1 What a ticket reseller has to tell you

Under the Consumer Rights Act (CRA), ticket resellers have to tell you:

  • where the ticket gives access to, such as the particular seat or standing area of the venue
  • any restrictions around who can use the ticket or how it must be used (eg alongside ID of the original buyer)
  • the original price of the ticket, also known as its face value
  • the details of connections the reseller has with either the online facility on which they are selling or the organiser of the event for which the ticket is being sold
  • supply the unique ticket number (UTN) to a buyer if the event organiser specifies one. This amendment came into force on 6 April 2018.

If the ticket seller doesn’t provide you with this information, they might not be genuine. You should think twice about buying the ticket if they aren’t following the law.

2 Check the event organiser's terms

It’s not uncommon for event organisers to forbid resales of tickets either at all or only allow them through legitimate ticket resale sites.

Before buying from a ticket resale site, you should always check the website of the event you want to attend and look for the conditions of resale.

Event organisers can cancel tickets they’ve found have been sold illegitimately or can have other security measures in place - such as making tickets only for a named person - to stop on-selling.

If you’re found to have an illegitimate ticket, you might be refused entry without any way to get a refund.

3 Check if the reseller is legitimate

Internet forums

Look at a number of different internet forums to see if others have had bad experiences with the same seller.

Check the company's social media accounts - most legitimate companies have an active social media presence.

Online auction sites

If buying from an online auction site, always take some time out to check the seller's history and look at their feedback.

Be aware of the risks of buying tickets through internet auctions - your rights are against the seller, who may be difficult to trace.

The website’s credentials

You can also check the website’s credentials - this is usually found in the ‘contact us’ section on the site.

This should give you a name, address and contact information of the business. If the site is based abroad, it will make it more difficult to get your money back if something goes wrong.

4 Check the payment method

You should only use websites which have a secure payment method - such as Paypal, Amazon Payments, or the site’s own payment systems, but make sure the site has a https: URL and/or a green padlock in the address bar.

If something goes wrong, this will make it easier to get your money back.

Never use a bank or wire transfer service to pay for tickets online. In fact, if a website offers a discount for doing this, alarm bells should ring immediately.

Scammers are becoming increasingly convincing and can often have very professional looking websites to try catch you out.

If you think you may be a victim to scams, read our guidance on how to get your money back after a scam.

Top tips

  • Look at reviews across a number of sources, such as Trustpilot, Feefo or sitejabber (which aggregates customer reviews).
  • Never rely on reviews from just one website as they can be vulnerable to the submission of fake reviews.
  • Look out for repetition among the reviews - this should be a huge red flag that they’re not authentic.
  • Look at the profiles of people who’ve reviewed the company or follow them on social media – do they seem real or are they fake profiles?
  • Does the company have a regularly updated social media presence? It’s increasingly rare to find a legitimate company that neglects this.
  • There should be a padlock symbol in the browser window frame which appears when you attempt to log in or register.
  • Check the website uses https:// instead of http:// at the start of its url when you go through to the payment section of the website.

5 Claim from your bank

You should always pay by credit card for any tickets that cost more than £100. 

If you don't receive your ticket or are misled by the seller, you may be able to claim the money back through your credit card company under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

If you pay by credit or debit card for tickets costing £100 or less, you may be able to claim a refund from your card provider under the chargeback scheme. 

Chargeback is not enshrined in law but is part of Scheme Rules which participating banks subscribe to.

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