How to Become a Ticket Broker: Step-by-Step Career Guide
Research the requirements to become a ticket broker. Learn about the job description, and read the step-by-step process to start a career in ticket brokering.
Do I Want to Be a Ticket Broker?
A career as a ticket broker can be very lucrative, but in some areas of the U.S., the industry is highly regulated. Ticket brokers are in the business of re-selling tickets and may work for companies who deal with tickets for all types of events. It is also possible for an entrepreneur to thrive as a ticket broker. Self-employed individuals may need to spend significant time and possibly money to advertise and find customers on a regular basis.
Although not always required for ticket brokers, earning an associate's degree in business may be beneficial. Some states might require licensing or certification. The following table contains the main qualifications and requirements needed to become a ticket broker, listed from November 2012 job listings at ZipRecruiter.com.
|Degree Level||Associate's degree|
|Degree Field(s)||Business is recommended|
|Licensure and/or Certification||Varies by state*|
|Experience||Sales experience required|
|Key Skills||Communication, desire to grow, follows instructions|
|Computer Skills||Must be able to enter and track orders|
Source: *State of Connecticut's Office of Legislative Research.
Step 1: Gain the Necessary Education
To become a ticket broker, there is no specific degree program or level of required education; however, there are areas of formal undergraduate education that can provide an aspiring ticket broker with a fundamental business background. Additionally, some employers may prefer applicants with an associate's or bachelor's degree. Studies in marketing and sales will help prepare a ticket broker to create an effective business model for their product, whereas education in finance and advertising will help a future ticket broker better understand the market itself. Based on these areas of study, and perhaps entrepreneurial classes, a prospective ticket broker may want to consider a bachelor's degree program in business administration.
- Consider an internship. Many undergraduate programs offer internship programs for students to get their foot in the door of the workforce. Internship programs allow students to apply their classroom learning to real-life situations, and the time spent may count towards experience hours when applying for a job.
Step 2: Build Necessary Skills
Over the past decade, the Internet has become increasingly more populated by companies and individuals who broker tickets. As technologies continually change, mainstay ticket sellers lose their edge to the competition because ticket prices directly reflect the demand for specific tickets. This requires ticket brokers to have an understanding of the competition and the ability to learn on the job.
Employers also look for candidates with enhanced decision-making skills, due to the constant fluctuations in the ticket market. Ticket brokers must be able to work with spreadsheets and communicate with other departments within the company. Candidates must be good with numbers, accountable for their own work and capable of reporting their data and decisions to others effectively.
Step 3: Determine Local Laws and Obtain Necessary Licensure
The laws for re-selling tickets vary between states. According to Connecticut's Office of Legislative Research (OLR), re-selling a ticket for a profit is defined as scalping. Often, scalping is associated with a negative connotation; however, for legal purposes it is the literal re-selling of a previously purchased ticket for a profit.
The OLR reported in 2006 that there were 27 states with laws concerning ticket scalping. Some, such as Alabama and Massachusetts, require ticket brokers to be licensed. New York and New Jersey's laws include specific regulations on the profit and allowed price increases, on top of required licenses. As another example, Michigan prohibits anyone from re-selling tickets, for any reason.
- Continue research and education about the law. Local and federal laws may change at any time, and it is important to keep up-to-date regarding state and local laws, as well as licensure requirements. Maintaining the proper documents, paperwork and licenses are crucial to successful sales.
Step 4: Locate a Job or Start a Business
There are two types of ticket brokering companies: those with a storefront and those run entirely online. Ticket brokers who work for a company with the storefront may have a more traditional job, interacting with people and making sales. A company that is set up entirely online may have an office location, but has very little (if any) face-to-face contact with its customers. When looking for a ticket brokering job, the candidate should examine the location's laws regarding the re-sale of tickets and the strengths he or she possess in communications and computer skills.
Yet another option for a career in ticket brokering is to found a company. Starting a business requires careful planning, capital and an understanding of the current laws and regulations. Louisiana, for instance, only allows the brokering of tickets online, while Arizona and California allow sales to happen away from the venue where the event is to take place.
Step 5: Join a Trade Organization
The nature of re-selling tickets at a profit is accompanied by concern, and sometimes outrage, on the part of legislators and the public. Organizations such as the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) and the United States Ticket Broker Association (USTBA) offer protection and support for ticket brokering companies. For example, by voluntarily agreeing to the Code of Conduct put forth by the NATB and paying a membership fee, members receive a support system of lawyers and lobbyists, become a part of a trusted network of brokers and can access easier methods of tracking changes to laws and regulations.
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