Vivid Seats vs Ticketmaster in 2023: Fees, Refunds, & More

A woman standing in the audience at a live event

Tech Life Unity independently reviews everything we recommend. When you buy something after clicking on a link to another website, we may earn a commission. Learn More

The thought of attending a live sports game or concert is really exciting. This is the feeling that many ticket event sites try to capitalize on. Given how important these tickets are to buyers, it’s important to use a site that will get them cheap tickets and the greatest sense of protection. Two sites that you can consider are Vivid Seats and Ticketmaster.

No matter what event you want to attend, we’ll help you shop for tickets by comparing Vivid Seats vs Ticketmaster in the following categories:

Before we look at how Vivid Seats and Ticketmaster compare to each other, let’s look at a general overview of these two ticket sites.

Vivid Seats vs Ticketmaster: how are they different?

Vivid Seats is an online ticket platform dedicated to getting fans to live events. They believe in the power of shared experiences, which is why they're working to improve event discoverability and ticket purchasing. Their platform allows fans to both buy and sell tickets.

To help fans make it to more events, they offer their Vivid Seats Rewards program, which gives fans a free ticket after they've purchased 10. They're also dedicated to hosting a safe and secure platform with a 100% buyer guarantee.

Ticketmaster is primarily a site for helping fans purchase valid tickets for a wide variety of live events. Ticket types include concerts, sports, theater performances, and more in over 30 countries.

While they’re best known as a ticket seller, they also allow fans to resell previously purchased tickets that were bought through or have been uploaded and validated by Ticketmaster. This aligns with their mission of ensuring that fans will be able to experience the live events they want. American Express cardholders can also get Early Access and Benefits by using Ticketmaster.

Pro Tip

Both sites are pretty well known for their concert tickets, so check out Vivid Seats Concerts or Ticketmaster Concerts here if that’s what you’re looking for!

Vivid Seats vs Ticketmaster fees

Whether buying or selling tickets, fees can result in hidden costs. This is why it’s important to know how ticket fees on Vivid Seats compare to those on Ticketmaster before using one over the other. The table below displays Vivid Seats vs Ticketmaster fees for comparison:


Vivid Seats


Service Fee

Around 32% of ticket price

Around 19% of ticket price

Order Processing Fee



Delivery Charge

Free to $2.50 for mobile delivery

Usually free

Facility Charge


Rare; varies by event and venue

Seller Fee

10% once sold

Believed to be around 15% once sold (see below)

Learn more about ticket fees

Verdict: Ticketmaster helps buyers save money

While the fees on both platforms depend on the specific event and venue, Ticketmaster tends to charge lower fees than what’s typically seen on Vivid Seats. Ticketmaster’s service fee is much lower, and their tickets are more often delivered for free.

For sellers, however, Vivid Seats only takes a 10% commission from sold tickets. Ticketmaster doesn’t list their seller fees on their website, but current sellers claim that Ticketmaster takes a 15% commission, which has a tendency to change. In this case, Vivid Seats could help fans retain more of their earnings if they’d like to resell their tickets.

Vivid Seats vs Ticketmaster refunds, protection, & policies

Another important topic to explore is how Ticketmaster vs Vivid Seats compare when it comes to their ticket refunds, protection, and policies. The table below compares Vivid Seats and Ticketmaster’s policies:


Vivid Seats


Refund Policy

Cancellations only

Cancellations or limited circumstances

Ticket Guarantees / Protection Policy

100% Buyer Guarantee

100% Real Tickets

Ticket Insurance

Event Ticket Protector available

Allianz insurance available

Cancellation Policy

Full refund or store credit will be given

Rain Out Policy

Tickets valid for the new date

Age Policy

Varies by event and venue

Varies by event and venue

Transfer / Gift Policy

Electronic Transfer available

Easily transfer tickets through the Ticketmaster app

Verdict: Ticketmaster has slightly better policies

While the policies for both sites are nearly identical, Ticketmaster wins this category by a hair. Both platforms offer incredibly fair policies; however, Ticketmaster is the only one of the two that has offered the occasional refund for rescheduled events and other limited circumstances at the discretion of the event organizer. Both Vivid Seats and Ticketmaster protect their buyers, but Ticketmaster gives buyers a better chance at obtaining a full refund.

Vivid Seats vs Ticketmaster ticket delivery methods

Once tickets are purchased, it’s important that buyers receive them in the way most convenient for them. The table below compare the possible deliver methods offered by Vivid Seats and Ticketmaster:

Options for Sellers

Vivid Seats


Instant Download


Email Tickets


Physical Box Office Tickets


Mail Physical Tickets


Mobile App


Verdict: Both platforms offer a wide range of delivery methods

Both Vivid Seats and Ticketmaster allow for all possible delivery methods for their tickets. When deciding which site to purchase tickets from, your decision will depend on personal preference and the event itself. Buyers might find that the delivery methods offered for specific tickets on one site differ from those on the other, especially when resale is involved. In this case, you’ll want to choose the site that offers your preferred delivery method.

