The Vols Season Ticket Gamble Paid Off

by Kevin on August 18, 2008

A while back I told you the story of my wife surprising me with the idea of going to the Tennessee vs. Alabama football game in Knoxville.

We bought the season tickets in hopes that we would be able to sell the six other games at enough profit to either completely pay for our Alabama tickets or at least take a significant chunk out of the cost.

It paid off.

Here’s the breakdown. The season tickets cost $655 for 7 games (average $46.78 per ticket, including shipping). The required donation for non-renewable season tickets is $250. Our total up front cost? $905.

Selling Tennessee Tickets on eBay

We were able to successfully sell all six games very quickly thanks to some friends and eBay. Sold prices below for eBay purchases include $12 shipping charge (certified delivery).

  • September 13th vs UAB: $90 face, sold for $90, no fees (non-eBay)
  • September 20th vs Florida: $100 face, sold for $417
  • October 4th vs Northern Illinois: $80 face, sold for $91.99
  • October 18th vs Mississippi State: $90 face, sold for $120 (non-eBay)
  • October 25th vs Alabama: $100 face, keeping
  • November 8th vs Wyoming: $80 face, sold for $91.99
  • November 29th vs Kentucky: $90 face, sold for $101.99

As you can see, Florida is one of our biggest rivals and the game always sells out. The same can be said for Alabama — but we’re keeping those. I saw other tickets for Florida go in the $350 to $375 range so I was definitely pleased to get $405 + $12 shipping.

Revenue and Expenses:

  • Total Revenue: $912.97
  • Total Ticket Cost: $905
  • eBay fees: $37.44 (listing and final value fees)
  • Shipping: $16.28 thus far, still need to ship two more tickets, so we’ll estimate up to $25
  • Net Cost of a pair of Tennessee vs. Alabama 2008 tickets: $54.47 or $27.23 each.

Some reminders for selling on eBay:

  • Do research. I watched several sets of ticket auctions to see what tickets were selling for.
  • Set your price accordingly. To limit eBay fees, I set my starting price where I would have put a reserve. The higher starting price results in a higher initial listing fee, but I avoid the cost of a reserve price. Overall result was lower fees. I didn’t get the huge run up in price I was hoping for because I didn’t start the tickets at $1. But I got enough to make this a positive venture.
  • Avoid scammers. Even though I put in my auction that anyone with less than 5 feedback would need to contact me, I still had several bidders who didn’t qualify. I reached out to them and ended up selling to a few of them, but only because I had contact with them.

This was a good year to try and sell extra tickets simply because Florida is included. You’ve got to look at each year individually. I could, in theory, have purchased several sets of season tickets and sold them all off (including Alabama) and turned a profit for this season. Next season? Debatable. The big rivalry games next year are away — except for Georgia. We also play Auburn and UCLA. It’s just hard to tell how the seats might sell. We’ll take a look at it next year.

For now, Go Vols and I’ll see you at the Alabama game.

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