Whether you’re looking for a last-minute deal or need a ticket to a sold-out concert, there are a lot of reasons why fans buy event tickets from online resellers, says the Better Business Bureau.
It is the summer of events!
As many previously postponed events return across the country, consumers are looking forward to festivals, concerts, sporting events and other fun events this summer.
Whether you’re looking for a last-minute deal or need a ticket to a sold-out concert, there are a lot of reasons why fans buy event tickets from online resellers.
Sometimes, ticket resellers will even have tickets before the official sale date, due to season ticket holders, band fan club members and the like, who often get tickets before they go on sale to the general public.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall for fake ticket scams or simply overpay, so it pays to do your homework. Keep these tips in mind when buying from ticket resellers. Last year, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) across Canada received more than 174 complaints about event ticket sales.
What to look for in a ticket reseller
To help you navigate your ticket resale options and avoid scams, the BBB has prepared the following tips:
• Look for ticket resellers that protect buyers. Businesses that sell and resell tickets to live events in BC should be following The Ticket Sales Act. This law covers what information needs to be given before or after you purchase a ticket and when you are entitled to a refund. For example, before you buy your ticket, the seller needs to make the following information available to you:
- the total price of the ticket
- an itemized list of any fees, service charges, and taxes
- the face value of the ticket (if it is a secondary seller)
- the price listed in Canadian Dollars, unless it specifies a different currency
- the location of the seat or standing area (if applicable)
- whether there are any restrictions on your ability to transfer the ticket to other people
- any applicable terms and conditions
• Private sales are not covered under the Ticket Sales Act. For example, if you buy your tickets from an individual on Craigslist who is not normally in the business of ticket-selling, this law wouldn’t apply. Unlike these private sales, most primary and secondary ticket resellers will typically provide a full refund if the ticket turns out to be a forgery.
• Buying from a reseller that also sells primary tickets adds a layer of protection. For example, some secondary resellers will invalidate the original ticket and create an entirely new bar code for you to use. This ensures you are the only one in possession of the resale ticket.
• Review the policies and additional fees before making a purchase. You should only buy tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction and how you will be refunded if the tickets are fake. Legitimate resellers can also charge additional fees, be on the lookout for these additional transaction costs. Make sure you take the time to understand what you are agreeing to. Also, if the tickets are not available immediately, the reseller should disclose when the tickets will ship or be available for pick up.
• Buy tickets with a credit card. Using a credit card helps protect you if the tickets are not as promised. Watch out for resellers who ask for unusual payment methods, such as sending gift cards or wiring money. This is a red flag. Learn more about payment types and how to protect yourself.
Tips on finding a good price when purchasing from ticket resellers
• Compare prices. Like with many other purchases, it pays to shop around for tickets. Compare major resellers and look for the best deal.
• Account for extra fees. Don’t let hidden fees foil your comparison shopping. Be sure that you include fees into your calculations by navigating all the way to the checkout page. Some resellers don’t disclose their fees until you are almost ready to pay.
• Timing matters. High-demand event prices will likely increase the closer you get to the event date, as there is little to no inventory available. However, low-demand event tickets may get cheaper, as resellers try to offload their inventory closer to the event date.
To stay safe while purchasing event tickets, read the BBB Scam Alert about fake events and phony tickets.