5 Tips to Consider When Purchasing Tickets as Holiday Gifts

December 12, 2013

‘Tis the season for giving and what better way than to buy tickets for that special person. With many sellers/brokers to choose from, finding the right one is essential for a painless shopping experience. Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises online ticket shoppers to do their research before clicking the purchase button this holiday season.

Purchasing tickets from a third party for a sporting event, show or music concert, can be a convenient option for consumers saving time and allowing for easy price comparison. A new generation of ticket scalping now appears in the form of online ticket brokering, and with many sellers/brokers out there, it’s important to choose the right one. The difference between ticket scalpers and legitimate online brokers is that legitimate brokers do not negotiate prices as scalpers do.

The National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) promotes the highest standards of conduct for ticket brokers involved in there sale of event admission tickets. NATB sets standards for the resale of tickets and enforces a Code of Ethics among member brokers. To find out if a ticket broker is a member of the NATB, visit www.natb.org.

BBB provides consumers the following tips to consider when buying tickets from a third party website:

  • Read the contract and the disclaimers prior to purchasing tickets. Read the terms and conditions regarding ticket sales,pricing and privacy policies.
  • Check the ticket broker’s refund and warranty policies. Carefully examine the company's or the seller’s guarantee, warranty and return policies to ensure tickets you no longer want, arrive after the date of the event, or are not delivered as promised, can be returned or refunded.
  • Only buy from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction. Be aware surcharges. Ask whether the tickets are guaranteed, how they will be sent to you, and the timeframe for delivery.
  • 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 a seller's ratings and feedback from buyers, and do not agree to wire money or pay by check. Preferably, pay with a credit card, as it is easier to dispute charges should you never receive the promised tickets.
  • Know your state's ticket re-sale laws. According to the Arizona State Legislature,it is unlawful for any person to sell or offer to sell a ticket of admission if the ticket was purchased for the purpose of resale. For more information about the ticket resale statute, please visit azleg.gov.


About BBB of Central, Northern & Western Arizona 
BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews® on more than 4.7 million businesses and 11,000 charities, all available free at bbb.org.  Incorporated locally in 1938, BBB Serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona is supported by over 11,400 BBB Accredited Businesses. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free business reviews and charity reports, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.