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How to Avoid Getting Scammed When Buying Tickets

Due to the internet there are now hundreds of ways to buy sporting event tickets. Here’s what you need to know.

There are two main markets for tickets: primary and secondary.
Primary Market  The primary market distributor is the entity that initially prints and distributes tickets for an event. The team, venue, or box office is usually the primary source and distributes the tickets at face value (plus their service fees). Face value is the price printed on a ticket. The Primary market also includes those companies who have signed a contract of ticket distribution with the team. Sometimes, only one ticket promoter may obtain the tickets to an event, while other times more of them could sign a contract with the promoter. One example of primary ticket broker is Ticketmaster.com.
Secondary Market  The secondary market includes brokers who buy the tickets from primary ticket brokers at the face-value of the ticket and sell them to the public adding some additional fees, which can be significantly higher than the face-value. Usually the price of a ticket is set according to the demand. The higher the demand is, the bigger the price gets. A few examples of secondary ticket brokers are Stubhub, Razorgator and TicketsNow.com. TicketsNow.com is owned by Ticketmaster.

Scams are common in the ticket broker business. There are ticket brokers starting business every day. The safest route for consumers is to stick to the box office or Ticketmaster when possible. If they are sold out or don’t have the tickets you want you can go to the secondary market, but keep these tips in mind:

• Avoid paying with cash, a money order or via bank wire. Pay with a credit card.
• Know the location of the seats you are buying.
• Research the company and make sure they have been in business for 10+ years
• See if they offer a “guarantee” on the tickets offered on their site.
• Make sure they offer a secure online transaction.
• Make sure they offer a reliable shipping method.

There is another way to buy tickets if the methods above don’t work: ticket scalpers at the venue. The downside of buying from a scalper is that you don’t have any recourse if the tickets are not valid. Many times scalpers sell counterfeit tickets and you won’t know until after you have purchased them.
What has your experience been with ticket brokers? Let us know in the comments




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