Recently, I had a gentleman tell me an interesting story about a strange encounter he had while selling tickets for a concert online through...

Recently, I had a gentleman tell me an interesting story about a strange encounter he had while selling tickets for a concert online through Craigslist. After several e-mails, text messages and a lot of negotiating back and forth (quite common when selling tickets using an online classified ad), a deal was struck with a potential buyer.

The meeting to exchange the tickets for payment is when things got weird. The buyer insisted on the seller getting into their car to complete the transaction and would not take no for an answer, needless to say due to obvious safety reasons the deal turned sour and the ticket seller was forced to start the whole process over again in order to try and sell his tickets.

Not too long ago, a Vancouver couple, who had purchased Lil Wayne tickets on Craigslist from a scalper for what turned out to be a cancelled show, held the seller at gunpoint until the money was returned.

These are just a couple of many creepy tales I have heard regarding buying and selling tickets using online classifieds, and yet people continue to do it, and I ask myself why? I believe the main reason is they are uneducated about the other much safer and secure ways to buy and sell tickets on the online secondary market.

This is where the online ticket marketplace comes into play. Designed specifically for the re-sale of event tickets, marketplaces like these not only are 100 percent secured but often times will help fans to buy and sell tickets at a fair market value which can also be a real problem when buying from uneducated individuals online. Now some people will tell you they are aware of ticket marketplaces but have not used them because they do not want to pay the usual 10 percent fee that is associated with buying/selling tickets on these Web sites (it is free for buyers to browse tickets for events and free for seller to list tickets, fees are only applied when a transaction is completed).

I ask you, though, is your safety, security and the fact that your name, phone number and other personal details will remain anonymous not worth the modest 10 percent fee that is charged when your tickets are either bought or sold? The entire transaction can take place from the comfort of your own home. Tickets are guaranteed to be the ones that were agreed upon to be purchased, they are authentic, delivered on time and for any reason if there is a problem both buyer and seller are covered under the Web site’s 100 percent guarantee.

Another problem that people are running into on a more consistent basis more on the buying end then the selling end is counterfeit tickets. With technology as advanced as it is today individuals have the ability to make counterfeit tickets look as real as ever. Using online classified ads the buyers has no guarantee the tickets are legitimate. When it comes to e-tickets it is even easier to produce counterfeits, a basic photocopy of a printed e-ticket and that is it. Then it’s simply a race — whoever gets to the event first is the one whose barcode is going to scan at the door — everyone else is out of luck. With the industry moving more and more towards the use of e-tickets this will continue to become a bigger issue.

The reasons to refrain from buying and selling tickets through online classifieds are clear to see. Without education of the benefits of using secure online ticket marketplaces fans will continue to put themselves in unpredictable situations where often times they will get burned.

Zachary Lewis is the Strategic Marketing Manager of FanXchange.com, “Canada’s Online Ticket Marketplace,” a Web site dedicated to providing a safe and reliable marketplace for fans to buy and sell tickets to events across North America.