With the convenience of online ticket sales comes the risk of scams and fraudulent activity. Ticketmaster is one of the largest primary ticket outlets with over 69 million monthly users visiting their site. While Ticketmaster itself is a reputable source for event tickets, you still need to be cautious when purchasing tickets from third party resellers on their site or transferring tickets to friends and family.
Follow these tips to safely transfer or resell event tickets on Ticketmaster:
Only Use Ticketmaster’s Official Ticket Transfer or Resale Services
Ticketmaster has an official safe ticket resale marketplace called Ticketmaster Resale and a ticket transfer option for sending tickets to friends or family. These are the safest ways to resell or transfer tickets on Ticketmaster because they are directly facilitated through their site with buyer and seller protections in place.
Avoid unofficial third party resellers on Ticketmaster. While Ticketmaster does vet their third party sellers, there is still a higher risk of ending up with fake or invalid tickets from an independent reseller. Stick with Ticketmaster’s own resale and transfer services for peace of mind.
Review Ticket Transfer Policies Before Purchasing
Before you complete a ticket purchase on Ticketmaster, be sure to review the event’s ticket transfer policy. This will tell you how many times a ticket can be transferred and if there are any restrictions.
For example, some tickets cannot be electronically transferred at all. Others may limit you to transferring to one person only. If the tickets can be transferred multiple times, be wary of the last person holding the ticket before the event as they could potentially sell it multiple times over.
Only Accept eTickets for Electronic Transfer
When you purchase tickets on Ticketmaster, you have the choice to get traditional paper tickets shipped to you or electronic tickets (eTickets) that can be accessed online via your Ticketmaster account. eTickets are safer for electronic transfers for a few reasons:
- They cannot be duplicated or counterfeited like paper tickets potentially could
- The ticket barcode constantly refreshes so it can’t be photocopied and reused
- You can transfer eTickets directly to someone else’s Ticketmaster account online
Avoid paying for paper tickets that would need to be physically shipped back and forth. Only purchase eTickets if you may want to electronically transfer them later.
Only Transfer to Someone You Know and Trust
When transferring a ticket on Ticketmaster, you must enter the recipient’s name and email address. Make sure this is someone you personally know well and trust. Also confirm you have the correct email for them before initiating the transfer.
If you are transferring tickets to a stranger, there is a risk they could sell the ticket again to someone else or not even use it at all. You lose control of the ticket fully once transferred, so be 100% sure of who you are sending it to.
Review Your Email Confirmations Closely
Every time you purchase, resell, or transfer tickets on Ticketmaster, you should receive email confirmations with details of the transaction. Carefully review the emails to verify:
- The event name, date, section, seats are correct
- The quantity of tickets matches what you expected
- The ticket recipient name matches who you transferred to
- The ticket barcodes are clearly listed in the email
Double check the ticket details BEFORE the event. This way if there are any discrepancies, you can contact Ticketmaster Fan Support and resolve the issues in advance.
Only Use Safe Methods of Online Payment
If you are the one purchasing transferred tickets or reseller tickets on Ticketmaster, only pay using secure payment methods. Avoid risky payments like:
- Wire transfers
- Gift cards
- PayPal Friends and Family
These forms of payment offer you no recourse if the tickets end up being invalid or if the seller never sends them. Credit cards and Paypal Goods and Services payments allow you to dispute the charges if necessary.
Be Wary of Ticket Transfers Right Before the Event
Last minute ticket transfers before the event date pose a higher risk. This could indicate the seller no longer needs the tickets and is trying to make a quick profit. Or it could mean the tickets have already been sold to multiple buyers. Be extra cautious of transfers immediately before the event.
Confirm Your Tickets on the Venue’s Site Too
After receiving your Ticketmaster transferred tickets, also go directly to the event venue or promoter website and confirm:
- The event date, time, seats listed match Ticketmaster
- Your full name is listed as the ticket owner
This acts as an extra validation of your ticket purchase and transfer. Notify Ticketmaster immediately of any discrepancies between their records and the venue’s records.
Call Ticketmaster for Any Issues Right Away
If you encounter any problems with your Ticketmaster tickets – incorrect seat assignments, duplicate barcodes, transfers to wrong recipients, etc – contact Ticketmaster Fan Support as soon as possible. Here are the best ways to reach them for prompt support:
- Phone: 1-800-653-8000
- Chat online: Open a chat window at the bottom right of Ticketmaster.com
- Email: Visit help.ticketmaster.com to send a message
- Social media: Message @Ticketmaster on Twitter or Facebook
Be wary of contacting any other third party for ticket support, as they may be fraudulent. Only reach out to Ticketmaster directly using their official contact information.
