Stuck with extra Broadway tickets you can't use? Here's how you can you sell them to get your money back.
As anyone who has ever ordered Broadway tickets knows, the ticket seller typically makes a point of telling you 'No Refunds or Exchanges'. So what are you supposed to do if a last-minute emergency keeps you from going to the Broadway show? Or if one of the people you bought a ticket for drops out at the last minute? Fortunately, there are some options.
Where To Buy and Sell Broadway Tickets
The following methods are your main options if you have Broadway tickets that you need to buy or sell.
This large marketplace has quickly grown to be the first stop for many would-be ticket buyers and sellers. On one hand, that means that there will be lots of Broadway ticket buyers looking over your ticket listings. On the other hand, that also means that you may have a lot of competition from Broadway ticket brokers and other sellers who are trying to unload extra Broadway show tickets. In order to be competitive, you may have to lower your price down from face value. Furthermore, StubHub charges a 15% commission on your total sale price.
You are required to have your tickets in hand before you can list them on TicketsNow. Like StubHub, TicketsNow charges you a 15% fee for the sales transaction.
eBay has long been a marketplace for Broadway tickets. You will often see the same listings here as on StubHub. eBay's main fee is the "final value fee," which is based on what your tickets ultimately sell for, and is typically 9% of the total sale price for auction-style listings.
This can be a good option if you are adamant about getting back 100% of the sale price for your Broadway tickets as there is no sales commission here. Because you are completely in control of the process on Craigslist, you don't have to worry about getting charged any fees that nickel and dime you. The flip side of that coin is that you also don't get to benefit from the protection of other ticket selling services. Craigslist buyers are notorious for expressing interest and then not following through, so sometimes it can take a while to successfully make a sales transaction. Also bear in mind that Craigslist suffers from a rampant number of fake Broadway tickets, which makes it a less than stellar place to do this kind of business.
BROADWAY TICKET BROKERS
Your other option is to go directly to one of the many ticket brokers that sell Broadway tickets. If it is for a sell-out show or you are willing to sell it for a very cheap price, they may be willing to buy it from you.
Calculating the Sale Price of the Tickets
Deciding on your sale price will depend on a few factors. If you have a "hot item" like Book of Mormon tickets, you can price your tickets at quite a bit higher than face value and still have a good chance of selling them. If your ticket is for a coveted date -- e.g. a Saturday night performance, or over a holiday like Christmas or Thanksgiving -- then you can price it even higher. However, don't go crazy. There is always some clueless person on eBay or StubHub putting a price on their Broadway ticket that is out of touch with reality. You need only to look at the other going prices for the same or similar items to get a sense of how to price yours.
If you are not dealing with a hot ticket, then you will also want to consider what is more important to you - selling the ticket quickly, or getting all of your money back. If you are in a hurry to unload it, then the lower your price, the better. But if you really want to get back the money you put into it, then you can try listing it at face value as long as possible. Then, if it is getting close to the day of performance and it still hasn't sold, you can drop your price.
When deciding on a figure, also remember to consider that the service you're using is probably taking a cut. You might want to increase your price by that amount to ensure that you get the total sale price you want. You should also consider the negative effect that additional fees might have on a potential buyer. For instance, if you're using StubHub and physical shipping is the only delivery option you are offering, there is no cost to you, but the buyer could pay $15-25 in shipping fees - which means they might decide to buy from another seller who can offer e-tickets instead.
Dealing With the Commission
The commission is the most frustrating thing about selling your tickets through most online sources. Even if you can find a buyer who will pay face value for your ticket, you still must take into account the fact that the service will be taking part of your profit. In the case of StubHub or TicketsNow, you will be paying a 15% commission to them. With eBay, there is the final value fee, and sometimes listing fees as well, so you will need to take those into account.
Selling via Craigslist is the best way to avoid the commission issue. Just keep in mind that you are on your own with Craigslist, so you don't get the protections and service advantages that come with a company like StubHub, which specializes in ticket transactions.
Fulfilling the Order
When selling your Broadway tickets online, don't forget to consider the practical reality that you will have to get those tickets to the buyer. If you told Telecharge to hold your Book of Mormon ticket at the box office for pick-up, then you have to be careful not to sell that ticket online at the very last minute, since you will need to allow time for you to pick it up yourself and then mail it to the buyer. (However, StubHub does have a Last Minute Service that allows you to drop the ticket off at their office in Times Square, so you can consider that as an option.)
E-tickets have become very popular and can make things quite a bit easier. If you received your tickets through email, then you can easily email them to your buyer. If you have physical tickets, but want to avoid the hassle of mailing, you can scan your tickets and email them as a PDF. However, some people are still more comfortable with the standard physical tickets, in which case UPS or FedEx shipping might be your best options for delivery.
Getting Paid For Your Broadway Tickets
When you list your Broadway tickets for sale, you will need to determine which payment methods you will accept. Paypal, bank transactions, and checks are among your potential options, depending on what service you use. If you sell via Craigslist and decide to meet up in person with the individual that you have sold your tickets to, then cash is your best option.
With the advice above, and a little luck, hopefully you can get back all or most of the money you originally spent on your Broadway tickets!