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Reselling Tickets In The UK

We've all been there. You jump on the website and get tempted in to buying some tickets for that awesome band that ways sell out stadiums. You get the tickets, pay the money but then a couple of weeks later, you realise you can't go. What can you do with those tickets? There are new regulations in play here in the UK because of ticket touts and scams where people never actually receive their tickets. But how can you go about reselling tickets legitimately and legally?

Reselling Tickets

Let's discuss what reselling tickets actually is. It's often refereed to as secondary ticketing. This is the practice of selling tickets for an event. Some people do it because they simply have the tickets to an event which they cannot attend. They're just looking to pass the tickets onto someone who wants to go and reclaim the amount of cash that they spent on the tickets. The ‘face value' if you will. Other people do it to try and earn money, as a business. They buy tickets to popular events and then inflate the prices to sell on. You might have noticed old school tickets touts outside stadiums and gig venues saying they have tickets to sell or asking if you have spares they can buy. These days, the online reselling market has a bunch of new contenders which you have have heard of, including StubHub & Seatwave.

Different Events Have Different Laws

Let's start with football tickets. The law on this is clear. It is illegal to sell football tickets unless the club has given permission. This could be, for example, Manchester City's partnership with Viagogo which allows the selling via that site. Away from football games, it is still legal to sell tickets for concerts and festivals, for example, as long as consumer protection laws are adhered to. These laws support you should you have problems when buying or indeed selling goods. You can get help if things go wrong of if you're unfairly treated. These laws cover you should you have a problem with counterfeit goods or have dealt with a rogue trader, things which often appear in the world of reselling tickets. You can read more about consumer protection laws here

New Wave Of Reselling Sites

As mentioned above, there are new websites which offer a safe and secure platform for reselling tickets. There are still those ticket touts who use these sites, having moved from outside the music venues to sitting on their sofas with their laptops. A lot of these are making millions of pounds every year and are using offshore bank accounts to ensure they don't pay tax. Do you want to help fund their exploits?

If you are a genuine fan who missed out on tickets to a now sold out event, prepare yourself before logging into these sites. The majority of the time you're going to be faced by ticket prices which are massively over inflated. You need to ask yourself though, is paying five times more than you could have done to see Metallica worth it? Gig tickets are pricey enough as it is, but then that increased price from the sellers makes things ridiculous. The good thing about using third party sites like this is that they usually (make sure they do!) will cover you should the tickets never show up. 

Sell Yourself To Family & Friends

Of course, you could sell tickets yourself without using a third party site. If you have the tickets in your hand, this is often easier because it seems a lot more trustworthy. If you genuinely cannot make the gig, pop the tickets on your Facebook page or ask friends who you know missed out on tickets if they'd like to buy them off you. Don't increase the prices or it looks like you're trying to make money. Instead, just try and reclaim what you paid out for the tickets. If you're able to get back what you paid and someone else is able to enjoy the experience, that's awesome. Much better than you having tickets in your hands that you're not going, 

Protect Yourself

You need to protect yourself as a buyer and a seller in the world of reselling tickets. As mentioned above, be sure the websites you use cover you should the tickets never arrive. If you have a credit card, paying for the tickets on your credit card will also cover you through the section 75 refund protection. You need to be spending over £100, which you likely will do for tickets but you'll be covered should something go wrong. This used to be a little known part of credit card protection but it is getting more and more publicity. The credit card company takes responsibility and protects purchases of over £100 for free. So you can be sure you'll get your cash back should something go wrong. 

There have been legal changes so sellers have to give buyers as much information about the tickets as possible and to disclose any restrictions. Protecting customers has been tightened up after Viagogo got taken to court due to failing to protect their customer base.

Top Tips

We've put together some top tips to work through before you buy tickets…

  • Look for pre-sales. You can't always access these but if you have an O2 phone contract, for example, you might be able to access the pre-sale for certain tickets and specific shows.
  • Check you can actually attend the gig – look at your diary and check the date before you book.
  • Be online at the time they are released. This is the best chance you have of getting tickets at the face value price.
  • Ask yourself if the money you are spending by buying increased priced tickets is worth it. Could you spend it on something better?
  • Consider ticket insurance. Ticketmaster, for example, offer insurance which will refund your 100% of the ticket price, if you can't attend an event. This includes issues like illness, airline delays and traffic accidents
  • Protect yourself if you're reselling tickets. Use proper sites & credit card protection. Never send tickets before you see the money. Don't send money before you can see the tickets. Don't meet strangers in random places.


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