Sell your extra event tickets using these 10 simple steps

You bought tickets for a game or show that was months ahead. Now that it's closer on the calendar, you have a more pressing commitment. Here's what to do.

Brandon Dill/AP
Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) drives against Memphis Grizzlies forward Jarell Martin (1) and guard Mike Conley (11) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn.

It happens to those of us who like to plan ahead. You bought tickets for a game or show that was months from taking place. Now that it's closer on the calendar, you have a more pressing commitment. So how do you get rid of the tickets while recouping (or profiting off) your original investment? Here are 10 tips from the team at ValuePenguin to do just that.

1. Check your state's ticket resale laws. 

As online ticket marketplace SeatGeek detailed on its website, there are many old, restrictive laws on the books in various regions that prohibit or limit certain kinds of reselling. Make sure it's legal for you to sell your stubs before you go through the trouble of steps two through 10.

2. Gauge the value of the tickets.

In many cases, you're going to come up with three different numbers when looking at what you paid for tickets, their face value and their true market value. Once you own the tickets, you don't have control over how much you paid for them or what some concert venue or sports team originally listed them for at the box office. 

As for discovering their true market value, there are some easy online routes to take. First, see what other ticket-holders are listing them at. Secondly, consider how far in the future the event will actually take place. Demand can go up or down, depending upon timing.

3. See if any of your friends would want to buy them.

As we'll detail below, listing your stubs online will come with commissions that will cut into your profits. You can avoid all of that by selling to someone who knows and trusts you, such as a friend, family member, colleague or neighbor. Basically, anyone who knows where you live.

4. Research your online listing options.

StubHub is no longer your only option. At ValuePenguin, we recently evaluated 10 online ticket marketplaces and outlined the best use for each. These platforms will differ in a variety of ways, including the event genre; the buyer and seller fees; the payment methods and much more.

5. Post your tickets on multiple platforms.

Pretty much all of the reputable consumer-to-consumer marketplaces out there don't charge you a fee to list your tickets. This means that you could post your stubs on 10 different sites (so long as you're willing to invest the amount of time it would take to do that). And you should post on multiple sites. Like anything else, however, work smarter, not faster. In other words, only post to places where you actually have a better-than-average chance of off-loading your stubs.

Another point to consider: It's fine to play around with pricing on a site-by-site basis. Because they will charge various seller fees (often between 10% and 15% of your sale), you may want to charge more on a site that takes a larger percentage of your cut. Along these lines, also watch out for the buyer's fees. It would make sense to price your tickets higher on a platform that charges buyers a lower fee. 

6. Reach out to the marketplace’s support staff with questions.

Customer service is becoming key in this shared economy, and the apps and websites specializing in ticket re-selling are aware of this trend. So take advantage of this, by peppering them with your questions about optimizing your listing. They are, of course, as interested in you selling your tickets as you are. That's how they get paid too.

7. Promote your listings.

It can't hurt to share links to your postings on your blog, social media accounts or perhaps via email. Get the word out. A friend of a friend who may not be well-versused in the world of StubHub and beyond may want to buy the tickets, if given the chance.

8. Consider increasing/decreasing your sale price.

Unless your tickets have already found a buyer, it's never to late to alter your list prices. Check up on supply and demand. Are other sellers having success at a higher or lower price point? How much time is there until the event? How low are you willing to sell your tickets for? Is it the right moment to list them at that number?

9. Avoid selling the same tickets twice.

When listing on multiple platforms, this possibility exists. Mitigate it by removing the tickets from all platforms once a sale is final on one platform. "Selling" the same tickets twice on two different platforms will undoubtedly penalize you on one of them. Plus, it will be a major inconvenience for one of the prospective buyers.

10. If you’re reselling tickets frequently, track the data of every sale.

While we wouldn't recommend making a side business out of this — there are seasoned professionals with their own set of strategies playing this game as ticket brokers — it's conceivable, of course, that you may find yourself reselling tickets on multiple occasions. And, as with anything that involves generating a little bit of income, it's advisable to keep records. The data could help you make a sale in the future or just come in handy come tax time.

This story originally appeared on ValuePenguin.

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