There are a few key reasons why tickets may sell out quickly on Ticketmaster but still be available on resale sites like StubHub:
Ticketmaster is the primary ticket seller
Ticketmaster has partnerships with many major venues, artists, sports teams, etc. to be the primary ticket seller for their events. This means that all tickets are released on Ticketmaster first when they initially go on sale. Fans go straight to Ticketmaster to try to buy tickets as soon as they become available, which can lead to high demand and quick sellouts, especially for hot shows or games.
StubHub is a secondary resale marketplace
StubHub doesn’t actually sell the tickets directly like Ticketmaster. Instead, it provides a platform for people to resell tickets they have already purchased. Sellers list their tickets for sale on StubHub, often at higher prices than face value. So while the primary ticket inventory may sell out quickly on Ticketmaster, there are still tickets available on StubHub from users reselling them.
Dynamic pricing models
Ticketmaster utilizes dynamic pricing models for many events, where ticket prices adjust based on supply and demand. As an event sells out, prices often go up for any remaining tickets. StubHub sellers can also adjust prices, but have more flexibility to set higher prices due to the secondary market dynamics.
Bots and ticket brokers
Bots and ticket brokers often buy up large quantities of tickets the moment they go on sale in order to resell them. This quickly depletes much of the primary ticket inventory. Those tickets then get posted on secondary sites like StubHub at inflated prices. So the tickets sell out instantly on Ticketmaster, only to appear at higher prices on resale sites.
Ticket transfer and resale restrictions
Many tickets sold on Ticketmaster now include transfer and resale restrictions, meaning you can’t resell them on secondary marketplaces. However, some sellers still list non-transferable tickets on StubHub, even though buyers may be denied entry. This gives the appearance of more ticket availability on StubHub.
StubHub includes speculative listings
StubHub allows users to list ticket inventory they don’t yet own but hope to buy and then resell. This includes speculative listings where a seller doesn’t actually have the tickets in hand. This can make it look like there are more tickets available on StubHub than there really are.
Ticketmaster Verified Resale
Ticketmaster itself now facilitates ticket resale through its Ticketmaster Verified Resale platform. So some portion of ticket resale inventory has now shifted from StubHub back to Ticketmaster’s own resale site. This reduces availability on StubHub.
StubHub sells internationally
StubHub serves over 50 countries, while Ticketmaster predominantly focuses on the US market. So StubHub may show international ticket availability that doesn’t reflect US ticket sales. Foreign buyers may still see US tickets listed when the US inventory has sold out.
Differences in updated listings
Sellers on StubHub don’t always promptly update their ticket listings when sales occur. So StubHub inventory can lag behind and still show tickets that are no longer really available. Ticketmaster’s inventory is updated in real-time.
StubHub includes free listings
StubHub allows users to list tickets for free to gauge interest and determine optimal pricing. These speculative free listings may not actually lead to sales. So StubHub may show inflated availability from these unused free listings.
Ticketmaster hides listings but StubHub doesn’t
When Ticketmaster tickets are close to selling out, they sometimes hide remaining ticket inventory to create urgency and buzz. However, those near sell-out tickets are still visible on StubHub, making it seem like more are available.
In summary, tickets may appear sold out on Ticketmaster but still available on StubHub due to:
- Ticketmaster’s role as the primary ticket outlet
- StubHub being a secondary resale marketplace
- Dynamic pricing driving Ticketmaster prices up
- Bots and brokers shifting inventory to resale
- Restricted tickets still being listed on StubHub
- Speculative StubHub listings without tickets in hand
- Shift of some resale inventory back to Ticketmaster
- International ticket listings on StubHub
- Delayed delistings on StubHub
- Free StubHub listings that don’t lead to sales
- Hidden Ticketmaster listings close to selling out
So tickets may remain available on StubHub after Ticketmaster sells out. But buyers need to beware of restricted tickets, speculative listings, and higher prices on StubHub compared to face value prices on Ticketmaster. Checking both primary and secondary marketplaces gives the full picture of the event’s ticket availability and current market prices.
Examples of Specific Events Where Tickets Sold Out on Ticketmaster But Not StubHub
Adele 2022 Las Vegas Residency
When Adele announced her 2022 residency at Caesars Palace, Ticketmaster sold out instantly. However, StubHub still showed ticket availability for months, with seats going for thousands of dollars. Many were likely speculative listings. And as show dates approached, more listings disappeared as sellers were unable to obtain tickets.
