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What is a Ticket Broker?

Jeff Petersen
Updated: May 23, 2024

If you've ever tried to get tickets to a concert, only to find them sold out three minutes after they went on sale, look no further than a ticket broker. With legions of employees both in line and online, ticket brokers have the resources to buy more tickets and buy them faster than an individual. If you can't find tickets to an event, chances are a broker has them.

Many states have laws prohibiting the sale of tickets for more than face value. Some states have laws that specifically forbid ticket brokerages to do business. With the worldwide access of the Internet, ticket brokers can operate in a state that allows them to do business, and sell tickets to concerts, shows, and events from all over the world.

A ticket broker makes money based on supply and demand. There is an artificially small supply of event tickets, because a show only plays so many dates and there are only so many seats at a venue. This allows the broker to control a significant portion of the supply of tickets, and charge ten times the ticket price or more.

Ticket brokerages employs a group of buyers to purchase tickets for a particular event. The buyers stand in line at points of sale or use the Internet to make online purchases. The employees deliver the tickets to the broker, who then resells them, usually through a website, at a huge markup. When people are unable to find tickets to the event, they turn to the ticket broker.

Of course, there are multiple sides to the discussion. Ticket brokers claim to be providing a service. They say that by purchasing a large number of tickets and selling them at an extreme markup, they are only providing a true market economy. Their claim is that if people want to see a show badly enough to pay ten times the face value of the ticket, the ticket broker is justified in selling the ticket for that price.

Opponents of ticket brokers claim that because there is a very limited number of tickets, the brokers are providing unfair competition. They say that the brokerage is cornering the market. These opponents do not believe that it is ethical of the brokers to act as middlemen, hoarding tickets and demanding an artificially high price without providing any significant service.

WiseTour is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jeff Petersen
By Jeff Petersen
Jeff Petersen is a freelance writer, short story author, and novelist based in Berkeley, California. He earned his B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Creighton University and loves putting his skills to work creating captivating content for WiseTour. Jeff's articles cover a broad range of subjects, keeping readers informed and entertained with his insightful writing style.
Discussion Comments
By anon989276 — On Feb 27, 2015

I didn't read every post so I'm probably repeating someone else here, but the bottom line is ticket brokers have made it impossible to pay face value for an event that you really want to go to. Another poster mentioned the days when you could get to a TicketMaster outlet and buy the tickets you wanted, even for an event that would eventually sell out. The really ambitious could get up early, be the first in line and end up in the first row - like my brother and I did for a sold out Buffett concert in 1989. But eventually -- thanks to ticket bandits -- you were lucky to get pavilion seats 2 minutes after the sale time because of the huge blocks taken by the greedy. And forget the front row unless you want to pay double/triple the price. I hate them!

By anon988754 — On Feb 13, 2015

I have no problem with ticket brokers selling items they actually own. Free market economy. The problem is that at times it is an unregulated futures commodity market. They use the same terms commodity traders use like shorting and speculating. Meaning they sell inventory they do not own betting that the market will come down, they can buy what they claimed to own at a discount and make a profit with no actual upfront investment. Too often they are unable to deliver on their claims leaving consumers messed up. It should be regulated just like any other financial speculation market, beholden to regulations just like anybody who trades in futures from pig bellies, to oil, to gold, etc. This will drive out 90 percent of the scumbags who got their start standing out in front of the stadium going "I got two, you need two? I got two, you selling two" who found legitimacy but going to the internet.

Just look up Super Bowl 2015 shortsellers for a good example of this fiasco. But the ticket outlets are taking sales for the Grateful Dead and tickets do not even go on sale for another 15 days. They're scumbags who just want to collect their fees regardless of who they steal from.

By anon942696 — On Mar 28, 2014

I've been a sports ticket broker for 10 years. We sell 70 percent of our inventory for less than face value. The other 30 percent, we will sell for an average of 165 percent of face value. This is done very basically, we buy season tickets, break them up game by game, undersell the "bad" games by liquidating them below face value and up-sell the "premium" games. Why don't we hear about those 70 percent of customers who paid less than box office? We do indeed provide a service.

By anon935329 — On Feb 24, 2014

Seriously, there is someone here comparing ticket scalping to scalping bread? That is some pretty dumb logic because that would put supermarkets and their purveyors in the realm of scalpers as well -- lemonade stands, too, or did you not know that they all mark up?

Since "scalpers" and "brokers" are separated by mere bureaucracy, they're all scalpers to me. Having been on both sides of the argument, what I have to say is this: if you're going to vilify scalpers, then you must also vilify Ticketmaster and/or the venues for scalping their own tickets. Ticketmaster Platinum Listings, anyone? Just guess who's behind those $1,700 floor tickets for Billy Joel. And as those listings sell, the prices for subsequent Platinum Listings rise almost exponentially within minutes. I have watched it happen. What's more, the artist is usually in bed with them on that -- the artists whom several commenters on here have on angelic pedestals, naively assuming said artists would be outraged at such mistreatment of their fans. They are only as outraged as Springsteen, who, while feigning outrage at Ticketmaster, still contracts with venues that contract with Ticketmaster on what, every tour? Yeah, he sheds tears of gold for you.

While we're on the subject of Ticketmaster, it sells blocks of its own tickets on Stubhub. When you see 1-30 tickets available on Stubhub, that's usually Ticketmaster. It's not a couple of scalpers getting hundreds of tickets each. It's also untrue that all scalpers are earning 10, 20, or 100 times face value all the time. There is so much competition now from bumbling Stubhubbers that they constantly undercut one another and drive prices into the ground. There's a self-correction in the prices there.

