Thanks for your reply, Mike. You make some very fair points. To be fair to me, I think I at least alluded to a number of them. And this is not intended to be a deep dive on ticket reselling (although recall that there is a Part 2 coming Saturday). I can’t imagine anyone would stick with any reselling activity (tickets or otherwise) if it had a less than 50/50 profit/loss rate. Of course, overall profit margin is the more important factor. When I first got started doing this, it was tough to get over the losses (and they will happen – as I highlight more in Part 2).
Choose a strategy that suites you and your trading hours. Write it on paper and stick to it. With time you will perfect it but at the beginning this will help you be disciplined to stick to rules. Ensure that the trading strategy you adopt at the beginning of your scalping or spread betting career has a high probability and positive expectancy. Even if at the beginning this means more sitting on the side lines, well being more patient and taking fewer trades. If you trade in the evening you might end up trading only 3 to 4 times.
You’re not crazy for thinking that a flight price has changed after searching it a few times in your web browser. Based on the cookies in your browser, flight prices do increase when a particular route is repeatedly searched, as the site wants to scare you into booking the flight quickly before prices get even higher. Always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices.
The price of domestic flights were, on average, 11 percent lower on Sunday than the average for all other days. The Sunday bargains were even greater on flights from the U.S. to Europe, with tickets averaging 16 percent lower when compared with other days. And flights within Europe averaged a whopping 30 percent less on Sundays, making it an ideal day to book several legs of a multicity tour.
Some people think ticket scalping has a negative connotation associated to it. The word scalping has its origins in the stock market. Investors who trade very often, every day, are called day-traders. They make money buying and reselling stocks because they believe small changes in a stock price is easier to predict than larger moves. Therefore, they trade often and in small amounts which makes them small profits repeatedly. Traders who implement this strategy are refereed to as scalpers.
My husband and I are big concert goers and we are are always buying tickets. We have recently had our first child and are now realizing that we won’t always be able to make it to the concerts we buy tickets for. Because of this, we have been looking for concert ticket services, or other ways that we can re sell some of our tickets. I didn’t realize it was illegal to use certain third parties, I will have to keep doing research on what our best options will be.
“I always set alarms on Skyscanner to places where I need or want to visit in the near future. It lets me know when prices go down, so I can take advantage of great deals and save money on flights. It also lets me know when prices go up, so I can either catch them before they increase any further or put that trip on the back-burner for now.” —Inma Gregario, 34, a travel blogger who takes at least one trip a month

Airlines get themselves into sticky situations when it comes to overbooked flights- just ask United. While to some folks, the “overbooked” announcement can be an unpleasant assurance of excessive bathroom lines and limited overhead storage, a smart traveler knows that volunteering to wait it out for the next flight can pay off big time. You might not end up with a million-dollar settlement, but a flight voucher or a couple of free round-trip tickets are usually negotiable.
Airlines, in general, rarely share all the possible fares or "fare buckets" that are available on any given flight on any given day. Many times travelers are faced with choosing between a full fare ticket and the lowest fare ticket, not knowing that there can sometimes be as many as 20 additional fare buckets available for that flight. At best, only the lowest fare in each fare category will be presented to the business traveler as options.
Copying ultra-low-cost airlines such as Spirit and Frontier, now Delta, American and United also sell bare-bones economy class fares. On domestic routes, they typically cost $40-$60 round-trip less than regular economy, although the savings can be greater to international destinations. Buy one of these fares and, except on Delta, you'll pay even for a carry-on bag unless it's small enough to fit under the seat in front of you; you won't be able to choose a specific seat before check-in (which means you'll end up in a dreaded middle seat), and your fare will be entirely non-refundable and non-changeable. Although I'd never buy one of these airfares, my millennial friends, who apparently travel with just a change of clothes and a toothbrush stuffed into a backpack that slides under the seat, tell me that they're worth the inconvenience.
After experiencing an economic setback during in the late 2000s, the live entertainment industry now looks stronger than it ever has before. Just last week, World Series ticket prices on StubHub and eBay soared to new heights, with some tickets fetching over $20,000 a pop. For an eye-popping example in the music industry, Adele’s world tour is rumored by some industry insiders to have grossed over $200 million.

