Stop Ticket Scalping in Australia

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Ticketek’s Response & eBay

Stop Ticket Scalping Australia emailed Ticketek a couple of weeks ago about concerns with scalpers selling tickets for profit on eBay.  Here is Ticketek’s response.

Thank you for contacting Ticketek.

Scalping has a major impact on our industry.
Our Terms and Conditions of Sale (displayed on the back of tickets and accepted by the ticket purchaser at the point of purchase) state that the promoter may refuse entry if the ticket holder did not purchase from Ticketek or other authorised points of sale.

To address people selling tickets at inflated prices we have updated our Terms and Conditions of Sale to say:

“This ticket may not, without the prior written consent of Ticketek or the Seller, be resold at a premium or used for advertising, promotion or other commercial purposes (including competitions and trade promotions) or to enhance the demand for other goods or services. If a ticket is sold or used in breach of this condition, the bearer of the ticket will be refused admission.”

With this added to our terms and conditions, we will now be in a better position to be able to refuse admission to the bearer if we know they sold it for a profit and not at face value.

As eBay is an open market auction site, they have not been contravening any laws and as such, people have been able to auction their tickets on the eBay site. Once we update all our ticket stock with our new Terms and Conditions of Sale and out in the market place, Ticketek will continue to discourage people on-selling tickets at inflated prices and take the necessary action required at the time.

To give context to this reply, below is the email that STSA sent to Ticketek.

We missed out on the David Attenborough tickets, then someone told usto look on eBay.  Sadly, eBay is allowing “scalpers” to sell the tickets for more than the price for the A class tickets.

They should, if genuine, sell them via Buy It Now for the $235 price that Ticketek sold them as.  According to your policy, they should not be selling above your prices.

We are disconcerted that people who really want to see the show, may miss out because others buy the tickets with no intention of going, but rather with the intention of selling them for profit.

We hope you can investigate all the sellers not complying with your policy, to restore faith in the Ticketek system.

By eBay being an open market auction site, STSA takes that to mean that like other online auction sites, eBay can accept listings on the “open market”, i.e. to be sold to the highest bidder.  However, online auction sites, of course, have to follow the laws of the country.

It is good to see that eBay Australia states on its Help page that some tickets have the condition that they cannot be onsold (re-sold) for profit or above a certain profit margin.

When someone signs up to become an eBay seller, he/she is advised that his/her listings must comply with the laws and with applicable terms & conditions, such as those for onselling tickets.

It is good to know that Ticketek are working to print the anti-scalping condition on all of their tickets, in order to remind ticket holders of such.

It is not known how Ticketek and eBay monitor eBay and other online auctions for breaches of this condition.   If scalping was made illegal Australia-wide, then it would deter it, and there would be fewer breaches of this condition for ticket vendors and eBay to monitor and address.

When a person buys a ticket online from Ticketek, the person is asked to review and accept the Ticketek Online Terms of  Sale (including the condition not to onsell the ticket for a profit) before proceeding with the transaction.   See the Ticketek Help page   here.

Does this mean that the “condition has been incorporated effectively into the contract at law”  ( see  point 6 at this  post here ) and a scalper is then breaking the “contract at law” by breaching the condition not to onsell the ticket for a profit?

Ticketek lists the following in its General Terms of Sales –

Tickets may not, without the prior written consent of Ticketek and the seller, be resold or offered for resale at a premium (including via on-line auction sites) or used for advertising, promotion or other commercial purposes (including competitions and trade promotions) or to enhance the demand for other goods or services, either by the original purchaser or any subsequent bearer. If a ticket is sold or used in breach of this condition, the ticket may be cancelled without a refund and the bearer of the ticket may be refused admission

Scalping warning:  The resale of tickets in certain circumstances is governed by ticket sales legislation and may attract criminal penalties.

The Scalping warning applies to the laws of Victoria & Queensland which prevent tickets for certain events or events at declared major sports facilities throughout the States, from being onsold at a profit, at the time of this post.

In the case of Victoria, tickets for certain declared events cannot be onsold for a profit, such as for the AFL Grand Final.

In the case of Queensland tickets cannot be onsold higher than 110% of the original ticket price for any event at declared major sports facilites.  These laws also mean that such tickets (for declared events in Victoria or events at declared major sports facilities in Queensland) cannot be onsold outside of Victoria or Queensland online or in person.   See the “Legislation and Reports” section on the left.

There are currently no State laws to stop ticket scalping at other venues, such as performing arts centres, or to stop scalping under other conditions (i.e. at other events or venues or online under different circumstances than those covered by the Laws mentioned above).

Western Australia has a law whereby people cannot physically trade within the City of Perth boundaries, unless they hold a relevant trader’s permit.  This stops people from onselling tickets for profits outside venues within the City of Perth, but not outside the City of Perth or online.

New South Wales has the Major Events Act 2009 that states, in part, that a person must not do any of the following at a major event venue or facility in New South Wales, except as authorised by the responsible authority:

(b) sell or attempt to sell a ticket for admission to a major event venue or facility.

As far as SSTA knows, at the time of this post, there are no State laws in the other States (South Australia, ACT, Tasmania, Northern Territory) that prevent online or internet ticket scalping or scalping person to person within those States.

See  eBay Australia’s   response.


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This entry was posted on 29/07/2012 by in Legislation, Online Auctions, Ticket Sellers and tagged , , , , .


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