According to StubHub.com the secondary–ticket market is a $10 billion dollar a year industry which includes professional brokers, speculators and season ticket holders. Because many of these sellers are not licensed or bonded and are often found on unregulated online auctions, online classifieds, and bulletin boards using person to person sales sports fans need to be more skeptical and on the alert.
“Chicago Bears fans need to do their research before spending large amounts of money on NFC Championship tickets,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Sports fans are often blinded by their devotion to their team and run the risk of putting their trust in a seller that doesn’t deserve it.”
In the past twelve months alone, there have been 171 complaints filed and more than 20,000 inquiries to the BBB about companies in the “Ticket Sales – Events” category.
If you are considering buying tickets on the secondary market, the Better Business Bureau offers the following tips to ensure a successful transaction:
· Check to make sure the broker is licensed as required in the state of Illinois.
· Avoid paying cash for tickets in person from a stranger in case the ticketsmay be counterfeit.
· Do not ever wire funds for payment.
· Deal only with brokers that provide clear details concerning the terms of the transaction. For instance, you should know up-front the amount of the surcharge for each purchase; whether the tickets are guaranteed; how they will be sent to you and the timeframe for delivery; and the broker’s refund, rescheduling and cancellation policies.
· Check if the ticket broker is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) and the Better Business Bureau.
· Visit several Web sites to compare prices and ticket availability for the event you’re interested in attending.
· Verify the location of the seats on a seating chart provided by the venue to avoid purchasing non-existent seats or seats with obstructed views.
· Pay with a credit card or another secure form of payment so you can dispute the charge with your credit card issuer or bank.
“The most common way sports fans are getting scammed online is by either paying for counterfeit tickets or tickets that never arrive,” added Bernas. “Even if the tickets do surface, they are sometimes not for the seats the seller advertised – which can mean being stuck with seats that aren’t next to each other, up in the nosebleed section, or with an obstructed view.”
For more information on finding ticket brokers you can trust, visit www.bbb.org