Ticket Scalping: What It Means and How to Do it Right

by Brandon

We’ve all been there. You’re at a dinner party and someone asks you The Question:

“So, what do you do?”
“Oh, I’m a ticket broker.”
“You mean like, a scalper?”
“Well, not exactly. What we do is 100% legal and law-abiding.”
“But you’re still ticket scalping, aren’t you?”

Avoiding the S Word

No ticket broker wants to be called a scalper, even though we’d all admit that the distinction between ticket broker and ticket scalper is blurry at best. The only real distinction between the terms is one of emphasis.

A “scalper” is someone with no regard for the law, who will sell tickets anywhere and everywhere, to anyone, at any price as long as it’s profitable.

A “broker” is someone who respects the law of the local jurisdiction he finds himself a part of, whether it related to proximity to the venue or maximum sale price.

The Reality of Ticket Resale

StubHub processes hundreds of millions of dollars each year in revenue. If buying and reselling tickets for a profit were an illegal practice or somehow looked down upon by the government, StubHub would cease to exist. Quite to the contrary, StubHub is paying millions of dollars to the IRS in taxes, which means the United States government is making quite a pretty penny from the resale of tickets.

Let’s face it: ticket brokering is a real profession. It just has to be done right.

Evolving from Ticket Scalper to Ticket Broker

Given the immense profitability in buying and selling concert and sporting tickets online, let’s go over some basic tenets of ticket brokering, and how it differs from ticket scalping.

1. Ticket brokering is legal. Every state has laws and regulations outlining their specific policy toward ticket brokering, and many require a ticket broker license. Here is Georgia’s policy on ticket brokering, for example.

2. Ticket brokers are tax-abiding. Those engaged in ticket scalping (the bad one) may have no respect for the law or the government, so they may sidestep any tax duties they may have. Ticket brokers understand that they are engaging in a business, and like any other business, must pay taxes.

3. Ticket brokering is ethical. The National Association of Ticket Brokers exists to ensure responsible and diligent ticket brokering practices across the country, outlined in their Code of Ethics.

4. Ticket brokers are transparent. If a seat has an obstructed view or any other limitation that is not obvious from the event itself (e.g. “loud music” is not a limitation at a rock concert, but standing in front of a 7-foot wide beam is), that limitation will be clearly described prior to purchasing.

5. Ticket brokers are honest. If a ticket broker advertises a refund policy on their listings, they must comply with that policy and grant a refund to the buyer, given sufficient prior notice.

Become a Ticket Broker, not a Ticket Scalper

There will be enough money to be made in this industry for a long, long time to come. Position yourself correctly from the get-go as a ticket broker and avoid the dreaded S word. You’ll be glad you did, both at the bank and at your next dinner party.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

weight loss supplements March 7, 2014 at 7:14 pm

You’ll see that as your clothes become uncomfortably tight, your eating habits will change until you fit back in them.
However, let us admit that not everyone succeed in this.
On any given day in the United States of America, a stripper in your favorite gentlemans club is getting a great
workout while making money hand over fist.


VA home loan May 14, 2014 at 8:08 pm

There was probably some truth in all of this speculation, but we all now know that
groups of home buyers (whether they were qualified or not) could
not have created the circumstances which led to the mortgage meltdown because, even if they had the knowledge and expertise to write their own mortgage loan applications and get
them approved and closed, it is safe to assume that they would not have possessed the skill to package and sell their loans as securities
on the stock exchange. Remember, add some personal circumstances required documents.
You can, however, use a VA loan to refinance an existing rental home you once occupied as
a primary home.


mortgage loans for self employed July 24, 2014 at 2:50 pm

The income that mortgage payment cover gives would then protect your
repayments and outgoings that are related to the loan, such as insurance.
I know most everyone reading this feel it is common sense stuff,
but you would be amazed at the perception of this mystical “gray area” out there when it comes to applying for a
mortgage. There are no barriers such as race, education, gender, previous experience,


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: