viagogo is an online ticket exchange aimed at the European and North American market. It aims to allow people to buy and sell live event tickets in a safe and guaranteed way, and to bring "efficiency and transparency to what has traditionally been a murky market place". It allows live event tickets to be bought and sold at any price, including above and below face value, and allows anyone to use the marketplace as long as they follow the rules. It charges buyers a 10% fee and sellers a 15% fee on each confirmed transaction.
The company was founded by Eric Baker, the co-founder of Stubhub in the United States. Eric wrote the business model for StubHub while in business school at Stanford, but left StubHub in 2004 due to a falling out with his co-founder. Eric then decided to take the now-proven business model to Europe and founded viagogo to accomplish this.
viagogo was launched in late summer 2006 with partnerships with Chelsea FC and Manchester United, the first such deals of their kind in Europe. These deals let season ticket holders sell tickets to matches they cannot attend to other club members, ensuring that the tickets do not go to waste, that other fans get to go, and that the stadium stays full. In return, the clubs will receive yearly six-figure sums from viagogo. Despite the fact that similar football tickets often sell illegally for a much higher premium, some fans have claimed the fees charged by the site are "disgusting" and "legalised touting". On the Portsmouth F.C. Viagogo exchange, the charge to the buyer is 20% on top of the selling price as well as any applicable delivery cost and VAT charges. Buy and Sell FAQ. .
Under British law, unauthorized re-selling of Premier League and other football tickets is illegal, a restriction introduced by the Government to prevent hooliganism. By working with the clubs to obtain official authorization, viagogo is permitted to resell tickets to the clubs it works with, thus effectively giving viagogo a government-protected monopoly by being the only place where tickets to those clubs can be legally resold. Critics have suggested that this is legalised exploitation by the Football Clubs.
Since then, viagogo has announced partnerships with several other leading sports properties, including English football club Everton FC and rugby clubs Leicester Tigers and London Wasps, as well as Germany's leading football club FC Bayern München. viagogo has also since announced partnerships with Warner Music (the first time a major music label has partnered with a secondary ticketing company), Peter Gabriel (the first time a major artist has partnered with a secondary ticketing company), lastminute.com, and Amnesty International.