Are Ticketmaster resale tickets safe?

The favorite team has a home game, but the stadium is already sold out. The concert tickets are booked, but something comes up. In such cases it is useful to have a secondary market for tickets - especially on the Internet. But many are unsure: is it even allowed to trade tickets? According to a study commissioned by the Stubhub portal, 36 percent of those surveyed believe that buying a ticket on an online marketplace is already a criminal offense. How strict the rules really are and what to watch out for.

Can I resell tickets?

Anyone who buys a ticket for themselves but does not have time for the event must not be forbidden from reselling the ticket. This principle of the Federal Court of Justice continues to apply. "But it always depends on what is regulated in the General Ticket Terms and Conditions (ATGB)," says lawyer Niklas Haberkamm. For example, the organizer can enforce that the tickets may not be resold at a higher price.

Anyone who sells tickets regularly and profitably runs the risk of being considered a commercial provider in the event of a dispute. Then stricter regulations apply - even if the seller has not registered a trade. "The boundaries between private and commercial sales are often blurred," warns Haberkamm.

Is it risky to buy tickets on the secondary market?

Regardless of whether you buy a ticket from the organizer or from private individuals: There are no legal consequences. "In principle, the buyer has no obligation to investigate," says Hanna Doreen Jeske of the Schleswig-Holstein consumer advice center. However, the organizer can block individual tickets if the middleman has violated the ATGB or even forged the tickets. Therefore, buyers should only get involved with trustworthy providers - and not pay in advance. "The best solution would be to pick up the ticket in person and hand over the money personally," says Jeske. If that doesn't work, you should definitely choose secure payment services.

What applies to personalized tickets?

They already exist at important football matches, and they are more and more widespread at concerts too: tickets with the visitor's name on them. If the organizer checks the ID at the entrance and the names do not match, he may refuse entry. "For this reason alone, it doesn't make much sense to resell such a card," says consumer advocate Jeske. Unless you ask the organizer to transfer the ticket to someone else. If the buyer justifies why he doesn't have the time himself, it usually works. "However, a description is often associated with additional costs," says Jeske. In any case, the organizer maintains an overview of the secondary market through personalized tickets.

What to do if the seller collects the money, but no ticket arrives at the buyer?

In such cases, the buyer should demand the money back, advises attorney Haberkamm. A commercial seller would then have to prove that the ticket was delivered to the buyer. In the case of a deal between two private individuals, the provider only has to prove that he has sent the admission ticket; thereafter the buyer is liable. "If there is suspicion that the seller is acting fraudulently, the buyer should also file a criminal complaint," says Haberkamm.

Who earns from the secondary market?

If tickets are secretly resold at a higher price, it not only annoys the state, because the surcharge is not taxed. It also annoys the organizers because they have not exhausted the visitor's willingness to pay. That is why, for example, the largest ticket provider CTS Eventim is trying to make money on the secondary market: Eventim operates a portal called Fansale. Anyone who resells an admission ticket there pays ten percent of the price as commission; In addition, Fansale collects 15 percent of the price from the buyer. Eventim's competitor Ticketmaster also has its own secondary market platform with Seatwave.

Apart from the portals of the ticket giants, many tickets are sold anonymously on Viagogo. The online auction house Ebay also earns money from reselling with classified ads and its Stubhub platform. All of these portals are controversial among fans because they often charge excessive prices for popular events. The professional football clubs in Germany are increasingly taking action against secondary market providers who add more than 15 percent to the entry price. From then on, from their point of view, the fair play limit is exceeded - and then at the latest, buyers should be careful.