A Web handbook for ticket brokers claims to give new brokers all the information they need to know to run a successful ticket resale business.
Brittany Menard, a business school student who started selling tickets to support herself in her studies, initially wrote “The Ticket Broker Guide” in 2008 to help other university students start profitable ticketing ventures. The book, which claims to give users the necessary keys to success in ticketing, is available currently in e-book form only, and it retails for $44.95.
According to the Guide’s site, content areas include sections on how to predict optimal buy/sell times, how to know if an event is approaching sell-out, and how to get the best tickets possible for an event. Also discussed are ways to access tickets before public onsales and managing presales. Other sections address specific ticket selling strategies, earning income from affiliate programs and understanding demand.
The publication claims to provide sports ticket sales predictions for all MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA teams. The forecasts result from a compilation of Menard’s and other brokers’ experiences, as well as a review of demographics and other statistical information.
The Guide promises an analysis of strategies for using Ticketmaster for obtaining and selling tickets, as well as tips on how to resell tickets on sites like StubHub and Craigslist. Five bonus gifts are also offered with purchase of the Guide, but only two of these are listed on the site: 12 NFL season ticket waiting list reports and a customizable sales tracking spreadsheet.
The Guide’s author recently spoke with TicketNews about the evolution of the e-book and her ticketing career.
“I always loved going to sports events and concerts, but always settled for the cheap seats because there was no way I could afford to pay a broker three-times the face value for good seats,” Menard said. “So, I figured out that I could be doing the same thing, making good money doing it, and enjoying games and concerts even more with the good seats I would be able to get.”
Menard started small, purchasing her first pair of tickets in 2006 for $150 and then investing the profits to buy more tickets. She ultimately found her new career lucrative enough to support her as a business school student. “I choose when I want to work, and I make all the decisions. I’m my own boss, and making way more than I ever would working a typical nine to five job.”
Having no guide to assist her when she started, Menard learned the business like most brokers: through trial and error. As she became a more competent broker and amassed more information useful to her business, she decided that she should try to write the definitive ticketing guide. “I thought, ‘Hey, I’ve spent all this time and research learning the business myself and there’s no guide out there that offers this to people wanting to become ticket brokers, so why don’t I just write it myself?'”
What do brokers think about the new guide? Steve Parry, president of GoldenTickets.com and a founder in the new broker-owned ticket exchange Ticket Evolution, is intrigued, and he has plans to get the e-book. Until then, he’s hesitant to make any assumptions about its contents. “[The guide] appears legitimate. Without purchasing the guide I’m not sure of its value. I am curious about the viewpoints she has on the exchanges.”
T’Michael Jones, owner of TJ Sports and VIP tickets, is cautious about some of the sites claims. “The information that is being provided can be deceiving, because country music and hip hop concerts can be very profitable and the predictions on ticket sales and resales for each and every sport (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, etc.) is a gamble for sure,” Jones said. “We can hope but we can’t predict what should, will, or might sell.”
Jones also emphasized the value of on-the-job experience as opposed to information gleaned from a handbook.
Randy Cohen, owner and “Chief Energizing Officer” of TicketCity.com, has written his own motivational book, “Ticket to the Limit: How Passion and Performance Can Transform Your Life and Your Business into an Amazing Adventure,” which draws from his entrepreneurial experience as a ticket broker. Cohen believes that, while his book is not a “how-to” book per se, it provides the reader a more comprehensive understanding of the ticketing business than a strictly “how-to” publication.
“There’s a lot of meaningful information in ‘Ticket to the Limit’ on how to run a business,” Cohen said. “It gives the whole spectrum of what it’s like to be a broker.”
Cohen shares Jones’ concern about the value of prediction in the Guide, specifically its claims of predicting sport ticket sales, adding, “They’d have to be looking at the Vegas odds… We’d know what’s gonna be hot, but there’s still a lot of speculation involved.” Cohen is not optimistic that the Guide contains the level of analysis needed to create the best possible predictions.
Cohen also is concerned that individuals may come into the business with less-than-realistic visions of the ticketing world. “[People] see these guys making a lot of money and they don’t realize there’s a lot of risk involved. These guys start small, they do well, and then they hit one event that turns on them and they end up losing big and going out of business.”
Still, as Cohen adds, “There’s a lot to be said for these little guides that come out… I consider [the Guide] kind of an infomercial on the web… You get the right people to see this, and she can make a ton of money on this.”
As for advice to new brokers, Menard herself has a few recommendations. Her first: “Take advice — like in any business, there are always shortcuts to learn and be more effective, so why try to discover them on your own if someone already has?” Next, she stresses the importance of perseverance in the ticketing industry, noting that consistent effort is a cornerstone of any successful plan. Finally, she encourages new brokers: “Enjoy… It is a funny and exciting business.”