Gone are the days when the really heartless broker jerks did mark up to 10 times face value. That's a nice pipe dream these days. Most of us are getting nowhere near that. Nothing is that simple. Just because you see a ticket that has a face value of $50 listed on Stubhub for $5,000 doesn't mean it sells for that and it certainly does not mean the seller is pocketing the gross selling price. Any idiot who does sales can attest to that.

Yeah, you can sit there and think "hey, what a jerk, trying to scam someone into paying that," but a price tag that high is nothing more than a fantasy or a desperate hope that someone with money to burn will take the bait. So sue a guy for dreaming big.

When Billy Joel played that tiny venue on Long island a few months ago, everyone around here tried turning that trick. We're talking well-to-do suburban family types who were gunning for $100 tickets to scalp for $600-$1,000 and boasting about it. It wasn't just scalpers. Suddenly, some of your morally upstanding, scalper-hating peers became who they claim to despise for the sake of a few hundred extra bucks. Like you wouldn't try it if you could!

This is a spec business like any other, with a cash layout and overhead. We buy the merchandise and try to sell it, but we have a finite amount of time before our merchandise is worthless. I'm not going to cry about selling at a loss or ticket values tanking because that means as much as reading losers cry about scum buying bread.

You can sit there and claim scalpers do no work, but that shows ignorance. There is much more involved than spending 30 seconds buying a few tickets and then another two minutes to list them somewhere.

The bottom line is nothing is what you think it is and calling people scum when you have no clue about what they actually do only demonstrates a stubborn ignorance. I have received my share of hate mail via Craigslist and Ebay. The senders are the same entitled jerks who (while trolling the "dealer" section of CL) call me a scumbag but want floor tickets to One Direction for $10 each and everything at your garage sale for 25 cents. But I don't care! If that's who they want to be, yay for them. I have made my choice not to be beholden to some employer who views me as a random number to be toyed with arbitrarily.

I work hard by being as enterprising as possible and I will scalp anything (within reason) I can if it means I can keep being self-employed and independent (just not Twinkies -- that was really not worth it). Behind everyone, including scalpers and brokers, is a life and a story. I got burned out on a dead end corporate job and the absurd lifestyle of kowtowing to a large employer that has no respect for its employees and will turn on them in a heartbeat.

Some are immigrants, some guys have handicapped kids and need to make extra cash scalping. Some really are jerkwad leeches. But none are better or worse than any armchair deities. So those living in your glass houses can request those three to five vacation days coming to them from your jobs to sit in their chairs and judge scalpers. Yay for them.

Meanwhile, I'm working hard to stay self-reliant so I have to appeal to no one for time off. It's worth having to tell some spiteful, judgmental people to go away once in a while.

By anon355889 — On Nov 20, 2013

So ticket brokers and the people who buy from them claim that they are providing a service in exchange for the extreme markup (i.e. getting "in line" and buying the tickets first).

While it may be true for some people, I personally get no value from it since I don't need front row tickets or VIP access. I just want to attend the events. So I have sworn to never buy tickets above face value or from brokers. I have had some luck buying from fans who end up with extra tickets and were willing to resell at face value. I have sold tickets at face value to others as well. I am willing to miss the concerts and shows if I can't find tickets.

If you don't want to be price-gouged, then you should do the same. It takes discipline which is hard for our society of instant-gratification. Just think of all the other things you can use that money for.

If you choose to buy from brokers then you are supporting and enabling that industry. No point complaining if you're still supporting them.

When we consumers wise up, then brokers will face more losses and reconsider their chosen profession. Also, the entertainment industry may change their practices of giving brokers preferences if performers have to perform a "sold out" show to a half-empty room.

By anon316117 — On Jan 27, 2013

It is understandable to see many people being upset. No one would be happy to see tickets for their favorite band to be snapped up by brokers who are going to attempt resale for profit. It is though, an emotional response, rather than a logical one. A response of anger and upset that any body would have. Nevertheless, the same people who get upset with brokers are the same who do not complain when they get discounted tickets for unpopular tickets from unlucky brokers. It is probably just human nature.

As said, finding a point of agreement between brokers and fans is like trying to make peace between logic and emotions - and this is probably impossible.

Thus, brokers should understand and appreciate how fans can feel at being priced out of high demand events. On the other hand, using logic, brokering is a business trading non-vital commodities whose prices vary with supply and demand. Simple.

In some cases, this benefits the promoters, venues, or fans; in others, only the brokers; in others nobody.

By anon307040 — On Dec 03, 2012

It's ridiculous if you think that the broker or scalper is providing any service! They buy the tickets out from under us and then sell them at no less than double the cost! I, too, have been online, along with others to assist me and on the phone with Ticketmaster at the same time the second the tickets "go on sale." They are never available. I believe the brokers (a.k.a scalpers) have access to purchase the tickets before we do.

How are these places providing us with a "service"? They purchase the tickets and then jack the prices up, so if we want to buy them, we will have to pay the inflated prices. They did nothing for me that I should have to pay extra for. The same steps I have to take to buy tickets from Ticketmaster are the same steps I take to buy them from the third-party sites. So, they haven't saved me any time or work.

If they were prohibited from buying out all the tickets, I could do it myself at face value. I'm not getting tickets that are truly "sold out" because when you look, they have hundreds available.

It's a scam. It's the same as scalping right in front of the event and should be illegal.

By redhotchilly — On Sep 26, 2012

There is no 'need' for ticket brokers.

It is like people living beside a bakery, working hard all day, dropping off to sleep and looking forward to getting up at 7 a.m. and running next door for bread.

The 'ticket broker' has no legitimate occupation, so he gets up at 4 a.m., buys everything in the bakery and sets up a mile down the road with inflated prices claiming he is filling a need. He is a parasite.

