My Personal Case Study: How I Made $12,622 in 3 Years by Selling Tickets!

This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of all of my sales or expenses that I have ever made and incurred.  Rather, this is a list to give you a good overview of what my business has been about over the past 3 years and to highlight some of the more interesting stories that I’ve seen along the way.

Again, these stories were picked to show a variety of the different kinds of transactions that I’ve made and include MANY transactions that I haven’t listed.

Many transactions that I did not post here were ones that were an insignificant $1.00 profit or $1.00 loss. Some were “redundant” as I had already made a section about that performer in a previous year.

Some were when I bought 4 tickets for a friend and not charging anything higher than what I paid.  These are all honest numbers and include any eBay, Stubhub, or Paypal fees charged to me.

Overall, I’ve sold over 2,000 event tickets, and at the end of the article, you’ll see my complete totals.

The Beginning

I got the idea to begin buying and selling tickets for real when Wiz Khalifa, a rapper from the Pittsburgh area announced a concert at the college (IUP) I was attending.

There were students I knew from local high schools who wanted tickets, but would have to pay $44 each if they bought them online.  With my college ID discount, I could get tickets for $20.  I sent a few texts out asking people if they wanted tickets for $30, and got 6 people that said they wanted them for sure. I took a walk on my lunch break, bought the 6 tickets and met up with the people who wanted them over the next week — I was thrilled.

I had made $60 just by taking a 10 minute walk on my lunch break. At the time, that was as much as I was making for working all day at my minimum wage Student Worker position there at IUP.

That was in the summer of 2011, and while I did buy and sell some tickets over that time — it was very sparse and I didn’t make much money.  I’m starting this Case Study in February of 2012, because that’s when I registered the domain name for my website and officially committed to the industry.

2012

Pirates’ Dollar Day 2012

In March of 2012, I got serious about making money selling tickets for the first time. My first target was a promotion that the Pittsburgh Pirates offered called “Dollar Day” for one early game each season. (Usually a low demand, cold-weather game that not many want to go to) However, since the price was $1.00, I figured I’d be able to find some people that would want to go for $2-5 with nicer seats than what the Pirates were selling at the time.

I bought 68 tickets at a cost of $101.00.  Yes…. I know that adds up to $1.49 per ticket. The Pirates added fees on to each transaction.

I gave away 12 tickets to try to boost my new website, and sold the other 56 primarily on eBay over the next month and a half for a total sales of $271.43.  After eBay fees, I had made $154.49.

Per ticket cost = $1.49  Per ticket sale = $4.55

Spent: $101.00   Received: $255.49   Profit: $154.49   ROI: 153.0 %

Dierks Bentley

After my success with the Wiz Khalifa concert at IUP, I decided to double down with Dierks Bentley coming the next spring.  I assumed that the show would sell out, and while it did… it was a late sell-out that didn’t have a ton of demand on top of what the venue was charging.

I ended up making a major buy (for me at the time) and bought 21 tickets for $963.52 total.

People needed seats because it did eventually sell out, but with lack of major demand, I was only able to make $1,054.02 back, for a profit of $90.50.

Spent: $963.52  Received:  $1,054.02   Profit:  $90.50  ROI: 9.3%

2012 Country Megaticket

You’ll see a theme in this post with the Megatickets — they’ve been good to me and have been consistent earners.

I couldn’t even find the artists involved with a quick Search, but it looks like there were 7 concerts at First Niagara Pavilion included in the package. I bought 4 “Lawn Megatickets” and sold the tickets as the individual acts were announced.  I get into the Megaticket a little later with more details.

Spent: $729.46  Received:  $1,059.77   Profit:  $330.31   ROI:  45.3%

Pittsburgh Pirates: June – Aug. 2012

I’ll admit — this section has a lot of luck involved in it.

I should’ve never made this much money on the Pirates in 2012, except that the team battled for 1st place and captivated the entire city of Pittsburgh before their collapse late in the season.

What happened is this:

Early in the year, (March & April), I noticed that many tickets were priced extremely cheap on the Secondary market.  These tickets were from Season-Ticket Holders and Brokers who didn’t want to get stuck with their seats. This was common in those days in Pittsburgh — the Pirates were awful, and any sale was a good one as far as most sellers were concerned.

I had started buying tickets to Friday, Saturday, and sometimes Sunday games that were for sale on these Broker sites — under face value! I knew that they’d be worth more than the $8-10 each price tag that the sellers had them at, but I never expected the 400% profit sales I’d be making that Summer.

