The Ticket scalping debate


“Sold Out!” those two words can really make your heart plummet when your favourite artist or band is in town. But what about those pricey tickets that someone is selling? What are your rights?

What is ticket scalping

“Ticket scalping” is where someone other than the concert promoter on-sells tickets at high prices to make a quick profit.

“Scalping” refers to the loss the artist, the promoter and, in the end, the consumer suffers as a result of the practice.

You end up paying more or missing out, the promoter and the artist don’t get their share of the profit, and the only one who profits is the scalper – which is not fair to anyone.

The Law

Sometimes you are unable to make a concert or event, because of work, illness or some other reason. Shouldn’t you be able to on-sell your ticket to recoup the cost?

There is no specific legislation in New Zealand against ticket scalping, unless it is a major event in which case the ticket cannot be sold for more than the purchased price. So far, only the Rugby World Cup has been classified as a major event.

Your right to on-sell the ticket depends on the terms or conditions the authorized seller specified. If terms and conditions are specified, only the ticket seller can take action for the breach, not a third party, such as an enforcement agency or the ticket buyer.

Consumers need to also remember that buying a ticket from an unauthorized seller puts you at risk of being supplied with a fake ticket, resulting in being denied entry to the event, or the ticket not being provided at all.

Tips for buying event tickets

• It is best to only buy tickets through the event organizer or authorized sellers. To find an authorized reseller, visit the official website or contact the organizer.

• If you do buy a ticket from a ticket scalper, use only secure payment methods. Never wire money through a payment transfer, such as Western Union.

• Keep all transaction records so that if things go wrong, you have proof of what was said and agreed to if you can try to recover your losses from the seller.


• If you have been denied entry due to a fake ticket, contact your local CAB either by email, phone or see us or check our website:

• For more information about the Major Events Act, see: