Some notes before I start the body of this article:
I do not condone the act of scalping tickets at all. I have realized long ago that scalping only makes it difficult for those who really want to attend concert and sporting events to be able to go. I also know that scalping hurts only the consumer in the end, and for that reason, scalping is illegal in most states. Selling tickets for a higher price than you bought them for on Stubhub is most likely illegal, and even though you may not easily get caught, you will probably feel very morally wrong. I encourage you to learn about your own state's laws on ticket scalping before you get involved in selling tickets on Stubhub.
Also, for the remainder of this article, I will routinely be referring to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert held at Continental Airlines Arena on Wednesday, October 18. This is because I have already bought tickets for this concert through Ticketmaster, and therefore I know the face value of each ticket and whether a ticket is being scalped or not via Stubhub.
Can selling tickets on Stubhub work as a second job?
Every so often, I hear an advertisement on the radio for Stubhub, an online ticket reseller. Stubhub acts somewhat of a ticket escrow service in that sellers can list their tickets to various sporting and concert events on the website for sale and buyers can search for the same events using the website as well. When a sale is completed, the seller sends the tickets to Stubhub, who then forwards the tickets to the buyer. In the same way, buyers send their money to Stubhub, and the money is directly deposited into the seller's bank account (Link: How Stubhub Works)
Sounds like a pretty good idea to me, especially considering that nowadays, tickets must be bought far in advance (for my Chili Peppers concert, I bought the tickets in May for a concert in October). If I'm buying tickets five months in advance, there's a good chance that something more important could come up and I might need to sell my ticket. With Stubhub available, I can easily resell these tickets to someone who can go to the concert on that date and not have to worry about wasting them.
So I went online to Stubhub.com to see what the current prices were for the concert I was attending. Sure, I wasn't about to sell my ticket anytime soon, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to be curious. What I saw was astonishing. I clearly remember buying my ticket from Ticketmaster for $60.00 per ticket, not including Ticketmaster fees. This was the face value of every ticket being sold that night (for some reason, seats in the upper tier and lower tier cost the same). However, Stubhub's lowest ticket price was $100, clearly much more than the $60.00 I paid. The highest-priced ticket currently being sold? A whopping $1,001 each. Remember, each ticket's face value was only $60 each.
So, being a business major in college, the wheels in my head started turning and I thought to myself, "I wonder if one could scalp tickets as a profession?" The cheapest ticket prices I found - $100 each - was for a set of 3 tickets. This means that if I person bought $180 worth of tickets and sold them for $300 total, they'd be making a cool $120.
But the most important part of this is that the money would be made while doing practically no work at all. All that would be required of the scalper would be to go online (and possibly wake up early) on the day the tickets go on sale and purchase some tickets. Time this would take: 10 minutes, maximum. Then, they immediately go on Stubhub and put the tickets up for sale. Time this would take: another 10 minutes, maximum. Then when the tickets go on sale, the scalper simply has to put them in an envelope and ship them off. Time this would take: another 10 minutes, maximum.
What I'm getting at is that ticket scalping with Stubhub could easily be used as a second job, paying an incredible $240/hour, with no tax deductions (and that's if you sell the tickets for the lowest price on Stubhub. If a scalper decides he has better seats and wants to raise the price of his tickets, he's making even more money).
The only problem I see with scalping tickets via Stubhub is the risk factor - people might not buy your tickets. But considering this: Say you sell 3 tickets for $100 each for that Chili Peppers concert. Then, you purchase 3 more tickets for a Bon Jovi concert and try to sell them on Stubhub (for comparison's sake, we'll see that the tickets cost $60 each and you put them on Stubhub for $100). If no one buys those tickets, you're still only $60 in debt, which isn't that bad. Plus, you now have 3 tickets to a Bon Jovi concert! Take your friends!
Buying and selling on Stubhub seems a lot like buying and selling on the stock market. There's definitely a risk involved, but if you're smart about what you do (in other words, don't get too greedy), you can easily make a small fortune.
As I mentioned in this article's disclaimer, scalping is illegal in many states, but it seems that Stubhub is doing absolutely nothing about it. According to the New York Times:
"When it comes to antiscalping laws, eBay does more enforcing than StubHub. It automatically refuses a bid that exceeds the legal markup for a resold ticket in the buyer's state, while StubHub relies on the seller to stay within the law."
I find this very ironic, considering this article was taken directly from Stubhub's site.
Stubhub could easily implement an anti-ticket scalping feature for their website that would automatically refuse prices over face value (and would definitely reject ticket prices as high as $1000 each), but they choose not to. Is it moral for Stubhub to do so? Maybe, but that's an entirely different article altogether.
The main point I'm trying to get at is that scalping tickets via Stubhub, while being horribly immoral, will probably make you lots of money. Sure there's a risk involved, but I personally don't feel the risk really is great enough for you to not give it a shot. Again, I'm not condoning ticket scalping and I certainly won't do this myself, but looking at it from a completely black-hearted point of view, it's not a bad idea at all.