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Ticket Broker

What They Do

Insider Info

Scam artists? No way! As opposed to scalpers (illegal cons who sell inferior seats or counterfeit tickets for sky-high prices), ticket brokers own reputable service businesses. They procure tickets for people who need them, usually offering a wide variety of events and options.

"What we typically do is advertise to buy tickets. Enterprising people will call us as a way to help them sell their tickets. Sometimes they sell their tickets because they can't go, sometimes they want a profit," explains Karl Roes, ticket broker.

Tired of busy signals? Ticket brokers save clients from endless lines and dreaded "sold-out" shows. Both individual and corporate clients rely on brokers to find the crucial concert, play and sports tickets they need -- even at the last moment!

"Ticket brokers are small businesspeople that provide a service to the public," explains Barry Lefkowitz, executive director for the East Coast Ticket Brokers Association.

Ticket brokers are like savvy commodity traders. They evaluate the hot events and buy a certain number of tickets from season ticket holders, individuals and ticket offices. If the broker is right, they can sell their tickets at a small premium. If the broker is wrong, they're stuck with stacks of useless tickets -- and a business loss.

Don't expect a 9-to-5 job. Ticket brokers are mostly self-employed, which means longer, more variable hours. Between ticket sales (usually by phone), brokers must successfully market their business to companies and develop ticket contacts. This can mean both office work and frequent meetings.

Brokers have access to the best tickets for the hottest events. So, what's the downside? Stress. People want their tickets NOW -- and it's your job to handle their request cheerfully. Plus, if you're self-employed, you'll experience the normal headaches of running your own business.

Computer and people skills are a must. You'll need to organize your ticket inventory and constantly search for new tickets and sources. Brokers must successfully communicate over the phone and in person, enter orders and track payments.

At a Glance

Buy and sell hard-to-get tickets

  • Most brokers are small operations, with few or no employees
  • You must build up a network of contacts
  • If you can judge the hot trends, you will do well