Online ticket resale has become a big industry for a variety of reasons. Some people are looking to score tickets to otherwise sold-out events from people who can no longer attend. Others are hunting for deals as non-attendees with tickets offer lower prices as they urgently try to sell their seats before the event starts. Still others are aiming to avoid high service fees that sometimes come with buying tickets straight from primary vendors.
There are risks involved in tapping the online secondary ticket market, though, so it’s important to know who you’re buying from and who you can trust. Easier said than done, right? Well, we’re here to help you out with an overview of the top ticket resale sites and what they do best, so you can pick the one that gives you the most of what you’re looking for.
What is covered in this article:
- 7 best ticket resale sites for cheap event tickets
- Ticket resale sites comparison: how they stack up
- Winner: best concert ticket resale site
- Winner: best for resale sports tickets
- Winner: best protection & guarantees for buyers
- Winner: cheapest ticket resale site
- The bottom line: what is the best ticket resale site?
7 best ticket resale sites for cheap event tickets
First up, let’s meet the players and learn a little more about them.
1. StubHub resale: the current MVP of ticket resale
StubHub is one of the biggest names in fan-to-fan ticket resale, as it’s incredibly easy to sell on StubHub. One of the things that makes it stand out is the coupons and promotions you can have delivered to your email inbox to save money on your favorite events. Another is its “FanProtect” guarantee that you’ll get replacement tickets or a full refund if your tickets aren’t valid or on time, or the event is canceled. It’s a popular website for getting resold cheap baseball tickets.
Also be sure to check out these other popular sites like StubHub.
2. eBay resale: buy, bid, or barter for tickets
eBay, the current parent company of StubHub, is well known as being one of the first big auction houses and general e-commerce marketplaces on the Internet. And yes, it also does ticket resale. However, you may not necessarily have to win an auction to score tickets on eBay (at least not anymore); some tickets can be bought immediately, while for others, the seller may accept an eBay best offer.
If you want to try your hand at scoring a deal on tickets through an auction on eBay, these 15 tips can tilt the odds in your favor.
3. Ticketmaster resale: tickets straight from the source
Ticketmaster is a primary ticket outlet, so it sells legitimate tickets straight from event venues. However, it has recently begun allowing ticket resale to a limited degree. It has a good refund and exchange policy, but high selling fees that mark up the cost of tickets. As a result, lots of alternatives to Ticketmaster have cropped up over the years.
4. SeatGeek resale: shop around for tickets without the site-to-site hassle
SeatGeek allows ticket resale, but it’s more of a ticket meta-search engine. Basically, that means it looks for tickets for a particular event across several ticket resale sites and compares the costs up front for you. Its claim to fame is its “Deal Score” algorithm, which rates how reasonable prices for tickets are based on how good your seats are and how in-demand the event is.
5. Vivid Seats resale: tickets with peace of mind and a personal touch
Vivid Seats is another popular ticket resale site. Its biggest asset is how it goes the extra mile to protect the security and satisfaction of its fans, including the legitimacy of the tickets sold on it. Its prices are decent as well, though its interface takes a bit of getting used to.
6. Craigslist resale: good old-fashioned one-on-one resale
Online classified advertising websites like Craigslist are another option for scoring resold tickets. You may be able to find better deals here, but generally, the protection policies on the legitimacy of your tickets are a lot weaker – generally just whatever the seller posts. Take some precautions to make sure that you don’t run headfirst into a common classified ad scam.
Get a general intro to buying and selling through classified ad websites with a list of the top platforms and some basic safety precautions.
7. TicketsNow resale: authentic resale tickets at reasonable prices
TicketsNow is Ticketmaster’s dedicated resale site for event tickets. Like its parent company, it’s good at getting you 100% legitimate tickets, but charges high processing and delivery fees. It also doesn’t have a very good return or refund policy.
Ticket resale sites comparison: how they stack up
Here are a few more fast facts about each of the ticket resale websites we listed. You can take them as a comparison as-is, or you can use them as context for our look at who takes top honors in our specialty categories below.
|Featured Types of Events|
|Average Service Fees||35%||N/A||40%||20%||30%||N/A||20%|
|Return/Refund Policy||FanProtect Guarantee||eBay Money Back Guarantee||Fan Guarantee||SeatGeek Buyer Guarantee||100% Buyer Guarantee||Set by the seller||Only if event is canceled|
|Notable Feature||Occasional coupons and promos||Lower prices through auction/best offer||“Verified Fan” program beats scalpers||“Deal Score” calculates value for money||Very strong buyer protections||No service fees||Ticketmaster tech verifies tickets for authenticity|
|Service Area||50+ countries worldwide||50+ countries worldwide||North America only||North America only||North America only||75+ countries worldwide||US & top Canadian cities|
Winner: best concert ticket resale site
The thing about concerts is that your favorite artist may not show up in the same venue or town on a regular basis. If you’re just a fan of the local venue, then that’s okay. Otherwise, you’re probably going to want to get your tickets right the first time, so you don’t miss out on an experience that could be very different the next time around – or might not come at all.
