Thirty years ago, purchasing tickets on the secondary market was pretty simple. You or a friend had “a guy” that always seemed to have access to great seats and often tickets to sold-out events. You either bought the tickets or you didn’t. The alternative was to go to the event empty handed and hope to find someone “scalping” a ticket.
The Internet has certainly changed the way people obtain tickets. You might still have “a guy” but that guy is available to just about anyone located anywhere in the world. So how do you know if a ticket website is legit or not?
The easiest way to determine if a site is legit is to simply look at the inventory. Google an event like “New York Yankee Tickets” and you’re going to see literally hundreds of websites that all look the same to a certain extent. But most sites draw their inventory from a central provider. So if you see the exact same seats on a couple of websites, odds are the sites are legitimate and they draw inventory from a common source.
A lot of consumers rely on logos like the one from the Better Business Bureau. A BBB logo certainly increases the odds a site is legit but is not dispositive. Make sure the BBB logo on a particular site actually links back to the BBB (click on the link; it should open a page on the BBB with the name of the website and a solid rating). On the other hand, we at Cheapseatstickets do not have BBB accreditation but are legit. We choose not to carry the logo because the annual expense is very high; that’s not a cost we think is worth passing on to the customers (and is why our ticket prices are low). We also stand by our service and tickets regardless of accreditation.
You definitely want to look for a secure checkout. When you select your tickets, take a look at the URL display at the top of your browser. If you don’t see “https” (that “s” at the end means secure) or a logo that says “secure” (some browsers add that in), be very careful.
A lot of people want security logos too, like the McAfee Secure logo or the GoDaddy “Verified and Secured” logo. These are great but they also cost money. The annual fees for many of these logos can reach into the thousands of dollars. Those costs are generally passed on directly to the purchaser.
The bottom line is security costs money. Look for a broker that has a solid reputation or find a friend who has had success with a specific company. And if you have any questions, call the number on the website. If they sound fishy, try another company.