Buying a concert ticket from an online seller?

July 23, 2015

Concert tickets can sell out fast so some of us end up looking to buy from unauthorised sources instead, even if it involves paying a lot more than the official price. If you are looking to buy a ticket from a private seller for a concert that is sold out – whether face to face or online such as on an auction website it’s important to know what to watch out for:

  • Your consumer rights – if you are buying from a private individual, you don’t have consumer rights because you are not buying from a business.
  • No ‘cooling-off’ period – unlike products and services bought online from a business, where you have the right to cancel your order during the 14 day ‘cooling-off period’, there is no cooling-off period when you buy online from an individual.
  • Concert is cancelled or postponed – if you bought the ticket from a private individual you may have a problem getting a refund. For example, the original buyer of the ticket may have bought it by credit card and it is to their card which the refund will be made. They may not be willing or able to pass it on to you. However, if you buy the ticket from an official ticket business online and you are entitled to a refund it will be returned to you directly.
  • The tickets are not what you ordered – it can be hard to trace a private seller if the tickets you receive were not what you ordered. For example, you receive standing tickets when you had understood they were seated, or if you believed that the tickets you were getting were seated together but they’re not. .
  • Buying from an online auction site – if you bought your ticket from an online auction site it’s important to note that normally they take no responsibility for the quality of the items for sale, or the accuracy of the listings. Always check the terms and conditions of the auction website before making any offer.
  • More vulnerable to scams – buying from a private seller could also leave you open to a ticketing scam such as forged tickets.
  • Transferring money online – some private seller websites will take your money, and then try to source the ticket, so always ask the seller to show that they actually have a ticket to supply to you. Be very careful and do your research before you ever transfer money to someone.
  • Tickets arriving late – you may find that there is a delay in receiving the tickets you ordered, and with time getting tight before the concert you are informed that the tickets you ordered are no longer available, but that other tickets at a higher price are.  Make sure you agree the post or delivery timelines and arrangements in advance.

How can you spot a ticketing scam?

  • Low priced tickets – if it seems too good to be true it probably is. If a ticket is being sold at a much lower price be wary, it could be a fake.
  • The event is sold out – official sites say that the tickets are gone yet the site that you have just visited is telling you that there are tickets available. There is a very good chance that the site is fake.
  • Details about the company are missing – you may find that the ‘About us’ section of the site is missing. This normally tells you about the company and where they are registered. You may also find important details such as an address or contact number aren’t on the website.
  • Tickets are ‘available’ before they go on sale – if a site is advertising tickets for sale before other official sites are selling them then you are more than likely dealing with a fake site.
  • No ‘s’ after http or padlock symbol – if you are asked to enter your credit card details and are redirected to another site you should see an ‘s’ after ‘http’ at the beginning of the url and a padlock symbol in your browser’s task bar, at the bottom of the page. If it isn’t there, be very wary of proceeding any further.
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