TICKET TOUTS – What are they and how can we avoid them?

Riverside Chambers Sales and Information Centre

Riverside Chambers Sales and Information Centre

Fri 6 Sep 2019

We have all heard of them - the bots or the scammers that bulk buy tickets for a show, only to resell them at an inflated price to gain a profit.

You will see them outside the venue, trying to sell on their tickets, but they have become increasingly more active online in the recent years. In 2018, it became illegal for anyone to use ticket bots to purchase a large amount of tickets and then sell on at an inflated price. This was a big step to combating ticket touts but has not stopped the issue.

Buying from a resale site or a ticket tout is very risky as it could mean that, should the show be cancelled you have no guarantee to get your money back. Also, should you not receive your tickets; you wouldn’t be able to enter the venue to see the show you paid for. It is hard to believe someone would sell you counterfeit tickets, but it does happen, and again, you wouldn’t able to enter the venue for the show should this happen.

At Derby LIVE, we know people don’t want to be paying more than necessary to see a show. We all want the best seat possible, at the best price possible. And we continue to look for ways to make it more difficult for touts, including working with our event promoters and also other venues and authorised ticket agencies.

So here are a few tips to help avoid paying over the odds for event tickets

  • Always call the venue and check with them directly if there are any tickets available. A lot of the time on websites such as Ticketmaster, it is the company’s allocation of tickets, rather than the whole show, that have sold out. The venue will have their own allocation so may have some available. They will also have the lowest costs.
  • If the venue tell you the show is definitely sold out, we would encourage anyone to go on a waiting list if available. This is something Derby LIVE offer for tickets that get returned when people have a change of plan and can no longer attend. You will be contacted to see if you’re still interested and you won’t pay more than face value and the booking fee, if there is one.
  • Use only official sites that have services to combat ticket touts. Fan to fan resale sites are a good place to start. There are several sites that only allow tickets to be resold at face value, so you won’t be paying more than you should. If you have tickets to resell yourself, we would recommend you try to resell through our box office, where possible. If not, just ask at the box office and we can advise on a couple websites that would be good to use.

Our top 10 tips when buying event tickets

  1. Check the prices and booking fee on the venue and artist website, and confirm information like dates and times. 
  2. If an artist or event organiser may be selling through official agencies and it looks like they have sold out, check the venue too.
  3. For artists or venues, join their mailing list as that may have pre-sales when big events go on-sale, and follow on social media. At Derby LIVE, keeping your account up to date can be enough to access priority booking. We normally announce these on Facebook and Twitter, or create Facebook events with updates.
  4. Look for any offers on our event pages, like Family tickets or Early bird savings. There is lots of info on our How to book page.
  5. Consider booking as a group, there may be discounts available or flexibility to confirm your arrangements.
  6. Look at a seating plan to understand where seats are in relation to the stage, and any entrances or aisles. On our site, row numbers are normally letters and seats on that row are normally numbered. For example D22 and D23 would be next to each other. D22 and E22 would be on two different rows. We often add other information like any issues for those with mobility concerns. 
  7. If you have any access concerns, contact the venue. For example we run an Essential Companion Scheme that may be useful. 
  8. Provide your email when buying tickets for any advance information about the event that may be sent. You can check your email preference on your account page.
  9. If an event looks like its sold out, or the seating area you want is, check with the event organiser for venue booking links or other official sellers. 
  10. For sold out events, contact our Sales and Information Centre to join our waiting list.

And an extra tip if things don't go to plan, or you just can't find the tickets you're looking for:

  • Check Fan to Fan resale sites, where tickets are sold at lesser or face value. We might be able to recommend one, or advise on any reselling restrictions. Or if you have seen tickets for sale on a site, we might be able to advise if the tickets are genuine.

We do not advise buying at inflated prices on secondary ticketing sites. The FanFair Alliance has some really good advice on its website, as does the Citizen Advice Bureau.

If ever you are in any doubt, Derby LIVE box office is available 9am – 8pm Monday to Saturday and will happily help anyone that has any concerns. Our Terms and Conditions are here,