For Immediate Release - July 24, 2013

Consumer Affairs Cautions Concert Fans Should Beware of Ticket Pitfalls

BOSTON – With several big name music acts rolling into town this summer and into the fall, the Patrick Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is reminding consumers to be wary of scammers and purchase their tickets from a legitimate source.

“Massachusetts is culturally rich and consumers are lucky to have access to so many great music, sports and theater events,” said Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Barbara Anthony.  “Consumers are paying their hard earned money to be there. Unfortunately, these events bring along plenty of scammers and false advertisements that could leave fans out of money and out of a seat when show time rolls around.” 

Consumer Affairs staff looked into secondary market prices for three upcoming shows and found the mark up on the secondary market and through ticket resellers to be in some cases more than twice the face value of an original ticket. In addition, there is no way to verify that tickets bought on Craigslist or similar websites are authentic or will actually be delivered.

A ticket for Beyonce’s “Mrs. Carter Tour” costs $171 through Ticketmaster and retails between $185 and $435 through licensed ticket resellers. Consumer Affairs staff found tickets for comparable seats on Craigslist and eBay with prices averaging between $217 and $235. Consumer Affairs cautions that, while it may be tempting to pay $40 to get the cheaper ticket, fans should buy tickets only from legitimate, licensed resellers to ensure entry to the concert.

Similarly, the office found tickets for this September’s Boston Calling Festival starting at $213 through ticket resellers.  A general admission ticket costs $140 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. Staff found comparable seating for as much as $335 with an average price of $279 – a $130 increase over the original selling price.

A club seat ticket for Taylor Swift’s “The Red Tour,” which comes to town next weekend at Gillette Stadium, was found to cost $131.45 on Ticketmaster.  Tickets started at $132 on StubHub and ranged from $196 on eBay to upwards of $500 on Craigslist. Craigslist tickets were marked up considerably with prices averaging at $268.40, an average increase of $130 more than selling price.

The Office of Consumer Affairs encourages consumers who are purchasing tickets for local entertainment to do the following:

  • Steer clear of third-party sites like Craigslist and eBay. If possible, aim to get the best deal by purchasing through the original ticket retail outlet. 
  • Use a licensed reseller.  Resellers must be licensed through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.  There are limitations on how much these resellers can charge for tickets, and there are laws in place to protect this purchase. For additional information on ticket reselling, click here.

The Patrick Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is committed to protecting consumers through consumer advocacy and education, and also works to ensure that the businesses its agencies regulate treat all Massachusetts consumers fairly. Follow the Office at its blog, Consumer Connections, and on Twitter, @Mass_Consumer.

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