Photo of a ticket scalper holding a sign that reads "I Need Tickets". 

Image Credit: Paul Sableman (CC BY 2.0)

Two of the most dreaded people to do business with are dentists and car salesmen. Ticket scalpers cannot be much further down the list. Just like the sports franchises that charge you $8 for a beer at their stadium, ticket scalpers wish to capitalize on your demand. 

The most experienced ticket scalpers are able to succeed thanks to an array of connections with season ticket holders, ticket brokers and fans wishing to get rid of their tickets before the game. What you don't know is that some scalpers are even season ticket holders themselves.That means they're getting their tickets for less than face value right off the bat. Like car salesman, the consumer has no clue as to how much the scalper paid for the tickets or how they inherited them.

We're often asked whether or not buying tickets from scalpers outside of a stadium is safe. The truth is, there are plenty of thieves who are willing to sell you counterfeit or fake tickets. While I have heard that some stadiums will sometimes honor fake tickets in sympathy and grant you entrance to a 'Standing Room Only' area, it just isn't worth the risk. Especially with so many safe and respectable ticket resources out there like Ticket Monster, Stubhub, Ticketmaster and RazorGator.

However, some fans are weary of internet transactions and prefer to deal with ticket scalpers. In that case, here are a few ground rules you should stick by with ticket scalpers.

  • Don't act like you are desperate for tickets. In other words, don't tip your hand. This is no different than buying a car. 
  • Always start off with your lowest offer. What you perceive as a steal, the scalper might see as a huge financial gain. Once again, you have no idea what the scalper paid for the tickets.
  • The closer you are to game time, the greater the chance you have of getting a great deal. The scalper will sometimes accept any offer in hopes of getting rid of the tickets.
  •  Be firm and bold. You are not there to build a strong relationship with this person, you are there to get yourself inside the stadium! Don't worry about offending them.

Ticket scalpers will not disappear any time soon. Buying season tickets for any league is a huge commitment and will sometimes result in you not being able to attend the game. My advice? Learn how to secure your tickets to the game by buying them online. It's just safer and less stressful.


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