Solution: Grass roots movement to boycott all ticket brokers and scalpers. Miss events for as long as it takes even if that is forever. It is better than enabling deluded parasites, some of whom might actually be able to wake up and understand their scam, rise up and find a way of life which honours other people rather than scams them.

By Joefried — On May 23, 2012

@anon240061: Thanks for pointing out the article, "The Importance of Ticket Brokers" which can be found online.

This article articulates and addresses all of the issues that is discussed here: how the broker's side of the business operates and why it exists, brokers' strategies and the pros and cons of the ticket broker business.

Also, I agree with anon240061. Anyone who wants to do something about high ticket costs and not strike against their favorite artists, I encourage fans to be looking for websites that offer the best service and the lowest fees. I have now used Tickpick, numerous times; they have no additional buyer's fees and a customer support team located in the US.

As a population, we should be looking for companies that operate the most efficiently and offer us the best services at the lowest prices. At least this is one way to save 10 percent to 15 percent on sold out concerts.

By anon259358 — On Apr 05, 2012

The people here that have worked for brokers. I find all that you say hard to believe. Today I knew presale tickets would be going on sale for Madison Square Garden at 4 p.m. through ticketmaster. My 17 year old daughter and I both manned our laptop computers and were ready on the site. All we had to do was press refresh, put in two tickets, paste the password in since we had already copied it and then type in the captcha and hit enter.

At the time I hit enter I looked at the clock and it was exactly the time the tickets were to go on sale. So you are telling me they went on sale at 10 a.m. and then were sold out at 10 a.m.? We went through this process for 15 minutes after 10 a.m. We got nothing. General public tickets go on sale tomorrow, or are presale and general public just a scam? I find that very hard to believe.

This morning I noticed brokers had tons of tickets – way more than the 20 that someone on here stated. I counted them all. One site had 50 and one site had 100 tickets. I saw the cheapest ticket being sold for over $300, and the most expensive ticket being sold for $10,000. It's highway robbery if you ask me. I liked the old days when you could actually buy tickets from the box office looks, but like those days are gone!

Bands should not be announcing they sold out their entire tour in under two minutes because I can find tons of tickets on ticket agent sites. So guess what? They aren't sold out! The whole thing is a scam and selling $84 tickets for $300.00-$97,000 should be against the law.

By anon259183 — On Apr 05, 2012

Nothing is at face value when it comes to opinions. It may sound as if brokers are a bad thing, but like every business, that provide a product or service, it's up to the consumer to decide the value versus the demand.

Having a mentality that a broker selling a ticket at a higher value above what the ticket prices originally go on sale for, is greedy, is short sighted. That's like saying they are cheating consumers. There would be a bigger argument on your behalf if one were outraged at a company such as Adobe software, which sells its Suite packages for $7,000-plus while Microsoft sells an operating system for $250.00. If it weren't for the operating system, the Adobe software wouldn't be able to be used on a computer.

People have always used brokers when it comes to ticket sales, and if the issuer of the tickets was so concerned then they would have set up a type of union trust to control ticket pricing. Then all ticket prices would have a set equal value, although all talents are not equal.

The same goes for the lottery. For the most part, multi-state lotteries are equal (with one exception: when states offer free tickets as an incentive, it throws the odds in favor of that state, and against other states, since the state giving out a free lottery ticket gets to give away those tickets at only 35 percent of the normal ticket price), but nevertheless even lottery tickets being sold at set value now ranging from $1 and $2 Mega Million and $2 and $3 for Powerball. So, the vendor of a store is also the broker on behalf of the state and buyer. The store vendor gets money right off the top, even if a state loses money on ticket sales (very seldom happens any longer – losses, that is).

However, it goes to show that when it comes to tickets for anything, a broker is used as a service for the industry as well as for the consumers. And ultimately, the consumer decides the ticket value, not the broker.

By crystal3 — On Mar 13, 2012

It should not be the equivalent of a down payment on a home to purchase good tickets for your family. I had made it something of a tradition to take my family to at least one event yearly where we had good seats. This year it seems that will be impossible. Very sad. Not saying people shouldn't make money, but to triple, quadruple or worse the price of one ticket? I don't know exactly what it going on, but it's something less than ethical.

By anon243820 — On Jan 30, 2012

I bought Bruce Springsteen tickets a few days ago for an April 26 show that's not supposed to go on sale until Feb. 3. I bought them through Official Tickets Online, which works with Prestige Tickets West (the broker). Am I getting scammed? How is it that I could buy them before they go on sale?

By anon240061 — On Jan 12, 2012

I came across an article online that articulates what purpose brokers serve and why they continue to exist.

Do note the author of this article is the founder of TickPick, which is a ticket marketplace like stubhub, however, they use technology to recommend which tickets are the best tickets.

I am not sure if they are just running a promotion but there are no fees when you buy tickets, unlike the other marketplaces which charge 10 percent to 20 percent when you get to the checkout.

By anon235614 — On Dec 18, 2011

Every human being on here who supports and defends ticket brokers do not care about the arts, just money. It's pathetic. It would be like standing in line to eat and the person before you bought all the food and turned to you and offered to sell it to you for four times the price or you cannot eat? That sounds pretty fair, huh? No matter what stupid way you want to spin it, it's wrong and will be stopped.

By anon225266 — On Oct 26, 2011

To the Phish fan who didn't get tickets and holds "greedy ticket brokers" as the reason why. Exactly when did you try to get tickets? If a concert, sports game or whatever other ticketed event is in high demand, what makes you think it's your God given right to buy a ticket at face value or less any time you want?

And if you get tickets for well below face on StubHub or wherever else (as I've done many times for baseball games), do you find the broker and make him whole? Of course not.