The #1 reason I was able to profit on them later in the season is that demand was driven up extremely high as the Pirates had started winning — for the first time in 17 years or so!

As they started winning, I had tickets 10 rows off the field. I had tickets in the 1st row of the “100 Level”, I had bought seats upstairs for $10 each that were now selling for $20.  I bought tickets in great locations close to the field for $20 that sold for $45 or $55 each!

As I mentioned, this was some partial beginner’s luck: I had made $3,430 in profit by the end of the Summer.. and I’m not done with the 2012 Pirates stories yet!

Spent: $5,794.56  Received:  $9,225.35   Profit:  $3,430.79   ROI:  59.2%

Pirates (Aug – Later)

As the Pirates’ season progressed, I continued to buy tickets for the September games. Thinking about the last paragraph and how much I made, I didn’t worry as much about how much per ticket I was spending.  Combine that attitude with the Pirates play (they pretty much fell off a cliff in late August) and you had a recipe for a loser.

As you see the numbers below… realize that not every purchase in the Ticket Industry is an automatic winner.  I had never sold for the Pirates before — I didn’t realize how big of a different that school made in the equation.  School nights are much different that Summer nights, and I paid the price.

Spent: $1,481.12   Received: $1,176.05  Profit:  ($305.07)  ROI:  -20.6 %

Pirates’ Season Ticket Package

This is getting long and we’re just in the first year — so I’ll keep this short. I bought a 32-game package directly from the Pittsburgh Pirates with 32 games left in the season.  These tickets were priced at $13.42 for Lower Level seats — a steal when I compared the prices to the face value of the tickets (Generally around $21 for “Single Game” seats) and compared to the Secondary Market as well.

I was treated as a “Full Season” customer, and while earning the numbers you see below, I got to take batting practice and play catch on the field at PNC Park with my dad and brother — a memory I’ll never forget.

Spent: $1,717.28   Received:  $2,353.65  Profit: $636.37  ROI:  37.0%

Warped Tour

The Warped Tour will be another “themed” post.  Warped Tour tickets are always sold so that the first packages are the “Cheapest” price… and as they continue to sell tickets, the price goes up on Ticketmaster.  That makes the Warped Tour an easy target for brokers. In 2012, I bought 4 for $45 each and sold them for $58.65 each. As I remember, this might’ve actually been a sold out show.

Spent: $180.00  Received:  $234.60   Profit: $54.60    ROI: 30.3%

Maroon 5

A perfect example of what you should be looking to dupicate — Buying high-demand tickets and selling them once the show is sold out and the prices go up.

Maroon 5 came to the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, OH and Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. and from listening to people’s buzz about the shows — I had guessed on it being a big sell-out.

That came to pass, and with the 20 tickets I bought for $1,188.65, I was able to make a healthy profit.

Spent:  $1,188.65  Received:  $1,747.45  Profit: $558.80   ROI: 46.9%

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift brought her tour to Heinz Field in 2013, and this is another great example of the high-demand method that I’ll be teaching.  I bought 6 tickets (Set of 4 + Set of 2) in excellent locations (Club Level, Lower Level) and was able to sell them at a premium.

Spent: $708.40  Received: $946.56  Profit:  $238.16  ROI: 33.6%

2013

Warped Tour

Another example of buying early before prices went up. Bought at $30.50 each, Sold for $42.93 each.

Spent: $183.00  Received: $257.55  Profit: $74.55   ROI: 40.7%

Luke Bryan (Penn State)

At the end of 2012, I joined the Luke Bryan fan club that had a $25 fee to join so I could get early access to what I predicted to be a high-demand shows at Penn State and West Virginia University.

This is only for 4 tickets that I bought — with an amazing ROI of 209%.  Because these were fan club tickets, I did have to drive to Penn State and complete the sale (2 hours each way — Gas cost not factored in)

At this point — I had moved away from Stubhub and started using Craigslist more and more to sell tickets to try to avoid losing money to fees.

Spent: $156.00  Received: $482.14  Profit: $326.14  ROI: 209%

Pirates’ Dollar Day 2013

Same strategy as in 2012 — Buy undervalued tickets and sell them for what the market will bear.  Again, for some reason I did most of this selling on eBay, I guess to try to find an audience for all of the tickets I had. (I bought 118 tickets)

Spent: $155.75  Received: $435.87  Profit: $280.12  ROI: 179.9%

Country Megaticket 2013

In 2013, there were 8 separate shows on the Megaticket, I bought 8 “packages” and sold either to direct acquaintances or attempted to sell through Craigslist. This follows the “Buy a Discounted Ticket” strategy.

