With the rise of online ticket purchasing, it can be difficult to know which sites to trust when buying tickets for concerts, sporting events, theaters, and other live events. Choosing the right ticket site is important to avoid buying counterfeit or invalid tickets. This article examines some of the most popular ticket sites and provides advice on identifying trustworthy options.
Key Factors for Trustworthy Ticket Sites
When evaluating the trustworthiness of a ticket site, here are some key factors to consider:
- Reputation – Sites with an established track record and many verified customer reviews are less likely to be scamming buyers.
- Security features – Look for sites that use encryption, protect customer data, and have anti-fraud technology.
- Purchase guarantees – Trusted sites will guarantee tickets are valid and provide refunds in case of cancellations.
- Transparent fees – Hidden fees are a red flag. Reputable sites disclose all fees upfront.
- Connection to event – Official ticket sites that are directly associated with a sports team, theater, or venue are generally more trustworthy.
Review of Major Ticket Sites
StubHub is one of the largest secondary ticket marketplaces, allowing season ticket holders and fans to resell tickets. Key facts about StubHub:
- Pros – Large selection of ticket listings, money-back guarantee on invalid tickets, and excellent customer service.
- Cons – As a resale site, prices are set by sellers and may have high markups.
- Reputation – Overall trusted site with a long track record in secondary ticket sales.
Vivid Seats positions itself as a premium ticket marketplace with competitive pricing. Here is an overview:
- Pros – Competitive pricing compared to other large marketplaces, 125% money-back guarantee.
- Cons – Smaller inventory than some competitors, fewer inclusive amenities.
- Reputation – Reputable site with assurance of valid tickets but some complaints about customer service.
SeatGeek is a technology-focused ticket search engine. Key features include:
- Pros – Great interactive maps to select seats, competitive prices, and good mobile experience.
- Cons – Smaller inventory than major marketplaces, lack of inclusive amenities.
- Reputation – Overall trusted as a ticket search engine, but some concerns about lack of seller vetting compared to marketplaces.
TickPick styles itself as a no-fees secondary marketplace. Here’s an overview:
- Pros – No service fees or hidden costs, all prices upfront.
- Cons – Smaller inventory than other secondary marketplaces.
- Reputation – Trusted as a fee-free marketplace with money-back guarantees, but smaller than alternatives.
Official Team/Venue Sites
Purchasing directly from a sports team, theater, or venue site is often the safest option. Benefits include:
- Pros – Direct from primary source, best availability for high-demand events.
- Cons – Less selection, full prices without discounts.
- Reputation – Extremely trusted as the official source, but less convenient than marketplaces.
As one of the first online ticketing sites, Ticketmaster remains a major player. Here are some key facts:
- Pros – Large inventory across sports and live entertainment. Official provider for many leagues and venues.
- Cons – High fees and service charges. Mixed reviews of customer service.
- Reputation – Well known but controversial, with lawsuits over deceptive fees and consolidation.
Identifying Potential Ticket Scams
While the sites above are generally legitimate, many shady ticket operators or individual scammers exist. Here are some red flags to spot potential ticket scams:
- Prices that are much lower than market value or seem “too good to be true.”
- Pressure to purchase tickets quickly. Scammers may claim tickets are in high demand or about to sell out.
- Requests for untraceable payment methods like bank/wire transfers or gift cards.
- Grammatical errors, typos, or other shoddy website quality.
- Lack of contact information or an address for the business.
- No secure checkout process or ability to verify a site’s security.
If a website or seller raises multiple red flags, consumers are better off avoiding them and using a verifiably trustworthy site or provider.
Safely Buying Tickets
Here are some tips for safely buying tickets online:
- Purchase directly from official team or venue sites when possible.
- Vet secondary marketplaces based on reputation, guarantees, and security features.
- Avoid wire transfers, cash payments, and other irreversible or untraceable payments.
- Be wary of sellers with no online history or poor reviews.
- Confirm a money-back guarantee in case of invalid tickets.
- Search for discount codes and exclusive ticket access through membership programs.
- Use a credit card for added fraud protection over debit cards or bank transfers.
Top Trustworthy Sites Comparison
Here is a comparison table summarizing some key factors when evaluating top ticket sites:
|125% money-back guarantee
|Very large selection
The Bottom Line
With so many options, it’s important for consumers to thoroughly research ticket sites before making purchases. Reputable sellers with strong guarantees, security, and transparent fees are ideal. Official team and venue sites are extremely trustworthy for primary sales. For secondary marketplaces, StubHub remains an industry leader, while other sites like VividSeats offer competitive alternatives. With sound judgment, buyers can feel confident they are getting valid tickets and fair prices.