In November 2007 I was let down really badly by an e-bay seller on Take That tickets that we bought and paid for over 5 months ago!
As is normal for tickets ordered months in advance, I expected to have to wait for the tickets to arrive with the seller before he could send them on to me. However, 14 days before the concert he told me " I am afraid I will be unable to supply the Take That tickets you purchased from me on ebay. I have just found out that I have had my allocation cancelled for breaching the terms of the ticket agency (ie: reselling them on ebay)". Whilst he initially promised me a full refund, it soon became apparent that this was as likely to arrive as the tickets!.
Most ticket agencies now include a clause in their T&C's that buyers cannot resell the tickets. In the past they haven't really sought to enforce this term but lately they are getting much tighter on it and if they find that one of their buyers has resold their tickets prior to the tickets being sent out (very easy by checking e-bay ticket numbers being re-sold), they can (and do) cancel the allocation (the buyer forfeits the original amount he paid) and you, the innocent e-bay buyer, are left with nothing. This all assumes of course that the seller even had the tickets allocated to them in the first place!
Sadly both e-bay and PayPal then hide behind their 60 day time deadline on dispute resolutions which means that virtually all these transactions are not covered by any paypal or e-bay guarantee.
Since posting the original of this guide, i have received numerous e-mails from people who have had the same problem and it appears to be becoming a major issue.
I can only suggest that buyers only bid on tickets that are actually IN HAND and from reputable sellers. The problem is that this means that you have to wait until c. 1 month before the concert which is hardly ideal.
My seller is no longer an e-bay member so i can't leave negative feedback on him and e-bay won't tell me whether he left voluntarily or whether they struck him off.
I have reported the incident to the police (who were very good about it but are unlikely to be able to do anything unless the seller is a serial fraudster) and have lodged a claim in the small claims court - see moneyclaim.gov.uk website - which has cost me £25 but I don't see why these people should get away with scams like this. Sadly, whilst I subsequently obtained a CCJ against the seller, this was just one of many that he has against his name so it didn't really have any effect.
Hope this helps others to avoid the disappointment my wife & daughter felt when they found out that they could no longer go to the Take That concert
UPDATE: 12th December 2007
Since posting this guide, I've been receiving regular e-mails from other e-bay members who have been ripped off in this way on ticket sales. Whilst some e-bay seller names come up more than once (including the one that i lost money to who appears to have had £700,000 pass through his paypal account in the past year!), there is now a consistent pattern whereby the e-bay seller is being removed by e-bay prior to the delivery of the tickets (but after you have been paid for them)..........but the buyers are never informed of this fact by e-bay and we are then left to suffer loss when the tickets don't appear. If e-bay actively warned buyers when they removed a seller in this way (probably for similar offences on other e-bayers on other concert tickets) then we could all try to stop this type of SCAM and/or lodge claims with e-bay which would probably be within their 60 day rule. However the only indication you get that there might be a problem is that the transaction mysteriously "disappears" from your My eBay listings and e-bay won't tell you anything beyond the fact that the seller is no longer a member.
Personally I think this is sharp practice from e-bay. They make a lot of money from selling tickets that never arrive and when they discover a problem with an e-bay seller and remove him/her from their system, they must have a specific duty to warn existing buyers who have paid for tickets from one of their members but are still waiting for the tickets. Perhaps I'm naive but I think the whole practice stinks and i will certainly not be trying to buy tickets off e-bay in the future!
I wonder whether they will allow my criticism to remain on this site or will they remove this guide altogether? All I'm trying to do is protect the innocent e-bay buyer and e-bay should be doing the same.