By Stacey Willets Ticketmaster created its TicketExchange. eBay acquired StubHub! London-based viagogo appeared stateside. Tickets.com partnered with RazorGator. Now Telecharge.com is dabbling in auctioning...

By Stacey Willets

Ticketmaster created its TicketExchange. eBay acquired StubHub! London-based viagogo appeared stateside. Tickets.com partnered with RazorGator. Now Telecharge.com is dabbling in auctioning premium seats and Live Nation wants to try its hand not only at its own primary ticketing, but also ticket resale. Who isn’t getting into the secondary ticketing business?

Secondary ticketing is a burgeoning market. With just six states left to legalize ticket reselling, everyone from the first-timer with an extra Bruce Springsteen ticket to the industry giant Ticketmaster is attempting to break into the space . . .

What this means is more competition for established secondary sellers such as top-ranked StubHub.com at one, TicketsNow.com at two, TicketLiquidator.com at three, ABCtickets.com at four, RazorGator.com at five, CoasttoCoastTickets.com at six, GoTickets.com at seven, TickCo.com at eight, TicketsPlus.com at nine, and CheapPricedTickets.com at ten. These market leaders will no longer be contending with just the amateur ticket broker selling Hannah Montana tickets out of his dorm room part time. Though top primary sellers first-ranked Ticketmaster.com, second-ranked LiveNation.com, third-ranked Tickets.com, and sixth-ranked Telecharge.com have come late to the party, so to speak, they have the industry experience, resources, and scale to get a good foothold in the resale marketplace.

Primary sellers aren’t the only ones entering the space. Next month a new social networking site FreeTicketExchange.com is due to be launched. A press release describes the site as “intended to bypass the costly ticket broker market by providing a genuine forum for real sports and entertainment fans to obtain tickets to games and performances at reasonable prices.” Fans will network with other fans with whom they’ll be able to buy, sell, and trade tickets to live entertainment events “without incurring any extra surcharges or fees.” Like Craigslist or MySpace, the new site will be free for users. It remains to be seen if pricing and selection will be competitive with existing broker sites, and how the new site will promote consumer protection in the higher risk realm of person-to-person online sales.

These newcomers are enjoying the spoils of the hard work of major players like StubHub.com, TicketsNow.com, and TicketLiquidator.com which lobbied for a free market, earned the trust of consumers, and legitimized ticket resale. However, while the secondary market is becoming saturated with sellers, the barrier of entry is not so low as to ensure everyone’s success. Marketing secondary websites and getting traffic to them is more difficult with so many to choose from. There are only a finite number of sports teams, venues, and performers with which to create strategic relationships. More buyers trying to secure premium seats means tickets are ultimately harder to get. In this highly competitive environment, sellers need to be creative to make themselves stand out and need to have the prices, inventory, and service to keep them afloat.

To see all the Top Tens rankings, check out the press release in the Daily Buzz section of TicketNews.com. Visit the Industry resources section of TicketNews.com for full lists of the Top Twenty Secondary Ticket Sellers and the Top Twenty Overall Ticket Sellers, to read an explanation of how we calculate the rankings.