It sounds quite simple really, but there are still countless numbers of people that still buy from, or act as ticket touts. It’s a story that’s hit the headlines so many times over the years, and still does today. As recent as May, research published by the G4S Secure Solutions Security Group, revealed that touts are earning more than the average UK salary reselling tickets, and that tickets re-sold for events via online auction sites cost an average of 59% more than the average face value price. It’s one of the ultimate consumer rip-offs, and is particularly rife when it comes to large scale festivals, big name pop concerts, and major sporting events.
Examples published by the team of G4S researchers include:
- A pair of tickets to see Paul McCartney at the Dublin RDS sold for £450, 235% over their face value
- A pair of Michael Buble tickets at the O2 arena sold for 116% over the face value
- A pair of tickets for the V Festival sold for £430 despite a face value of just £162.50
As Mark Hamilton, Managing Director G4S Events comments on the press material: “Touts continue to secure huge profits at the expense of sports and music fans. Fans are helping drive hugely inflated prices in the secondary market and continue to pour thousands of pounds into the wallets of the touts. But, fans should be aware that in buying tickets from unauthorised outlets they could find themselves barred from entering events if their tickets are found to be fraudulent, or their identification does not match up with the ticket purchaser.”
Apart from this though, what else should you be aware of, and how can you ensure you’re buying what you want, at the right price!
- Be aware that ticket touts can often advertise tickets that they don’t actually have, before the event goes on sale. They may end up getting some tickets in the end, or they could walk off with your money.
- Ticket touts are also known to hype up their ticket sales, promising seats in prime locations, and offering, in reality, seats that are anything but.
- Although UK law does not prevent reselling of tickets, it is illegal for touts to seek business on street corners, and outside venues. Anything of this nature should be reported to Police and Trading Standards.
- There are two codes of conduct in place, set up by the Office Of Fair Trading that covers Box Office and Online Vendors, and also businesses that sell on tickets to entertainment and sporting events. These however do not cover vendors on Ebay or other unregulated sites. The code of conduct for those operations covered however, does state that consumers should be treated fairly, and that businesses have complaints and refunds policies in place.
- If you do decide to buy via Ebay, make sure you check out customer feedback, and never look for less than 100%. Also remember the golden rule about the protection that can be offered through credit card transactions.
- There are second and third party ticket sellers online, that have easy and safe ways to sell on or purchase tickets. They often contain clear and concise operating information for both sellers and buyers.
Below are a few useful links where you can find out more about the issues concerning ticket touts.
Association Of Secondary Ticket Agents: http://www.asta-uk.org/
Office Of Fair Trading: www.oft.gov.uk
BBC Article On Ticket Touts: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/10137075.stm
BBC 2007 Q&A On Ticket Touts: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6503401.stm
Full Article From Q4S On Ticket Tout Research: http://www.g4s.uk.com/en-GB/Media%20Centre/News/2010/05/21/Consumer%20Rip-off%20as%20ticket%20touts%20rake%20in%20huge%20profits/