Fly out early. The cheapest flight is typically the first flight of the morning. "Yes, that means you have to get up at 4 a.m.," says Rick Seaney, chief executive of FareCompare.com. The next-cheapest flight times are during or after lunch or at the dinner hour. "There's a general rule of thumb, which is 'fly hungry,'" Seaney says. That's because flyers tend to not want to travel at inconvenient or uncomfortable times, he says.
[…] If tickets sell out, which is likely, fans can still buy them through another vendor. Browse resale tickets on a third-party site like StubHub or search Craigslist for fans looking to unload extra tickets. But be wary of scalpers with marked up prices and make sure you’re spending your money wisely by looking on Facebook fan groups for tickets, prioritizing physical tickets over PDFs and negotiating prices, according to Showbams.com. […]
After drawing up a list of two to five top possibilities, the next step is to check with those airlines on the airlines' own websites. Sometimes an airline undersells the travel agencies, and since checking each airline takes only a few minutes, that is a possibility worth investigating. Because of the misconception that the airline price will always be higher than that of the travel agent, this step is often overlooked.
So let’s go back to the San Francisco Giants. If they have an experimental section and they drop the price, why would I buy a ticket in the next section over that’s at a much higher price? So if I were going to buy that ticket, I would say, well, gee, I can save $10 by going to the experimental section. Why not? So my hunch is that there was a lot of cannibalization going on, and that 20% figure really didn’t represent new revenue, getting people price sensitive, in the door. My hunch is that the majority of this increased 20% came from people who would have actually paid a higher price. That’s a negative of dynamic pricing that I don’t think has been satisfactorily accounted for.

If your country’s currency is currently strong compared to others around the world, search airfare in a country where the currency is weaker. For example, the US dollar is strong and the New Zealand currency is weak. I found a one-way flight from Australia to NYC for $1,000 USD but when I searched on the NZ version of the airline, I found the same ticket for $600 USD. It’s the same airline, same flight, and same booking class. It was just booked in a different currency. This tip does not always work, but it works often enough that it’s something worth trying if your currency is currently doing well.
However, Jack from Jack’s Flight Club has this advice: “If you need a last-minute flight, and you don’t want to pay over the odds, be flexible with your airline choice. Some of the smaller carriers and those that specialise in package holidays to beach destinations will discount unsold seats as the departure time nears. Use Skyscanner’s Search Everywhere tool to find these deals. Simply input the nearest Whole Month for your travel dates, select ‘direct only’ and hit Search Flights. Then scroll down the list of destinations until you see one with an insanely good deal.
I'd like to add this to your whole approach: You can usually get tickets for free or next to free at any sporting event (im in the US not sure about the rest of the world but its probably much the same). All you have to do is be loud, exuberant about wanting to get in, and preferably wearing the home teams colors (don't wear opposing teams colors). So many people have an extra ticket, and many don't even bother/want to sell it to scalpers.
"Cheap" is always relative, depending on your budget and needs, but we have a few guidelines in the Traveler office for what counts as a good deal from the U.S. Flights to Europe at or under $400 round-trip are a go. Getting to Northern Africa for less than $500 is a steal. Round-trips to South America at or under $500 are also great, a number that applies to flights to Asia, too. Going farther afield, anything under $1,000 is a stellar deal for southern Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. That said, if you see a flight that's cheap enough to make you want to book, go for it. The "grass is greener, flight is cheaper" mentality of waiting for the least expensive flight will make you miss out on some great (and yes, cheap) flights.
In my experience, the easiest tickets to buy and resell are in your local market.  You probably have some local knowledge of what is in demand in your city.  In fact, the VERY best tickets to resell are for shows you plan to attend yourself (buy 4 tickets and sell 2 – and you will often times pay for your own 2 tickets that you use!).  It is also easiest to sell via Craigslist if you are selling in your local market.  Some sports teams frown upon people buying simply (or primarily) for the purpose of reselling, but if you live locally it’s tough for them to identify you as a “broker.”  And, if the tickets you have are local, the worst case scenario is that you can use them yourself or find a friend to go to the game or show.
This doesn’t seem to bother fans. Barry Arakelian told me that he had a great time at the Petty show, regardless of the fact that he paid $825 to see a show that should have cost about $200. He would have paid even more, he said, if he knew the money was going to an artist he admired. “And if I paid the higher price,” he said proudly, “you’d shut out the scalpers.”
It pays to plan ahead. The closer you are to your traveling day the more you pay. Why? Because a while back some smart guys and gals at an airline figured out that business travelers tend to schedule meetings at the last minute and have the least flexibility. So while the airlines stick it to the business folk, a well-organized vacationer can take advantage. To find the best fares for you, search for your trip on KAYAK and complete your booking 21 days or more in advance; for next best try for 14 or more. You still here? What are you waiting for?