Double Check the Ticketmaster Resale Guarantee
If purchasing resale tickets on Ticketmaster from a third party seller, be aware of the Ticketmaster Resale Guarantee terms. This guarantees the tickets are valid or you get a refund. However, there are some caveats:
- Only applies to resale tickets purchased on Ticketmaster Resale marketplace
- Does not cover parking passes or merchandise
- You must report invalid tickets prior to event start time
So read the full details of the guarantee before purchasing resale tickets. Also make sure the tickets are for the correct event dates, seating, etc. right away to allow time for corrections.
Avoid Any Third Party Ticket Websites
Outside of Ticketmaster, there are many secondary marketplaces and brokers selling event tickets. However, there is a much higher fraud risk when using a third party site. Some signs a secondary ticket site may not be legitimate:
- Prices highly inflated above face value
- Lack of customer service contact information
- Misspellings, grammatical errors on site
- No ticket guarantee or protections offered
- Negative reviews and reports of fraud
Stick to buying and transferring tickets directly on Ticketmaster where there are safeguards in place to avoid scams.
Don’t Share Ticket Barcodes Until Event Time
When transferring eTickets on Ticketmaster, the full ticket barcode is viewable by both the sender and recipient. Avoid sending screenshots or photos of the barcode until right before the event.
If the barcode is shared widely, it risks being duplicated and used by more than one person. Only share digital barcodes when necessary like at the venue entrance.
Print Paper Tickets If Possible
While eTickets provide some anti-fraud benefits, there is something to be said for good old fashioned paper tickets. When transferring paper tickets, only hand them over in person rather than relying on shipping them.
Paper tickets have some other advantages over eTickets:
- Can’t be duplicated like digital files
- Don’t depend on internet/cell service to access
- Physical possession provides peace of mind
- Can require ID match at venue for entry
If concerned about potential eTicket fraud, opt for paper tickets for any high demand events with inflated resale prices.
Compare Prices to Face Value
Before buying resale tickets, research the face value price printed on the tickets. If the resale price is excessively higher, that’s a red flag. Question why the tickets are priced so far above face value – it could indicate a scam.
Legitimate reasons for moderate resale markups:
- High demand sold out event
- Prime seating locations like front row
- VIP amenities like backstage access
Illegal reasons for extreme resale markups:
- Artificially limited ticket availability
- Leveraging frenzied demand to make quick profit
- No intention to deliver real tickets
Seek out more reasonably priced resale tickets closer to face value when possible.
Google the Seller’s Username
On Ticketmaster Resale, each seller has a unique username identified on their listings. Before buying from them, copy and paste their username into a Google search.
Look for any concerning reviews about that specific Ticketmaster Resale seller’s legitimacy. Their username may be mentioned on forums or complaint sites regarding any issues with past ticket sales. Avoid any shady looking sellers.
Don’t Buy Tickets as a Gift
It’s common for people to purchase event tickets as a gift for birthdays, holidays, graduations, etc. However, it’s safer not to buy resale tickets as surprises. Instead, play it safe by:
- Giving the cash value to directly purchase
- Letting them choose the tickets they want
- Accompanying them in person to pick up
Ticket scams are hard to resolve once the recipient is in possession of potentially invalid tickets. They also may not discover the problem until arrival at the event.
Beware of Craigslist and Facebook Ticket Listings
General online marketplaces like Craigslist and Facebook Ticket Groups are risky for buying event tickets from strangers. These platforms offer little fraud protection compared to Ticketmaster.
On Craigslist and Facebook, it’s easier for sellers to:
- Remain completely anonymous
- Exchange money with no paper trail
- Sell tickets multiple times over to different buyers
- Misrepresent details about tickets
Always try to purchase tickets directly from the official source like Ticketmaster when possible. Or use a reputable and vetted resale marketplace instead.
Meet Seller at Venue to Exchange
If purchasing secondhand paper tickets in person, insist on meeting the seller directly at the event venue on the day of show. Avoid meetings in random parking lots, coffee shops, etc.
By meeting right at venue box office, you can:
- Verify tickets with staff before paying
- Get escorted to your seats early
- Resolve any issues immediately with help onsite
You also want to complete the handoff as close to event time as possible. This reduces the risk of the seller attempting to resell the same tickets to someone else before doors open.
Selling and transferring tickets is a necessary part of getting tickets into the hands of fans. However, the online secondary market does open the door for potential ticket fraud. Take the right precautions when using Ticketmaster and you can buy and transfer tickets safely without getting scammed.
The most secure option is purchasing eTickets directly through Ticketmaster’s website. Use their official resale marketplace and ticket transfer services when possible. Thoroughly vet any third party resellers approved on Ticketmaster Resale before buying. Avoid risky classified sites like Craigslist for ticket transactions.
Before transferring tickets, understand all policies and limits in place. Only send eTickets to trusted friends and family. When buying resale tickets, pay with protected methods through Ticketmaster and confirm all details carefully. If any issues arise with your tickets, immediately reach out to Ticketmaster Fan Support for help.
While there is some risk involved when reselling tickets online, take the right precautions and you can navigate Ticketmaster safely and avoid scams.