My Results Reselling Hamilton Tickets – Back Up The Brinks Truck?

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Reselling Hamilton Tickets

My Results Reselling Hamilton Tickets

I am a very very very niche ticket reseller and to be honest I kind of hate it.  The float time drives me crazy and when you are not very seasoned, like me, it is a crap shoot.  That is unless get your hands on a sure thing, like Hamilton tickets.  Well at least it used to be that way but how about now?  Do you still need to back up a brinks trunk to carry your profits home?  I’ll give you my results reselling Hamilton tickets but it is safe to say that Hamilton is not as hot as it once was.

RELATED: How I KILLED It Selling Hamilton Las Vegas Tickets While Most Got Slaughtered!

Purchasing The Tickets

The people that get upset about ticket resellers, I await your comments of course, think we are stealing from fans etc.  The truth of it is we are not magicians, we don’t have tricks at getting tickets.  I don’t have a bot system and in fact Ticketmaster themselves is in the reselling game.  I have always done things that anyone can easily do to get tickets. All I did for this sale was sign up as a registered fan to enter the lottery.  Pretty much everyone I know who entered got in.

Getting in is half the battle but the time you get is also important.  I got a pretty early time so I was lucky.  The next choice you have is picking a desired date for your tickets.  Weekends are of course a must.  I focused on Valentine’s day weekend thinking that it would be a popular weekend to go.

I was able to get 2 tickets for Friday night and 2 tickets for Saturday afternoon the weekend after Valentine’s day (it falls mid week this year).  Those seemed like safe bets and Saturday night was already sold out.

I went with the cheap seats and all that was left was near the back of the theater.  After a few rounds of searching I found some seats on the far end of the row which I read are good for theater goers.  Apparently the seats are kind of tight and the end of the row has a little extra leg room.  I thought that may make a difference and get them sold a little quicker, spoiler alert it didn’t really matter.

Each set cost $423.70 for a all in cost of $847.40.

RELATED: My Results Reselling Justin Timberlake Tickets

Reselling Hamilton Tickets

Listing the tickets

In the past I have always listed with Stubhub.  They only charge a 10% fee versus a 14% fee at Ticketmaster.  These tickets where mobile only so I decided to go with Ticketmaster. They have a seamless listing experience when dealing with mobile tickets and from what I have read you need to be approved at Stubhub to list mobile tickets.

I didn’t want to go through the hassle and I wasn’t sure I would be approved anyway since I have only sold like 5 sets of tickets all year.

The listing process was quick and painless and I listed both sets at 379.99 each.  That price put them in the bottom 5 of prices listed.  And that is where they sat and sat and sat.

RELATED: My Ticket Reselling Flop – JT Giveth & Taketh Away

Selling The Tickets

I purchased these tickets on May 18th for a February show so I expected them to sit for a good long while.  The wait is one of my least favorite things about ticket reselling, I hate float.

Around mid October they were still sitting there and Shawn let me know some of his tickets sold in the lower section for $399.99.  I decided to drop my price to get them sold so I could use the tied up funds for other opportunities.  I settled on a price of $299.99 which was around $30 cheaper than everything else at the time.  You could say I was a motivated seller.

Both sets ended up selling within a week or so for a take home amount of $514.18 per set or $1028.36 in total.  That is a profit of $180.96 for a rate of return of 21.4%.  Nothing like the thousands of dollars people were making off of Hamilton a year or so ago but not terrible.


If I had held the tickets until closer to the show I probably would have received a better price for them. But that would have meant holding them for another 3-4 months. I figured I could make up the difference in lost revenue using the money elsewhere in the meantime.

Listing them with Ticketmaster also cost me 4% more than Stubhub ($41.13).  If I was a seasoned seller and had the mobile option with Stubhub that would have been a nice boost to my profits.

As you can tell I am not the biggest fan of ticket reselling. To be honest, I am not all that great at it either.  Learn from my mistakes!  I will continue to do it from time to time to make a little bit of profit and rack up some spend.


Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. Am I adding wrong or are these numbers not right?
    You bought the tickets for $423.70, but you listed the tickets at $379.99. Why? Then you dropped your price to $299.99. Then you finally sold them for $514.18 each. How?

    I am trying to resell 2 of my 4 tickets and I want to make sure I am planning it properly. Any help is appreciated.

    • Listed them for $299.99 per ticket and the take home for a set of two was $514.18 after Stubhub fees etc.

