Advice for fans buying tickets on the secondary market from Eric Baker, CEO, viagogo

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Last year, at Reading alone, the festival organisers estimated that 5,000 people were turned away from the gate with invalid tickets. This equates to approximately £1,000,000 of fans money. In the last two years Eric Baker, CEO of viagogo, estimates that the concert and festival goers in the UK have been defrauded out of a staggering £15m by unscrupulous people selling fake tickets or tickets they never intended to send.

The CEO of viagogo (, and global ticketing expert Eric Baker has written some top tips for fans looking to buy last minute tickets for the festivals. These tips will go a long way in preventing fans from getting ripped off as so many were last year:

Be wary of search engine results

  •     Just because a site comes out on top for a search for, 'Reading tickets', it doesn't mean that the company is necessarily legitimate or will supply you with a valid festival ticket. Anyone can buy links on Google, even those sites who have no intention of supplying any tickets.

Do your research

  •     Take some time to find out about the company who are listing the tickets. They may have official looking logos and photos and links to the main festival sites but this isn't a guarantee of authenticity.
  •     Search major news publications to find out if the company has been written about positively and has a good reputation. If there is no record of the company then caution is advised.
  •     Is the company based in the UK? Many of the fraudulent websites in 2008 operated outside the UK to avoid the authorities.
  •     Is there a contact number so you can reach the company in case of any problems?

Be careful when using eBay

  •     eBay is a fantastic website but it doesn't always work well for time specific events like festivals. If the tickets don't arrive or they turn out to be counterfeit, there will be no refund or replacement tickets.
  •     On viagogo, the payment details of the buyer and seller are held so if the tickets don't turn up, it is the seller who will have to pay the price of replacing them.

If it sounds too good to be probably is

  •     Fraudsters will offer tickets at eye catching low prices to entice people to buy. A bargain ceases to be a bargain when the tickets don't arrive.
  •     Never buy from a source that doesn't give clear instructions, terms and conditions. Good resellers are happy to explain what your rights are and what their responsibilities are.
  •     Use a secure exchange like viagogo that guarantees that the buyer gets their tickets and the seller gets paid


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Harry Porter
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