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Online Ticket Brokers
Ticket "scalping" is a familiar practice and one way, albeit not the safest, to obtain tickets to an event. A new generation of ticket scalping now appears in the form of online ticket brokering. Reputable online ticket brokers agree, however, that the difference between ticket scalpers and legitimate online brokers is that the online ones do not negotiate their prices. The National Association of Ticket Brokers, NATB, has set standards for the resale of tickets and enforces a Code of Ethics among its member brokers. To find out if a ticket broker is a member of the NATB, visit www.natb.org

When considering buying tickets on the secondary market, BBB offers the following tips to ensure a successful transaction:

* Ticket broker activities are legal in all but about 10 states. Check with your Attorney General (www.naag.org) to find out your state's resale law and any related licensing requirements.
* Ask if the broker is licensed and confirm that fact with the proper regulatory agency.
* Deal only with brokers that provide clear details concerning the terms of the transaction. For instance, you should know up-front the amount of the surcharge for each purchase; whether the tickets are guaranteed; how they will be sent to you and the timeframe for delivery; and the broker's refund, rescheduling and cancellation policies.
* Check if the ticket broker is a member of the NATB (www.natb.org) and BBB (www.bbb.org). Both organizations have membership standards that promote high standards of business conduct.
* Look at several websites to compare prices and ticket availability for the event you're interested in attending.
* Do not buy tickets from internet sites that are not secure or lack a privacy policy; fail to disclose their refund, rescheduling and cancellation policies; do not provide a telephone number and fixed place of business; or insist on cash payment.
* Verify the location of the seats on a seating chart provided by the venue to avoid purchasing non-existent seats or seats with obstructed views.
* Pay with a credit card or another secure form of payment.

If you decide to use a ticket resale auction Web site, the usual internet auction risks apply. Check the seller's ratings and feedback from buyers and do not agree to wire money or pay by check. Use a credit card so you can dispute the charge with your credit card issuer should you never receive the promised tickets.

If you find out that you have purchased a counterfeit ticket, report it to the NATB and file a complaint with BBB (www.bbb.org) to help warn other potential customers.

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