Buying tickets online to a music concert, theatre event, sporting match or other event?
Do your homework, make an informed choice
The market for tickets to music concerts, sporting matches and other events can be complex and confusing. The rise of secondary resellers and reselling websites over the last few years has given consumers more purchasing options and flexibility, but has also made the secondary ticket market more difficult to navigate.
Secondary ticket sellers or resellers offer tickets for events to consumers, independent of the primary or official ticket seller. Sometimes these tickets may be sold above or below the original face value of the ticket.
Purchasing tickets on the secondary market can be a convenient option for consumers, however it can also bring risks including the risk that the resold ticket may not be genuine and the risk that the ticket may be cancelled by the event organiser if it is found to have been resold in contravention of the terms and conditions of the ticket.
From 1 June 2018, New South Wales has new ticket reselling laws which are different from the rest of Australia. In New South Wales it is against the law to resell tickets above the original value plus 10 per cent. The NSW laws also include a protection for consumers preventing tickets that have been resold at or below face value plus 10 per cent being cancelled by event organisers.
To ensure you have the best purchasing experience, here's some things to look out for:
Do Your Homework and Be Wary of Online Search Results
It's not always easy for consumers to know who the official or primary ticket seller for an event is. Simply typing your event into a search engine may not always reveal who the official ticket seller is, as secondary resellers often appear at the top of search results.
Purchasing your ticket from the official ticket seller is the only way to fully guarantee that the ticket you are purchasing is valid for entry, is sold at the original value and carries the full terms and conditions provided by the official ticket seller.
The simplest way to find out the official ticket seller for an event is to visit the artist, performer or sporting team's website, the website of the touring company or event promoter or the website of the venue where the event will be held. These websites will typically provide consumers with a direct link to the official ticket seller.
You can also sign up to the mailing lists of your favourite artists, performer or teams – these emails will generally provide direct event and purchasing information.
Understand That Your Ticket Could Be Cancelled
Typically, official ticket sellers assign terms and conditions against resale to most event tickets.
Understand that if you are purchasing your ticket from a secondary reseller, in most parts of Australia, your ticket may be subsequently cancelled by the official ticket seller or the event organiser if it is found to be resold. From 1 June 2018, the new laws in New South Wales include a protection for consumers that prevents tickets being cancelled if they were sold at or below face value plus 10 per cent.
If you are purchasing from a ticket reseller, check their terms and conditions to see if they have any buyer protections in place.
You should ensure that you keep all information you have in relation to your transaction, in case of any later dispute.
Know What Price You Are Paying and Beware of Additional Fees
Before you finalise your purchase, make sure you know and understand the final total price.
Make sure that the final price is in Australian dollars or that you know the equivalent price in Australian dollars.
Unless you are purchasing tickets to events in New South Wales, be aware that the price you may pay for the ticket could be significantly above or below the original value of the ticket. The original value is generally easy to find on the official ticket seller website and can be a good comparison tool.
Some ticket resellers charge fees in addition to the cost of the event ticket. Be aware that these fees may be added to the cost of your ticket before you check out.
Be aware of any additional postage and handling or delivery fees – especially for digital or downloadable tickets.
Where Can You Find More Information
Live Performance Australia (LPA) has developed guides to better educate consumers about where to buy official tickets and the risks of buying from the secondary ticket market.
The LPA Safe Tix Guide provides tips for buying tickets safely and securely. The Guide offers advice to consumers at all stages of the ticket buying process.
In addition, the LPA Consumer Guide to Buying and Selling Tickets in the Ticket Resale Market provides guidance to consumers on buying and selling tickets in the secondary ticket market and aims to help consumers understand the ticket resale marketplace.