Do you ever wish that online ticket booking was less expensive? These days, the majority of ticket sales happen online. But with reselling and convenience fees, the prices for events can easily skyrocket into hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Two of the most prolific online ticket vendors are Ticketmaster and Stubhub. These two companies often offer tickets for the same events. The cheapest prices and best locations vary depending on the event, so it always helps to check both.
However, each of the services comes with its own distinct advantages. I've taken a look at how both Ticketmaster and Stubhub operate to give you a better idea of what to expect from each.
Overview of Ticketmaster and Stubhub
Unique Ticketmaster Features
Unique Stubhub Features
The number of fees applicable in Ticketmaster varies depending on the event, pricing, and where the ticket is being purchased from. For fan-to-fan reselling rather than original venue purchasing, there are extra fees applied.
With the standard-priced tickets sold by the venues or other event promoters themselves, the venue is the one who sets the price. Resold tickets are priced by the individual seller. As time goes on, ticket prices tend to inflate based on their demand and how close it is to the event.
The standard ticket fees through Ticketmaster may include:
These can quickly drive up the base price of a ticket.
The face value price is the one you see on the website. Nearly every ticket will have a convenience fee added for doing business through this service. The exact amount of this fee varies by the event, but it can often be a significant charge when compared to the base price.
Order processing fees are another type of convenience fee. However, instead of being determined by the ticket price, they're charged for every order. That means that you can buy fifteen tickets at once and pay fifteen convenience fees, but only one total processing fee.
The delivery fees are determined by the venues. Not every event will include a delivery fee. Some of the delivery options include:
When you pay a UPS delivery fee, it might be higher than the actual cost for UPS to deliver your tickets. The extra fee increases Ticketmaster's profits.
Facility charges are determined by the venues. Not every ticket includes a facility charge. Unlike delivery fees, Ticketmaster doesn't profit from the facility charges; all of these go directly to the vendor. The charges are typically to help vendors invest in and operate in their venues.
You may also need to pay taxes whether you purchase from the United States or Canada, but that's typical of any online ticketing service.
Stubhub's face prices for tickets may look more expensive than Ticketmaster's, but that's because most of the fees are automatically added to the value. That means you have a much better idea of what you're paying to start with. With that said, you may still find yourself dealing with some additional checkout fees.
When you get to the checkout, you'll be shown the total cost of your order. By clicking on "Pricing Details," you can see a full breakdown of ticket costs and different fees. Different events have different buyer fees.
By using the service's Fan Codes and Coupon Codes, you can save a chunk off your total order.
When you sell tickets through the service, there aren't any fees for listing. There is a 15 percent charge that remains consistent regardless of your ticket price. This tends to be less egregious than the fees imposed by the competition.
Stubhub's pricing structure has fewer hidden fees, so you're more likely to get an honest view of what you're paying. You can also see all the fees broken down at the checkout. In addition, they don't have the same order processing and delivery fees imposed by Ticketmaster.
Ticketmaster has available refunds should the event be rescheduled, postponed, or cancelled. There are exceptions for US Open matches and MLB games.
Refunds can also be requested within 72 hours of purchasing your tickets. There are options to get Ticket Insurance, which will let you file a claim if you are unable to use your tickets for some reason.
There are no refunds available for VIP seating, and some other tickets may also be exceptions to this policy.
Stubhub has a much less flexible return policy. Every sale is final from the moment of purchase. However, you will receive full refunds on any canceled events, and the customer support team will try to help if there are any issues with your tickets.
Because of Ticketmaster's more flexible returns policy, this is the service you'll want to use if you think you might change your mind about an event later.
Ticketmaster's customer service includes:
Stubhub's customer service includes:
In addition, the FanProtect service ensures that the customer support team will help you get new tickets or explore alternative options if there are problems with your original tickets.
Both venues have comprehensive customer service options, but Stubhub comes out slightly ahead due to the FanProtect ticket clauses.
Pros and Cons of Ticketmaster
Pros and Cons of Stubhub
Final Thoughts: Which is Better?
Both of these online ticket venues have excellent customer support options and large numbers of available seats for a variety of venues. Many will have different ticket options and prices for the same event, so it helps to compare both before you make your purchase.
As a general rule, though, Stubhub is a better choice when purchasing fan-to-fan resold tickets. There isn't any individual resale fee on these transactions. The service tends to have lower add-on convenience fees as well, and it sometimes has a larger seating selection for different events.
For Ticketmaster, the biggest selling point is a flexible return policy. For most participating venues, you can get a full refund on your tickets if you request it within 72 hours. That makes it the best option if you want to get tickets before they sell out, but you're not sure you're 100 percent committed to the event yet.