Ticket scalping and on-selling

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Consumer

The growth of internet sites such as eBay and Gumtree has made ticket on-selling easier for sellers. As a result, ticket on-selling has become a popular way for consumers to find tickets at the last minute or if they missed out on the official sales. Unauthorised people on-sell tickets often at an inflated price. 

Remember it is illegal to scalp or on-sell tickets in public areas within the City of Perth without a trading permit (Public Trading Local Law 2005). If you see scalpers selling without a permit, you can report it to the City of Perth or WA Police. 

While ticket scalping is not illegal in Australia, if you have been caught out by a scalper there are a few things you can do:

  • Contact the official outlet first and try to resolve the complaint directly.
  • Counterfeit, cancelled, or tickets that don’t arrive can be reported to WA ScamNet by email or by calling 1300 304 054.
  • PayPal consumers should contact the Resolution Centre through PayPal Buyer Protection program.   
  • If payment was made using a credit card a refund may be claimed from the card provider.
  • If the outcomes above are unsatisfactory contact the Consumer Protection Advice Line by email or by calling 1300 304 054.

Protect yourself for your next event

If you are looking for tickets here are some tips to help you protect yourself and enjoy your event.  Purchase tickets from official outlets, by doing this you will have consumer rights under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) which requires a seller to:

  • provide tickets fit for purpose and match their description;
  • advertise one price, including all fees, plus the minimum postage costs, if known at the time;
  • provide a receipt; and
  • not mislead in any way.

Consumer checklist

  • Find out from the event organiser who are the official outlets;
  • Check out the reseller  - look them up on WA ScamNet (www.scamnet.wa.gov.au);
  • Check the terms and conditions of the ticket before purchasing;
  • Never give out too many personal details online;
  • Only pay using a secure payment service, and by credit card for added protections; and
  • Always ask for a receipt and save all transaction records.

Organisers’ checklist

  • Place limits on the number of tickets one person can purchase;
  • Use extra security to verify that it is a person, not a computer, buying the tickets;
  • Require names be printed on tickets and checked against ID at events;
  • Use electronic ticketing and including a barcode to be scanned at event;
  • Require the credit card that was used in the purchase be presented at events; and
  • Stagger the release of tickets to encourage people to wait and buy from official outlets.

Remember the risks

Ticket scalpers are not registered businesses, along with possibly paying too much for your ticket, you will be risking not recieving a refund if the event is cancelled or receiveing counterfeit tickets (being scammed).  

If the event is cancelled, organisers may only refund original buyers by depositing directly back onto their credit card or bank account. That leaves decision to pass on the refund to you up to the seller.

Counterfeit tickets often can’t be identified until you turn up on the day and are refused entry.  Some ticket scalpers scan, print and sell copies of the same ticket even though only one will be valid.  In both these instances it is very difficult to recover costs your costs.  Terms and conditions of legitimate tickets often prohibit resale and the event organiser can refuse to honour the ticket.

To ensure you enjoy your event, buy from authorised dealers where you have rights under the ACL. 

Ticket on-selling and scalping factsheet

Organisers of sporting and entertainment events authorise certain agencies to sell tickets to their events. When unauthorised people on-sell tickets, sometimes for an inflated price, it can greatly disadvantage consumers.

Download the factsheet

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