September 14, 2007 TicketScoop
By Stacey Willets
Your kids want to see Hannah Montana. They need to see Hannah Montana. If they don’t get to go to Hannah Montana’s concert they might as well give up on living. Please please please please pleeeeease?
Determined not to ruin their young lives, you purchase tickets the only place they seem to be found – on the secondary market. Then you lie awake every night sick with worry and plagued by visions of your family being refused admission at the door. Relax. Today’s secondary market is vastly different from the days of buying tickets from the shady guy on the street corner.
During the rush to obtain seats for major sports, concert, and theatre events, “Buyer Beware” stories crop up featuring consumers’ woeful ordeals with scammers and fraudulent tickets. Historically, the rule of thumb was that the only safe place to buy tickets was from primary ticketers such as this week’s top ten – Ticketmaster.com at one, LiveNation.com at two, Tickets.com at three, TicketWeb.com at four, Admission.com at five, Etix.com at six, Tix.com at seven, TicketsWest.com at eight, Telecharge.com at nine, and comcastTIX.com at ten. However, secondary sellers have made huge strides in an effort to give their customers a greater level of comfort . . .
Visit this week’s Top Secondary Sellers – first-ranked StubHub.com, second-ranked TicketsNow.com, third-ranked TicketLiquidator.com, fourth-ranked RazorGator.com, fifth-ranked TickCo.com, sixth-ranked ABCtickets.com, seventh-ranked CoasttoCoastTickets.com, eighth-ranked GoTickets.com, ninth-ranked OnlineSeats.com, or tenth-ranked TicketsPlus.com – and you will find one or more of the following:
1. BBBOnLine Reliability Program seal. The seal indicates that the company is a member of its local Better Business Bureau, has been reviewed to meet truth in advertisement guidelines, and follows good customer service practices. When consumers click on the seal, it brings them to the web site’s profile page where they can find the
BBBOnLine Reliability Program standards and a BBB report on the company.
2. National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) badge. The NATB is an organization of reliable ticket brokers self-governed by a code of ethics and professional standards. The goal of the organization is to foster a positive perception of the secondary ticketing industry by promoting consumer protection. The badge on a broker’s site indicates membership with this organization.
3. Buyer Guarantee. This varies slightly from site to site, but generally guarantees four things:
* The tickets ordered will arrive in time for the event.
* The tickets are authentic and will be valid for entry.
* The tickets received will be the same, equal to, or better than the seats ordered.
* A refund will be provided if the event is canceled and not rescheduled.
With all of these assurances in place, online consumers are becoming increasingly more comfortable shopping secondary sites. Some may still feel that acquiring tickets from secondary sellers is risky, but we’re beyond the days when primary sellers were proclaimed the only reliable source for tickets. As the industry evolves, public perception continues to improve, free market laws are signed, and deals like the MLB/StubHub partnership are struck, primary sellers are more apt not to worry about how secondary sellers are working against them, but how those secondary sellers can work with them.
To see all the Top Tens rankings, check out the press release in the Daily Buzz section of TicketNews.com. Visit the Industry resources section of TicketNews.com for full lists of the Top Twenty Secondary Ticket Sellers and the Top Twenty Overall Ticket Sellers, to read an explanation of how we calculate the rankings, or to download the application for inclusion in our rankings.