MADISON (WKOW) -- This time of year, you may be tempted to get tickets online to that sold-out game or concert, but how do you know it's not a scam and if you're getting the best deal?
Angie's List founder Angie Hicks says “Shopping for tickets online might seem easy, but comparing prices actually can be difficult because when you’re looking at prices you may not realize the final price until you go through the checkout funnel with added fees.”
That’s a common tactic for many “virtual” brokers, which don’t stock tickets themselves. They resell someone else’s tickets and make their money with additional charges. Ticket broker Mike Peduto says, “Unfortunately, sometimes those sites are set up where they’re hoping you get all the way to the end, you put all your information in and you won’t leave because you’ve done all that work.”
Peduto has been brokering tickets for 30 years, and he knows there are scammers out there taking some of his business. He urges people to do their research and steer clear of any site that demands payment by wire transfer or avoids speaking directly with you. “If you can’t reach them, especially by phone, that’s pretty much a give-away that they’re not going to have the same level of customer service as somebody local.”
Look for someone that’s a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers, which holds companies to a strict code of conduct, and offers some recourse if something goes wrong. Peduto says a good broker can offer insights on seats in venues you might not know, and that sometimes you can find better deals by waiting to get your tickets until just a couple days before the event. “I would say more often than not, the prices come down as you get closer. One thing I would say, if you only need two tickets, waiting until the last minute you can sometimes save some money.”
Before you buy tickets, Angie says to review the terms of sale or service information on the broker's website, so you know exactly what to expect. And honest mistakes can happen. A broker could send you the wrong tickets, so check them right away. Don’t wait until the day of the event.