By Rachel Newman
Summer is in full force here in San Diego. The beaches are full. The San Diego County Fair is wrapping up its last week, and the tour buses of your favorite bands and musicians are rolling into town.
The hottest months are often host to the best events of the year, whether they are street fairs, comedy shows, late-night movies, or a concert from your favorite band. The summer concert season is always an exciting time for people of all ages and tastes. Despite the inherent differences between Katy Perry, Lil’ Wayne, Ray LaMontagne and Chicago, there is one thing they all have in common: they will be coming to a venue near you this summer and they are sure to draw a big crowd.
Everyone wants to get a front row seat to see their favorite band, and most are willing to camp out overnight, pay the big bucks and, when all else fails, take a gamble on a not-so-sure prospect. Your BBB wants you to enjoy your favorite musicians (whether you enjoy them from the nose-bleeds or from the comfort of backstage), but must warn consumers to use extreme caution when dealing with unknown ticket vendors and sellers.
Follow these tips to make sure your ticket purchase doesn’t strike a sour note:
· Remember supply and demand. If you aren’t lucky enough to nab tickets before your concert of choice sells out, your only option is often to look for ticket resellers. Despite what we all want to believe, you can bet on the fact that as tickets get harder to find the prices for said tickets are going to rise. If you find tickets to a sold out concert at a fraction of the original price, that should be a red-flag. When in doubt, remember the old adage, “If It sounds too good to be true…”
· Better safe than sorry. You may find that it is cheaper to go through Craigslist over a trusted ticket seller, but the reality is that the extra you pay to go through a reputable ticket resale company can save you in the long run. Wouldn’t you rather pay an extra few bucks now and be assured you’ll be going to a concert, instead of losing potentially hundreds of dollars and still not have tickets?
· Leave behind breadcrumbs. Try not to pay in cash or in advance. If at all possible, buy resale tickets through Paypal or with a credit card. These types of payments can be traced, and if necessary, cancelled or challenged if you are within the proper window of time. If a seller requires you to pay in cash, or to pay before you see the product, you should be suspicious of the authenticity of the tickets.
· Just don’t…Please restrain the urge to buy tickets on your way to the venue from someone with a sign on the street corner. It’s tempting, sure. The tickets are cheaper and you don’t have to go through the hassle of paying for shipping. The catch? The chance of getting ripped-off is exponentially higher. Scamming scalpers bank on the fact that the common consumer won’t be able to tell the real from the fake.
· The moral? Wherever a ticket is sold, there is a good chance that a scammer is waiting in the wings. We’re not just talking about Justin Bieber concerts. College sports games, local bands, and amusement parks are just the tip of the iceberg when talking about the possible targets for tickets scammers. Don’t let your guard down no matter the event.
· Check with the BBB. The BBB is an objective and reliable source for the trustworthy ticketing companies in San Diego. Always reference BBB.org before you make a final decision.
For more information about scams in San Diego County, or to find more tips to avoid ticket resale scams, visit BBB.org or call 858.496.2131.