Have you seen the price for Seahawks playoff tickets? It’s crazy—some are going as high as $5,000 each! I don’t blame people for resorting to the online classifieds to find cheap tickets or wheeling-and-dealing with a scalper at the stadium. But I do question how often people let their guard down and throw caution to the wind.
Last year I worked with a news station on a story about fake tickets being sold to the NFC Championship game against the Niners. The station interviewed a guy who bought tickets from someone posting on Craigslist. The buyer thought he was doing everything right. He arranged to meet the man in public on game day, obtained a copy of his driver’s license and inspected the tickets before handing over several hundred dollars in cash. But when the unlucky fan went to the ticket gate, he was turned away because the tickets were fake.
Surprisingly this happens a lot every year, and most cases seem to go unreported. Even though the buyer did everything right in his mind, he still got ripped off. Not only were the tickets fake, but so was the seller’s ID.
The message here is simple. If you buy tickets from an individual or non-verified reseller, you’re rolling the dice. I mean, is it really worth the extra hundred dollars you might save on a ticket if you’re not 100% sure the tickets are real? I guess it depends on whom you ask.
I know one person who made a scalper walk into the stadium first before buying the ticket. He wanted to verify if it was the real deal. It was a gutsy move that worked—but I seriously doubt any ticket seller, legitimate or not, would actually take the time to do that. My suggestion is to stick with the basics:
- Look for BBB’s seal when buying tickets from an online broker. Use verifiable ticket sellers and resellers that hold vendors responsible to ticket authenticity.
- Avoid shady transactions where sellers fail to provide contact information or prefer to conduct business in private. Never wire money or fill up a prepaid debit card as a method of payment.
- Know how an actual playoff ticket looks and feels. Steer clear of tickets printed on flimsy paper, with smeared ink and uneven margins. When in doubt, just walk away.
Sometimes our emotions get the better of us and we want to believe the deal we are seeing is legit. But I caution anyone interested in buying playoff tickets to first take a deep breath, come up with a plan, prepare to call an audible and don’t get blitzed by a scammer wanting to make a buck. Don’t be like the guy interviewed on the news last year—he ended up listening to the game on the radio on his way home from the stadium.
To see more tips on how to avoid getting ripped off during football season, check us out on Facebook and BBB’s Social Hub.