Fake tickets: Wireless festival goers turned away

By Jane Bell July 14, 2012 - 8:23 pm

Jane Bell is an eBay Specialist Consultant and all round eBay guru as well as being an avid rock chick. Today she looks (not for the first time) at ticket sales on eBay.

Yet another bad press article for eBay about fake tickets sold by touts on both eBay and Gumtree. Live Nation refused entry to the Wireless Festival last weekend to those who had fake tickets urging those who purchase tickets to events to buy from official ticket outlets.

My problem with this? Firstly, again, eBay are called into question regarding its sellers but the ‘it’s just a venue’ argument aside, buying concert tickets on eBay has always been fraught with risk. It may be down to education of eBay buyers to only use Top Rated Sellers or to use StubHub for tickets but still that risk is there.

Secondly, and my biggest gripe on this subject, why oh why, have Live Nation not got a presence on eBay? They should be selling tickets through eBay as well as their own sites. Multi-channel selling is about getting your product or service on as many different platforms as possible otherwise you restrict your customer base.

I was asked once why people would go to eBay and then buy from a High Street shop on the eBay site rather than going directly to the store’s website. This is because they go shopping on eBay first and then find what they are looking for from a brand they trust. If that brand is not on the site they will buy from another and their chosen seller may not be what the trusted brand they were hoping for.

This can be a very expensive learning curve for buyers and also at the expense of eBay in the resulting bad press. Getting your money back after the fact is no consolation when you are turned away from the venue due to a fake ticket you’ve just spent your hard earned cash on. Although the purchase is made from an eBay seller and not directly from eBay, it’s eBay that gets tarred with the brush as a bad place to buy.

As an avid rock fan I go to many many concerts within the year, along with eBay this is another of my obsessions. If I know a band is about to release tickets I’m there, mouse in hand waiting for the clock to pip 9am and purchase. Not everyone can do this, I know, and when tickets sell out within minutes in some cases then people trying to buy later in the day are disappointed and then go to other internet sites to buy. I know for a fact that tickets are on sale on eBay even before they go up on the official ticket sites. If Live Nation were to sell tickets on eBay this would stop a lot of the obscene and extortionate prices and also take some of the money away from the touts and fake sellers and provide that trusted brand on eBay. With some decent social marketing the news of official ticket sellers on eBay would spread in no time, one of the bonuses of social media as a low cost viral info train.

I ask Live Nation to talk to eBay and get a presence on the site please! I also ask eBay to help put a stop to this madness and prevent more bad press for the site, talk to Live Nation and get this sorted for the sake of your buyers and music fans in the UK!

  • board_surfer
    9 years ago

    Live Nation has no need for Ebay.

    The only tickets worth faking are sold out ones, ergo live nation sold them all so has no need for another channel.

    Also I doubt ebay is the first port of call for most folk looking for a ticket more likely the last. ( of course there are exceptions to this, as we all know there is one born every minute.)

    • DBL
      9 years ago

      I’m sure BMW, FCUK & many of the other big names don’t need to be on eBay but they recognise the value of a presence on the platform.

      If Live Nation and their representatives want to publicly complain about ‘eBay servicing ticket touts’ then they should have a presence on the site.

      Some big shows have extra tickets being ‘made available’ a short while before the show (Take That for example) these late ticket releases help to steer people away from the touts.

      Live Nation could filter a steady supply on eBay on the run up to an event and work with eBay to stamp out this scandal.

      Don’t get me wrong ‘spare’ odd tickets sold on eBay not a problem but when it’s reported that hundreds of people were turned away I see Live Nation having a presence on eBay, with all the TRS benefits they could achieve from an official selling outlet, the only way to go.
      Being an official ticket outlet on eBay with TRS will push the new, bad and unscrupulous sellers down in search and further away from people who want to spend money they’ve probably saved all year.

      Again, it’s not about weather they need to but whether they should do.

    • board_surfer
      9 years ago

      sorry but your comparing apples and oranges, BMW are not very likely to run out of cars are they?

      Live nation can’t nip out and make a venue bigger.

      If you only have 10 of something and they sell out using one channel, what do you need another channel for?

    • DBL
      9 years ago

      No need to apologise, you’re* certainly correct about BMW not running out of cars but the parts they sell on eBay may be on short supply and also hard to find genuine parts from other outlets and you know if you buy from BMW on eBay you will get a genuine BMW part, same with tickets, buy from Live Nation on eBay get a genuine ticket.

      If there are 60,000 tickets, do you really think they sell these on one platform? I watched an interesting Panorama programme a few months ago on the subject, I can’t say this was about Live Nation though.

      Take That sold out multiple concert dates within hours and had a meltdown of the official ticket sites due to the demand. About one month before the tour started ‘extra tickets’ became available and were released on general sale. This took some of the money away from the touts as people bought form the official ticket outlets at the original price.

      I’m saying that when this happens Live Nation could release these on eBay and send the touts and fake ticket sellers to the bottom of the search and put a ‘size 9’ on their visibility in eBay search. Therefore not leaving and I quote ‘us to deal with the headaches’ at the concerts by having to turn disappointed people away.

    • board_surfer
      9 years ago

      sorry ( i know i keep apologising) but your example is exactly why they dont need ebay.

      they sold all their tickets and the “extra” ones on their own site, why would they pay ebay money to do something they can do themselves?

      You dont really think livenation really cares if someone buys a fake ticket do you? , of course im sure they make all the right corporate noises etc, but come on in the end its all about money.

    • st georges dragon
      9 years ago

      too right it all about money
      the big agents and official outlets dont want tickets / goods etc,sold other than thru them, they want control of the market.
      then take the moral stance,
      even though they are also doing it for profit,

    • Mark
      9 years ago

      One use of ebay may be to reduce the strain on the ticketing system for the first few days of sales (many a time has an online box office system gone down in the first few days of tickets being available, especially for less frequent events)

      Another option would be to have charity auctions, where any amount over the published ticket amount goes to charity.

  • 9 years ago

    Feeling really bad for those who were turned away! Just imagine the time some of these folks spent traveling to the venue and not to mention, the cost of the fake ticket. Not cool.

    Generally speaking, it’s neither eBay’s or Live Nation’s fault but fingers crossed, there shouldn’t be a place for ticket scammers.

    Agree Live Nation or any other brand at that, should effectively use social media to educate buyers. It’s free and most people are on it.

  • Al Gerrie
    9 years ago

    Whilst I feel bad for those who got scammed, I have to say this is not reflective of the majority of tickets sold on eBay.

    I bought 5 tickets for another Hyde Park concert – Hard Rock Calling, this weekend. All bought on eBay from 3 different sellers, all genuine tickets, and over £100 saved.

    Check the feedback of the Seller and pay by Credit Card for a little added protection.

  • 9 years ago

    I don’t really LiveNation gaining anything from an eBay operation? They’d just be paying eBay and PayPal money that they just don’t need to pay.
    I guess when you’re talking about selling tens of thousands of tickets for hundreds/thousands of events every year, the cut eBay/PP would take is a very significant amount of money, to sell something which would have sold anyway.

    LiveNation won’t care two hoots about fake tickets. They know that the tickets they sell are legit, and I’d imagine thats where their train of thought on the matter would stop.

    I’ve had to resort to eBay for tickets on occasions but in general people buying tickets on eBay are desperate to get them (hence paying the inflated price) and would take higher risks than they normally would. So its probably just as much a case of ‘Buyer Beware’ than anything?

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