By Christine Paluf Buying tickets these days can be a scary venture. Tickets to the major events this summer are selling out left and...

By Christine Paluf

Buying tickets these days can be a scary venture. Tickets to the major events this summer are selling out left and right, leaving many fans with the option to use a secondary site or ticket broker to secure their seats.

There are a number of issues to consider when looking for tickets. There can be some disparity in pricing between sites, as this industry is mainly based on free-market value. Looking around before making your purchase, while following a couple of quick
guidelines, is all that need be done to get the tickets to meet your needs.

Moving from the realm of scalping on the street, the secondary industry has become a legitimized, standardized industry, with some major players. TicketLiquidator.com, StubHub.com and Tickets Now are the leading secondary sites, and prices may vary greatly among one site’s listings.

The Rolling Stones have been selling like crazy this year, and their ticket prices prove it. The Stones’ Sept. 20 show in Foxboro, Mass. can range from $75 to $1980 on TicketLiquidator.com. However, tickets to the same show along the catwalk are selling for $8,875 on StubHub.com. This is a perfect example of the variety of pricing and seating alternatives available online for those interested in the hottest shows of the summer.

Credibility is an important part of the reselling game, as tales of fake tickets and duplicates swirl around the industry. There are ways to reduce your chances of being duped by a swindler, and doing some research is a good place to start.

Starting with Ticketmaster can be a common choice for many fans, but it has also become a challenge in itself. The lottery system used to assign tickets to fans gives little choice in the way of seating.

Using a secondary site gives you more options, as many include seating charts and sometimes even photos of the view from your targeted seats. Brokers also have a larger selection of tickets, and commonly offer the best seats available. Granted, they’re more expensive, but you have the advantage of at least knowing where you will be seated, and having a part in that decision.

Sellers that offer money-back guarantees are a good place to start, and another way to make sure to have some sort of recourse is to always use a major credit card. That way the transaction can be traced, and if there’s a problem, at least there’s a paper trail.
Look for sites that offer a customer service call center to handle issues as well as complaints. The choice to use a major carrier such as FedEx or UPS to ensure timely delivery is also a good way to make sure the tickets end up in hand before the concert, when they’re the most useful.

Some basic tips are to not buy outside the stadium from someone on the street. There is no way to find them again once the ticket is found to be a fake. Especially since these are cash transactions.
Find out if the person is a licensed ticket broker. Many states require this provision, which helps the consumer in the end. Legitimacy is the name of the game, and as many ways that you can check on the broker, the better.

The National Association of Ticket Brokers offers consumers assurance that they are dealing with a reliable broker. NATB membership is displayed on the Website of member-brokers, and offers the support of an additional place to file complaints if something goes awry.

Another sign to look for on sites is the ControlScan logo. This is one type of security rating that assures purchasers of the safety of their transaction. However, along with scanning sites to assure that they’re safe from identity theft and credit card fraud, ControlScan also does a business background review. This two-fold seal lets you know that you are dealing with a reputable business and that you will be protected from security issues with your personal information.

Protect yourself from counterfeit tickets and scam artists. Don’t pay with cash, use a licensed broker with a reputable site, and make sure the site you choose is secure.