Sports ticket scalping

Here's how to protect yourself when buying on-sold tickets to major events.

The real deal?

With the footy season coming to an end soon and NRL and AFL Grand Finals fast approaching, fans looking for on-sold tickets are being warned that they may risk overpaying for their seats – or worse, being turned away on the day due to dodgy tickets. 

According to the Sun Herald, 24 people were turned away from matches last weekend because they had bought duplicated tickets.

Scalping is not illegal in Australia, but it harms consumers by reducing access to affordable tickets and exposing them to the risk of buying tickets that may be worthless. 

Know the risks and follow these tips

Risks that come with buying on-sold tickets include:

  • They are likely to be sold at significantly higher prices than the original authorised seller price.
  • They may not be delivered.
  • They may be counterfeit.
  • PDFs of print-at-home tickets with barcodes may be sold multiple times, and only the first ticket presented will gain entry.
  • It's very hard to recover costs if the ticket is refused at the gate or door.
  • The tickets may be cancelled by the event organiser.
  • If the terms and conditions prevent on-selling the event organiser may refuse to honour the ticket.
  • There's no refund if the event is cancelled.

Your rights as a consumer under Australian Consumer Law can only be upheld when the ticket was purchased through an authorised seller.

Tips if buying on-sold tickets:

  • Always check to see if tickets are available from the authorised seller first.
  • Check the terms and conditions around on-selling.
  • Never give out personal details like your date of birth or bank account details if buying from an unauthorised on-seller.
  • Only use secure payment methods, avoid direct debits and money transfers.
  • Look at the seller's rating on eBay.

By law, AFL Grand Final tickets cannot be on-sold for more than the original price.

In NSW, ticket scalping is generally not prohibited, except in areas around the Sydney Cricket Ground, the Sydney Football Stadium, and Sydney Olympic Park precinct.

If something goes wrong

  • Try contacting the seller first.
  • If you've been tricked into buying a fake ticket with a credit card, you may be able to obtain a refund or chargeback from your card provider. Seek this as soon as possible as time limits apply.
  • If you paid for the ticket using PayPal, you can contact the PayPal Resolution Centre and may be protected through the PayPal Buyer Protection program. 
  • If a satisfactory resolution cannot be achieved, contact NSW Fair Trading for assistance on 13 32 20 or contact Consumer Affairs Victoria.