ticket market includes tickets that were purchased from a primary ticket marketplace and then re-sold, often for a profit. The seller determines the price but will often adjust it according to demand. There are indeed times when a ticket reseller loses money especially as an event draws near and inventory hasn't been sold.

 

Who are some of the most popular primary market ticket sellers today? According to Ticketnews.com, these are the companies with the largest market share.

 

  1. Ticketmaster

  2. EventBrite

  3. Live Nation

  4. Tickets.com

  5. Goldstar.com

  6. Etix.com

  7. Telecharge.com

  8. Tix.com

  9. TicketWeb.com

  10. TicketForce.com

 

Other Types of Primary Ticket Marketplaces

  • Purchasing tickets directly from a box office before entering the venue.

  • Purchasing tickets directly from a team or venue's website.

 

Pros to dealing with primary market ticket sellers

  • You aren't paying above face value for tickets.

  • All tickets are 100% legit, no scams or fake tickets.

  • If you oppose ticket “scalping”, buying from a primary ticket marketplace ensures ticket resellers aren't getting your business.

 

Cons to dealing with primary market ticket sellers

  • Tickets are often sold out because of 1) demand and 2) ticket brokers that use software to purchase tickets in bulk.

  • No guarantee that you'll be able to purchase tickets.

  • Buying tickets on websites like Ticketmaster has become a difficult and often stressful experience due to their regulations against ticket buying software/bots.

  • No ability to buy tickets below face value like you will sometimes on the secondary market.

  • Primary sellers, like secondary ticket resellers, also tack on small fees and surcharges at checkout.

  • Not enough time to be extra selective about where you would like to sit. Fans often have to purchase what is available.

 

Who are some of the most popular secondary market ticket resellers today? According to Ticketnews.com, these are the secondary ticket resellers with the largest market share.

 

  1. Stubhub

  2. TicketLiquidator.com

  3. TicketNetwork.com

  4. Ticketsnow.com

  5. VividSeats.com

  6. SeatGeek.com

  7. TicketCity.com

  8. TicketZoom.com

  9. RazorGator.com

  10. GoTickets.com

 

Other Types of Secondary Ticket Market Resellers

  • Ticket Scalpers on the street.

  • Fans/Friends that are unable to attend an event and want to get rid of their tickets.

 

Pros to Dealing with Secondary Ticket Market Resellers

  • Tickets are ALWAYS available. Even for high demand events like the Super Bowl and Kentucky Derby.

  • Fans can purchase the “hard to get seats” as long as they're willing to spend good money.

  • Fans have time to do research before making their ticket purchases (FromThisSeat, TiqIQ, Seats 3D). Purchases on the primary ticket marketplace must be made immediately before sellouts.

  • Allows fans to purchase and print tickets at home, even on the day of the event.

 

Cons to Dealing with Secondary Ticket Market Resellers

  • Tickets are sold above face value for profit.

  • Resellers often tack on extra fees and surcharges upon checkout.

  • Tickets not always immediately available after initial sale on the primary ticket market.

 

As you can see, all tickets that end up on the secondary market were originally sold on the primary ticket market. Primary ticket marketplaces like Ticketmaster are currently trying to undermine the competition by promoting paperless ticketing which is where fans use their credit card to gain entry into a venue. I personally enjoy the fact that sports fans and concert goers all have more options and opportunities to see their favorite event in person. 

 

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