Sign up for free alerts. Almost every major online booking site offers airfare alerts that ping you when fare prices fall. Popular digital resources such as Hitlist, The Flight Deal and Secret Flying offer quick alerts on good deals, Hobica says. If you sign up for fare alerts from Kayak or Google Flights, you can specify certain routes and travel dates, Hobica says.
How to 'Scalp' tickets (online) is a similar process. As mentioned above, all you have to do is buy tickets and resell them for a higher price. The harder thing to do is select which tickets to buy exactly. Selecting a show that will sell out is the most important factor of being successful with online ticket scalping. In order to scalp, or take a little bit of gain on the ticket scalping economics, you need to ensure the price increases.
Two of the best travel rewards cards are the Chase Sapphire Preferred and American Express Platinum Card. Both cards earn let you redeem your purchase rewards points through their respective credit card travel portal, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards, for award travel. Or, you can also transfer your points to an airline travel partner on a 1:1 basis for an even better deal and to also give you those last few points that you need to book a flight directly through the airline.

Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards: Southwest's rewards program is strong, especially if you make frequent domestic trips. Your reward comes from dollars spent, based on fare class—that's six points per dollar on "Wanna Get Away" tickets; 10 points per dollar on "Anytime" tickets; and 12 points per dollar on "Business Select” tickets. When it comes to redeeming there are no blackout dates, not even holidays, and no change fees or cancellation fees, either.
It’s rarer to find cheap last-minute flights with non-charter airlines. With those airlines the best time to book is around 6 to 12 weeks in advance – which is based on statistics garnered from tracking all flights. However, it varies heavily by airline, route and season, making it difficult to predict these. It’s all based on supply and demand, so if a certain route has a lot of demand this year it won’t fall in price.

So that goes back to the notion of value. So I value the certainty of having great tickets to the Rolling Stones or the Red Sox versus the Yankees. So I’m willing to pay a premium just to get that certainty. But much like what you see in life, and in pricing in general, if you’re willing to wait it out and deal with the uncertainty, you can get the best tickets at face value, if not lower, if you wait until the very last minute.
Airline rewards programs are a great way to get free flights, free upgrades, and free companion tickets. No matter how often you fly, you should be signed up for the airline’s reward program. I stick to US-based airlines since they are involved in all the major alliances and you can earn miles on their partner flights. For example, if I fly Singapore Airlines, I can earn United Airlines miles because they are partners. Likewise, if I fly Air France, it’s credited to my Delta rewards account.
We traveled on Air New Zealand from SFO to BNE and return from SYD, with premium economy space seats, outbound September and return October. Price was USD 3935 for 2 persons, purchased June. Now price per person for similar flight Sept 2016 seems to be 50% greater, USD 3,000. I would appreciate any comment you have as to this increase and later pricing. Thanks. David Anderson
Brilliant advice, although people should make sure if they are using multiple airlines ticketed separately that they have good travel insurance. Airlines ticketed separately have no obligation if, say, the first flight is delayed and you miss your second flight. I have also had issues with lost luggage before, when airline one booked it straight through when I was ticketed separately on to airline two: both point the finger at the other and you don’t get anywhere fast! Good insurance is a must and good practice anyway!

