Scalpers are individuals and/or companies who scoop up vast quantities of tickets using sophisticated tools or methods, and then engage in deceptive and unscrupulous marketing practices to sell those tickets to the public.


How do scalpers operate?

Scalpers start early: Scalpers target high-demand events well before their tickets go on sale. Scalpers often manufacture identities and join artist fan clubs, venue mailing lists and other groups for the sole purpose of obtaining information about events and accessing presale ticket opportunities, which help them to load up on tickets.

Scalpers don’t work alone: In the old days, scalpers would pay college kids to stand in line outside of box offices. Today isn’t too different – scalpers pay others (who may not even be in the U.S.A.) to man computers at the presale or onsale to give themselves extra chances to get tickets.

Scalpers leverage technology: Some scalpers use automated programs called “BOTS” to search for tickets right when they go on sale. These BOTS move much more quickly through the ticketing process than a real fan could. These BOTS hammer ticketing systems and make it very difficult for a real fan to purchase a ticket during the on sale.

Scalpers sneak around ticket limits: Scalpers may have multiple purchase accounts, ordering and shipping tickets to multiple addresses or under multiple aliases.

How do scalpers take advantage of fans?

Scalpers use deceptive practices online: Scalpers use website designs, URL’s and search engine advertising to appear to be affiliated with a legitimate artist, team or venue. This can trick fans into buying tickets at higher prices on the secondary market — even if there are still face-value seats available.

Scalpers withhold information: Scalpers may post tickets for sale without disclosing whether they have the tickets in hand. This means the fan is not aware that they face a potentially riskier transaction if the scalper is ultimately not able to acquire tickets. And it’s important to remember that a guarantee is not the same as an authentic ticket – the fan may get their money back, but they won’t get in to see the show or game they’ve been dreaming about for months.

Scalpers fake it: Some scalpers sell counterfeit tickets, sell multiple copies of the same ticket, or make up seats that don’t exist. Even if a resale site has a guarantee policy, fans will only get their money back – not entrance to an event they’d been excited to see.

Why do scalpers lobby for laws to protect their ability to profit at fans’ expense?

Scalpers seek to limit fans’ access to face-value tickets: Scalpers are asking legislators to ban the use of face-value ticketing methods, such as Will Call Only. Used primarily in cases of high-demand events, these methods ensure a purchased ticket cannot be resold above the face value set by the artist, team, venue, and promoter.

Scalpers call for unfair advantages Routinely, scalpers are seeking legislation to force artists, venues, teams, and promotersthe event presenters who financially and creatively invest in putting on an event—to disclose their  ticket manifests.. This would  reveal information that would be valuable to direct competitors, i.e., other event presenters.  Yet, most importantly, knowing how many tickets have or have not sold would not actually help a fan get a ticketit will only give an unfair advantage to ticket scalpers in the secondary market.  This would be the same as if the used car industry mandated how new car makers should manufacture and sell cars

Scalpers oppose fan-friendly ticket resale: Scalpers also lobby against laws that would help make the resale market better for fans—such as requirements to post the exact seat location and whether or not the seller actually possesses the tickets they are selling.

Fans First is committed to standing with fans, and now..  it’s time for fans to stand together against scalpers. 

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Fans First is primarily supported by Ticketmaster and includes more than  200 industry members, venues, teams and artists who are committed to standing with fans against scalpers. For more information, please visit