Which? investigates ticket sellingExtra charges can add up to a fifth of the price

24 April 2011

Rock concert

A new Which? investigation has found an official ticket seller could charge you the equivalent of a fifth of the price of your tickets

Our researchers found that if you buy two pop concert tickets from a ‘primary site’ – one that acts officially for venues and event promoters – you could pay extra charges such as booking fees, transaction fees, processing fees and postage. Some sites even charge customers to print their own tickets or if they collect them in person. All together, these charges can add up to a fifth of the face value.

Which? members can read the full results of the Which? investigation in our article about ticket selling. If you're not a Which? member, you can sign up for just £1.

Secondary ticket market

Charges from secondary sites can be even higher. These sites act as market places for customers to sell tickets to each other. Tickets can be advertised for far above the face value. 

For one concert with a ticket face value of £28, we found that we could have paid anywhere between £38 and £221 for the same ticket. 

Even if you’re happy with the marked-up ticket price, the cost will rise further once you factor in the extra charges. Our research found that if you bought pop concert tickets from one secondary site, you could pay a further 30% of the face value in charges.

All the sites Which? looked at, both primary and secondary, said that they don’t make any profit from the actual tickets; their profit comes only from the extras, which also have to cover the cost of running the service.

Which? and ticket selling

Which? Principal Economist John Holmes says: 'We think that you don’t always have enough choice about how and where you buy tickets. This can leave consumers with little option but to pay extra charges. Over the coming year we’ll be looking at how we can help make ticket markets work better. This will include looking at whether the lack of effective competition in the primary market means there's little incentive for ticket agencies to reduce their charges.'

Are you fed up with paying extra charges on top of your ticket price, or do you think it’s a fair way for companies to earn their cash? Do you think companies do enough to make their charges clear? Join the debate on Which? Conversation.

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