How Brokers Sell Paperless Tickets


So, with the ten Garth Brooks shows on sale for Chicago, a large number of the tickets were credit card entry (“paperless”) tickets to help stop ticket scalpers.  In fact, the floor, much of the lower levels and some of the uppers were sold this way for Brooks….yet many of them are still be resold on secondary ticket sites. How is this possible?

The answer, unfortunately for fans, is quite easily.

While StubHub does not allow paperless tickets to be sold on its site, other sites such do. Obviously, eBay and Craigslist allow you to sell anything, so you can find them there. They are also sold through the TicketNetwork (here’s an example of tickets on the TicketNetwork), which is the network of ticket brokers that list there tickets and are then sold on pretty much all of the other resale sites on the internet. If you go to a ticket broker site, odds are they are connected to the TicketNetwork.

There are really two ways brokers are able to sell paperless tickets: meeting the buyer at the venue and purchasing them with gift cards.

Meeting buyer at the venue: The most common way for somebody to sell paperless tickets is to simply meet the buyer at the venue and have their credit card scanned and walk the seller into the event. Sometimes they don’t even need to go in with them, they can just have it scanned and leave. Most brokers will buy an extra ticket in case they have to enter the venue, but some don’t.

Purchasing them with gift cards: When the broker buys the ticket from Ticketmaster, they will used a prepaid credit card/gift card to make the purchase. Then they will simply mail that credit card and order information to the buyer. The venue then scans the credit card and the buyer is let in.  The venue really should check ID’s, however, even on Ticketmaster’s FAQ’s it states:
How does Credit Card Entry work?
Easy – the card you used to buy your ticket is your ticket. Just show that card at the entrance along with a photo ID; they’ll swipe it to find your purchase and print a seat locator slip. Have fun!

Is there risk for buying these tickets? Absolutely. Especially the gift card sale, this one makes me nervous since you are at the venue’s discretion on if they will let you in or not. Odds are they will, but you never know.

So, there you have it. This is how brokers sell paperless/credit card entry tickets. If you are a real fan and want to stop this from happening, contact your local venue and urge them to check ID’s for these tickets. Ticketmaster could also cancel any gift card orders, but they have their money and don’t care, so I can’t see that happening.

What are YOUR thoughts?

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