Ask LH: Am I Allowed To Resell Concert Tickets On Ebay?

Dear Lifehacker, I bought four general admission concert tickets for an international singer coming to Melbourne. I originally bought an extra two in case my friends were interested but they pulled out. I've now realised I might be able to sell them at a higher price -- but I know there are lot of issues around this. Am I able to put them up for auction on eBay with a starting price at cost price? Or must I only sell them for the price I paid? Thanks, Apache Adam

Photo: Getty Images

Dear AA,

eBay's resale policy is pretty relaxed when it comes to concerts -- you can basically set whatever price buyers are willing to pay. However, there's also a clause that Australians need to be aware of:

I agree to abide by all federal, state, and local laws relating to the tickets sales.

Our country has specific legislation when it comes to ticket scalping, both at the state and commonwealth level. In Victoria, the laws surrounding ticket reselling fall under the Major Sporting Events Act 2009 (Vic) which are currently limited to declared sporting events such as the AFL Grand Final.

In these circumstances, the reselling of tickets is sometimes completely banned and may result in the buyer being denied access to the event. This is covered under Section 166A of the Act which also prohibits resellers from charging more than the original purchase price.

As far as we can tell, there are currently no laws in Victoria that specifically prohibit the resale of live music tickets. However, many ticketing vendors have their own terms of service in place that restrict the on-selling of ticket for the purposes of making a profit. (This is the case with market leader Ticketek, for example.) You should be able to find this information on the website where you originally purchased the tickets.

If the tickets don't contain any identifiable personal information, it shouldn't be too difficult to scalp them on the sly without the organisers finding out. (You could put the word out on Facebook, for example.) Personally though, we think you should sell them at face value -- do it for the karma!

Cheers Lifehacker

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    Yeah it's generally okay as long as you're not making a profit on them.

    Unless someone buys them from you, you send the tickets away, then a paypal dispute is opened months later claiming an unauthorised transaction so the money is taken off you...meaning the buyer was probably a scammer...which is what happened to me this year.

      I always wondered about this. Do you then have no way of disputing to PayPal? Or PayPal simply believe the buyer/scammer and give them the money back and they walk away laughing?

      While selling a car I've been contacted by scammers who use the old scam and say they work on offshore oil rigs and cant be contacted and work 24/7 etc but I've always wondered how they end up with the car and their money back. I obviously wouldn't send the car until payment has been received in PayPal (thats what the scammers want to use) and then I'd transfer straight to my bank account. How do they end up with the item for sale and their money back!?

        I put my case forward, but ultimately it didn't end in my favour. I did everything right - didn't make a profit, sent them as soon as the payment came through, etc. My one mistake I made in that whole fiasco was that I sent the tickets through standard mail. If I had sent them registered mail, that means someone at the other end would have needed to sign for them and so they would have had evidence of that happening, then the dispute likely would have ended there and they wouldn't have got their money back. Having said that, even though I didn't send them registered, they had the exact name and address the tickets were sent to and they still couldn't do anything, despite the fact I've been a perfect ebay and paypal member for 12+ years. So yeah. I've learned my lesson, from now on I'm sending all the stuff I sell on ebay registered mail so this doesn't happen again. I also don't accept payment from guest paypal accounts anymore, nor do I allow transactions from new ebay members with a feedback score less than 5. All measures to cover myself so it doesn't happen again.

        Luckily, I was able to contact Ticketek and explain the situation to them (I only tried to sell on ebay because I didn't think I could get a refund), and asked if they could cancel those tickets so at the very least whoever has them now couldn't use them. They called me back later that day and said that they will actually refund the money (which I hadn't specifically asked for) which will also void the tickets.

        I'm guessing the scammer I sent the tickets to probably sold them on to someone else at an inflated price, so someone's likely going to lose out in all of this, but at least I got my money back.

        Last edited 27/10/15 4:12 pm

          if they could cancel those tickets so at the very least whoever has them now couldn't use them. They called me back later that day and said that they will actually refund the money (which I hadn't specifically asked for) which will also void the tickets.
          Wow, since when do they allow that?

            I know, I was quite surprised myself. The reason I wanted to sell them in the first place was because I didn't think I could get a refund. But yeah, I guess they made a special case for me, and they were pretty awesome about it. Also, it was still months before the show, so that may have helped as they had more time to sell new tickets.

      I keep no money in Paypal at all. Worth moving it out for the piece of mind.

        They will deduct the money regardless of whether you have any in there, which means you'll have a negative paypal balance. The next time you need to use paypal to buy something, it'll add that negative balance to your purchase. So say you had a -$100 balance in paypal, and you used paypal to buy something for $20, the transaction would cost you $120.

        Last edited 27/10/15 4:19 pm

          So say you had a -$100 balance in paypal
          I would imagine at some point they are sending that to collections.

    I got worried about being scammed on eBay/gumtree, since a dodgy seller could sell 1 pdf ticket to as many buyers as they can rip off. So I tried Ticketmaster Resale last week. It's higher than cost price but definitely legit - got the pdf tix emailed to me yesterday. Definitely not as cheap as a scalper outside the venue tho!

    What I do for events that are sold out is, I find a ticket anywhere, and pay what they ask for. Then after the event, demand the seller refund the difference between the cost price, and the price seller sold it for. I point them to the relevant conditions of selling tickets, and say I will take appropriate legal action if I payment isn't made within 28 days. 100% of the time, they have refunded the difference. A few times, they've emailed a few words I can't repeat here, but still refunded money.

      I'll take "things that didn't happen" for $20.00 Alex.....

      Yeah, sure you do.

    I still don't understand the whole mindset of "Selling tickets for more than purchase price is criminal and immoral", but yet if you purchase a physical good and sell it for more than it's purchase price, then it's all A-OK...


      Its called supply demand.

      Tickets to a gig are a limited quantity, so those without are willing to pay beyond cost. Physical products come off a production line - I'll go get it cheaper elsewhere if you don't reduce your price.

      I agree with you, if it wasn't for scalpers who drive down supply to push up price - if we were all moral peep's selling above cost would be fine. Heck, that's Teicketek resale is about

      Conversely, tickets not used/sold before a show don't ave much value after :)

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