Buying tickets from a resale site like StubHub or Vivid Seats can get you into sold out concerts, games, and shows, but is it safe? While resale tickets offer convenience and access, there are some risks to consider before purchasing. This comprehensive guide will outline the pros and cons of buying resale tickets and provide tips for safely securing seats to your desired event.
What are Resale Tickets?
Resale tickets refer to tickets that are sold by individual sellers rather than directly from the venue or primary ticket retailer. Sellers may include season ticket holders unable to attend an event, or speculators who purchase tickets with the intent to resell for a profit.
There are two main types of resale tickets:
Large resale sites like StubHub and Vivid Seats operate as secondary ticket marketplaces. Sellers list available tickets which buyers can search, compare prices, and purchase online. The sites act as a broker, facilitating the transaction between individual buyers and sellers.
Ticket scalpers sell tickets informally, oftenoutside event venues. Prices may be negotiable but there is higher uncertainty in terms of seat location and legitimacy. There is more risk purchasing from individual scalpers.
While resale sites provide more convenience and buyer protection, there are still risks involved with resale tickets compared to buying directly from the primary source.
Are Resale Tickets Legitimate?
The short answer – in most cases, yes. Reputable resale sites like StubHub and Vivid Seats guarantee the legitimacy of tickets sold on their platform. However, scams do still occur, so buyers should be cautious when purchasing resale tickets.
Here are some tips for ensuring ticket legitimacy:
- Purchase from trusted resale sites like StubHub or VividSeats rather than individual scalpers
- Review seller ratings and reviews before purchasing
- Confirm a ticket guarantee is provided by the resale site
- Avoid unusually low prices that seem “too good to be true”
- Pay with a credit card to enable disputing fraudulent charges
- Be wary of sellers demanding cash or check payments
- Verify all ticket details upon receipt before the event
- Be especially cautious when purchasing through non-secure channels like Craigslist
As long as you purchase from a reputable source and exercise caution, you can feel reasonably confident that a resale ticket will be legitimate and grant you entry. However, scams do happen, so vigilance is required.
Are Resale Tickets Riskier Than Direct Purchase?
Yes, buying resale tickets comes with additional risks compared to buying directly from the venue or event. Here are some of the risks to consider:
There is a higher risk of scams and fraud when purchasing resale tickets. Scammers may sell fake or duplicate tickets with no intention of providing a valid ticket. Reputable resale sites offer buyer guarantees, but scams can still occur.
The ticket details provided by the seller could be inaccurate, such as the wrong seat location. This may not be discovered until arrival when it is too late to rectify.
Some tickets cannot be resold or transferred. Sports teams and colleges especially are moving to digital tickets tied to the buyers account or ID to prevent resale. Tickets sold against policy may not scan and provide entry.
Cancellations and Changes
The event date, time or other details could change after ticket purchase from a reseller. The original seller may or may not notify you of updates.
Tickets on resale sites are often substantially marked up in price compared to face value. Season ticket holders and speculators may inflate prices to profit from demand.
While inconvenient, buying directly from the venue or event source is inherently safer. But resale sites do provide buyer guarantees and fraud protection to help minimize many of these risks.
Are Resale Tickets Legal?
The legality of ticket resale depends on state laws. Many states allow ticket resale, placing restrictions only on resale price caps. Some prohibit resale entirely. Here are some general guidelines:
- Around 30 states have no laws restricting ticket resale
- 10 states enforce price caps on resale prices
- New York, Connecticut and Michigan prohibit ticket resale entirely unless authorized by the issuer
- States often carve out exceptions for approved resale marketplaces
- Sports teams and event promoters increasingly prohibit ticket transfer and resale
Buyers should research the specific laws in their home state. Sellers need to carefully adhere to any price limits, licensing requirements, or transaction processes mandated in their jurisdiction.
In general, reselling tickets through approved marketplaces like StubHub is legal except where prohibited. But restrictions are complex and evolving, so all parties should confirm legality before transacting.
Why Are Resale Tickets So Expensive?
Resale ticket prices are often substantially above face value – sometimes by hundreds or thousands of dollars. Here are the key factors driving high resale ticket prices:
When a concert, game, or show is highly in-demand and limited tickets remain, scarcity drives up resale prices. Fans are willing to pay more for hot events.
For extremely popular events, initial face value ticket prices undervalue true market demand. Season tickets holders can profit by reselling at market rates.
