What is Ticket Reselling, and Is It Safe?

    Whether it’s a concert, a stand-up show, a theatre performance, or a sports competition, people are willing to pay big money to attend a live event. Unfortunately, their plans are often ruined when high demand causes tickets to sell out almost instantly. The more popular the event, the harder it is for fans to secure tickets in due time. In fact, booking tickets has become some sort of competition where you have to act fast, preferably as soon as they go on sale if you want to secure your entry. 

    The good news is that even if the tickets from official sellers have sold out, there’s still a chance for you the attend the event by researching the secondary ticket market. Numerous dedicated ticket resale websites provide tickets to all sorts of in-demand events. Alternatively, you can skip intermediaries and purchase tickets directly from fans. 

    The not-so-good news, as ExpressVPN highlights, is that if you buy a ticket from resellers, you’ll probably have to pay a much higher price compared to the original face value. With tickets being resold at astronomic prices, the barrier to entry for average fans keeps rising. What’s more, many people don’t know exactly what ticket reselling entails or how to navigate the market, which exposes them to the risk of scams.  

    So, if you’re wondering how ticket reselling works and if it’s a safe option, here’s what you need to know. 

    What is ticket reselling? 

    Ticket resale, also known as ticket scalping or touting, is a widespread practice in the live events industry where speculators buy tickets to a live event or performance in bulk from licensed sources, usually by using bots to sell them at a higher price. With the increasing demand for online event tickets, ticket reselling has become more prevalent in recent years. 

    Now, the million-dollar question is whether ticket reselling is legal and whether engaging in these practices as a buyer or a seller is safe. The problem with ticket reselling is that there are no clear laws governing this space at the moment, so it’s not illegal to resell event tickets or purchase them from a reseller. That also means there’s not much to be done to prevent unofficial agents and resale touts from pushing ticket prices up. 

    Attempts from regulators to keep speculators’ activity in check and address the shortcomings of the ticketing system didn’t have much effect. Several countries have imposed restrictions on the reselling price for tickets under certain circumstances but in most parts of the world, the market resembles the wild west. So, while reselling tickets at much higher prices is not fair to fans, there’s no legal ground to battle these practices in most cases. 

    Since governments aren’t taking concrete action in this respect, organizers are left to fend for themselves. Some of them have included in their terms and conditions policies a clause stating that the reselling of tickets is strictly prohibited. In this case, organizers have the right to cancel resold tickets, so if you happen to purchase your ticket from an unofficial third party, you might find out that you’ve thrown your money out the window because you can’t attend the event. 

    Noticing the increasing concerns surrounding the rising costs of resale tickets, which might at one point prompt drastic intervention from policymakers, some reselling websites have taken a more sensible approach by capping their resale prices at 10% above the initial cost. That allows fans to purchase tickets more reasonably priced, although they’ll still have to dig deeper in their pockets to attend the event. 

    Although many resellers offer genuine tickets, albeit costly ones, this practice also serves as a breeding ground for ticket fraud. When you purchase from an unofficial party, you can end up buying inexistent or fake event tickets. With new fraudulent ticket websites popping up all the time, it’s nearly impossible for authorities to eliminate this threat.   

    How to buy event tickets online safely 

    Given the risks and trends in the market, buying event tickets online safely and without spending a small fortune can feel like a real challenge. However, a few tips can make the process a lot smoother. 

    As a rule of thumb, purchasing your tickets from a primary vendor is always best. That means buying directly from the venue or the event’s official seller. Registering for presale tickets is a great way to ensure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to buy tickets early on. If there’s no mailing list you can join, keeping an eye on the event’s social media accounts will help you stay up to date with ticket offers. 

    Suppose you missed the chance to secure your tickets from the venue, and they’re sold out on the official website. In that case, reputable ticket websites are the next best thing, as they provide similar prices and guarantee ticket authenticity. Stick to well-known ticketing sites and research each provider by reading reviews and checking their policies before making a purchase.  

    And if the tickets to the event seem to be sold out everywhere, you can resort to platforms that facilitate direct transactions. That allows fans to connect with one another and buy or sell tickets at a negotiated price which is usually lower than the original price. As a last piece of advice, when buying event tickets online, it’s recommended to pay with a credit card instead of a debit card and also use a VPN to help protect your personal data. 

    Wrapping up 

    With ticket reselling being a common practice nowadays, it’s worth taking the time to understand how the market works. While purchasing online event tickets from resellers comes with its fair share of risks, one can navigate these challenges effectively by doing adequate research and practicing caution when choosing a ticket provider.

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