Ticketmaster might have a slight advantage here, being that ticket delivery is most often free. Whereas Vivid Seats has been known to charge a $2.50 delivery fee for mobile tickets and higher for physical tickets.

Vivid Seats vs Ticketmaster payment options

Live event tickets can be an investment for fans, which is why knowing the available payment methods ahead of time is super helpful. The table below shows the available payment options when purchasing Vivid Seats tickets vs Ticketmaster tickets:


Vivid Seats


Credit Card


Debit Card








Gift Card


Preferred Payment Options


Exclusive Access and Benefits for American Express Card Members

Rewards Program

Vivid Seats Rewards


Pro Tip

Those looking for deals on tickets can do so on both sites year round! Ticketmaster has Ticket Deals on their site that allow fans to access offers on a variety of events. The Los Angeles Times also tracks Vivid Seats Promo Codes, which are updated regularly.

Verdict: Ticketmaster offers slightly better payment options

While Vivid Seats’ Rewards program is an impressive offer for regular ticket buyers, Ticketmaster wins this category by offering better options for all types of buyers. They are the only one of the two to offer Venmo as a payment option, and their benefits for American Express cardholders have proven to give them a competitive advantage.

Vivid Seats vs Ticketmaster ticket availability & volume

While both sites are popular options for ticket buyers, Vivid Seats and Ticketmaster have had much different experiences in the global market.

Both sites were founded in the US, and Vivid Seats has chosen to conduct their business primarily here. Despite this, they’ve expanded their offerings to include event listing for Canada, and have sparked some interest internationally in countries like Mexico. Ticketmaster, on the other hand, has websites for over 30 countries and sells millions of tickets every year. In 2019 alone, they sold 115 million tickets internationally.

The difference in their global impact can be seen in the amount of web traffic they receive each month.

Graphic displaying monthly web traffic by country

Despite their different experiences, both platforms continue to sell tickets to a large variety of events in many categories. The table below shows lists the types of tickets available on Vivid Seats and Ticketmaster:

Types of Tickets

Vivid Seats




Arts & Theatre




Virtual Concerts


Verdict: Ticketmaster is able to reach a much larger audience

Both platforms are great for giving buyers access to many different types of live events, but Ticketmaster comes out on top for having a significantly higher global reach. Fans around the world are able to depend on Ticketmaster to find tickets to the most popular events.

While Vivid Seats gets points for offering virtual events, they are only able to help those in the US and Canada attend live events at this point in time.

Vivid Seats vs Ticketmaster customer support

As with any online purchase, things can go wrong. Ticket buyers need to know they have access to support if they run into any questions or issues. The ways buyers can contact customer support for Vivid Seats vs Ticketmaster are compared in the table below:

Support Available?

Vivid Seats


Instant Chat

Live Chat available 8:00am - 12:00am CST

Virtual Assistant available 24/7


Call toll-free: 833.228.5143

International: 925.206.3066

Available 8:00am - 12:00am CST

Not available


Contact Form

Contact Form

Learn More

Verdict: Vivid Seats makes contacting support easier

Contacting customer service can be stressful, which is why Vivid Seats wins this category by offering more options. By offering live chat, phone numbers, and a contact form; Vivid Seats makes getting in touch with someone much easier. Ticketmaster does have good customer service options, but connecting with a real person is a much lengthier process.

Fraud protection on Vivid Seats & Ticketmaster

Ticket fraud is something that many ticket buyers are concerned about. Without due diligence, it’s possible for someone to buy counterfeit, tampered, or duplicate tickets for live events. To ensure you’re able to attend the event you paid for, it’s important to choose a ticket platform you can trust.

Vivid Seats offers their 100% Buyer Guarantee, reassuring buyers that they will receive valid and authentic tickets or get their money back. They work closely with the sellers on their platform to ensure buyers get what they paid for. However, fraud can still happen. Several claims have been made that buyers received invalid or duplicate tickets from sellers over Vivid Seats, resulting in them being unable to enjoy the event. While it’s good to know Vivid Seats does their best to prevent and correct these situations, buyers still need to be cautious.

On Ticketmaster, fraud against buyers is very rare. Ticketmaster primarily sells original-source tickets on their site, and they have advanced practices when it comes to validating tickets that are uploaded to their site. They also sell primarily digital tickets and automate the majority of the resell process, making it extremely difficult for buyers to be scammed.

Verdict: Ticketmaster provides a safer experience for buyers

Both platforms work hard to prevent fraud from happening on their site, but only Ticketmaster has practices in place that make their site trustworthy. Their tools for validation and automated selling practices allow for buyers to shop with the confidence that the tickets they purchase will be authentic and get them into their live event.

Vivid Seats vs Ticketmaster for sellers

Selling tickets for live events has become more popular in recent years, both for those who want to resell tickets they no longer need and those who want to make money doing so. Many ticket platforms allow fans to re-sell their tickets, so they can get their money back (and even make a little profit) while allowing other fans a chance to experience the event. Vivid Seats and Ticketmaster are used just as much for selling tickets as they are for buying them. However, their re-selling processes slightly differ.

