The term “scalping” has such a negative tone to it. The word conjures up images of guys standing near a stadium holding signs that say “I need tickets” in big letters and cash-only transactions. Although those people will still be around for a while, there are now legitimate means for getting your tickets, and it’s all done online and on your iPhone.
It’s called StubHub, and don’t just assume this is a ticket broker like so many others. After all, it’s the MLB’s official “fan-to-fan ticket marketplace,” so the company has some big time supporters. Until recently, buying or selling tickets from StubHub meant that you had to log on to their website and do your business, but now StubHub makes that a bit easier with the introduction of an iPhone app. Is it worth the download? Find out after the break.
The StubHub Basics
Let’s do a quick primer on what StubHub is and how it works. Say you really want to see the Celtics play the Suns, but tickets have been sold out for months. Just search StubHub for tickets, and you’ll be presented with a wide variety of seats, from the nosebleeds all the way to the lower levels – and sometimes even courtside – with their prices listed next to them.
Buy some tickets and then either download them instantly, have them shipped to you via FedEx or pick them up at the gate, depending on the availability options.
Selling tickets works in a similar fashion. You put up some tickets on StubHub, then price them however you like using the tools on the site. Once you have a buyer, your tickets are sold and off you go.
The iPhone Way
StubHub on the iPhone is more about the buying than the selling part of the process. Once the app is loaded up, you can find the nearest concerts or sporting events in your area for the next seven days, or search for something specific if that’s what you need. Once you’ve found the event you want to attend, a finger tap gets you to see the available tickets for the function.
Here’s where it gets interesting: At the bottom of the screen is a sliding bar with lots of vertical lines on it. Each one of those ticks in the bar indicates a ticket for sale within the price range, and if you want to decrease the pool of tickets, you can slide the bar either up or down in price according to your budget.
The top screen then refreshes, and the available tickets display in list form. Up top there’s a slider bar as well, but this one designates the number of tickets that you want. By sliding those top and bottom bars, you can narrow down your choices pretty far until you get to your perfect option.
One of the coolest things is being able to find stuff to do around your event. Say you’re catching a Celtics game in Boston and you want to get a drink beforehand. No biggie, just click on the push pin above the tickets you’re buying and select between food, transportation and drinking options. This makes planning your night a ton easier, particularly if you’re not from the area.
Making a Buy
With your tickets selected, it’s time to pull the trigger. This is as simple as creating a StubHub account on the iPhone, then entering in your pertinent information. Choose your method of delivery and the tickets will be ready to go.
So what about selling tickets? This wasn’t something I was able to test out extensively, because I don’t have any tickets to sell. From what I can tell though, you can view your active and pending listings, and then manage those on the fly. There’s also a convenient option to search for a local FedEx store if you have tickets to ship or pick up.
Is it Worth the Price of Admission?
Even though the app is free, it wouldn’t be worth that much if you couldn’t use it properly. I have in fact purchased tickets using the app. I found them easily then purchased them via instant download so I had access to them right away. An e-mail with a link to the tickets came to my inbox, and I printed out the tickets once I got home.
However, when I looked outside of my local area, finding tickets became more difficult. It’s not that it was impossible, it was just easy to get frustrated when hunting around. There’s no way to dial things down to a specific date and time (none that I found, anyways), and that got irritating.
For example, I looked up tickets for the Boston Red Sox. Up came every event by opponent in alphabetical order, be it for spring training or the regular season. There was no way to find out who the Sox were playing on say June 17 (It’s the Brewers, in case you’re wondering), so you just have to scroll and scroll until you find your option by team, not date. That’s frustrating.
That said, this is best for impulse buys. You’re reminded of an upcoming concert and while it’s fresh in your mind you check out who has tickets and what they’re going for. It’s the Sunday before the big game and you want to get tickets for your kid, but the game is sold out. In those cases, StubHub for the iPhone is an excellent resource.
Now if they could get the sorting options down, it would be just about perfect.