Assuming there were no shenanigans involved where the ticket distribution had a "private stock" of tickets held back for marked up resale, or the broker had "an in" (both do happen but are illegal), you had just as much of a chance of getting in line or on line to get those tickets as soon as they went on sale.

"But I didn't know if I could make that concert date months in advance", "I want them as a present for a friend who only told me he's in town today", "I didn't have the money at the time", "I couldn't take time off from work to wait in line", etc., etc. - all legit, but also all speaks to the money value of time and possibly, the premium price for premium locations. You are paying the broker for the convenience of buying closer to the event, possibly for specific seats and possibly for in-demand tickets.

Think of it this way: if there were no brokers and the concert were sold out in a few hours just the same, then that means all the other buyers who got tickets instead of you would be using and not reselling the tickets at all. Meaning, you couldn't go at any price.

By anon167415 — On Apr 12, 2011

This article is the stupidest thing I have ever read. I used to work for a broker and we never bought and re-sold tickets from Tmaster. We always bought from season ticket holders or owners of the seats themselves with proper identification for our clients' safety.

This is such an offensive generalization. Read or visit your sources before writing an article with information that you don't know is legit.

By anon167372 — On Apr 12, 2011

These comments literally disgust me. America is a "capitalist nation"? That's really an argument for this scumbag enterprise known as ticket brokering? If it's outside the venue, it's illegal. If it's online for a $100+ markup, it's perfectly legal? Ha! America may be a free market economy, but look at how an entire industry leeches off people by providing an unnecessary and corrupt "service." America is fast transforming itself into a nation of haves, have-nots, and the middlemen sucking the life and money out of everyone else. If you work for one of these companies, go away.

By anon157098 — On Mar 01, 2011

I don't understand why people are getting so riled up and calling brokers scumbags. They are investing their own capital to attempt to make a profit, as well as devoting their time to purchase said tickets. If they end up selling the tickets below face value, that's the risk they face. That is capitalism. An entrepreneurial spirit is what made this country great, not sitting back and attempting to be "fair". The computer that you are currently reading this rant on was invented and built with a profit incentive. Outlaw profit and you might as well be outlawing advances in civilization.

By anon154182 — On Feb 20, 2011

I'm really glad there are scalpers. For example, I just found out that one of my favorite bands has an upcoming local show. The tickets went on sale a month or two ago and are now sold out. If there were no brokers, I'd simply be out of luck and would have to wait until next year (or whenever they decide to come to town again). Brokers provide consumers like me the ability to get tickets to concerts that we might have missed out on initially since we're off living life and not necessarily keeping up-to-date on and rearranging our lives for ticket sale dates.

I am pretty sure the brokers also benefit the venues/ticketing agencies in helping to ensure that their tickets sell out more often, thereby reducing their risk of being left with unsold tickets. If the show turns out to be unpopular, it's the brokers who get screwed over and take a loss. The venues have a higher probability of selling out, so they can take this more consistent cash flow and make better decisions for future spending.

Since brokers will tend to dump the tickets at a lower price than they paid rather than taking a complete loss, brokers can at times provide consumers with the ability to purchase overpriced tickets for a price lower than the venues are offering.

Brokers simply bring the ticket prices to the proper market value, whether it be higher or lower than what the venue charges. But I do really enjoy hearing all of the irrelevant arguments being brought up, such as religious beliefs, or the comparison of selling luxuries such as concert tickets to selling necessities such as bread and water. One guy even cried about how brokers are ripping everyone off with high ticket prices, but in the same breath mentioned that 60 percent of all brokers go out of business. How are most of them going out of business if they're making so much money by ripping everyone off?

By anon148035 — On Jan 31, 2011

So the people here complaining of ticket brokers being scum, not providing any service and should get a real job what do you do for a living?

I'm sure you work for a company, did not invent anything and have none of your own money at risk in your company. You probably collect a paycheck and thereby are dependent on someone else's entrepreneurship.

When you actually contribute to society in a positive way and are not just sucking off others' achievements, then you can be in a position to criticize others' work efforts.

By anon148029 — On Jan 31, 2011

I used to be a dentist but retired from that. Got tired of patients saying "Don't take this personally doc but I hate all dentists." Now I'm a ticket broker and all my customers love me. I get them good seats for events that are sold out or only have seats in the last row.

Today a customer thanked me because I got him tickets for an event he promised his grandson to go but was sold out. And not because ticket brokers bought up all the tickets - it's because fans wanted to go.

By anon147420 — On Jan 29, 2011

What is described here pertains to a very small percentage of brokers - probably less than 5 percent. Most of us are one man operations, perhaps with a little help when large events are going on sale (I'll get my 16 year old out of bed early in that case).

Combined, brokers rarely " control a significant portion " of the tickets for an event - we merely control a significant portion of what is available on the secondary market - big difference.

"Extreme mark up...Sell at 10 times value..."

Only on very rare occasions. The vast majority of tickets are sold at a modest profit, especially when you consider that we place our capitol at risk every time we purchase a pair of tickets, entirely at risk.

Unlike a gallon of milk, tickets have a "face value". This in itself is a joke. Buy a $100.00 ticket direct from Ticketmaster and by the time they deliver it to you, they've added on average $28 in convenience /delivery fees.

Add the cost of marketing it at direct cost - what Stub Hub charges me - 15% or Ebay (averages to about 22%) and I have to sell that $100.00 ticket for $147-$156 just to break even, and we haven't started to account for shipping or office related expenses.

So yeah, quit that day job and jump in. Just remember: there is no pay check at the end of the week, and you are risking your own money.

By anon145503 — On Jan 23, 2011

I can't believe a few people actually defend the legal scalpers.

