Buying tickets on ebay

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Think of the best gig you've been to. It was great, wasn't it? Better than great, amazing. Insert your own superlative. But what if you missed out? Because there wasn't enough tickets to go round, because a tout was buying them all up, so that they could be sold on ebay at a ridiculous price to people with more money than sense.   

I only have one tip for people trying to buy tickets from Ebay - DON'T DO IT!!!

I used to work at one of the largest ticket agents, and I can say that one of the main complaints from customers was "I can't believe you've sold out!".

If you've ever had to talk to disappointed customers in the course of your occupation, you'll understand that it's not only annoying, frustrating or - after the 80th time you hear the same complaint - BORING; it's absolutely gutting.

All shows for popular acts WILL SELL OUT. It's a matter of first come, first served, and no matter where you buy your tickets from, that will always be the case.

Next time you shop for tickets on ebay, look at the amount of tickets for sale for one particular show. Quite a few, eh? Any advertised as "SOLD OUT!!!111"? Of course there are. That's because touts buy sometimes as many as 50 tickets and sell them at an astronomical price. But how on earth do they manage to buy so many? Tickets for say, Madonna are like gold dust!

Touts don't have "real jobs". They have all day to sit on the phone or on the internet because the astronomical prices that tickets go for mean that they don't have to have a proper job.Genuine fans struggle, because they can only use the phone/internet on a break or when they get home, by which time all the tickets have been sold.

Don't get me wrong - the ticket agents DON'T CARE. They still make up to 10% (the maximum allowed by law) on the booking fee, regardless of who buys the tickets. There are facilities in place to stop touts and protect agents from fraud, but they can only blacklist a few touts out of thousands.

The only tickets you should be buying are for swaps or for sale at face value, which is the cost of the ticket before booking fees and P&P are added.


- A great way to get tickets is to "rat out" the touts to an agent. simply email the blcok, row and seat numbers to the agents customer service team and they will cancel the touts' order and re-sell the seats to you.

- You could also report the seller to the venue where the gig is due to take place. The venue will pass your complaint to the promoters, who will ensure that the agent who originally sold the tickets redoubles their anti-tout measures. There's nothing like the thought of losing a big contract to spur companies on..

-  Did you know that when you buy a ticket, you're paying to "rent out" the seat or entry into a venue? This means that  the holder of a ticket is NOT the owner, and is not legally entitled to sell it for anything more than the face value.

- Ticket agents DO NOT SELL TICKETS ON EBAY. EVER. If you buy tickets from ebay you are keeping the touts in business and preventing geniune fans from attending.

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