top of page

How to Resell Concert Tickets and Make Money

Updated: 6 days ago

Affiliate Marketing Disclosure

This post is part of a series designed to help student loan borrowers (and anybody else!) increase their income through new side hustles.

Have you ever bought tickets to an event off a secondhand site like StubHub, Vivid Seats, or SeatGeek? If you have, you probably noticed that your tickets cost a lot, and likely more than they would have cost if you had bought them directly from the venue, team, or artist when they were originally released.

The good news is there is a lesson here. If you know what you are doing, there is money to be made by buying, and ultimately reselling, concert and other tickets.

Related: I Can Help You Start a Side Hustle that Earns $20,000 Per Year

What is ticket reselling?

Reselling tickets is exactly what it seems. You buy them at one price, and then you sell them at another, hopefully higher, price.

It is a legal activity that takes place in compliance with state and federal guidelines, usually through an online marketplace. You'll want to be careful and assure that you legally resell tickets, rather than illegally scalp them. Sometimes, depending on the laws in a certain city or state, selling tickets outside a venue may be considered illegal.

And while it can be hard to determine where that line is, generally, tickets can be legally resold as long as you acquired them in a legal manner. Scalping oftentimes requires buying tickets in bulk using automated means that allow you to access and purchase tickets in a way that puts the general public at a disadvantage.

Consider checking the actual laws in your area before you get started.

Can you make money reselling tickets?

You absolutely can make money reselling tickets to concerts and sporting events, though there are some risks involved. You're probably wondering why anyone would pay over the initial asking price to attend an event when they could have bought tickets earlier and for cheaper. But have you considered:

  • Situations where tickets are so in demand that entire shows or events sell out in just a couple of minutes. There are many instances of this happening for popular shows and events like Bruce Springsteen, the Super Bowl, and more. Remember how hard it was to try to get a Hamilton ticket in 2015?

  • When circumstances around an event change and cause last minute spikes in demand. At the time this article is bring written, ticket prices are climbing for the U.S. Open in New York, after Serena Williams suddenly announced her upcoming retirement.

How to make money reselling tickets

Here is a guide to help you make the most money possible, while making the fewest mistakes.

Step 1: Decide which events to buy tickets to

The single most important decision that you'll need to make is deciding which events are worth buying tickets to. To help make this decision easier, you're going to want to consider the following contributing factors.

How popular is the artist?

Most of us have a pretty good idea as to what shows are the most likely to sell out. Things like Kenny Chesney in a summer show at an NFL stadium, for example. But if someone is coming to your area and you're unsure how in-demand seats may be ahead of ticket sales, don't be afraid to conduct some research. The Internet, and the media, are your friend here.

How large is the venue?

The venue also plays a large role. If you read that Michael Bublé didn't sell out a show in a 10,000 seat arena, for instance, then maybe it is a little too risky to buy a bunch of tickets for a 20,000 seat area an hour away.

How good are the tickets?

This is not to say that you cannot sell "nose bleed" tickets for a profit, because you absolutely can. Generally, however, your potential return on a percentage basis may be greater with floor seats or those close to the performing artist.

Of course, do keep in mind that this will require more of a cash commitment up front in the hopes of getting a return on your investment.

Step 2: Buy the tickets

After you've purchased your tickets, make sure that you document and keep track of your cost basis and breakeven costs. If you bought 4 tickets to a show at $150 per ticket, plus a $10 service charge on each, your breakeven cost is $640.

So you'll need to sell each ticket for at least $160, after any sellers fees, to turn a profit. We recommend that you try to buy tickets from the original release site to preserve your margins and assure that you give yourself as large a buffer as possible.

In our experience, Ticketmaster seems to be the most popular sale site.

Step 3: Sell your tickets

Here comes the money making part of the endeavor. To list and successfully sell your tickets, you'll need to consider what resale rates are for your section. It's important to price well and give the perception of some value, but without undercutting your selling competition so drastically that you eat into your potential profit.

If you price too highly, all of your competitors' seats may sell before yours, and demand could dry up, leaving you with seats to a show you don't really have any interest in attending.

Step 4: Remember the financial risks

Ticket reselling may be best for those that are willing to start small, especially initially. That way, over time, with a series of small and early wins, you'll have the capital necessary for higher risk/reward projects, if that is something that interests you.

