Friday, January 26, 2007

Can you safely purchase sports/event tickets on eBay?

Yes, you can buy sports and other types of event tickets on eBay, but, only if you take precautions. Do NOT rush or bid haphazardly. Any deal that is too good to be true is a scam. Beware of the warning signs ... if you use some common sense, the fraudulent listings will stand out like a sore thumb.

First, check to see what category the event tickets are listed in. If the tickets are listed in a category such as Health & Beauty Aids, hit the back button immediately. Honest sellers list their items in the proper categories.

Second, is there an email address in the listing asking for off eBay contact for a great Buy It Now price? Does the seller have excuses as to why you can only contact him by email and not through eBay's "Ask the Seller a Question" feature? If there is an email address, then the account is most likely hijacked and the thief will make you the offer of your dreams if you will complete the transaction through Western Union or MoneyGram. You will receive a phony invoice and it will not appear in your My eBay mailbox. Immediately report the account as hijacked, do not enter into a conversation with the thief. If you don't know how to report a hijacked account, email this blog and we will report the account for you.

Third, do the event tickets have a low-ball opening bid? If they do, and they are not selling for market price, you may be looking at a fraudulent listing.

Fourth, is the description vague? Are the section, row and seat numbers listed? Is there an image of the tickets? Be aware that in many cases, if this information is not available, then you may be looking at a fraudulent listing.

Fifth, is the seller listing event tickets that are not available yet to the general public? If yes, then you have probably found a fraudulent listing.

Sixth, are you finding listings for event tickets for USA events sold by sellers that are registered in locations far away from the USA? If the answer is yes, you very well may be looking at a listing by someone that wants to scam you.

Seventh, if the seller is not a ticket agent and has numerous listings for event tickets, you need to ask yourself why. The Nekkid Truth and Team Whack a Hack have reported over 150,000 bogus listings for Superbowl, Daytona 500 and other sports events tickets in the past month.

Eighth, is a newly registered eBay member listing tickets? If the answer is yes, be very cautious. Thieves are known to create accounts on eBay with the intent to defraud eBay buyers.

Ninth, check the feedback of the seller. Does the seller have a history of selling event tickets? If the answer is yes, then you probably have found a legitimate seller.

Tenth, make sure that you can pay for any tickets you are interested in bidding on with a credit card. PayPal offers the utmost protection for you, but, only if you pay with a credit card. If the deal goes south and PayPal denies your claim because it cannot obtain the funds back from the seller, you always have recourse through your credit card carrier.

Eleventh, are the seller's payment terms unreasonable? Do not be intimidated by sellers that require payment in less than 24 hours from the completion of the listing. Even eBay will tell you that this is an unreasonable demand. A legitimate ticket seller that is in a rush to be paid, can still wait 48 hours for payment. Even when fraudulent listings are reported to eBay sometimes they are not nullified prior to the listing completing. If you get a TKO notice from eBay after you make payment, what are you going to do?

Remember, PayPal's Buyer Protection Program only covers eligible transactions up to $2000.00. Double check to see if the listing you are interested in is covered.

Buyers, if the seller does not offer PayPal, ask the seller if he will complete the transaction through the approved escrow companies eBay has alliances with:, Escrow Australia, Escrow Europa, Iloxx, and Triple Deal. Ask the seller if he will agree to share in the costs of this service. It is probably worth the extra $40 plus dollars to use this escrow service to protect both of your interests.

Be suspicious, do your research and be thorough ... do not give your money to thieves. Be careful.

All of us are aware that sports enthusiasts will try to obtain tickets to hot events at any cost. Event tickets are a limited commodity. The thieves know this, and know your weaknesses. Do not become overcome by greed and forget to use good judgment. If you do not do your due diligence and you are not savvy about these con games, you will lose your money, and instead of being a fan rooting for your team at a live game, you will be watching it on television and crying in your beer. If you think you're buying tickets to a concert, and you get scammed, you will be listening to the music on your CD player or IPOD. Remember, if you get scammed and lose your money, you have no one to blame but yourself. If you think you are too smart to get scammed, read some of the sad stories written to this blog and posted on the Nekkid Truth Message Board.

The Nekkid Truth and Team Whack a Hack would like eBay to require that all ticket sellers register the ticket numbers in their possession with eBay prior to listing them. This way, eBay can check to see that there are no duplications. We believe that eBay has the capacity to implement this suggestion to protect the honest sellers and buyers from being victims of fraud. Very simply, if ticket sellers cannot provide proof that they have the tickets in hand, then they should not be listing them for sale.

Don't take unnecessary risks. Remember, you have been warned at The Nekkid Truth.

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