Los Angeles-based Contender.com, a new online fan-to-fan ticket marketplace, has launched, with the purpose of helping buyers and sellers find an honest way to buy and sell tickets. The start-up has created a unique way for ticket buyers and sellers to negotiate ticket prices without the worry of hidden or tacked-on fees. Contender is the ticket industry’s first completely free, full-service peer-to-peer marketplace.
The website was co-founded by ticket industry gurus Ken Blaustein and Wes Brodsky. It publicly launched at Ticket Summit in July, after over two years of extensive research, building, and testing.
Blaustein and Brodsky have eliminated all of the fees that usually accompany ticket purchases. The website encourages buyers and sellers to make real-time offers on tickets.
The objective is that “both sides of the transaction can agree on a fair price without the anxiety of getting ripped off,” said Blaustein. “Our goal is for tickets to sell at the right price.”
The idea for Contender came after over 15 years of experience in the ticketing industry. Blaustein spent his career as an executive at Warner Bros and Universal Records, and Brodsky was eBay’s top individual ticket seller. The pair found themselves frustrated by an industry built entirely on price speculation, stifling fees, and misleading promises. They decided to partner and form a website that could “flip the script” by creating a “free, fair and flexible marketplace that was by the people, for the people,” said Blaustein.
The new site is a built-out version of Brodsky’s project, SaveFans.com, another secondary ticketing marketplace that he started as a result of his success buying and selling tickets on eBay.
The business partners felt that it was “time for there to be truly no middleman,” said Blaustein. “The whole idea behind Contender is to keep more money in the pockets of both buyers and sellers.”
Contender is “our pursuit of an unbiased ticketing alternative that breaks the rules,” said Blaustein.
And breaks the rules it does. Contender.com is quickly gaining a strong surge of momentum from the music, technology, and ticketing industries with its unconventional business model. It will be interesting to see how fans will respond to this new way of buying tickets. Are “fee free” tickets the future of the secondary ticket market?