Purchasing concert tickets on Craigslist
June 7, 2011 2:34 AM   Subscribe

Purchasing concert tickets on Craigslist from the owner (not a dealer)... what to be wary of?

I'm getting ready to make an offer on a pair of concert tickets offered in my hometown. I've literally never bought anything via Craigslist before, and the tickets are pretty expensive ($600-$700). I assume that I would be asked to pay in cash.

The two tickets together are being sold at the price of a single ticket at the various online re-sellers (for the same approximate location), which makes me wonder and worry a bit (I'm very cautious by nature). Are counterfeit concert tickets sold via Craigslist often, is there any way to
confirm the tickets before handing over all that $$, etc? Should I ask to see a receipt for the tickets, etc? Am I worrying too much about a simple transaction?
posted by Auden to Shopping (11 answers total)
Be wary of (not a dealer) posing as owner.
posted by fire&wings at 3:10 AM on June 7, 2011

I would avoid that transaction.
posted by dgeiser13 at 6:50 AM on June 7, 2011

Owner? Is that the owner of the venue or someone that bought the tickets and now wants to sell them? do they have a receipt of the original transaction? That's a lot of money so they should not be surprised about someone being wary. If they accept paypal that'd be one way to solve the problem.
posted by zombieApoc at 6:56 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

But I would personally avoid it. Yes counterfeit tickets are sold via craigslist, they are also sold right in the parking lot next to the venue. Anytime you think you are getting a deal you should think about "if I bought these from an authorized vendor there would be no risk. I would pay more money, but there would be no risk". Same goes for cars, groceries, building supplies....
posted by zombieApoc at 6:58 AM on June 7, 2011

Ask to pay through PayPal, that way you have a record and a way to dispute the tickets if something comes up.

Are there tickets available from other sellers? If this price is way below the average of other people selling on Craigslist it's prob too good to be true.
posted by gbentz at 7:09 AM on June 7, 2011

Sorry, I don't mean to jack this question, but could tickets of dubious origin be taken to the venue before the concert and scanned to determine their authenticity? I've wondered about that before. It seems like such a drag to only find out your tickets are phonies a half hour before the show starts, and then you're stuck possibly not being able to get valid ones if the show is sold out.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:17 AM on June 7, 2011

For that much money, I'd suck it up and pay face value directly from the venue. A common fraud has the scammer buying genuine tickets with a stolen CC, reprinting the soft copies multiple times, and selling the copies. It's not until the buyer shows up to the venue that they discover the tickets aren't valid. Caveat emptor, but if you go this route, I'd get them to show you proof of purchase (the receipt showing the name of the buyer and the last four digits of the CC), the physical CC used, and a government-issued photo ID, the latter two of which should match up to the receipt.
posted by evoque at 7:27 AM on June 7, 2011

We buy tickets like this pretty regularly and have never been scammed. One of the best ways is to ask to meet the seller at their workplace. It's public and easy to check with a phone call.
posted by raisingsand at 8:23 AM on June 7, 2011

When I had tickets to sell, I did it like this. I sent the tickets to the buyer, told him to send me a check after the concert.

I'm not sure if the seller would be willing to do that, but it worked for me (I got my money, and a thank you).
posted by tomswift at 8:50 AM on June 7, 2011

I would avoid buying secondary market tickets altogether, given how trivial it is to counterfeit these days.
posted by tremspeed at 9:01 AM on June 7, 2011

I have successfully bought tickets many times off Craigslist, and never through a dealer. I prefer it, because the dealers are all powwowing to keep prices at their desired level, and owners generally have a legitimate reason why they're selling. For most Craigslist transactions, if they're shady, they'll feel shady. Are these hard tickets, or can they be e-mailed to you? It also depends on what concert you're going to. Is it already sold out? Are there other potential buyers?

These are expensive tickets. Are they being offered far above face value? I don't know how far along in the process you've gone, but I would just e-mail the person and ask for a reason why they're selling and something along the lines of, "It's a lot of money, I just want to be sure I'll get the tickets on time/without any trouble/through the doors OK."

Craigslist can be a fantastic tool for those of us (ahem) who refuse to pay Ticketmaster fees and rely on the fact that there are always some last-minute plan-changers desperate to get rid of their tickets.
posted by therewolf at 4:16 PM on June 7, 2011

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