ALEXANDRIA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--This Sunday is BCS Selection Sunday and the kickoff of Bowl Season. Thousands of fans will be flooding the internet and ticket offices in the days to come hoping to get a ticket to the big game to see their favorite teams. Unfortunately, there are scalpers who will be out to take advantage of fans’ school pride.
When you hear the word ticket scalper, you may still think of a guy on the sidewalk outside your favorite venue, trying to sell a few tickets before the start of an event. But the truth is that with the increasing prevalence of online ticket sales, ticket scalping has changed dramatically – and fans must be vigilant to protect themselves from scalpers’ deceptive tactics, which can too often result in fans being turned away at the gate or paying exorbitant prices when face value tickets still exist.
The best way to avoid ticket scalpers and ensure that you're getting a legitimate ticket is by buying tickets when they go on sale. Here are a four ways fans can maximize their success:
1. Check the primary market first. The primary market is the safest place to purchase your tickets. 40% of event tickets go unsold every year – so don’t assume the event you want to attend is sold out.
2. Purchase tickets from a reputable seller. Most major ticket resellers will guarantee a refund if there is a problem with your tickets and this is the bare minimum you should demand because this isn’t the same as guaranteeing that the tickets are authentic. If you have a problem when you arrive at the show, you may get your money back, but you won’t be let into the venue to see the event. To guarantee authentic tickets purchased on resale marketplaces, you must purchase from a marketplace, like TicketsNow, where tickets are reissued to buyers.
3. Watch out for unauthorized websites. Scalpers use website designs, URL’s and search engine advertising to appear to be affiliated with a legitimate artist, team or venue – when they are not. Don’t assume that the websites that come up when you search for tickets are legitimate.
4. Keep the original ticket prices in mind. Many ticket resellers do not disclose the original price of the ticket. So paying $500 for a seat might not seem so bad until you receive the tickets and realize face value was $200 and tickets were still available at that price. If you’re not sure what the original ticket prices are, call the box office or check with the primary ticketer.
The Fans First Coalition was established in 2011 in an effort to change and improve the ticket-purchase experience for fans by fighting for greater access to face value tickets and enhanced protection against fraudulent business practices. The coalition includes over 200 industry members, venues, teams and artists who are committed to standing with fans against scalpers.