Subscribe to our RSS News feed Follow safeconcerts on Twitter Follow Safeconcerts on Facebook 
You're the stars! We have thousands of crowd photos here.
We know live music would be nothing without you!

Be 'Ticket Aware' - How to buy tickets safely

Buying tickets can be hazardous - fans are being caught out by numerous ticket scams, the authorities are currently doing little to protect victims but they are looking into it, so until things change we all need to be ticket aware.

There are so many credible-looking websites set up for the express purpose of making a lot of money for their owner that we only ever advise our readers to purchase from primary ticket sites. These are all listed on our 'Green List'

Quick guide - what to look out for and warning signs

  1. Are you buying from a primary ticket site - an authorised ticket agent?
  2. Check on the festival/band/event or venue website - are there tickets on sale there and who are their authorised agents?
  3. Have they got good contact details on the site with a UK address and phone number?
  4. Are they UK VAT registered?
  5. Are the tickets actually on sale?
  6. Are they offering tickets to sold out events?
  7. Check where and who the website is registered to
  8. Is the face value of the ticket displayed prominently?
  9. What is the companies policy on refunds?
  10. It is illegal to re-sell tickets to football matches

We advise that you never buy from an unauthorised ticket outlet.

Secondary ticket sellers are rife out there, not all are scams but all are in it to make as much money as they can squeeze out of you, one thing most have in common is that they will generally charge you way over face value, this is always a warning sign that you're using a secondary ticket outlet. We never advise that you buy from an unauthorised ticket outlet.

A huge problem for ticket buyers is the length of time it takes for scam sites to come to attention, this gap helps provide huge sums of money to the fraudsters comfortably and with little risk; it can take months for them to come to light which gives them time to disappear. The sites are closed and the fraudsters have got away with your money, a ticket scam isn't officially recognised as a ticket scam until you've been scammed over tickets,  missed your gig and lost your money.  Of course you can get your money back if you’ve paid by credit card but ultimately who picks up the bill for these refunds?

If a ticket site is charging over the face value that's a warning sign...

Dodgy ticket sites are designed to work over the long term; because of this the impact often isn’t clear for a long time. It's a clever, insidious, long and slow means of defrauding the public; it often works well netting millions in revenue for the fraudsters.

Initially, in order to gain trust the site may well deliver the tickets it sells, this is an effective way to build confidence but this phase doesn't last and after a few months things change as fewer tickets are delivered, however, don't be fooled, the final stage is set and after a few months no tickets will be delivered.

The ability to do this is helped by the fact that with so many gigs selling tickets well in advance of the gig, not sending out tickets until just before the gig and few offering a proper refund system the potential for scams is virtually endless.

Until the authorities recognise, acknowledge and act on the scandal that many prefer to keep hidden, it's up to all of us to be 'ticket aware' and put in place a few checks and balances that can help minimise the chances of joining the ever growing throng of ticket buyers who have lost out to these scams.

Once again we must re-state that we only recommend buying from primary ticket outlets, not all secondary sites are scams by any means but the secondary market is where the scammers are able to hide so effectively.
If you do decide that you want to purchase from the secondary market this is what you need to look out for:

  • Look for sites that have a full limited company name that you can look up on Companies House
  • Make sure there is a VAT number on the site.
  • Don't bother with sites where the "contact us" button takes you to an online email form.
  • Avoid like the plague sites that are based abroad. You will find difficulties reclaiming your money or getting a refund if they don't provide your tickets and reporting it to the authorities will be even more difficult as they use it as an excuse to wash their hands of it.
  • Go to the website www.who.is and type in the website name in the bar. Hit enter and it will tell you where and who the website name is registered to. Just scroll down to the part where it says "registrant". If it’s overseas, a PO Box address or anonymous, don't buy from it.
  • Don't buy from eBay or Gumtree unless you like gambling and are happy to accept that you might not get your tickets or a refund. There is very little protection here and a number of scams have been successfully run via these sites.
  • Always pay by credit card, never by your debit card. If the transaction is over 100 and you don't receive your tickets, you have a right to claim a refund from your credit card issuer under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Debit cards have no such protection. If you pay by debit card and run into trouble you will have the devils own job of getting your money back, if at all
  • Read the websites terms and conditions, if it says it’s not in anyway affiliated to or an official outlet, steer clear of it. Only buy from authorised sources
  • Even if a show is sold out initially, keep checking back with the authorised sellers. Almost every show has more tickets released either nearer to the date or on the day of the gig. Don't give up!
  • Check on the band/festival/artists website who are they using as legitimate sellers?
  • Companies are required by law to show the face value. If it does not or shows the sale value well above the original value then it is not a valid agent.
  • Do not arrange to meet someone outside a venue to get your ticket; this is not the way that legitimate ticket agents do business.

