How safe is it to buy tickets on StubHub?
February 10, 2019 3:30 AM   Subscribe

How likely am I to get scammed with a fake ticket on StubHub vs Ticketmaster or Craigslist?

I want to buy tickets to a concert in the US. As usual, all seats except the terrible ones got snatched up during the presale and it appears my options are:

(a) pay a 3-4x markup for reseller tickets on Ticketmaster
(b) pay a slightly less egregious markup on StubHub
(c) find someone selling tickets on Craigslist

My vague understanding is that the Ticketmaster tickets are 100% guaranteed not to be fake. And my vague understanding is that the StubHub tickets *probably* aren't fake, but I won't really know till I try to use them, at which point it will be too late if they *are* fake. And obviously Craigslist is all over the map in terms of authenticity.

I've read StubHub's guarantee, but how likely is it that the tickets I'd buy from there are legit? Is it worth coughing up extra money to buy on Ticketmaster? Thanks!
posted by sunflower16 to Shopping (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I use it often. I once got fake tickets. Stubhub provided me different tickets at a higher face value. I also once had someone invert section and row number meaning the tickets were worth waaaay less than I wanted and nowhere near the right spot (this was for a formula 1 race so location is important). Stubhub verfified with original ticket owner and then said OK, we'll get you tickets. We ended up where we wanted, 3 rows closer. In that case we had the other 8 tickets. I asked what to do with them as it was 2 days before event. They told me to keep them/sell them/give them away. I almost financed my trip by selling them. That 2 out of.. I don't know.... 50 ticket buys? I heartily recommended them. Their customer service and guarantee is really excellent.
posted by chasles at 5:29 AM on February 10, 2019 [7 favorites]

FWIW, I have bought tickets a few times on StubHub with no problem. A co-worker buys almost exclusively through StubHub and has never been scammed. YMMV.
posted by maggiemaggie at 5:30 AM on February 10, 2019

I would not hesitate to buy from Stubhub. Their customer service is fantastic.

One time, we purchased concert tickets and when we arrived, we realized that they were obstructed view which had not been specified on the listing. Stubhub sent us tickets while we were in the venue that were much better than we had purchased.

Also, one time, my husband was a complete idiot and they bailed him out. He had NY Rangers Game 5 of Stanley Cup finals tickets. The Rangers fell behind in the series and my husband got all angry and decided he didn’t want to watch them lose in the finals. So he listed the tickets on Stubhub. Except, he listed $700 tickets for $70. They were snatched up in minutes. From our bed, because these things always happen late at night, I heard him in the bathroom on the phone to Stubhub saying “Dude, you have to help me. My wife is going to kill me.” They reversed the sale, gave the person who bought them comparable tickets at the same ridiculous price and my husband survived another day.

Beyond that, we have purchased from them tons of times with no issue of fake tickets
posted by polkadot at 5:47 AM on February 10, 2019 [7 favorites]

I've bought sporting event tickets three times and never had a problem.
posted by davcoo at 5:57 AM on February 10, 2019

I've bought sports and concert tickets from Stubhub probably dozens of times with never a problem. Nthing that their customer service is terrific. I thought that I had screwed up a sale with them once and they sorted it all out on the phone with me and got the buyer his tickets and me my money within minutes.
posted by fancypants at 6:25 AM on February 10, 2019

I would never hesitate to use Stubhub. I’ve never had a problem as a buyer or as a seller. The only time I was worried was when I got Hamilton tickets on Stubhub, simply because it was so far in advance and I had heard about scams specific to that show. Our tickets worked, nbd!
posted by DoubleLune at 6:38 AM on February 10, 2019

StubHub is basically a (legal?) scalping service, with all that entails.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:39 AM on February 10, 2019

My spouse’s brother used to work there. I can confirm, as stated above, that their approach to scam tickets is to immediately replace with equal or better quality for the same event if at all possible.
posted by q*ben at 6:40 AM on February 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've bought many concert tickets through StubHub over the years and have had no issues with scams. I always got exactly what I ordered. Having said that I have read a couple of cases involving people getting fake tickets. However, this site is very safe in my opinion. I don't have any experience with the other two sites so can't tell. You can very easily get scammed on craigslist though and you'll have zero protection when that happens.
posted by sewbee at 8:20 AM on February 10, 2019

Ex-StubHub customer service rep here, and at least from my experience well over a decade ago, I can verify the stories above. In the unlikely but not nonzero chance something goes wrong, they'll do everything possible to make it right for you so you still get to go to your show. If that's not possible, you'll get your money back, but the goal is always to get you to the event you've been looking forward to.

They're also unforgiving to scammers and sellers acting in bad faith--those folks don't get to keep listing things on the platform.
posted by rhiannonstone at 10:27 AM on February 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My personal metric for using StubHub is "how will I feel in the unlikely but nonzero chance I get scammed, StubHub can't replace the tickets, and I only get a refund?" If the answer is that it would be highly annoying and unfortunate, sure. If I'd truly rue that day for the rest of my life, maybe the extra markup for the official reseller (presumably that's Ticketmaster, if they're handling the concert) is worth it.
posted by zachlipton at 11:50 AM on February 10, 2019 [3 favorites]

StubHub is one of the more expensive sites, I think because they are so reliable. I like SeatGeek because they have a much better seat map and search feature, but they are just a middleman for brokers, and much more likely to give you your money back in lieu of tickets, because their provider couldn't come up with them. There's no risk you'll lose your money, but some risk that the tickets won't come through.
posted by wnissen at 9:38 AM on February 11, 2019

I use Stubhub extensively both to buy and sell tickets (the latter is when I've been unable to attend a pre-planned event.) Absolutely no issues in at least 75-85 occasions of using the service.
posted by Everydayville at 10:26 AM on February 11, 2019

Response by poster: Thanks for all the responses! I marked zachlipton's answer as the best because I realized that's basically how I feel about this too (and I bought from Ticketmaster as a result) but everyone's feedback was useful. Thanks!
posted by sunflower16 at 4:05 AM on February 15, 2019

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