  2. I left the ticket brokering business last year. Had about 5 years under my belt. Full-time job. It’s only a matter of time before the business of reselling goes away. The end is very much near. However, Ticketmaster and credit card companies that issue hundreds of cards to brokers are also the problem. Ticketmaster allows every account (yes, you can have as many phony Ticketmaster account as you want to bypass ticket limits) to add as many credit cards as possible in the payment options section. You should not be able to add more than 2 credit cards under each any specific account and the same card number should not be able to be used with a different Ticketmaster account. Also, American Express needs to link each card that it issues to brokers so that even if a broker has 20-30 cards, they are all tied to one main Amex credit card account number and once that account number is used to by a ticket, the remaining cards that are linked to the main card should be banned when trying to buy more tickets to the same event. The most simple way to stop brokers is by IP blockage. Basically, if I’m a broker in Los Angeles, Ticketmaster should not allow me to buy tickets for a say Justin Timberlake concert that’s not within a 50 mile radius on my computer’s IP address. Once brokers are not able to buy tickets for the rest of the tour in other cities, problem. Every ticket broker will be out of business the next day. But again, Ticketmaster profits from ticket resales on its own platforms so even though they can block ticket brokers from obtaining tickets very easily, they will hold off on it until they REALLY get pressured by consumer groups and the U.S. Government. The ticketing game is very dirty and rigged.

    • I am not sure the artists really want it to stop either. There are a lot of shows the ticket brokers take a bath on and those tickets would have never been sold in the first place.

  3. For everyone complaining about Mark, the real crime here is the price of the tickets to begin with. A week to two weeks pay for a set of tickets. I bet half the Hamilton actors can’t afford to go to their own show.

  4. Hi Mark,

    good post (and mostly thanks for posting re: TPM as it was unfolding – I don’t think I ever did thank you for that)

    To start off I’m not a ticket re-seller, never have been and probably never will be.

    But I think all of this “ethical” stuff is absolutely silly. If you want to blame someone for ticket prices being “too high”, blame the venue/TicketMaster for setting the initial price too low, allowing reselling to exist. The fans who are really dedicated get some as do all the resellers who think the price is too low.

    If those Hamilton tickets are worth $400 to someone, then you certainly bought them for “too cheap”.

    The venue/TM/whoever will never set the price “too high” (aka the price resellers charge) because they want to sell out the show immediately. So the venue gets shows to sell out, and resellers determine the fair market value by listing their tickets.

    It’s always funny how people love hating on resellers when they make a profit but never seem to complain when they can show up to a concert and pay face value or even significantly less for tickets right outside the venue as I have done many, many times.

  5. Whether or not people think individual ticket reselling is justified one thing is for sure..

    Ticket Master is a scum company. They constantly rip people off and play both sides of the game (selling and reselling). For years they have been adding hidden fees. They pretend to care about stopping scalping but never seem to do so as long it their bottom line is being padded. It’s sad because in the end it hurts the fans. Ticketmaster and live Nation should have never been allowed to merge.

    • TM does make a lot on the system. I paid fees to purchase and sell and then the person buying them from me paid fees too.

  6. When did ticket scalpers start calling themselves “resellers”?

    Sad to read this. As others pointed out, this is not how supply and demand actually works – it is artificially restricting supply to create excess demand. Comparing this to flipping a house is very disingenuous, as it’s quite obvious what the difference is in terms of value created during the process.

    If you went to your favorite restaurant and ordered a glass of wine, only to find out the table next to you bought out every single bottle of wine in the house 5 minutes before you got there with zero intention of drinking any – but they’d gladly sell it to you for a 100% markup – would you marvel at their amazing value added service, or generally consider them scum?

    • Jon if I purchase a hot electronic item and then sell it on eBay for a markup what is different? Some people buy houses without adding much value (when demand out paces supply) and turns around and sells at a big profit with simply adding some paint etc. Not every flip is a gut or a complete renovation etc.

    • Jon, a lot of what you have said is wrong. Ticket resellers aren’t artificially restricting supply. The supply is the same. If a venue sells 50,000 tickets, there are still 50,000 tickets for sale, even after ticket resellers snatch up a bunch of them. (If they colluded to slowly trickle their tickets onto the market, then you could make this argument, but I don’t think ticket resellers are really that organized in practice.) Resellers do not create excess demand. They raise ticket prices. This reduces demand.

      As far as value added goes, for the select few who would have won without the resellers in the lottery pool, or whose clicks to buy tickets were next in line, you could argue that resellers even create negative value for them. But what about for people who were going to lose the lottery anyway or were going to be too slow to buy tickets or had to be at work when tickets went on sale? They didn’t lose anything because they were never going to get tickets in the first place. Value is created for them because with ticket resellers, they now have a chance to go, albeit at a higher price.

      Is the value created for the people who wouldn’t have gotten tickets greater than the value lost from the people who would have gotten them? We can’t answer that objectively, but my opinion is yes.

      I can say that ticket resellers do generally increase the amount of bitterness in the world, as can be seen in this post’s comments. So for a potential reseller, you’ll have to consider whether the world needs any more bitterness in it. That’s about it.

