Buying tickets online? Scalpers might be lurking


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Brian Carlson was all set to buy tickets to the hit musical, “Wicked” which is coming to Shea’s Performing Arts Center next month. So when he went online to purchase the tickets, Carlson used a search engine instead of going directly to Shea’s website.

“Got on the website and ended up looking at the tickets and thought they were a little more pricier than what Shea’s usually charges.”

That website looked like it was Shea’s but when Brian went to Shea’s actual web page, he found he had paid twice the face value, “I actually went on the website for Shea’s, and looked up the tickets, and I found the seats right next to mine for $39, instead of $79 for these.”

In fact, someone looking up the keywords “Shea’s”, “Wicked”, and “tickets” on a popular search engine, might find at least 4 reseller websites ahead of Shea’s, with each of those sites posting a disclaimer, stating they are resellers, with a caution the price you pay might be more than face value.

Assistant New York Attorney General James Morrissey said those disclaimers are necessary, “To indicate to the person who goes to that website that it is not the Shea’s website, although I certainly can understand why looking at it very quickly, one might think it is the Shea’s website.”

A spokesperson for Shea’s Performing Arts Center said, lookalike reseller websites have become such an issue, Shea’s has posted a warning on the Ticket Sales page of their website for their patrons.

Morrissey said New York no longer has a ticket scalping law, per se, but there are now felonies for resellers who run afoul of the law, “There used to be an anti-scalping law in New York State, and that expired back in 2007. That actually regulated the amount that you could charge above the face value of a ticket, and that regulation now is gone.”

There are also federal regulations providing consumers with a three-day “cooling off period”, if they are overcome by “buyers remorse”, but Internet sales are among the exclusions.

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