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Ticket resellers’ new hurdle: purchase-card verification

Taylor Tompkins
To thwart ticket scalpers, you may need to show your card

One of my roommates sat next to his computer, poker face thoroughly intact and credit card in hand, as he anxiously refreshed the page.

He was waiting to buy Lady Gaga tickets since she jumped off a roof at the Super Bowl. And here he was, on the edge of glory, if only Ticketmaster’s page would refresh.

Both of my roommates are avid listeners of the pop star’s most recent album and couldn’t wait to dance the night away at Gaga’s December concert date in Austin, Texas. However, the two additional tickets he was buying weren’t for them.

Like many others, my roommate wanted to resell the extra tickets to see if he could make up for the cost of the two more costly seats for him and his wife. But ticket issuers, he would come to find out, don’t allow resellers to “do what u want” anymore.

All bad Gaga song title puns aside, credit card holders scalping tickets now have an extra hoop or two to jump through.

Some concert-goers now must present the card with which they purchased the tickets to get to their seats.  This created a problem for people looking to sell paperless tickets on exchanges such as StubHub and Seat Geek.

“I can tell you that increasingly, we are seeing ticket issuers institute restrictions on ticket buyers that dictate when, how and even if their purchased tickets can be transferred or resold,” Johnna Hoff, spokeswoman with StubHub said via email.

Normally, an electronic ticket is sent to purchasers immediately after they pay through these ticket exchanges, and resellers are trying to come up with a way to subvert this new hurdle.

Some resellers for the Austin date of the Lady Gaga show went out and bought open loop gift cards, purchased the tickets with them and are sending the cards to the buyers when they purchase their tickets.

“Restrictions in the primary ticket market that impact easy resale of tickets can have negative effects on fans, and we are experimenting with ways to minimize issues that ticket restrictions can create,” Hoff said.

In the case of StubHub, they provide a Fan Protection Guarantee, which ensures that if something goes wrong with a ticket, the purchaser can get his or her money back or equivalent tickets.

So, for those wanting to hear the roar of the applause when the Mother Monster rolls through their city, they need to make sure they have the right credit card to do it.

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