Do be aware that authorised agents will always make available the ticket Terms and Conditions applicable to the sale and make the transaction as transparent as possible. This protects both the buyer and the agent and offers the customer legal protection. You will not be afforded the same protection if you buy from an unauthorised site.

Companies are required by law to show the face value. If it does not or shows the sale value well above the original value then it is not a valid agent.

If you see tickets advertised anywhere other than official outlets there is a strong chance of getting ripped off in one way or another. Tickets are actually nontransferable,which means that once purchased you can’t sell them on to others, if you do buy from an unauthorised source you stand a chance of being refused entry as the seller must have obtained them elsewhere. Many of the big festivals have ticket operations in place at the site, this means that if you are caught with a fake ticket you won't get into the festival, you may have paid a lot of money for your ticket, travel, accommodation but you will not get in if your ticket is found to be fake.

 

Sorry, but you need to login to your account to add feedback.

Login now, or sign up for your free account

Article Info

Author:
Safeconcerts
Category:
Ticket Safe
Added:
4th July 2009
This Article has not been rated yet
Login now, or sign up for your free account
and be be the first to rate it
Be 'Ticket Aware'  - How to buy tickets safely
Other related articles
Ticketing issues are draining the music industry of fun and spontaneity
Fans deserve fairness, openess and transparency, but do they really want punitive measures when Safeconcerts already has the answer for them?
The Ticket Selling Paradox
As it gets more and more difficult to get hold of tickets at face value when they are released read why it is all of our actions that are perpetuating this situation, but it is also us who can stop it
What to do if you have been a victim of ticket tout fraud
Some basic advice on what to do if ticket fraud happens to you.
Primary and Secondary Ticketing
A bit about the difference between Primary and Secondary ticketing.
Ticket Touting Report
House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee Ticket touting - Second Report of Session 200708
Are the authorities doing anything about tickets?
It won't come as a great surprise to the majority of people to be reminded that many music fans are getting seriously ripped off in the ticket market.
Ticket Touts
Wherever possible we try and warn people where there is a serious danger that they may not get a decent service from a ticket agency or when an agency is advertising tickets that don't exist.
Buying Tickets Safely
Buying tickets has become a nightmare for many with the cconstant appearance of on line ticket scams and frauds. This article has been put together to help you avoid all those pitfalls out there.

Want to write your Article?

Do you have a review or article to submit?

If you are a registered member of Safeconcerts you can submit your article or reviews. You will need to be logged in, and your article will not show until it has been approved.


Share Safeconcerts
Dull yet neccessary disclaimer: Safeconcerts.com cannot be held liable for any loss caused as a result of the publication of information here or of your acts or omissions based on the information published here. This is an open forum and as such we welcome contributions from any companies, artists or people listed to correct any inaccuracies. Unfortunately, due to the way that information is distributed, Safeconcerts cannot make any warranty or representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained on this site. Read our full terms and conditions of use.
Contact Us | Website Terms of Use | BACK TO TOP | Safeconcerts: Proud to be a thorn in the site of ticket touts and fraudsters
Ticket Safe Home Page The Red List: websites to avoid now The Green List: websites we recommend Suggest a site here The latest Ticket Safe News How to buy tickets safely What to do if you've been a victim of fraud Ticket Safe Forum Ticket Safe Articles About Us Media Contacts Buy Concert Tickets Safely