/ Travel & Leisure

How would you change the ticket resale market?

Secondary tickets

Buying tickets? Well the days of waiting outside box offices or dispatching self-addressed envelopes are long gone. Adam Webb, of FanFair Alliance, joins us as a guest to explain why things haven’t necessarily changed for the good.

These days, tickets for gigs and festivals are mostly purchased at the click of a button, and increasingly via a mobile phone.

However, for the most in-demand events, things are often not quite so simple.

Ticket touts

At these shows, genuine fans face unfair competition from online touts who have the capability to hoover up significant volumes of tickets.

Combined with a ready-made ‘secondary’ marketplace, where tickets can be resold anonymously on platforms like Viagogo, StubHub, Get Me In! and Seatwave, then an already scarce supply is rendered scarcer.

Such is the scale of the ‘secondary’ business, that we frequently see thousands of tickets for the most popular shows listed on these sites before they have officially gone on sale.

The resale sites also carry considerable marketing weight and dominate search engine results, systematically directing would-be buyers towards touts operating on the secondary market – even when face value tickets are still available.

Seeking a solution

FanFair Alliance has received hundreds of complaints from members of the public who have mistakenly purchased a ‘resold’ ticket in the belief they were buying from a legitimate seller. As a result, back in March we published an online guide for audiences offering ten tips to beat the touts when buying music tickets online.

Many artists and their teams are fighting back too – taking preemptive measures to curb this industrial-scale rip off, and offering the facilities for genuinely unwanted tickets be resold at face value.

Ticket resales

This is something FanFair wholeheartedly endorses as we campaign for a transparent and properly functioning resale market.

And it’s also why we’re supporting Which? in its work around raising awareness to the problems with ticket resale sites and gathering case study experiences of those using ticket resale platforms.

So if you’ve recently bought tickets on platforms like Viagogo, StubHub, Get Me In! and Seatwave then please take five minutes to share your experience with Which?.

This is a guest contribution by Adam Webb of FanFair. All views expressed here are Adam’s own and not necessarily those also shared Which?.

So what have you bought resale tickets for an event before? What was your experience like?

Phil says:
2 June 2017

It is not as simple as “Ban them” in the era of secretive multinational secondary internet traders. They are profiteering on the principles of free market economics, and a fool and his money being soon parted. Surely it is worth being prepared for ticket launches and pre-sales compared to paying way above face value if a customer is that desperate for tickets.

Ian says:
5 June 2017

No because some ticket sites are sold out in minutes and the reason is because tickets are not going to genuine fans they’re being gobbled up by ticket resellers with very accomplished methods of purchasing high volumes of tickets online.

Phil says:
5 June 2017

Some. Not all. These accomplamished methods are called ticket bots. They will be banned in due course yet it won’t solve the problem. The bottom line is that the market will always exist if people are stupid/desperate enough to pay inflated prices.

Mrs Jan Byatt says:
6 June 2017

I totally agree tickets should only be for sale to genuine fans only, which is difficult to ascertain, but surely if someone is buying a large amount of tickets it should alert suspicions! I’m fed up with having to pay such high amounts of money for tickets for good seats, and I’m a genuine fan for the tickets I buy!


Attorney General of the United States of America -EricT. Schneiderman announces Findings of Investigations into Consumer Abuses in Live Entertainment Ticket Industry- quote- My office will CRACK DOWN on those who break the laws , prey on ordinary citizens and deny New Yorkers affordable access to the concerts and sporting events they Love–music to my bears and here ? HMG -not at this time -full expose : https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-announces-findings-investigation-consumer-abuses-live-entertainment

mark says:
3 June 2017

I don’t go to ticket events, so am unable to comment, sorry.


Neither do I Mark but you dont have to apologise for it , I would rather go for country walks , more healthier —and relaxing.


Nor me. I can’t afford to pay silly prices. I very much agree with Duncan, and it is even more satisfying to organise walks and other inexpensive activities for small groups. Having said that, I very much support the efforts of Which? to stop unscrupulous companies exploiting fans.

Roger says:
3 June 2017

I go to concerts, but will never pay more than the price on the ticket, if everyone did that the ticket ripoff companies would go out of business very quickly. I also agree that a good walk in the countryside is a wonderful thing to do.