Vivid Seats vs. StubHub – Which Ticket-Buying Platform is Better?


People are buying more and more online, from plane tickets to concert and sports tickets. The secondary ticket market is huge and growing all the time. But with people increasingly fed up with limited slots and inflated prices at the main ticket outlets, a few entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to build alternatives. Two main contenders in this secondary market are Vivid Seats and StubHub. They’re both places where you can buy those hard-to-find tickets or sell tickets you no longer need. But what’s the difference between them? Read on for some information that will help you choose between these rivals.

Both Vivid Seats and StubHub offer tickets for a huge variety of events, from sports to concerts, theaters to festivals, and pretty much everything in-between. Both sites have been around for 15 years or so and offer seats in places many primary ticket websites do not.


Vivid Seats

Vivid Seats was launched in 2001 and has a very mature website. It’s easy to use and has a powerful search function: you can sort search results by ticket, region, date, or artist. Availability is excellent, as they sell a huge range of tickets across all areas of a given venue–this is one place Vivid Seats stands out from the competition. You will have access to prime seats and cheaper ones, with some variability based on factors like availability, the venue, and who is selling what.

Of course, price is a primary concern with any ticket vendor, and this is where Vivid Seats stands out. Compared to its rivals, Vivid Seats usually undercuts by a decent amount. There are fees–the price you see at first isn’t actually the price you pay–but costs are still below StubHub in many instances.

The exact fees ticket resellers charge can be hard to pin down, and unfortunately you won’t see the total amount until you’re at the site’s checkout page. Vivid Seats’ service fees are reported to run from 20% to 40% of the original ticket price. (This is where the site makes its money, after all.) Additional fees, like shipping, can be up to $25 or as little as $7.

There are many comments on Vivid Seats and on independent feedback sites citing their great service. They take care of customers with services such as making a courtesy call informing ticket holders of venue or time changes, and guarantees in case of fake tickets. These can both be invaluable.



StubHub is owned by eBay, and was launched in 2000. It has a nice website with all the bells and whistles you would expect from one of the big players in the business. Like eBay, StubHub ignores design in favor of data, so while the website doesn’t look as appealing as Vivid Seats, it is easier to find what you’re looking for. Sorting by date also helps you find events. StubHub also has an app, which means you can use it in more places and on more devices.

For a few years, StubHub experimented with “All In Pricing,” where they showed their fees up-front instead of tacking them at the end of the transaction. While this sounds good in theory, the higher initial prices scared consumers away, so now StubHub doesn’t show you its fees until you’re ready to finish buying the ticket.

StubHub’s fees are reported to be a little higher than Vivid Seats’, at least on average. Total fees can range from 20% to 50% of the original price.

StubHub does have decent customer service but it is nowhere near as highly recommended as Vivid Seats. You do still get a guarantee against fake tickets, so it someone sells you a fake StubHub will help you get the genuine article for your show of choice if at all possible to make sure you don’t miss your show.

Both Vivid Seats and StubHub get the important things right. They offer a huge range of genuine tickets at decent prices. They both have a good website where you can find what you’re looking for quite quickly. They both have an app for finding tickets on the move too, which is an advantage.

Both vendors offer good customer service and both will guarantee you against fake tickets. Both will also try to find you genuine tickets for your show so you don’t miss it because of a scam. Their prices are close enough that it can be worth your time to check out both and compare the final amounts. In this head-to-head, there can be only one winner: you, the consumer.

Posted by Jamie on January 29, 2017

6 thoughts on “Vivid Seats vs. StubHub – Which Ticket-Buying Platform is Better?”


December 17, 2016 at 3:04 pm

NO RETURN POLICY AT VIVID! Will only use Stubhub from now on



January 18, 2017 at 11:02 am

Stubhub has the same policy


Ruth Moffatt

January 18, 2017 at 9:54 am

I had a horrible experience with Vivid. I bought tickets for a Broadway show on their website about 4 hours before show time. After waiting over two hours for the seller to “process” my order I was contacted by Nick M at Vivid & advised that the tickets I bought were purchased by someone else. When I asked how this could be possible, he explained that someone else hit the “buy” button before I did. Eventually he then explained that they were purchased on another secondary website. So, when I complained that I was held hostage for over two hours for tickets that were not delivered he said it wasn’t their problem I waited until the last minute to buy tickets. Horrible service; horrible attitude; horrible (non) delivery. I’m sticking with StubHub from now on.


Sara S

January 20, 2017 at 10:21 pm

I had a great experience with Vivid seats and their customer service and ticket guarantee were spot on. I am about to buy tickets and am planning on using them again as opposed to stub hub.


David Alban

February 17, 2017 at 11:16 am

Vivid hide their transaction fee. It’s tacked on at the end, and I’m not sure it’s even shown as an individual amount, it’s certainly not on the receipt. Everything is just rolled up into one amount, making it hard to see what has happened until after you have paid. This is a deceptive practice in my view.



February 17, 2017 at 2:38 pm

This is not true. That’s how Stubhub does it. Not Vivid Seats. They break it down at checkout, while Stubhub just puts everything under “Fees”. The biggest problem with Vivid Seats is they charge $6.95 for “e-mail delivery”, which costs them virtually nothing.


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