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Some sporting or live entertainment events are so popular that tickets sell out in a matter of minutes – leaving you in a bind if you missed the window of opportunity. It’s not unusual to find some of those tickets up for resale on sites such as eBay or Gumtree and for higher than the original ticket price. But is it worth the risk?

If you’re desperate to secure tickets to an event, please remember these three tips below before forking out your cash for tickets:

1. Make sure the tickets are genuine

It may sound obvious but make sure the tickets you’re buying are for the event you wish to attend and not, for example, a pre-event function. Some advertisements can be confusing to understand or cleverly-worded to give the impression that the tickets are for the event you want to attend.

Avoid disappointment by checking that the date and venue of the ticket matches up with the event itself, and if still in doubt, contact the seller and ask them to confirm.

2. Ensure the tickets are transferable

Some events or types of tickets (for example, a special or exclusive ticket package) may only allow the person who purchased the ticket to attend the event. One quick way to spot this is to check if there is a name on the ticket. Otherwise, read the fine print on the back of the ticket which usually states whether the ticket is transferrable or not.

3. Check the rules set by the original ticket-seller

Some third parties try to resell tickets at exorbitant prices (also known as ticket scalping). The laws regarding ticket scalping vary state-to-state. For example, in some areas there are no laws against ticket scalping while in others third parties are not allowed to resell tickets above a certain percentage of the ticket’s original price.

The tickets themselves will also usually have its own terms and conditions about whether the tickets can be resold for a premium price. If this is prohibited, it may lead to the cancellation of the ticket without warning and, more importantly, without a refund, or you being refused entry at the gates to the event.

Protect yourself from being denied entry by reading the terms and conditions of the ticket and checking that the ticket has not been cancelled with the original ticket seller.

Following these three simple tips will help you avoid the disappointment and expense of being unable to attend an event.

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