With limited tickets available directly, convenience drives willingness to pay higher resale prices. Guaranteed entry is worth a premium.
Some purchase large batches of tickets solely to resell at a profit due to high demand. These speculators artificially inflate prices.
Beyond the ticket price itself, high processing, servicing, and delivery fees added by brokers also raise overall resale costs.
While annoying for buyers, market dynamics support higher resale ticket prices when demand outstrips supply. Still, buyers should be cautious of drastic markups.
How Can I Get the Best Deal on Resale Tickets?
Here are some insider tips to get the lowest prices on resale tickets while avoiding scams:
- Shop early before event hype increases prices
- Buy single tickets rather than groups where demand concentrates
- Consider less popular venues, nights, and seat locations
- Beware extra fees when comparing total ticket costs
- Use site filters and tools to spotlight best value listings
- Enable price drop alerts for your desired tickets
- Wait until the last minute for sellers to drop prices
- Try bidding on tickets rather than buy-now pricing
- Avoid upper and lower price extremes when evaluating deals
With flexible timing and seats along with smart auction tactics, prices between $10-$50 above face value are often achievable. While still expensive compared to direct sales, decent resale deals are out there.
Are Ticket Resale Sites Safe?
Large regulated resale marketplaces like StubHub and Vivid Seats are generally safe options. They provide a number of buyer protections:
- Guarantee valid tickets that will provide event access
- Offer complete refunds if invalid tickets are sold
- Use vetting, ratings, and transparency to identify trusted sellers
- Provide secure online payment processing
- Enable fraud reporting and protection against scams
- Offer customer support for resolving issues
Still, scams can happen even on leading sites. Carefully vet sellers, confirm guarantees before purchase, use credit cards for added protection, and verify ticket details upon receipt to avoid problems.
Smaller resale exchanges and direct sales have higher risk. Social sites like Craigslist offer less protections. Only use reputable regulated platforms for resale purchases.
Are Printed or Digital Tickets Better?
Digital tickets have become more common, providing some benefits over printed paper tickets:
- Eliminates shipping costs and delivery wait times
- Reduces chance of ticket loss, theft, or damage
- Enables easy transfer to other buyers
- Restricts fraud by tying tickets directly to buyer accounts
However, paper tickets have some advantages too:
- Can’t run out of “stock” like a sold out digital ticket
- Avoid technical errors preventing access like a digital ticket
- No power or account access required upon entry
- Can be sold anonymously without linking personal details
There are pros and cons to both formats. Digital tickets provide more security and protection against fraud. But printed tickets can avoid technical snafus. Opt for reputable digital delivery when possible.
Are Auto-Transfer Digital Tickets Risky?
Many sites now offer “auto-transfer” digital tickets. These tickets are directly linked to the buyers account and automatically transfer upon resale.
Auto-transfer tickets provide some advantages:
- Very convenient for buyers to instantly access tickets
- Eliminates risks of sellers failing to transfer in time
- Restricts fraud by limiting anonymity and third-party sales
However, some downsides also exist:
- If seller account is compromised, tickets could be stolen
- No ability toUNDO transfers if transaction has issues
- Less oversight and assistance from resale site staff
- Auto-transfers may violate event ticket policies
Auto-transfer tickets provide a smoother and more convenient experience in most cases. But edge cases around disputed transactions and compromised accounts introduce some risk. Understand policies before purchasing auto-transfer tickets.
Should I Avoid Buying Resale Tickets?
For high demand events, buying resale tickets may be your only option for guaranteed entry. While risks exist, cautious buyers can navigate the resale market successfully. Some best practices include:
- Purchase from trusted established marketplaces
- Vet sellers thoroughly – high ratings and sales preferred
- Use buyer protections like guarantees and credit cards
- Confirm ticket details directly before the event
- Avoid high pressure sales or “too good to be true” prices
- Understand your state laws, event policies, and site rules
- Move quickly on desirable deals before they disappear
While impossible to eliminate all risk, savvy resale ticket buyers can gain access to unavailable events while minimizing chances of issues. Understand the trade-offs and precautions before purchasing.
Buying resale event tickets always entails some risk. But the convenience and access they provide may outweigh potential downsides for many buyers. By purchasing from reputable marketplaces, thoroughly vetting sellers, and utilizing buyer protections, fans can access in-demand events without getting scammed. While pricing may be inflated, decent deals are achievable with flexibility. Use caution, do your homework, and make sure guarantees are in place before buying resale tickets.