Turkish Airlines Adria Airways, Air Algerie, Air Astana, Air Canada, Air China, AEGEAN, Air India, Air Malta, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Azerbaijan Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Egyptair, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Hawaiian Blue Airlines, Iran Air, JetBlue, Kuwait Airways, Lufthansa, Luxair, Pakistan International, Philippine Airlines, Oman Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Brunei Airlines, Royal Jordanian, RwandAir, UIA, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, Tap Portugal, Thai Airways, United and UT Air.
I’m curious if these tips work for business class? My travel is transatlantic – USA to The UK – and I’ve found that the so-called brokers who can save 50-70% can’t do any better than I can myself using Kayak or a similar search engine. It’s more expensive but as a big guy the extra comfort on a long flight is worth it in my opinion. Still, I like to save where I can as that is the most expensive part of my trips. 

Choose a "home base" aggregator like kayak.com as your frame of reference. Kayak will do some comparison shopping for you, among sites like Travelocity, Orbitz, and Priceline. Once you have your best fare from your home base aggregator, you can start your own comparison shopping. No aggregator gives you all the information, so be prepared to use more than one.

I’m not sure why it’s a good idea for some, but not others. Certainly there are risks, as I start off the entire discussion by pointing out. But if people do some research, start small, and follow some of my other tips (from today’s post and part 2), then it can be profitable (it’s a career for some!) or at least a low-margin (overall*) MS opportunity. I say overall, because anyone who does this WILL have occasional losses. If someone tries it and finds that the losses outweigh the gains, then they obviously either need to quit or figure out what they’re doing wrong. Again, it is clearly not for everyone, but there are LOTS of people doing it (as anyone who does it knows) and can be a good venture and/or tool.
Let's get one thing clear from the start: airfares are volatile. While it's true that flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday is cheaper than on a Friday or Sunday, there is no magic time of day, day of week or month of year to book a low airfare. Airfares can change in a heartbeat, high one minute and low the next, and the trick is to buy when a fare on your route becomes a bargain.
As their nickname suggests, discount airlines can save you a bundle, but they’re not always easy to find. Luckily for consumers, discounters are cropping up more frequently on aggregators and booking sites (Kayak now offers fares for JetBlue and Spirit, for example) — but there are still a few holdouts, such as Southwest and Allegiant Air, whose fares can’t be found anywhere but their own websites. If you’re traveling outside the U.S., don’t forget to check the international discount airlines as well.

“I save money on travel by letting good deals dictate where I go. I use the TravelPirates app and follow The Flight Deal on Facebook to stay abreast of the latest travel deals. When a cheap ticket pops up that sounds amazing, I book it right away and plan later. I sometimes have trouble making decisions, so I love letting the deals decide for me.” —Jacquelyn Kyle, 28, a writer who takes at least four trips a year
This is your first step, and it’s probably the most important. Ticket brokering can be fun and extremely lucrative, but it’s not for everyone. There are a lot of unpredictables, a lot of tough decisions, and a ton of organizational work that goes into this business. If you’re just learning about ticket brokering and you need an introduction on how it all works, this is not the career where you can simply “learn on the job.” What will end up happening is you’ll buy thousands of dollars worth of tickets that you can’t sell and you’ll just get discouraged.
Cheapest days to fly: Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. According to a FareCompare.com study, the cheapest days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday for domestic travel. "If you can’t book cheap days for your entire flight, do it for one leg of the trip and you’ll still see some savings," according to the website. For international travel, weekdays are usually cheaper than weekends, says FareCompare. Friday and Sunday are the most expensive days for domestic travel.
Review your ticket information carefully when you book. Double-check your dates, times, destinations, baggage allowance, and exact spelling of your name. Confirm that the name on your reservation exactly matches the one on your passport, which can be an expensive hassle to correct later. Decline extras that you don't want (for example, premium seating — with an extra fee). On each page of the transaction, be sure that no boxes are checked unless you want them to be.
“I make sure to use incognito mode on Google Chrome when searching for flights to keep my computer from tracking my history. Sites like Kayak, Expedia, and Priceline can raise the price of the same flight every time you search for it, and incognito mode keeps this from happening.” —Mona Molayem, 28, a travel blogger who takes five international trips a year
This list wouldn't be complete without the mention of social media. The best way to stay on top of the latest in just about anything these days is social media. Find out what the best deals are right now in real time by following your preferred airlines on social media. Additionally, following #airfare on Twitter will provide you with the latest in flight deals from all of the major airlines and airfare sites.
While the above search engines are great, they do not always include small airlines, especially in less popularly booked routes and/or in remote regions. If you’re flying somewhere obscure, Google search and ask around if there exists a local airline. While in South America we learnt that the LADE Air in Argentina (run by the military) has cheap flights to Patagonia, which is of course not listed in mass search engines online.