Never spending more than you can afford to lose is a good mentality to start with.

How to sell your concert tickets

There is no shortage of options to consider when looking to sell your tickets to any shows. Let's take a look at some of the most popular sites.

1. StubHub

StubHub is probably the best known resale site to most of our readers. Selling your tickets on StubHub will require you to make an account and create a listing. After navigating to the event that you have seats for and indicate the number of tickets you're selling, you'll need to list the seats and how you will deliver the tickets to the end buyer.

After this, you can set your asking price, at which point your listing will become active. And before your tickets sell, you'll be able to decide how you'd like to receive your payout.

2. SeatGeek

Selling on SeatGeek is also a really good option. To sell, you'll want to:

  • Sign in/create a profile and upload your tickets

  • Navigate to the site and click "Sell Tickets"

  • Wait for a buyer

One of the noticeable perks of SeatGeek is that they will handle the actual transition of the tickets once they sell. Do keep in mind that SeatGeek has high transaction fees and will collect 10% of the sale amount.

Is there a best time to resell concert tickets?

I've been asked this question more times than I can count, and my answer may surprise you. Though so much of this process seems scalable and repeatable, there is in fact no one best time to part with your tickets. Instead, each show should be treated differently, and special considerations must be given.

We've started to cover this, but you need to consider any and all applicable external factors and risks. For example, if you've purchased tickets to a how in Boston in February, waiting until the last minute could leave you without any buyers if a snow storm is forecasted to come through the area.

On the contrary, it is possible to sell too early if certain factors arise that make your show more attractive. To determine the best time to part with your seats, consider perceived demand, the possibility of weather, projected economic conditions, and other factors that you can think of.

My experience reselling tickets

In the summer of 2022, I entered the lottery to buy tickets for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's first United States tour in seven years. To my amazement, I was selected and given the opportunity to purchase four tickets.

I did just that, buying four seats at about $167 each for a total breakeven of about $669. I only wanted to keep two of the seats once I saw what the resale value was. Tickets in my section were reselling for about $700 - each.

ticket resale values for Bruce Springsteen concert

So, by selling two tickets, I'm able to earn nearly $1,400, enough to cover my two tickets, let me see the show, and earn over $700 in profit.

Not a bad return on my investment! I know that not every show will be like this, but it is still a good story nonetheless.

Ticket selling tips to increase your earnings

We hear from our readers wondering what else they can do to maximize their chances of success in reselling concert tickets to make money. And after a lot of reflection, we've developed this quick list as a reference point to help you. Among our recommendations are:

  • Compare fees on each resale site: You may be able to sell your seats on a number of different sites. You'll want to assess each company's policies on seller fees and commissions. These fees may eat substantially into your potential profit if you don't do your homework in advance.

  • Don't buy the best or worst seats: This is not to say that you can't make money flipping these seats, but just a note that the demand for these seats may be less, due to cost constraints, availability, or other factors. Generally, middle of the road tickets will have the highest pool of potential buyers.

Other side hustles to consider

Making money on Airbnb

Advertising with Wrapify

Flipping liquidation pallets

Starting a pressure washing business

Affiliate marketing disclosure is a student loan research and education website provided by Grow Your Green LLC. is not a student loan lender.

We're passionate about teaching and guiding people to a better personal finance situation. To do this, we create an enormous amount of content, which takes time, resources, and money.

In order to write about and offer these products and services for you, we utilize affiliate marketing and link to certain products and services. If you click on, subscribe, to purchase on these links then we may be paid a small commission. These are at no cost to you, but by earning small commissions, are able to help us keep our website active.

We manually review all products and services that we think are of high quality and value to you.

About Nathan Zarcaro

Nathan Zarcaro is the founder of The Student Debt Destroyer and is passionate about personal finance related causes.  A 2018 graduate of Providence College's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Nathan studied Finance, and worked for one of the world's largest asset management firms before starting his own consulting practice.  In his free time, Nathan enjoys playing golf and traveling with his wife Brigid.

Want to make more money?

Check out my free Side Hustle Accelerator workshop

Check out our recent posts

Tired of working 9 to 5?  I have the solution for you!

bottom of page