      For disclosure, I don’t resell tickets, and I’ve never purchased tickets from a reseller.

  7. I love it, and I’ve been making some side income this way for years. I’ve got a few tips and industry connections if you want to talk offline.

    • Thanks for the offer Derek but I am not really looking to expand in the area much. It isn’t my favorite thing to do because of the float times.

  8. The point is you have performed no useful services to earn your fees. Without scalpers like you, the tickets would still have gone to one of the people who lined up/signed up/called in for the tickets, except they wouldn’t have to pay you anything.

    In essence, you forced yourself into a transaction as the middle man where there was no need for one. From that perspective, it’s not that different from a mobster extorting fees for a transaction.

    • Agree totally, Ed Murrow. Tickets should have a set price, the offer to sell the original tickets at a certain time is set, and more power to those who get the tickets. Then, the tickets with today’s technology have the buyer/owner’s picture/name/whatever, so it won’t get resold.
      In that way, the earnings go to the persons who deserve it, not someone who decided to intercede and buy a ticket only for profit, with no intent to attend.
      Something comes up; you have to cancel – make it a rule to return to the place of purchase to return it, or mail it in. Get your money back. But no reselling.

      • I think some places/artists are trying to do that more and more. If they would allow returns of tickets I think that would change some things…I know Harry Potter did and I think that lead to a lot of people returning.

        Ticketmaster etc. makes a lot of money on the merry go round so I am sure they and the Stubhubs of the world will keep it from fully happening though.

  9. To be clear, ticket resellers are *exploiting* “supply and demand” and not actually *creating* the supply. But if you don’t do it someone else will, so light as well!

  10. I resell and I have no ethical dilemna about it. I sign up for verified fan, I may or may not get a code. I sit at my computer(s) and manually search for tickets over multiple devices. I do not use a bot and I am typically priced more fairly than any broker seats. Sometime I score great seats, sometimes I don’t. This year I sold two great pairs of Hamilton ($483.70 for a $900 payout and $659.20 for $1177 payout) and one very good pair of Bruce tickets $1150 for $3300 payout). And these tickets were on the low end of what the average asking price was….Supply and demand. On the other side of the coin, this year I purchased nearly $15,000 in tickets that I sold at pure face value to friends and family. As mentioned in the article, the float time is insane. Most tickets don’t sell until sometimes just weeks before the show.
    No one is forcing people to buy these tickets. I go to 20-30 concerts a year so this is a good way to offset my personal costs.
    To anyone thinking about flipping tickets, tread cautiously. I know a lot of people who have been burned. I will be stepping back until the next hot ticket comes along…Hamilton has pretty much run its course for crazy ROI’s. Good luck!

  11. I don’t have any hate for anyone trying to nab these opportunities. But I hope more venues do what the Blumenthal Arts Center in Charlotte did for “Hamilton”: they actually purchased many tickets from reseller sites, received them, revoked the tickets as issued in their system due to violating no-resale-above-face-value rules, and issued chargebacks against the valueless tickets. This left the reseller & their channel completely out their investment.

    • Alan how is it different then reselling a hot toy, electronics item etc. etc. for a profit? What about flipping a house?

      • It is not all that different from reselling merchandise, but then reselling merchandise isn’t exactly what you’d call a value-added business; resellers are simply profiting from being faster.

        Flippers on the other hand (at least scrupulous ones) do add some value to the property via renovations. The value of those renovations will vary from buyer to buyer, but part of what they are paying for is the convenience of not doing it themselves.

        Resellers of items like tickets however, are simply profiting from being first. It’s not like if the supply existed at market value buyers wouldn’t just buy it through the official channel.

        • But the buyers of tickets also benefit from not having to put in the time to track down codes, wait in queues, search for seats. They get to pick exactly where they sit etc. There is a convenience factor provided to them. Think about it 20 years ago if you decided to go to a show last minute you would have had to go to the venue and hope to find tickets, pay with cash, hope they weren’t fake. This makes them easily accessible.

          There is a service provided people just want to think of it differently since there is “fandom” involved.

          • Technology has definitely improved the reselling process for sure, but that doesn’t change the fundamental dynamics. The value of the ticket is set by the performers and literally termed face value, selling it above that is to make profit and not to provide convenience.

            Put it this way: if every single seat that was bought by a reseller were unsold, the same person who would’ve bought one of those “exactly where I want to sit” tickets would still be able to do so at face value. Resellers are artificially restricting supply, as the first commenter pointed out…they have no interest in going to the show to begin with.

            That said, just because I wouldn’t do it doesn’t mean I’d judge you for doing it. There’s clearly a market for it.

