SeatGeek 101: How Secondary Market Service Fees Work

Mar 1, 2017



For a buyer, it can be frustrating to choose a pair of $15.00 tickets only to get to the checkout and see the total come to $50.00 because of various fees. Some websites don’t let you know about these fees until the last minute, drawing you into the sale at a specific price only to squeeze a few more dollars out of you at the last minute.

To ensure you’re an informed buyer, the folks at SeatGeek have broken down how service fees work and have provided tips on how to use them to your advantage. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you will have the information you need to save money next time you buy SeatGeek tickets.

Why do secondary market “hidden” fees exist?

While we can’t explain why some secondary market companies hide their fees, we can help you understand why the fees exist in the first place. 

Secondary market ticketing websites provide the service of connecting sellers with buyers. In order to make a profit out of these transactions, they must charge a fee in these exchanges. These SeatGeek fees help keep ticket vendors like SeatGeek alive and quality event tickets stocked.

On top of keeping secondary market companies in business, various stakeholders make money during the process of a ticket sale. Depending on the partnership or contract, a percentage of ticket revenue is often delegated to the artist, promoter, venue and/or ticketing company. 

How do secondary market fees work?

When charging these fees, secondary market websites have three options – charge the seller, charge the buyer or charge both. In reality, who pays this fee doesn’t matter because the seller will adjust the listing price to match their expected payout. If the buyer pays the fees, they will list the ticket for less, and if the seller pays the fees, they will list the ticket for more.

One thing to note is that fees vary depending on many factors, including the event you are attending and the venue in which it’s located. You may also encounter additional fees if you purchase SeatGeek tickets for an event in a state that mandates entertainment taxes. Fees will also vary depending on which ticket vendor you buy from.

Some standard fees you may encounter include:

  • Service Fees

  • Processing Fees

  • Delivery Fees

  • Facility Charge

  • Taxes

Like most markets, the secondary ticket marketplace goes through ups and downs depending on the economy. During these fluctuating times, it’s common to see a rise or fall in your average ticket price. After COVID-19 hit, causing thousands of event cancellations, the event industry and secondary ticket market took a big hit. Fast forward to the “end” of the pandemic, when events are booming, we see a different issue – supply and demand. This is just one of many examples that may be contributing to the upward trend in hidden fees that we’ve been seeing in the last couple of years. 

How can I avoid surprise or hidden fees when buying tickets?

Avoiding hidden SeatGeek fees has proven difficult for most consumers, which is why SeatGeek made it their mission to uphold transparency. The easiest way to prevent sticker shock at the final purchase price is to shop at a website like SeatGeek that allows you to include fees in the listing price (see the below images). 

While the sellers on SeatGeek still charge fees, SeatGeek bundles these numbers into the ticket price so that buyers never pay more for a ticket than the initial amount they see. This protects consumers from last-second price jumps and makes for a better buying experience.

Whether you’re looking to buy tickets for concerts, sports, theater, comedy or festivals – SeatGeek has you covered. When browsing for SeatGeek tickets, you can apply the “fees included” filter to avoid last-minute surprises and wasted time. After all, time is money! 

Oh, and one more thing: use code BLOG20 for $20 off your first eligible purchase of $100 or more at checkout!