So you bought tickets to a concert months ago, but now you can’t make it. Maybe something came up at work, you got sick, or another obligation got in the way. Whatever the reason, you now need to get rid of your tickets and recoup some of the money you spent. Selling concert tickets can be a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. With some preparation and research, you can find a buyer, make a sale securely, and put some cash back in your pocket.
Should You Try to Sell Your Tickets?
Before attempting to sell your tickets, first make sure selling them is allowed. Some venues prohibit reselling tickets, so check the original ticket seller’s terms and conditions. If reselling is allowed, then decide if trying to sell is worth your time and effort. Think about factors like:
- How in-demand are the tickets? Popular bands and small venues make tickets more valuable.
- When is the concert? The closer to the date, the harder it will be to find buyers.
- How much did you pay for the tickets? Higher face value makes them easier to resell.
- Are there fees involved with reselling? Platforms like StubHub charge fees.
If reselling the tickets seems worthwhile, move forward. If not, unfortunately you may have to eat the cost.
Where to Sell Your Concert Tickets
You have several options for reselling your tickets. Each has pros and cons:
Ticket Resale Sites
Websites like StubHub and Vivid Seats are popular ticket marketplaces. These make selling convenient, but they charge seller fees.
- Large pool of buyers.
- Secure transactions.
- No need to meet in person.
- Seller fees can eat into your profits.
- Less control over pricing.
Posting about your tickets on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. taps into your personal network. But you’ll have to handle coordinating payment.
- No seller fees.
- Set your own price.
- Smaller potential buyer pool.
- Less secure payments.
- Need to meet up to exchange tickets.
Craigslist has a large local reach, but requires meeting up for exchanges. It also has more risk than other platforms.
- No fees.
- Flexible pricing.
- Have to meet up locally to exchange.
- More risky than resale platforms.
Outside the Venue
You can always try to sell once you arrive outside the concert venue. But this is time consuming and you risk not finding buyers.
- Can set any price.
- Very small buyer pool.
- May not find any buyers.
- Need to wait around outside the venue.
How to Price Your Tickets
Setting the right sales price for your tickets is key. Price too high and no one will buy them. Price too low and you’ll lose out on profit.
Consider the original ticket price, demand, and how close the concert date is. If the concert is near selling out, you can likely get above face value. If demand is lower, you may have to go below face value. On a resale site, check recent sales to gauge current market price.
Also factor in fees. On StubHub for example, they take a 10-15% cut. So if you bought a ticket for $50, you’ll want to price higher than $50 just to break even after fees.
As the event gets closer, you’ll need to lower prices to attract buyers before it’s too late. Last minute buyers expect big discounts.
Sample Ticket Pricing Strategy
|Time Before Event
|Sample Price Range
|2-3 months out
|Face value or slightly above
|1 month out
|10-20% below face value
|2 weeks out
|20-30% below face value
|1 week out
|30-40% below face value
|24 hours out
|40-50% below face value
How to List Your Tickets for Sale
Once you pick a selling method, create effective listings to attract buyers. Include key details like:
- Artist/band name.
- Venue name.
- Exact location (section, row, and seat numbers).
- Date and time.
- Quantity and type of tickets.
- Digital ticket delivery method (for online sales).
Write an enticing description emphasizing in-demand details like “front row seats” or “VIP access included.”
For sites like StubHub, pick a listing title using keywords potential buyers will search for. Include terms like the performer name, event name, city, and venue.
How to Safely Complete the Ticket Exchange
To ensure a smooth transaction, follow these tips when meeting to exchange paper tickets:
- Meet in a safe public place like a coffee shop. Avoid meeting at your home.
- Don’t meet in a secluded or non-public location.
- Request payment upfront before handing over tickets.
- Accept cash payment to avoid fake checks or credit card fraud.
- Count cash payment before handing over tickets.
- Check tickets are valid and for the correct event/date.
For online sales through a resale platform, only send digital tickets through the site’s official system. Never email tickets directly to a buyer – this voids the site’s buyer guarantees. Wait for payment confirmation from the site before releasing the tickets.
Alternatives if You Can’t Sell Your Tickets
Despite your best efforts, you may fail to find a buyer in time. If so, consider these options instead of letting the tickets go to waste:
Gift or Donate Your Tickets
Giving tickets to family, friends or donating to a charity organization can bring happiness to others. You can get a tax deduction for donated tickets over $250.
Redeem Ticket Credit
Some major ticket sellers like Ticketmaster allow redeeming unused tickets for credit on a future purchase. There may be fees deducted.
Eat the Cost
Chalk it up as a loss. Sometimes it’s not worth the time and effort to try and squeeze value out of unwanted tickets.
Selling concert tickets takes effort but can help recover some costs if you can’t attend. Keep these tips in mind:
- Use reputable resale platforms for wider reach and secure transactions.
- Price tickets competitively based on demand and timing.
- Create enticing listings with important event/ticket details.
- Meet buyers in public places and request payment upfront.
- If unable to sell, consider donating, exchanging, or eating the cost.
With preparation and patience, you can offload unwanted tickets and regain some of your hard-earned cash.
Selling concert tickets when you can no longer attend requires some strategic planning. But by following the guidance in this article, you can maximize your chances of recouping value for your unwanted tickets safely and efficiently. The key is picking the right marketplace for resale, smart pricing, creating effective listings, and securely completing the exchange. If despite your best efforts they don’t sell, consider alternatives like donating the tickets or exchanging for future credit. With concert tickets being a big expenditure, it’s worth taking steps to try and get some money back if you miss the show.