The Vivid Seats resale process allows sellers to offload their tickets in just a few easy steps. Sellers are able to list their tickets for free for all events listed on their site, and they have the option to set their own price and quantity in their listings. Once they’ve sold, sellers are notified by email, at which point they’ll be responsible for delivering the tickets to the new buyers by digital upload or physical mail (prepaid UPS shipping labels are available). Payment will be received through PayPal after the event occurs.

Ticketmaster has really simplified the ticket selling process on their platform. Simply scan the barcode on your ticket or log in to your account and choose which tickets to sell, and you’re ready to create your listing. Once you’ve added your listing price and payment information, your listing will be live. Now you can sit back and wait for your tickets to be purchased. You’ll receive an email once they’re sold, and Ticketmaster will automatically transfer the tickets to the buyer’s account. Payment will be received in 7-10 business days.

Verdict: Ticketmaster takes a lot of the work out of selling tickets

Ticketmaster comes out on top in this category by creating a nearly effortless resale process. The level of ease when listing tickets for sale combined with the automated steps makes selling on Ticketmaster much easier. Additionally, sellers on Ticketmaster will see their earnings much faster.

Vivid Seats does allow for more flexibility (and potentially more earnings) when selling tickets. However, there’s a little bit more work involved, and sellers will likely have to wait longer to see their money after they’ve sold their tickets.

If you’re interested in earning more from ticket sales but don’t want to use Vivid Seats, you can also consider selling on StubHub. To learn more about your options, check out our guide on Ticketmaster vs. StubHub for Sellers.

How buying tickets works on Vivid Seats vs Ticketmaster

Now that you've decided which platform to use, it’s time to track down those tickets and check out. So what can you expect when tracking down tickets on Vivid Seats vs Ticketmaster? This section will cover how the process is a little different on each platform.

How to buy tickets on Vivid Seats

  1. Go to
  2. Search for and click on event of interest
  3. Find preferred listing and click on “Find Tickets”
  4. Select the tickets you want from those available and click “Checkout”
  5. Follow the instructions to enter your payment information and complete purchase.

Did You Know

Vivid Seats lets you search for tickets throughout a wide range of categories. Click the buttons below to see upcoming live events:

How to buy tickets on Ticketmaster

  1. Go to
  2. Click on event of interest
  3. Find date and location of interest and click "See Tickets"
  4. Select desired tickets and view total price, then click "Next"
  5. Log into Ticketmaster account (if not already logged in).
  6. Enter payment information and complete purchase.

Did You Know

Ticketmaster lets you browse tickets for a wide variety of live events! Click the buttons below to explore upcoming events near you:

Verdict: Both sites help you find exactly what you’re looking for

Both Vivid Seats and Ticketmaster have done great jobs of helping buyers purchase the tickets they're looking for. The categories and search functionality on both sites is great for helping fans narrow in on their events of interest, and the onscreen instructions allow for a simplified checkout process. Ticketmaster’s checkout process might feel a little quicker and simplified, but Vivid Seats can be great for anyone who doesn’t mind taking their time to ensure a smooth transaction.

Bottom line: best site to find the cheapest tickets

While personal preference can always play a role in what site you use to purchase tickets, we think there’s a clear overall winner when it comes to using Vivid Seats vs Ticketmaster. This final section will cover the main reason for choosing one over the other.

Comparison summary table: who wins overall

Comparison Criteria

Who Won?



Refunds, protection & policies


Ticket delivery methods


Payment options


Coverage area & ticket type


Customer support

Vivid Seats

Fraud protection


Best for sellers


How to buy tickets


Choose Ticketmaster for better prices, options, and protection

Purchasing tickets is a big investment, so you need to have complete trust in the site you choose. Ticketmaster is the clear winner when it comes to cheaper prices, better access to events around the world, and more protection from fraud. Purchasing your tickets from Ticketmaster will give you complete peace of mind on all fronts and ensure that you get your money’s worth.

If you want to sell tickets with ease, also choose Ticketmaster

If you happen to find yourself in a situation where you can no longer attend a live event, Ticketmaster will help you resell your tickets with ease. With their Face Value Ticket Exchange, all you have to do is select the tickets you want to sell and sit back while you wait to get your money back.

If you want to make more money when selling tickets, choose Vivid Seats

Those who purchased tickets off a platform other than Ticketmaster, or who want to try earning money off live event tickets can consider using Vivid Seats instead. Listing tickets on their site is easy, and the flexibility when choosing a selling price gives sellers the chance to profit off their tickets.

That’s everything you need to know about buying tickets on Vivid Seats vs Ticketmaster. In summary, Vivid Seats is a great site for buying and selling tickets for the most popular live events in North America. However, Ticketmaster is the best option for tracking down tickets for a wide range of events for the best prices paired with the best security.