How much do ticket brokers make, anyway?
If you’ve seen photos of ticket brokers lounging in their luxury cars or McMansions, try not to get sucked into the hype.
Take it from someone who has been buying and selling tickets for over 10 years: ticket brokering is a challenging and character-building career. But for those personalities willing to put in the hard work and who thrive on a good challenge, there are few careers more suitable than ticket brokering.
In this career, what you put in is exactly what you will get out.
How to Make a Killing as a Ticket Broker
Keeping your Losses to a Minimum
Despite the competitive disadvantage that you’ll start off with, if you are diligent about keeping track of your profits and losses, you should be able to quickly correct your biggest mistakes.
Too often, newbie ticket brokers tend to buy up any and all tickets they can find to big shows but only later realize that the only tickets that they could have profited from were the ones right up against the stage. By keeping close track of your expenses and revenue, you’ll start to detect profitability patterns, which are a huge reason why the pros are the pros: they know when to cut their losses.
Keeping Tabs on What’s Events are Profitable
It’s a common myth that ticket brokers have to know what names or sports teams are hot in order to make a good deal of profit buying and selling tickets. A more accurate statement would be that professional ticket brokers know what names and sports teams are profitable at all times.
A lot of big names like Bon Jovi and U2 have sold out shows to tens of thousands of fans, but still found a way to disappoint hundreds of ticket brokers who bought seats to their shows and lost tons of cash. Just because a concert will sell out in a few days (or even hours) doesn’t mean that very many of those tickets can return a good return on your investment.
As a ticket broker, you’ll need to keep constant tabs on eBay and StubHub listings to see what artists and sports teams have been selling for the greatest amount, and comparing those numbers to how much it cost to purchase those tickets. If you see a disparity there exceeding $100 per ticket, you have a winning combination. Anything less than that is a potential liability—especially if it dips below the $50 mark. Anything below $50 in profit per ticket is a red flag. Make sure to factor in eBay/StubHub fees before running these calculations.
Keep a Daily Schedule
Most concert tickets on Ticketmaster, whether a presale or onsale, are released at 10AM EST. For those of you looking to start a ticket broker business on the East Coast, this is not a problem. Just wake up at 9, load up your list of presales and onsales for the day (which you prepared the day before), and you’ll be in plenty of time. For those on the West Coast, the situation is a bit more difficult. 10AM EST is 7AM on the West Coat, which means you’ll have to wake at 6AM to be on time for your presales and onsales. Not an ungodly hour, but a bit more of a challenge.
Veteran brokers know that ticket brokering is all about staying diligent every day and making sure you’ve taken care of your list of tasks which may include:
-pulling tickets for a 10AM presale
-pulling tickets for an 11AM onsale
-pulling tickets for a 12PM onsale
-listing purchased tickets once onsales and presales have ended
-answering customer questions
-dropping off ticket envelopes at FedEx and USPS mailboxes
-attending local shows
You’ve Got to Earn Your Keep
If you’re the kind of person who thrives when given complete responsibility, you’ll find ticket brokering to be a highly lucrative career. Unlike a 9-5 job where you can find ways to work less and still get paid the same, as a ticket broker you’ve got to earn each and every penny you make.
And if you happen not to sell your pair of tickets to a local show, guess what? You’ve just booked your weekend. Win win.