  12. Saw Springsteen 3D row and much better! Hamilton is not as good as Book of Mormon or Les Mis or numerous other shows but it is the American story so it gets a pass. It also employs a disproportionate number of actors of color which is a great positive for Broadway! Whatever you do don’t fly Alaska to NYC as they are a commuter service at best on this route. They refused to admit us with First Class tickets or to admit Priority Club and was snarky NY as they did it with glee. So my family will take our 400k miles and fly Emirates and on the West Coast where they actually function we’ll drive our Tesla. KMA Alaska! NEVER again!

    • No I will have to pay taxes on it. Not sure if considered capital gains or regular income but I will have to talk to my accountant about that when the time comes.

      • Short term capital gains are taxed at the regular rate. Calling them capital gains only saves you the self employment taxes, and it could easily be argued that you do it with enough regularity and profit motive that you should be paying self employment taxes on the income. CPA & tax professional that resells tickets himself speaking. I pay the self employment taxes.

  13. You’re missing the point. It isn’t that you have an unfair advantage compared to everyone else, it’s that we live in a society. When demand outstrips supply and there are people whole sole purpose is to profiteer of that supply, it continues to skew the system away from a fair and balanced marketplace. No, you aren’t doing anything illegal, but ethically you may want to give this a bit of thought. Just because “other people” are doing it doesn’t make it fair or right.

    • Don isn’t this the basis of any business? How is it any different than any other for profit item that is bought and sold?

      • There are two basic types of businesses: Businesses that MAKE stuff, and businesses that RESELL stuff.

        Businesses that make stuff are providing a service in the form of stuff, and anyone who wants whatever they make should be glad to pay (reasonable prices) for this stuff.

        Businesses that resell stuff are less clear. Now, many such businesses offer a valuable service. A store, for example, takes the stuff you want, buying it in bulk from the business that created it, and making it easily available to you, the potential buyer, by placing it on their shelves where you can find it, and giving you checkout personnel to make your purchase easier. As such, they earn their markup, and most people do not feel taken advantage of (as long as the final price strikes them as reasonable).

        Ticket resellers, though, offer you no benefit and no service whatsoever. Especially if you resell on ticketmaster. What benefit do I get buying your used and jacked-up ticket versus buying the same ticket at its original price? The answer is none.

        Sure, you “won” that right by getting the ticket when it first went up for sale. And obviously, if someone is considering resell tickets, they missed that window – whether because they flaked or just because they didn’t get lucky in the lottery (with the second being a lot more hurtful than the first). But other than grabbing it first, what have you done to EARN the markup?

        That’s how it is different.

        I don’t think you are ethically doing anything wrong, per se, but I do think you aren’t doing anything right, either. And as such, I personally would never buy a resell ticket, no matter how much I wanted to see a show. I’d rather miss the show.

        Not everyone is me, obviously, which is why resellers make money… but that’s not really my problem. 🙂

        • Fair points – I would say the service provided is the reseller jumps through the hoops, does the verified fan stuff, waits in the queues, essentially spends the time setting everything which saves you the time from having to do it. Some people are willing to pay a premium for the time they saved and others are not.

          There are also times that fans get a ticket at below cost because the demand is low. I have taken advantage of this before and I have had to sell at a substantial loss. So there are times it ends up working out better for the fans as well.

          I would say without the reselling marketplace there would be many people who just would never be able to go to the shows they wanted to. They wouldn’t have the time or the ability to locate the tickets otherwise. So I do think a service is provided. It gives people a chance to easily locate tickets and it saves them the time of having to track them down.

          • I rather disagree about the service provided. We would not need the “verified fan stuff” if ticket resellers hadn’t abused the system to the point where something had to be done about it. Your argument that resellers will jump through the hoops created to throttle them does not sit well with me at all 😛

            And, sure, the very best tickets will always go fast, but for most shows (excepting the hottest items like Hamilton and Cursed Child), there would be plenty of inventory if people only purchased tickets they actually intended to use for themselves. Creating a scarcity and then using that scarcity as an excuse to drive up prices is called price fixing when corporations do it, and it’s also illegal when it’s done as a concerted campaign.

            And as for “finding” the tickets – you sell them on ticketmaster, which is where we would “find” new tickets… how does this help the buyer? (It doesn’t.) Or stubhub, which means the buyer has to go somewhere else after not finding the tickets in the place the buyer is trained to look first – that’s not convenient, either 🙂

            I will grant you that waiting in the queues and arranging your life around the arbitrary release time slots might be considered a service by people who don’t have the time or inclination to do so. You win that point fair and square.

          • I’ll give you a personal example. I had the opportunity to go to the World Series a few years back. If it had not been for resellers I would have never been able to go. It cost me around 3X the ticket value but the only other way I could have gone would have been to spend thousands of dollars on season tickets and then thousands more on playoff tickets. I am glad the option was available to me otherwise my only chance would have been if a friend happened to have an extra seat.


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