- Simple and effective interface
- Excellent support options if there is a problem
- Fees seem high and random
- Ticket availability surprisingly low for some sports
StubHub is one of the most well-known ticket buying and selling marketplaces on the internet. The site has always been at the forefront of the industry due in large part to a very aggressive advertising and marketing campaign. The San Francisco based company, which was founded in 2000, is owned by Ebay and in 2015 it was said to process one sports or entertainment ticket every second. That same year StubHub had over 16 million unique visitors and nearly 10 million live events every month. Those events are broken down into sports, music, comedy and theatre. StubHub is especially known for its ticket selection when it comes to WWE, high end music concerts and NFL International Series events. With those numbers in play it should be no surprise that StubHub is the world’s largest ticket market place by a wide, and growing, margin.
StubHub.co.uk was launched in March 2012 and, unsurprisingly, operates from London. While some companies allow tickets to be sold for free and others charge and upfront fee, the StubHub business model is centered around taking commission after the sale has taken place. This subtle difference makes StubHub more attractive to sellers, especially bulk sellers, who don’t have to pay large initial fees to get their tickets listed online.
The stubhub.co.uk interface is simple and well set out. If your computer is location enabled the home page will immediately populate with events happening in or near your city in the close future. This is a clever feature as someone browsing for a certain sporting event could easily be tempted to buy tickets for another event based on what immediately pops up on the screen. The main feature of the homepage however is the search bar that asks you to enter a team or artist. The search will then load all the StubHub.co.uk inventory of team (in date order) along with giving the low end price for tickets to each game.
In summary this is a simple, no frills interface that just works. Ticket sites like StubHub.co.uk do not need to be overly complicated and you can definitely feel the influence of EBay in the way that the site is laid out. If you are looking for tickets to a game it is hard to see how you could end up on the StubHub website and fail to find what you are looking for if it is available.
Buying Tickets from StubHub
@danifagan Our FanProtect Guarantee covers fraudulant tickets. If there's any issue, we'll find replacement tix or offer a full refund!— StubHubUK (@StubHubUK) February 21, 2017
The cornerstone of the StubHub business model is their FanProtect Guarantee. It can be something of a leap of faith buying tickets that are in the possession of someone else, but StubHub.co.uk has a policy in place that means you will always get valid tickets in time for an event or they will find replacement tickets and send a refund. The company monitors every order to make sure it is fulfilled and uses tracked postage to make sure tickets are sent and received as promised.
In order to buy tickets at StubHub.co.uk you must first register with an account. There are lots of sites that require this on the internet today and the version at StubHub is pretty unobtrusive as it asks only for a name, username and password. After selecting your tickets you will be taken to the checkout page of the site. The first thing to note on this site is that it offers a secure checkout and has a number of security measures in place. Knowing once again that this is a subsidiary of EBay this should come as no surprise at all.
The next item to note on this page is your total ticket price. StubHub.co.uk will charge fees, such as service fees and delivery fees, and the fee total can often vary based on location and demand. My sample purchase of two Manchester United vs. West Ham tickets at Old Trafford came up with fees totaling 16% of the ticket price. StubHub is at least clear about these fees before the final stage of ticketing unlike some of its rivals.
One very positive aspect of StubHub.co.uk is that along with the expected payment options of Visa and MasterCard you can also use PayPal to complete your transaction. PayPal does offer a safer way to pay so it is nice to see more and more sites turning to this method.
After the Purchase
StubHub does a really good job with its communication policies and support. A robust FAQ page is backed up by email support that claims to get back with most enquiries within 24 hours. If you need a response that is timelier than that there is also a dedicated Freephone number to call that is open from 9 A.M. to 9 P.M. UK time daily. This same page also lists phone numbers for 10 or so other countries including Germany, France and the USA.
As StubHub is a secondary marketplace it does not allow orders to be cancelled once they are finalized. As with EBay a purchase becomes a binding contract that must be fulfilled. If an event is cancelled for whatever reason StubHub will work with the buyer and the seller to make sure any refund or new tickets go to the correct person.
Ticket delivery is done by registered post so that both the buyer and seller can track the delivery. If this is the method then sellers have a short window after tickets arrive with them to post them on to the buyer. If the buyer is travelling to an event and have not received tickets four days before they travel then StubHub will actively work with the seller to get the tickets sent to the correct location. Electronic tickets are the way forward here as all it takes is a quick email to get the tickets from one party to the other.
Selling tickets on StubHub.co.uk is also a breeze. There is a step-by-step guide to get your tickets online and the site even helps with pricing to make sure that you will not undervalue your tickets. The site also makes things easier for sellers by acting as a middleman between buyer and seller so the two never have to communicate and deal with one another. This is a huge advantage over a site like Craigslist where the hassle of dealing with the buyer can sour the whole process. Sellers are charged a flat fee of 15% (top sellers can get even 10%) and many would argue that the fee is more than worth it just for the ease of the process.
The StubHub app is one of the best of its kind as it does everything the website does on your smart phone screen. You can use the app to buy and sell tickets, find events and even be sent notifications if your favorite sports team is playing near you in the near future. It will even allow you to get into events that are mobile ticket enabled, negating the need to send and receive paper tickets through the mail and alleviating the worry of tickets not being in hand close to the event. This kind of app is the future of the secondary ticket business and the StubHub app is a leader in the field.
The StubHub.co.uk site is without doubt one of the best ticket selling marketplaces out there. The site is sleek and easy to navigate, payment feels secure with enough options available to cover most needs and the support system for customers is solid. The only real negative is that sometimes the fees seem a little high, but when comparing with sites that don’t do the basics as well there is often only a few percentage points in difference. If you are looking for a ticket to an event and it is available on StubHub.co.uk, then you can buy safe in the knowledge you are working with a high end, reputable website. RATING: **** (out of five)