That's crap about ticket brokers losing money. Right. They wouldn't do it if they lost money.

By anon133767 — On Dec 12, 2010

It is sleazy, but of I could get a job as a broker again, I'd jump at the opportunity. Since being forced to work real jobs in this economy, getting up for work is much harder. Any brokers anywhere who need help, I will move. I did it for 10 years. I know the software.

By anon131264 — On Dec 01, 2010

It's funny how misinformed you guys are about the way the business actually works. First of all no one broker has thousands of tickets. Most brokers get a handful. Probably somewhere between 4-20 tickets per event on the average. The reason you (the public)assume that they have hundreds or thousands of tickets is because Most brokers are on the same networks.

Second, Ticketmaster, which owns Ticketsnow, tends to keep the best seats available for shows and they magically appear on there resale site.

Third, it's a market based business. If you guys really wanted to stop brokers permanently, you have the power to do so by freezing us out. The reason that will never happen is quite simple. America is a capitalistic country. And as long as people make good money and really want to see a show, they're going to continue to buy.

I have what I call a 300 list. on that list I have certain bands or performers that I'm willing to pay upwards of 300 dollars, if need be, to see them perform. Why? Because I can afford to do so that's why. That reality is that I have almost never outrageous amounts to see I concert I want to see because I do my homework.

I find out when is the online sale, I find out if there is a presale or check with the box or ticketmaster to see if i can catch a release later. Brokers rule!

By anon117525 — On Oct 11, 2010

I don't see how anyone could support the ticket brokers. They are scum and are in no way a necessary service.

I think people would be more content with missing a show because fans got seats before them rather than getting screwed by a bunch of scum bags. One of the things that I find to be the dirtiest of this operation is that they have done nothing to earn the money (aside from snatching tickets).

The sports teams and bands out there are the ones doing the work and getting the tickets from the primary source puts the money in their pockets. Why should some scum bag profit off of someone other peoples hard work cause they grabbed some tickets first. How about they apply themselves to getting a real job and contributing to society in a positive manner or at least produce something of their own.

And for all you free market people out there, just shut up. See this recession we're in? That's what free market gets you. A completely free market is impossible because people are greedy. Innocent people get screwed over because some jerks are trying to get rich. There has to be some sort of regulation and no, not to the extent of a communist level.

By anon102357 — On Aug 07, 2010

I've never read so many rants from a bunch of cry babies. Are these people serious? If you've posted a comment on this site about how much you despise ticket brokers then you, my friend, need to get a life. Maybe you should spend more time with your spouse or play catch with your kid.

If you don't like something that you can't control, then accept it but don't participate, whatever, just stop griping about it.

By anon96908 — On Jul 17, 2010

I was so upset when I went to get Phish tickets and they were already sold out, then I see that greedy brokers who don't even appreciate the music or understand the overall happiness the shows bring to my "family" bought them and jacked up the price so high we can't even go.

I'd rather sit in the parking lot than pay 300 bucks for a $50 ticket. Out of all the things that are illegal, I can't believe this is not one of them.

To "the editor": the only "fair" price is the price the band and venue intended.

By anon86825 — On May 26, 2010

Supply and demand drives our economy. Tickets are no different. Many brokers have contracts directly with the venue for sometimes as much as 100 tickets per event.

Although some are sold over face value, many are sold under face value. The best time to buy from a ticket broker is within 48 hours of an event. Keep watching the prices and sometimes you can score. I saw Wicked on a Saturday night on Broadway in NYC during prime Holiday Season in the front row for only $80 per ticket. There were four of us. We bought our tickets an hour or so before the show.

By anon86820 — On May 26, 2010

I only buy my tickets from a ticket broker because 90 percent of the time I get them below face value. Sure there are fees too, but much less when you look at it. i bought 10 tickets to see the Jonas Brothers and paid $7 per ticket for decent seats and the face value of th tickets were $37.50. I had no problem paying the ticket broker an 18 percent surcharge on a $7 Jonas Brothers ticket. I rarely pay face value in today's economy.

By anon84740 — On May 17, 2010

"A Ticket Broker is as legitimate as a Stock Broker..." Haha! You said it anon238.

Look where the economy is at now, thanks to legitimate stock brokers.

Why not buy out all available tickets before the general public can and then re-sell them at ridiculously inflated prices? What is so legitimate about that?

Ticket brokers are a bunch of thieves and that form of business should be outlawed! Thank goodness for pre-sales, you leeches.

By anon83811 — On May 12, 2010

I wonder how many ticket brokers consider themselves to be Christian or spiritual people.

Greed is not one of those virtues. They claim it is 'making money' and a 'respectable business'.

All it is is a demonstration of the rich stealing from the poor- yet again. A union of an 'evil empire' with insiders from ticket master and other areas who contribute to it.

And so many americans wonder why their economy is in the tank. Why we have to borrow money from China and other places. Paying these overpriced tickets for events- instead of putting it back into the economy via mortgages and other items.

Bottom line: Half of these brokers don't do much for other people except sit on their profits. They are no better than AIG and all the other failed businesses that ask for a bailout- while taking a bonus check at the same time.

Rest assured, if food was ever in shortage, ticket brokers would buy $1 soup cans and sell them to you for $10.00 apiece. That is how greedy, selfish and unethical ticket brokers are.

The only way to prevent brokering is for the venues to go back to their old ways- where tickets are only sold at the box office and one has to wait in line or has to call a long distance number to order the tickets and pick them up at the venue.

I'm starting to be of the idea that tickets should be non-transferable once sold. And are tied to a drivers license or state ID number- that would eliminate the problem entirely.

Keep in mind: tickets are sold with the premise that the the buyer enters into a contract to rent that seat for his or her sole use only, or a family or friend.

