StubHub Backs Away From “All-In” Ticket Pricing: What You See Might Not Be What You Pay, After All

Despite announcing a plan to be more transparent about its ticket prices with a shift to an “All-In” pricing model that told customers exactly how much money they’d be paying for their purchases with all the extra fees applied, StubHub has now backed away from that system, and is instead displaying prices that are lower than what buyers will end up forking over at checkout. points out the change with the example of a $39 baseball ticket for an upcoming Chicago Cubs game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Once you get to checkout, the ticket suddenly costs $49.13. Surprise!

We tried it out with a Billy Joel ticket for Oct. 21 at Madison Square Garden that at first appeared to cost $85.86:


Which turned into $105.71 at checkout:

Upon clicking on “Pricing details,” an asterisked notice says the price “Includes all applicable service, delivery, and transactional fees.”

So what gives? Well, All-In pricing hasn’t gone away, technically — but customers will see the cheaper price that doesn’t include fees by default, something that isn’t immediately clear when browsing for tickets. In order to see results with the total price listed instead, users have to click on “Advanced Settings” at the bottom of the search results, and then toggle the box next to “Show prices with fees.”

This is all for the benefit of consumers, StubHub told in a statement:

“We have many different types of users at StubHub. A significant number of users prefer to comparison shop while other users prefer to just see the out of pocket price when making purchasing decisions. After two weeks of testing at the end of August and closely listening to customer feedback, we decided to introduce an updated user experience that enables consumers to choose how they want to see pricing on the site. At StubHub, we believe that giving users more choice, and enabling them to shop how they want, is the best thing for our customers and for our business.”

It might not seem like a big deal, but given the noise StubHub made about being more transparent back when it announced All-In pricing, an unexpected 25% price hike is likely going to shock customers who didn’t realize they weren’t looking at the total price to begin with.

StubHub Changes 2014 Advertised Policy, Now Adds Extra Fees Between Display and Checkout []

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.