Should I buy tickets from unauthorised ticket sellers?

It is worth knowing that you have fewer rights if you purchase tickets from a secondary ticket seller, though there are often consumer protection guarantees in place.

Secondary ticket agents code of conduct

Secondary ticket agents source hard-to-find tickets and sell them on – usually asking for substantially more than the original ticket face value. 

Some secondary agents belong to the Association of Secondary Ticket Agents (ASTA). ASTA members agree to follow a code of conduct, so the association classes its members as legitimate ticket sellers.

Be aware - dealing with street touts is not advised. We don’t advise buying tickets from street touts as your rights of redress are against the seller, who in this instance will usually be difficult to trace.

Fan-to-fan ticket exchanges

Fan-to-fan exchanges such as Seatwave, Viagogo and Getmein enable individuals to sell on tickets they have already bought, usually from official ticket sellers. 

Individuals set the prices for the tickets, not the sites, so again you may find that you pay more than the ticket's face value.

Top tips

  • Do not deal with street touts. Your rights of redress are against the seller and street touts are usually difficult to trace
  • Be careful when using a private or secondary ticket seller. This is because it can be hard to trace your ticket seller if the tickets you receive are not what you ordered, or are fakes.
  • There is also no guarantee that secondary sellers actually have the tickets they say they do.

Extra ticket charges

And, like official ticket sellers, these websites also add extra fees and postage costs on top of the price of the ticket.

Some individuals sell tickets on these sites simply because they find they can't use them and are unable to get a refund from the official ticket seller. 

Others buy tickets from official sources just to try to make a profit – it's common to see tickets on secondary websites within minutes of them officially going on sale.

Your rights with unauthorised sellers

You have fewer rights if you buy tickets from a private or secondary ticket seller.

Secondary ticketing sites, like Stubhub, Viagogo, Seatwave and Get Me In, follow rules which mean they have to tell you the face value of tickets being re-sold, make it clear if there are any problems with sight-lines and if seats listed together are actually next to each other.

Importantly secondary market sites also have to provide you with an email address in case any problem arises with the tickets.

There is no guarantee that secondary sellers actually have the tickets they say they do. 

If the ticket was originally bought by the secondary ticket seller from an official ticket agent, then the official seller doesn't have to act on your complaint, as you didn't buy tickets from them directly.

However, many specialist secondary sites and fan-to-fan exchanges have consumer protection guarantees if you have problems with the tickets you receive, or if the tickets you order don't turn up, so check these conditions before you buy tickets.

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