Winner: Vivid Seats
When it comes to concert tickets, Vivid Seats gives you the best bang for your buck. If you buy tickets to multiple concerts in the same year, you might get to go to one for free! Plus, Vivid Seats offers discounts for buying tickets in bulk, or if you’ve bought tickets for a specific artist at least once before.
Outside of that, our recommendation is to go straight to the source with Ticketmaster.
Winner: best resale sports tickets
Let’s say you’re more into big games than big sounds. You’re going to want a ticket resale site that features not only more sports, but more leagues – both amateur and professional. Who steps up to the plate in this regard?
StubHub has built up its reputation to the point where it has formed official partnerships with many of the most popular sports leagues around the globe. These include MLB (baseball), NFL/CFL (football), NBA (basketball), NHL (hockey), MLS (soccer), and NCAA (college sports). Whatever game you’re into, you’re bound to find tickets for it here.
Winner: best protection & guarantees for buyers
It’s good to have your ticket purchases covered, because let’s face it: a lot can go wrong, especially with fan-to-fan resale. Your tickets could arrive late for the event (or get lost in the mail), be fake, or be significantly different from the ones you ordered. Or the event itself could be postponed or canceled. Who has your back in these cases?
Winner: Vivid Seats
Vivid Seats has some of the best buyer protections in the business. They offer full-service customer care, including working on your behalf to secure tickets so that your financial information doesn’t get passed out to third parties. They also work tightly with resellers and courier services to make sure your tickets are authentic, on time, and accurate… or you get a full refund!
Here’s StubHub’s return policy (which is still quite good), for comparison’s sake.
Winner: cheapest ticket resale site
Even if you can get tickets to that big event near you, the next biggest hurdle is going to be how much they cost. Availability means little if tickets are marked up beyond a price that you can afford.
Runners-up: SeatGeek, eBay
If the price point is all you’re worried about, then online classifieds like Craigslist are a good bet. Usually, they don’t charge much (or as much as their competitors) to list stuff for sale, so sellers don’t have to mark tickets up as much to compensate.
eBay can be another good option, as you may be able to get a low auction bid or price point accepted on tickets that the seller is desperate to get rid of and aren’t in very high demand.
If you don’t want the legwork of dealing with a seller one-on-one, though, then SeatGeek works well. Its “Deal Score” system, and the fact that it searches across other ticket sites, go a long way towards getting you a good deal.
We have even more tips for getting cheap event tickets, if you’re interested.
The bottom line: what is the best ticket resale site?
Of the sites we listed, we feel that StubHub offers the best balance of geographic availability, price, event selection, and buyer protection. But as it grows in popularity and profitability, it’s leaving niches in which the other sites can do certain things better than it.
For example, sites like SeatGeek can find you better prices than StubHub, while Vivid Seats outshines StubHub in terms of buyer-friendly policies and protections. The best place to buy resale tickets, then, like many things, depends on your priorities.
Why choose StubHub?
StubHub is a great choice for sports tickets, as it has a large selection of events worldwide to choose from. It also has a decent buyer protection policy and occasional discounts.
Why choose eBay?
A general e-commerce website like eBay can be a better bet for finding tickets to venues that other resale sites may not carry, like museums and theme parks. You also have purchasing options: buy upfront, bid in an auction, or submit a price offer.
Why choose Ticketmaster?
If you want to skip the worry of wondering if your tickets are genuine, pick a primary ticket seller like Ticketmaster. This can be a good strategy for a big-name concert, where you have a rather limited time to see the event in your area.
Why choose SeatGeek?
SeatGeek’s “Deal Score” can help you figure out what a reasonable price is for tickets if you’re not sure how to assess their value. It also has low service fees and a good selection of sports tickets.
Why choose Vivid Seats?
If you’re a serial concert-goer who likes to support local acts and venues, Vivid Seats has a bunch of perks that you’ll love. Their policies are really customer-friendly, too.
Why choose TicketsNow?
TicketsNow can be a good choice if you want the peace-of-mind of verified authentic tickets while not necessarily paying face value like you would at Ticketmaster. Just be sure you’re actually going to the event, though, because they have a very strict refund policy.
You may also be able to find resold tickets on these low-cost sites, or at least get cash back and other discounts on your purchases.