Spent: $1,845.20  Received: $2,235.20  Profit: $390.00  ROI: 21.1%

From here, I’ll be moving a little faster — trying to skip any shows that were similar to what I’ve covered already.  I want to thank you for making it this far — I’m glad you’re interested in my story! 🙂

 Luke Bryan 2013 (Fan Club, PIT Tickets)

Through Luke Bryan’s fan club (which I mentioned joining for $25), I was able to score 4 PIT tickets to his shows in the summer of 2013 in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. I was able to do this again in the beginning of 2014 for a show in Atlantic City at Boardwalk Hall.

The catch to these tickets? I’d have to drive to the venue and pick them up in person with my Photo ID and Credit Card. (This helps the Fan Club reduce ticket sales like the story I’m telling you)

For each show — I made sure to sell on Craigslist to people who I could verify their identity on Facebook as a local person.  I accepted 50% from them with Paypal upfront, and collected the other 50% when they received their tickets from me at the venue.

The results?  I was able to buy 12 PIT tickets total from the Fan Club for $731.00 total.  That’s just $60.92 for 12 of the best seats for some of the highest demand shows of the year.

My sales for the 12 PIT tickets? $1,085.61 for the 4 in Cleveland.  $1,164.60 for the 4 in Pittsburgh.  And $1,358.80 in Atlantic City.

I had to drive to each of those places from Indiana, PA — probably over 22 hours of driving in all. Cleveland and Pittsburgh were back-to-back days in September, Atlantic City was in February.

For that 22 hours of driving and maybe 2-3 hours of work actually buying the tickets and posting them online for sale, I received $2,878 in profit.  That’s over $100 an hour!  Factor in the gas costs that I paid, and you end up right around $90-100 an hour!

Unsurprisingly — this isn’t a recommended strategy for everyone.

Two other times I sold tickets in Charleston, WV and Baltimore, MD — and basically broke even on the sets of tickets.

Those two add to the first three to complete my 5 “PIT” ticket experiences with Fan Club tickets, and those numbers will be added into this line as well to represent that accurately.  However — the point I want to emphasize here is this:

In the ticket industry, the wins can be big!

Spent: $1,369.92  Received: $4,159.01  Profit: $2,789.39  ROI: 203.6%

2014 Country Megaticket

7 acts this time, and I only bought 4 “Packages”.  This included 2 stadium shows with Luke Bryan at Heinz Field and Jason Aldean at PNC Park which scared me off of buying as many.  Profits still held level with other years.  The Megaticket is a consistent performer in the marketplace.

Spent: $970.00  Received: $1,112.39  Profit: $142.39  ROI: 14.7%

SUMMARY:

The events I’ve listed here represent $9,056.40 in profit. Obviously, there are other events that you don’t see here adding to the bottom line.

There are also some minor expenses that I’ve incurred, many of which won’t apply to you like spending for Web Hosting, Domain Names, and things of that nature. My TOTAL numbers are seen here:

Spent: $63,745  Received: $76,367  Profit:  $12,622  ROI: 19.8%

IMPORTANT NOTE:

That “Return on Investment” should actually be entitled, “Return on Each Dollar Spent”.

You might be thinking to yourself…. “I don’t have $63,000 to spend on tickets”.  Neither do I! This is the result of spending and rolling over money from sales into new inventory.

I’d guess that the most inventory I had at one time would’ve been in the range of thousands, but not tens of thousands.

I hope that this information is inspiring to you! I also hope that you understand my intention of posting this information is not to brag about what I’ve done, there are many high-level investment firms and even high-level ticket brokers that would scoff at these kind of numbers….

But there are many more of you out there who I know can benefit from this type of income stream because you’ve told me that you’re looking for something that really works.

If you’re ready to get started on this journey, head over to the Textbook purchase page here!

Please comment or email me at Brian@ticketvictory.com if you’ve got a question about this information!



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Meet Me:

IMG_6582My name is Brian Plowcha, and I'm the person behind "MakeMoneySellingTickets.com".

I'm a recent college grad who has changed my own life by the profits made by buying and selling event tickets for a profit.

I'd love to help you take that first step to changing your life today!