By Alfred Branch, Jr.

TicketsNow, the nation’s number two-ranked secondary ticket seller according to TicketNews, is requiring brokers who sell Hannah Montana concert tickets to physically have the tickets in their possession before they list or sell them.

The new policy was implemented in part to help avoid problems with tickets not reaching customers in time, and could help to keep prices down by forcing brokers who resell TicketsNow inventory to buy any tickets they plan to sell instead of “short selling” them. Short selling is the common practice of selling an item or commodity before the seller has it.

“The Hannah Montana phenomenon is unlike any we have ever experienced in our industry. The unprecedented demand for tickets and shortage of supply, combined with an audience of non-traditional ticket buyers, has created a barrage of unpredicted issues and media attention,” wrote Nick Bucci, president of TicketsNow’s EventInventory division, wrote in an email to brokers. “It is, therefore, more important than ever that we work together to maintain the highest standards regarding listing accuracy and order fulfillment.”

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TicketsNow did not reply to a request for comment concerning the new policy. It is believed that this is the only tour with which TicketsNow is requiring brokers have physical possession of any tickets they sell.

The wildly popular Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus tour has been a public relations boondoggle for the entertainment and ticketing industries as parents cried foul over the prices and scarcity of tickets. The situation even led a parent in North Carolina to sue TicketsNow over what she believed was overly inflated costs for tickets she purchased from the company.

In addition, TicketsNow took responsibility and corrected the matter when tickets for a Hannah show in Omaha last week did not reach some customers in time for the show.

“Effective immediately, we are initiating an ‘in-hand’ policy for all Hannah Montana tickets. This means that all tickets posted for the Hannah Montana concert series must be physically in your possession and available to ship immediately. Our Supply team at EventInventory will be randomly spot-checking the listings and calling to verify compliance. We ask that you remove any listings you do not have in hand until you gain possession of the tickets,” Bucci wrote. “Please remember that all orders confirmed by any listing supplier must be filled without fail. In the event that you cannot fill a confirmed order, the difference between the original cost of the tickets and the cost of finding unquestionably equal or better replacement tickets will be your responsibility.”

To further clarify the policy, Bucci said that if tickets to any Hannah shows are not delivered on time replacement tickets must be issued immediately, regardless of cost. In addition, the company is also requiring the following steps be taken:

1. TicketsNow has instituted a 36-hour cutoff on for sales of all Hannah Montana tickets to ensure advance ticket delivery and to limit last-minute fulfillment risk (extended to 48 hours over weekends).

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2. TicketsNow will have a customer service representative at each performance to act as the point of contact for any customer whose tickets are to be delivered day-of-show.

3. TicketsNow is running a daily report of any orders at-risk. Any supplier responsible for filling at-risk orders will be asked to provide confirmation that the tickets are in-hand and ready to ship to TicketsNow. If no response is received, TicketsNow will find replacements and charge the supplier the difference.

“While we are all feeling the sting of recent events, the positive of the media attention is the opportunity to advance our industry and further legitimize the secondary market. But we can only take full advantage of this situation and achieve great results if we work together,” Bucci wrote.