Harry Styles Love on Tour
Harry Styles is one of the most in-demand concert tickets currently. His shows sell out instantly on Ticketmaster as fans swarm to get seats. But StubHub consistently shows ticket availability for every show, typically at 2-4x face value pricing. Third-party sellers bet on being able to secure tickets and flip them at a profit.
2022 Super Bowl LVI
The Super Bowl is one of the toughest tickets each year. In 2022, Ticketmaster sold out all official allotments within minutes. But StubHub had thousands of listings available, transfer and resale restrictions be damned. By game time, cheaper Upper Level seats were going for $5,000+. Truly a case of supply and demand pricing.
Scoring Hamilton tickets remains difficult with the Broadway blockbuster sold out months in advance. StubHub offers tickets to every performance, but prices are astronomical at $500+ per seat. And StubHub sellers likely snag their inventory through season ticket plans or other bulk purchase benefits.
Bad Bunny 2022 Tour
When Bad Bunny announced his first proper U.S. stadium tour, it absolutely broke Ticketmaster. Tickets disappeared almost instantly amid technical issues. Yet StubHub had thousands of listings, with floor seats going for $1,000+ each. Brokers clearly bought up massive quantities.
Factors Driving Differences Between Ticketmaster and StubHub Availability
There are several key factors that drive the differences in ticket availability between Ticketmaster and StubHub for in-demand events:
|Primary vs. secondary market
|Ticketmaster is the primary source; StubHub is secondary resale.
|Ticketmaster prices go up as tickets sell; StubHub prices determined by sellers.
|Bots and brokers
|Snap up tickets to resell on StubHub, diminishing Ticketmaster inventory.
|StubHub sellers post tickets they don’t yet have, inflating supply.
|StubHub includes foreign ticket listings not available on Ticketmaster.
|Sold StubHub tickets stay listed longer than on Ticketmaster.
|Ticket transfer policies
|Restricted Ticketmaster tickets still get listed on StubHub.
These factors combine to make Ticketmaster appear sold out while StubHub still shows ticket availability. But the StubHub supply may be misleading, expensive, or impossible to actually obtain for buyers.
Are StubHub Tickets Guaranteed if Ticketmaster is Sold Out?
No, StubHub tickets are not guaranteed just because Ticketmaster shows an event as sold out. There are a few risks to consider when buying StubHub tickets:
- Speculative listings – Seller doesn’t actually have the tickets yet, so the sale could fall through.
- Invalid or restricted tickets – Tickets could be counterfeit or non-transferable.
- Unreasonable prices – StubHub prices are often highly inflated.
- Scams – Some sellers misrepresent inventory or fail to deliver.
StubHub does offer buyer guarantees to provide replacement tickets or refunds. But there are still risks buying on StubHub compared to direct from Ticketmaster. Prices are almost always higher on StubHub as well.
Tips for Finding Tickets When Ticketmaster is Sold Out
If Ticketmaster shows an event as sold out, here are some tips to still try finding tickets:
- Check Ticketmaster regularly for any returned tickets or new releases.
- Try Ticketmaster Verified Resale or Fan-to-Fan Resale.
- Buy directly on StubHub from sellers with high ratings.
- Look for fan ticket exchanges on social media.
- Ask friends season ticket holders if they have extra tickets.
- Consider VIP packages that come with guaranteed tickets.
- Become a fan club member for presales and early access.
- Sign up for venue or promoter newsletters for pre-sales.
- Check secondary local ticketing sites like Craiglist.
The most reliable way to get hot tickets is to buy directly from Ticketmaster right when sales start. Using presales, member benefits, and being ready right at the on-sale time are key. But checking secondary markets can help find tickets too, just be cautious of potential scams or bad deals.
In summary, several key factors drive the differences between Ticketmaster and StubHub ticket availability:
- Ticketmaster is the primary ticket source; StubHub is secondary resale.
- Dynamic pricing on Ticketmaster but seller-driven pricing on StubHub.
- Bots/brokers buy up Ticketmaster supply to resell.
- Speculative StubHub listings from sellers without tickets.
- International StubHub listings unavailable on Ticketmaster.
- Delayed delistings on StubHub after sales occur.
- Restricted Ticketmaster tickets still listed on StubHub.
So tickets may appear sold out on Ticketmaster and yet still available on StubHub. But StubHub availability does not guarantee viable tickets. Prices are typically higher and risks include invalid tickets, scams, or speculative listings. For hot events, the best bet is buying from Ticketmaster immediately when sales begin. Checking StubHub can help but caution is warranted. Being proactive, using presales/memberships, and acting quickly gives the best shot at getting tickets even when the event looks sold out.