It can be frustrating and confusing to see resale listings pop up right after tickets go on sale. Here are the top reasons you see that happen:
Scalpers illegally use bots to buy up tickets
Scalpers go to great lengths to cheat the rules to scoop up tickets they can resell for more money. Often, they use bots and other complex cyber tactics to try to look like a human buyer or get through the ticket buying process faster than humans. The best defense against this is our Verified Fan tool, which uses advance registration to block bots and help filter out those buyers that are just looking to resell tickets. And it’s working. While a typical onsale may see 20-30% of tickets end up on resale marketplaces, historically Verified Fan sales only see 5% of tickets resold.
Scalpers put up deceptive listings for tickets they don’t have
The practice of trying to sell tickets you don’t have yet is called speculative ticketing – we think this should be outlawed because it confuses and harms fans. Rolling Stone did a detailed breakdown of speculative ticketing, with tips to help you spot these fake tickets. Two major tells that help identify spec tickets are timing and location. If a ticket was listed before a sale officially opened or is identified as zone seating without an exact seat or row, the seller likely doesn’t have the tickets yet. Ticketmaster’s Verified Resale does not allow any spec ticketing, so you know the tickets you buy will get you in the door – unlike other resale marketplaces that will give you a refund if the tickets can’t be fulfilled.
Sports season ticket holders may be reselling tickets for concerts
To connect with the most fans while on tour, big tours often play in large sports venues like arenas and stadiums. Of course, many sports teams offer season tickets and sometimes season ticket holders get access to tickets for concerts and other events coming through the venue. They may look to resell these tickets if they are not interested in that particular show.
Some professional sellers and fans resell tickets
There will always be some professional resellers trying to buy and sell tickets for a profit, and as long as they are playing by the rules this is legal in the United States. Also, some more casual fans may buy multiple tickets and sell a few to cover their own costs of going to the show. This type of behavior is not the core problem like industrial-scale scalpers who are breaking the law to cheat fans out of tickets, but it still does account for some resale activity.