Selfish greed was never part of the equation. Blame it on abuse of technology and hopefully one day the government will abolish it with a federal law.

My understanding is the ticket scalpers, these brokers indeed, are paid off by the government under the table in certain states to uphold their practices today.

There's plenty of other means for ticket scalpers to make money. There is no reason why americans making $20 or less per hour, which is over 80 percent of america by the way, should have to pay 2x 3x the cost to go to a big event, other than corporate greed.

And if you call yourself a christian and a broker, you're an absolute liar.

By anon79658 — On Apr 23, 2010

Another option to make money from home is to become a ticket broker.

Brittany always loved going to sports events and concerts, but she always settled for the cheap seats because there was no way she could afford to pay a broker three times face value for good seats! she couldn't believe it when she searched and saw tickets selling for three times face value (or more!). maybe she could be doing the same thing, and enjoying games and concerts even more with the good seats she would be able to get.

So she decided to start buying and selling tickets back in 2006 to help put her through university. Learning this business took a lot of hard work, though, because there was no guide out there to show her how buy and sell tickets successfully.

By anon79654 — On Apr 23, 2010

Unfortunately, just as its impossible to convince a sociopath that their behaviors are unacceptable, no one is going to convince 'ticket brokers' of the error of their ways.

The only solution is to decide the venue is not important enough to pay more than the original ticket price. Let the brokers buy up all the tickets and take profound loss after profound loss until there's nothing left for them to gain.

In this day and age of consumerism and immediate satisfaction however, I have no hopes to see that happening any time soon.

By anon78562 — On Apr 19, 2010

I love that a broker comes on here and cries about how "most brokers" sell tickets for no more than 50 percent above face value. Boohoo. Go online and see where they are selling Phish tickets for alpine valley which have a face value of $50, but they are selling them for $450 a ticket, and closer seats are selling for $845 per ticket. Forget you, and I hope you go out of business as do 60 percent of ticket brokerages.

By anon77073 — On Apr 13, 2010

Ticket brokers are not providing a service. They are straight up ripping off both fans and artists and creating a false supply and demand for tickets.

If scalpers lose money by having to give away their tickets at less then face value it is well deserved. There is no skill involved in ticket scalping and it is made to benefit nobody but themselves since those tickets should only go to fans of those artists.

By anon74681 — On Apr 03, 2010

I read all the comments, and seriously, a ticket broker is not a stock broker. You need specialized knowledge, experience, and education to be successful in assessing the market and managing money.

It's no different than a lawyer or a realtor; are these things people could do themselves? Technically yes, but it's time consuming and takes a lot of research and careful planning.

Buying tickets, on the other hand, is a matter of a few clicks on a mouse. Not rocket science. Ticket brokers simply pay people to hoard tickets and then sell them at a ridiculously inflated price. There is no skill involved there, and thus, no service provided.

The "selling ticket" service is already provided by Ticketmaster, Ticket Horse, etc. (with reasonable service fees). Getting office space and a web site doesn't make ticket brokers legitimate or better than a street scalper.

By anon70458 — On Mar 14, 2010

You obviously know nothing about the secondary market if you think even a fraction of our ticket sales are 10 times face. Most brokers I know average 50 percent over face or less after fees when the risk is spread out over hundreds of events. For every 4x face, you also have events like most of last year's Bruce Springsteen shows that tanked and went for pennies on the dollar.

Sorry but you are entirely unqualified to analyze anything business related let alone the secondary ticketing industry.

By anon70387 — On Mar 14, 2010

Ticket brokers don't have tickets before they go on sale; they buy them at the same time as everyone else except they are a lot faster than you at getting them. Also, if you see tickets on ticket websites selling them before they go on sale, it just means that there are brokers out there speculating that they will get those tickets when they go on sale and hope to catch a dope to buy them before the actual go on sale date.

Look at the stub and you will see that brokers only really have about 10 percent of the venue capacities and not all shows sell out so not every event is a money maker for a broker.

By anon70364 — On Mar 13, 2010

If ticket brokers didn't exist how would you be able to go to an event on any date, at any time of the year anywhere in the country? You wouldn't. Don't say go to the box office, because don't you ever think if a game is hot, other fans will buy them up and sell it out on its own minus brokers? Then you would have no way of ever going. Not everyone who wants to go to a hot event gets tickets. People are always left out.

A perfect example is recently I tried to go to a small collegiate basketball game. The game sold out. I looked everywhere, but the event was so small brokers didn't buy it. I couldn't go, because nobody was selling. All the "fans" bought up every seat and no one was selling. If that has ever happened to you, then you would understand the need of a broker and the service they provide.

Brokers provide a service in this country like anywhere else, for a cost, of course. Nothing's for free. I just don't get the hostility toward them.

I don't see anyone so against a housing broker? Why is that? You can sell a house on your own with a lawyer to write up the papers. You don't even need a housing broker, but everyone uses one for a cost, of course. Same with the stock markets. You don't need a broker to buy stock for you. You can do it yourself, and people use them though. Why is that?

There are so many other instances in this country like those. If people were smart, instead of vilifying these ticket brokers, they would befriend them. I became friends with one recently and like a housing broker or stock market broker, he tells me where to go to get the cheapest tickets. He knows the markets better than I do since he deals with them daily. He's been a great resource for me and has saved me tons through the years.

Most would be surprised that most of these guys have business degrees/MBAs. The reason they're so good at what they do, quite bluntly, is because they're smarter than you in regard to these matters.

As the saying goes, you can't make all the people happy all the time, but if you educate people, maybe, just maybe, they will understand.