Brilliant advice, although people should make sure if they are using multiple airlines ticketed separately that they have good travel insurance. Airlines ticketed separately have no obligation if, say, the first flight is delayed and you miss your second flight. I have also had issues with lost luggage before, when airline one booked it straight through when I was ticketed separately on to airline two: both point the finger at the other and you don’t get anywhere fast! Good insurance is a must and good practice anyway!


While many theories exist around booking specifically on a Tuesday to save money, the reality is there is no consistent truth to exactly which days are cheapest to fly. Most of the time it is cheaper to leave on a weekday, though this isn’t always the case. Your best strategy is to get a quick visual of prices for a whole month to see what days are cheapest for your specific route. Here’s how:
To give you an idea of how much the states differ in their laws, here is an example of what Florida and New York permit when it comes to the resale of tickets, according to eBay. In Florida you cannot sell or buy a ticket for higher than face value, including fees plus $1 for tickets to events taking place in the Sunshine State. In New York, you cannot sell or buy tickets that are more than face value, including fees plus 45 percent of the ticket price for venues that seat more than 6,000 people and face value including fees, plus 20 percent for smaller venues.
Airlines play games with airfares -- sometimes, it seems, merely to annoy their competitors. If you check a New York to Seattle fare before going to bed one night it might be $228 round-trip, but check at 8am the following day and it could be $108. But that sneak sale, which could be valid for travel up to 330 days in the future, will probably last only a few hours, and seats will sell quickly. And for reasons that we can only speculate on, airlines lower fares on Saturday mornings and during the weekend (this is also when those "fat finger" airfare mistakes seem to happen). The aforementioned peak summer deals on Virgin to London popped up on a Saturday afternoon, and those now famous 88¢ USAir round-trips on a Saturday morning.
Finally, in many cities, legit ticket resellers have store fronts close to the venue. They are always a worth a visit before you turn to a scalper as they often have deals on last minute tickets. The rule with them is never take the price they first offer unless it is within $10-15 of face value. If it is more, being willing to walk away never hurt anyone and usually net’s a price cut.

These websites are a breeze to use. Ok, that may not be true for all, but even the less user-friendly among them aren't rocket science. So, do not brush these sites off if you want to search for and compare air fares. For the most part, all you have to do is enter your preferences and keep experimenting with different combinations and options until you are satisfied. Easy peasy!
RAFI MOHAMMED: I always ask people on the front line, because they deal with customers. And oftentimes people on the front line can tell you a lot of people would have paid a lot more, or we’re getting a lot of people who are very interested, they take the product off the shelf. They’re interested, but once they see the price, they put the product back.
Before you get started, it’s critical that you secure at least $5-10k in startup capital to give you a nice cushion when you’re first learning the ropes. Rest assured, mistakes will be made and money will be lost at the very beginning. The last thing you need is to fall behind on your monthly bills just because you’re waiting on someone to snatch up tickets that you’ve listed. Instead, make sure you have ample cash reserves to fund your venture from Day 1.
During a lengthy tarmac delay in the US (upon either arrival or departure), the DOT says an airline can’t keep you on a plane for more than three hours (on a domestic flight) or four hours (on an international flight) without allowing you to get off if you wish. Even listening in on what your pilot is saying to air traffic control probably won’t keep you entertained for that length of time. Also, the airline is obligated to get that food and water cart running down the aisle after two hours of delay.
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