Tonight I decided to blog about a service that many of you have most likely heard of, StubHub. I personally think Stubhub has transcended the ticket buying/selling industry and has opened up the door to many more people who want to see live entertainment. I am an enormous fan and a frequent customer of this service.
StubHub is an online marketplace where members buy and sell tickets from/to other members. Tickets for games, concerts, plays, and much more are all available on the site. StubHub makes money by charging buyers 10% of their ticket purchase while charging sellers 15% of the ticket purchase. Yes, these types of fees can be annoying. But believe me, for the service provided, it is well worth it.
I have never been the type of guy to spend my money on flashy material type possessions. I hold off on buying new cars, wait until my phone upgrade date has arrived to get a new cell phone, am fine with a 40 inch TV as opposed to a 52 inch TV, and am still content with the lap top I got as a high school graduation gift (although it was nice getting a brand new home lap top computer for work). You see, I am much more into spending my money on experiences. Athletic events, concerts, trips, nice dinners, and shows are things I don’t think twice about using my income on. I use StubHub to purchase more than half of the things I just listed.
The number one reason why StubHub is a superb service is because you can always get a ticket to any major concert or professional sporting event regardless of whether it is sold out or not. One of my pet peeves in life is standing in line. It drives me nuts. I once stood in line for over 5 hours to get Elton John tickets only to never get them. Buying tickets online through the venue or through the specific act’s/team’s ticket service can turn into a real cluster also as many times traffic is so busy on these sites that you are kicked off the server before you even have a chance to put your ticket order in. Of course once you do, the tickets are already sold out. Don’t even get me started on calling in to purchase tickets. With StubHub, you can get yourself a ticket while bypassing all the above crap that does not even guarantee that you will get a ticket in the first place.
Of course, by buying off of StubHub you are going to be paying a price that is slightly marked up. However, that marked up price is more than worth the time, frustration, and sacrifice it takes to obtain a ticket the more conventional way. When I buy tickets off of StubHub, my thinking is that the extra money I am paying is rightfully compensating an individual (the seller) for being a much more savvy, motivated, and smarter person than myself. He/she either somehow manipulated the conventional ticket system, got on some type of ticket priority list, or braved out standing in some long line with a bunch of morons to purchase tickets with the knowledge that they were going to turn a profit on StubHub. These individuals are making a buck while at the same time making people like me happy who want a ticket to the hottest show in town without going through the bullshit. What a reciprocal transaction! I love America.
Of course I should mention that sometimes the tickets you buy off of StubHub are even below face value! An example of this that happens all the time is with sports teams. Many times, sellers on StubHub buy blocks of season tickets for professional sports teams and sell those tickets throughout the season for a certain rate. However, if a team turns out to suck, no one is going to pay top dollar (or average dollar) for these tickets. Thus, the sellers have to cut their asking price.
The second reason why StubHub deserves your time is because it can accommodate any premium seating desires you have. As I said earlier, I think of live entertainment/live sporting events as experiences. After attending such an event, more likely than not you are going to have life long memories. Why not make these memories as positive and as vivid as possible? To put my philosophy into a cliché, when I go to an event, I’d rather go big or go home. I love going to events and having one of the best seats in the house. If I am going to see a team, band, act, etc. live, I want to see them up close and personal. What’s the use of seeing your favorite ball team play if you are up in the third deck of the outfield and you are not able to make out what is going on the field? Might as well just watch the game on TV. What is the use of going to see your favorite band play if you can’t even decipher their faces and you have to look at the giant projection screens the whole time? Okay, I know, I know,…there are plenty of good seats in between the cheap seats in the upper deck and the front row V.I.P. seats. The point I am trying to get across is that if you do have an appetite for an all-star view, it is now possible to satisfy it.
It used to be where people who were season ticket holders of the team, members of the act’s fan club, groupies, or people with strong connections got the premium seats at events. These people got their tickets and the only real option they had was to use them or give them away to friends. Then StubHub came along and these people saw an opportunity to make some money and decided that they could pass on going to a few games a year, realized that they did not need to see Kenny Chesney perform for the 7th time, figured that sleep was a better option on a weeknight rather than a hangover the next morning. So they started making their tickets available to the general public, regular people like me, and very quickly front and center access at live entertainment was available to everyone. Sure the prices are dramatically marked up but many people don’t care. An extra $200 is not going to deter someone who is presented with the chance to see their all-time favorite team or singer perform within a few feet of them. As a single dude with no commitments, no debts, and a good job, you better believe that I am going to shell out top dollar so that myself and a guest can have the time of our lives (that new car can wait).
Through StubHub I have seen Keith Urban’s tour and Gary Allan’s tour from the front row. I have been less than a foot away from Tim McGraw and Lady Antebellum. I have seen shows from Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, and Taylor Swift from a few rows back. I have seen countless Major League Baseball games from the closest and best views in various stadiums. And I have only been a regular StubHub customer for about two years now. This service rocks.
Dan and I front row in between sets of Gary Allan
Gary Allan performing right in front of me
Tim McGraw concert
Finally, StubHub is great because receiving your physical ticket is a breeze. For many of the tickets you buy on Stubhub, you redeem them by printing out your own tickets! The seller of the tickets transfers the bar code of the ticket to a template and then once you buy the ticket, the seller transfers the ticket to you. This method is used quite a bit, especially for Major League Baseball games. I have also got the actual hard tickets mailed to me as well. Whatever the situation is though, the tickets are always delivered to your house (via either e-mail or FedEx).
Obviously I am a big proponent of StubHub and I only explained the benefits through the angle of the buyer! I know there are many sellers on StubHub who use the service and love it. If you have any questions about StubHub please do not hesitate to ask me. After you buy your tickets from StubHub and go the event venue remember: Don’t Blink.