By anon70361 — On Mar 13, 2010

This article says nothing about what it is really like to be a ticket broker. We lose thousands of dollars a year on tickets that people don't want, and we sell tickets for $10 that we paid $100 for.

We provide a service for the people who aren't good at pulling tickets, are at work, forget it is going on sale that day, too lazy to try, want tickets last minute, etc.

By anon66545 — On Feb 20, 2010

Maybe I will become a milk and bread broker. I am going to go to all of my local grocery stores and by up their full supply of milk and bread, then I am going to resell it for $500/gallon and maybe $350/loaf. That sounds like a reasonable markup for you fans of milk and bread. I certainly wouldn't want anyone to go without, I am simply providing a service.

By anon54742 — On Dec 02, 2009

Miley Cyrus concert in Columbia, SC was ticketless. You must present the credit card used to purchase the 'tickets' at the gate to get in.

And to the comments from anon238: "Simply put, if there wasn't a need then they wouldn't be there. "

You mean like Chia pets, floam, Steven Seagal movies, in-laws, burglars, rapists, politicians, vice-principals, the 'skip intro' button on flash intro pages that aren't enabled until you've already downloaded the whole file?

By anon53349 — On Nov 20, 2009

In my belief ticket brokers are just as bad as ticket scalpers and anyone who says otherwise is one of them.

It is completely ridiculous that true fans wait in long lines and ready by a computer to purchase seats only to discover that some hold broker has already snatched them all up.

How is this fair and how in hell is this providing a service? The tickets are already on sale for dedicated fans for fair market value. That is the service, not the greedy brokers who mark up the tickets to unattainable prices.

The whole supply and demand thing is a load of crap and a definite excuse in my book. Why don't we all sell drugs since there is such a huge demand for that? It's the same concept, just a different product. With the economic downturn that we have been through, there is a very small number of people who can afford such sky-rocketed prices.

It is such an injustice to any true fans of any kind who actually have a desire to see the event. And as for you who have said if you don't like it, don't do it well that is just pure idiotic ignorance. There is absolutely no benefit to the general public in ticket brokering and the only benefit is that a couple of moronic crooks can fill their greedy pockets.

Brokers are nothing more that glorified scalpers and anyone who agrees with their trade is ignorant. Why don't they try buying tickets to an event and have the same thing happen to them! Grr.

By anon49905 — On Oct 23, 2009

I'm so happy I found this site. I've been sending emails and calling everyone that would listen to my rants about this.

I sat in front of my computer this morning waiting for Taylor Swift tickets to go on sale at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. I kid you not they were sold out at my first attempt. The only thing I had to do was push the add to my cart button. I had the box office on speed dial from my cell phone and tickemasters on my home phone. Denied! But another company had tickets, hundreds maybe thousands available. All of this is before 10:03. How does this happen and what do we do to stop it? I understand that the tickets go fast. I totally respect all the true fans that have camped out on sidewalks waiting to see their favorite bands. And what a better way to spend family time than at a game, but what the heck? I understand the whole buy and sell at a higher price, but how does it happen within minutes? It's not fair! What can we do? Thanks for listening. Ann Longoria, designated concert mom.

By anon47532 — On Oct 05, 2009

"If you don't like the high price of gasoline stop driving and ride your bike. If you don't like the high price of concert or sporting event tickets stay home and watch TV or listen to the radio." sure, if you don't like the high price of rent go homeless! if you don't like the high price of food stop eating!

By anon46301 — On Sep 24, 2009

One point that needs to be addressed is that many brokers have access to events prior to them going on sale "to the general public" this to me is the part that is wrong both to the fan or the artist. If the actual number of tickets available to the public had to be disclosed prior to the sale then maybe people would wake up to what is really going on. you can go to almost any brokers site before the event goes on sale and get tickets. how can this be? Because they are not the general public!

By anon30550 — On Apr 21, 2009

Scalpers should be behind bars.

By anon25790 — On Feb 03, 2009

Nobody would be complaining if the mark up from brokers were reasonable. Furthermore, most of these ticket brokers such as Tickets Now are owned by the same company! So in a sense they are purchasing from themselves and charging 4 to 5 times what the ticket is worth. That is whats wrong. There are laws in this country against monopolies and that is what this is.

By anon19477 — On Oct 13, 2008

I just spent two days camping out for tickets with my 14 year old son. We were first in line and should have got a great seat. We did not!!!! We are sitting on the first level. We watched an event take place while we were in line, and learned the art of scalping. We saw scalpers park in 15 min parking for over eight hrs, as they continuously purchased tickets to a sporting event. Did I forget to mention the st louis police dept is under the building. No more corruption here. I watched as the scotttrade bldg management did nothing to stop the same people from buying hundreds of tickets all day, and never called to have cars removed from the parking area they had taken over. Did I fail to mention after speaking with these degenerates I learned their wives work in the ticket office. No corruption in the scotttrade center. While scalpers sold tickets at the event they were legally to be off the premises of the scott trade center. Scott trade center management did tell them to leave when they broke the rules and sold their hundreds of tickets near the doors. The corrupt little punks did that at least 20 times, although I don't know why they bothered. The st louis police did nothing about it. So you can all talk to each other if you like or you can make an on line petition to stop this ****. Take it to events of all kinds, make shirts that say help bring down ticket prices don't buy from scalpers or on line anymore. As for me, I am sending a copy of this across the web, to our new police chief, the attorney general, district attorney, senators and every broker I can find.

By econobiker — On Sep 10, 2008

Problem is not the scalpers- it is the method that venues sell tickets. The actual artists would benefit more from auctioning the tickets off to the highest bidder. Then the true market value would be established. Poof- no more scalpers or brokers.

The ticket auction could go to a defined date before the event say 2 to 4 days. Then people could be emailed their seat confirmation to be printed out and then scanned in when they arrive at the event. This would be similar to what the airlines do with thousands of passengers on hundreds of flights per day...

By mikebigado — On Aug 21, 2008

The after market in event tickets is a legitimate business and is also huge. I liken it to any type of business related to supply and demand. If you don't like the high price of gasoline stop driving and ride your bike. If you don't like the high price of concert or sporting event tickets stay home and watch TV or listen to the radio.

By anon13879 — On Jun 05, 2008

The ticket brokers, in terms of the actual selling of the tickets, do not provide a necessary service to anyone. The tickets would have been sold through Ticketmaster et al, if the ticket brokers were not there; hence no service. All they are doing is cornering a market that has a very limited supply by buying up a huge chunk of said supply, and reselling it. I don't see how that's any different from buying up all of a product from local stores (eg - Best Buy) and reselling them on the street for more than was paid, and I certainly don't see the difference between a ticket broker and a scalper on the street.

Also, using the concept of 'the demand justifies the action,' is silly, as it could be applied to any number of illegal activities (eg - drugs, child pornography, etc) The thing I have the most problem with is the software advantage, as that clearly should be outlawed.

By jomar928 — On Mar 31, 2008

Brokers are offering tickets on line for $11,000 to $15,000 for Celine Dion Tickets. Why so high and can they get near that price. In Atlantic City, N.J.

By anon9073 — On Feb 27, 2008

Ticket brokers are nothing more than legal scalpers. While I understand the concept of supply and demand, many brokers have an unfair advantage by using illegal software to bypass security measures on major websites. Ticketmaster recently sued the developers of a software that allowed brokers to do exactly that - bypass the public and purchase large blocks of premium seats. Have you been to a 'sold out' concert lately? There are tons of empty seats in the closer sections, and people slyly try to move up while avoiding security. I attend at least a dozen major shows a year, and always see this happening. The empty seats are courtesy of our friendly neighborhood ticket brokers - the same guys who hire 'old school' scalpers to empty their inventory outside the venue the night of the show. So YES, ticket brokers are nothing more than glorified scalpers. They would sell you air and water if they could. I believe there should be laws in place limiting how many tickets a resale establishment can flip. I say fine them for making it nearly impossible for the average joe to get a decent seat at face value.

By anon8650 — On Feb 18, 2008

Are you kidding me? I miss the old days when you got to a ticketmaster site a bit early, stood in line and could be guaranteed a great seat, because you were there the second tickets went on sale. Brokers are thieves. It's that simple. To make an argument that you are providing a service is an outrage. My only satisfaction now is the fact that these people are miserable, sad human beings who will never stand a chance at being truly happy as long as they continue to choose this path in life.

By anon5991 — On Dec 12, 2007

Ticket Brokers = Legal Scalpers = Crooks. They have removed the opportunity for a family to attend any event. That includes sports and concerts. Have you ever wondered why tickest go "on sale" saturday morning at 10:00 AM and are sold out at 10:03 AM the same day? The brokers and their so called "employees" have bought them all up and are more than happy to sell you those $100.00 face value tickets for $275.00. Do the math...a middle class family of four wanting to attend a Red Sox game could probably do that if they were able to purchase 4 tickets at face value (let's say $40/ea x 4 = $160) but once the brokers get hold of the tickets you'll be lucky to find 4 seats together and if by chance you do find four together the cost would probably be $135/ea x 4 = $540 (against Tampa Bay not The Yankees) now putting the cost of the tickets outside the budget of the middle class family of 4. Have you ever noticed how many kids you see at a Red Sox game at Fenway Park?? Not many, and this is one of the reasons why. Ticket Brokers are nothing more than legal scalpers and in my opinion are one level lower than POND SCUM!

By anon2975 — On Aug 03, 2007

Ticket brokers don't provide a service to anyone but themselves. They're greedy, pure and simple. If someone wants tickets, they can go online and buy them. Nobody NEEDS a ticket broker to buy up all the available tickets 4 seconds after they go on sale and then mark them up 3 or 4 times. How does that help anyone except the jerk who's ripping off all the fans?

By anon802 — On May 04, 2007

Why does no one every complain when a ticket broker loses his shirt and has to sell tickets for half of cost? Bottom line, its about risk reward and supply demand... end of story. If a person wants to get tickets at face value then they should buy full season tickets, suffer long losing seasons to get decent seats or stand in long lines to get tickets when they go on sale to the general public.. Personally I would prefer to pay a broker to do all that for me so I can enjoy the few games I attend a year in good quality seats.. I guess the guy selling parking outside the venue or the guy selling peanuts is a scalper too? We are ALL scalpers.. and I can assure you we don't go to work for free and nor should a person who works to acquire good seats and sell them should. So anyone who has a problem with scalpers should move to Russia, because the last time I checked we weren't a socialist state.

By anon238 — On Apr 19, 2007

A Ticket Broker is as legimate as a Stock Broker which is very different from a ticket scalper. The ticket scalper usually takes the unsold inventory from the local Ticket Broker and sells them the day of the event either at the venue or near the venue. The prices depend on the demand so sometimes the tickets can be less expensive.

The article needs more facts and less opinion. It lacks proper research with regards to the law. I feel like the overall tone regarding Ticket Brokers is unnesessarily negitive.

The truth is that Ticket Brokers and Ticket Scalpers are providing a service to millions of people nationwide and worldwide. Simply put, if there wasn't a need then they wouldn't be there.

I'd like to see this article reviewed and re-written in a more objective manner.

Jeff Petersen
Jeff Petersen
Jeff Petersen is a freelance writer, short story author, and novelist based in Berkeley, California. He earned his B.A....
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