Buying tickets on eBay guide

Is it worth the risk?
Learn more
  • Updated:6 Jun 2007

03.Alternatives to eBay

Other ways to get tickets

  • Premium ticket sites, such as and, only sell tickets for the best seats in the house and claim to secure tickets before the public on-sale date.
  • Try contacting supporters’ clubs or fan sites. They often have an email forum where you can ask if anyone has tickets to sell or, for sporting events, you can see if any season ticket holders are unable to use their tickets for a particular game.
  • Some credit card companies offer cardholders access to tickets before they’re released to the general public.
  • Book a hospitality package. A number of companies offer travel and/or hospitality packages to major events. The package often includes tickets to the event, accommodation and transport, but can be an expensive option.

Low-tech scalping

So what about scalping the old-fashioned way? Is it a good idea to buy tickets from guys in dark coats skulking around outside the venue?

  • The Queensland legislation outlawing ticket scalping at some venues also applies to touts selling tickets outside those venues. Buyers of the tickets can also be fined under this law.
  • Some councils have by-laws mandating fines for scalpers caught selling tickets outside venues, and some venues also have their own regulations to control scalping.
  • Generally it’s not a good idea to buy these tickets, as there’s always a risk they’re not genuine and you’ll be left with useless tickets and no way to get your money back.

Case study: Paid double, but worth it

David Payne bought tickets for an international rugby test match on eBay. He paid double the face value for the tickets but says it was worth it. “I missed out on getting tickets and I really wanted to go, so I was willing to pay the extra,” he says.

David had heard the tickets could be cancelled if they were traced to the internet site but decided it was worth the risk. “The seller gave me the row number the seats were in but not the actual seat numbers, so hopefully they couldn’t be cancelled,” he says. He felt pretty confident after reading the seller’s positive feedback and asking him a couple of questions. “I’d definitely do it again if there was something I really wanted to go to,” he says.


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