StubHub Ditches All-In Pricing

StubHub isn’t quite ready to abandon all-in-pricing, but most customers will now see tickets prices without fees when shopping on the site.

StubHub rolled out the change Tuesday —users can still opt to be shown all-in prices while browsing the site, but the default setting won’t display any fees until the end of the transaction.

The move marks the conclusion of the all-in pricing experiment — when StubHub made the switch, it thought competitors would follow, but most stuck with their fee model, and StubHub’s pricing looked high by comparison.

The risky experiment cost CEO Chris Tsakalakis his job and, according to some brokers, cost StubHub a double-digit market share of secondary ticket sales.

Before returning to its original pricing model, the company ran two weeks of consumer testing, which eventually revealed that transactions were highest when consumers could easily compare prices on StubHub with other sites, like VividSeats or TiqIQ.

The company also learned that conversions were higher and the average money spent per order improved when consumers could easily comparison shop, “meaning people were buying better seats,” spokesperson Smita Saran said.

Also changing at StubHub — the floor price on tickets (or the lowest price someone can list a ticket for on the site) is rising from $3 to $6. “Having a minimum listing price allows us to cover the operating cost associated with transactions,” Saran said, adding Stubhub is planning an update for its mobile app and changes to its event recommendation engine later this year.

While StubHub tries to recover market share, it also faces continued pressure from Ticketmaster to keep inventory off of secondary sites like StubHub by delaying ticket releases until a few days prior to the event.

Season ticket holders for the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder were notified over the weekend that they would no longer be able to upload tickets to StubHub more than seven days in advance, a move that many believe will hurt advances sales.

That waiting period doesn’t affect fans who want list and sell tickets on TM+, but it does limit their ability to sell their tickets on StubHub.

One 49ers fan is suing Ticketmaster and the team over the policy, saying it unfairly restricts fans to a single marketplace. StubHub has filed its own lawsuit against TM, arguing the restrictions it places on ticket resale violate federal anti-trust law.