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How to prevent resale of stolen event tickets?

     
6:35 pm on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

This question is about one other client. She sells event tickets and here is the scenario that she has faced a few times.
1] She sells seat ticket X to a person A (this is a normal thermal printer event ticket)
2] Person A claims that he never received the ticket and asks for a refund two days prior to the event.
3] Client refunds the money, asks the client to return the tickets in a prepaid envelope that she send to client and meanwhile sells a new ticket to seat X to a person B
4] both A and B show up at the event with their respective tickets.

There are some variations to this scenario. Sometimes B gifts the tickets to C, or A resells ticket to D or A asks for a refund after the game is over and so on.

How does one deal with this kind of fraud? The client has about 15% commission. So if there is a fraud, profit from 7 tickets is wiped out.

Thanks
Su
7:01 pm on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Have the police go to the event and arrest whoever is sitting in seat X. :)
7:02 pm on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Each ticket should a have a barcode assigned to that ticket. Make the barcode invalid and assign a new barcode to that seat. When a fraud is tried the barcode will show invalid at the time of scanning and they will not be allowed entry. Then only one barcode can be assigned to each sale and verified when scanned.
7:38 pm on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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3] Client refunds the money, asks the client to return the tickets in a prepaid envelope that she send to client and meanwhile sells a new ticket to seat X to a person B


This is where it falls down IMO, don't refund anything until the returned tickets are received. It's kind of confusing because you're asking them to return it when the flim-flam man/woman claims they never received it.

As a programmer, here is what I would do, or try to: figure out a way to make the tickets printable from the web. So you're not selling a physical ticket, you're selling access to a web location, let them print it out themselves. Obviously you'll have to step up the security, figure out how to print the bar codes to the purchased copy . . . all seems complex but not that bad for a decent programmer.

The ticket will be for the purchased seats by the number and barcode, they won't be able to tweak it for more seats. So if someone shows up with two identical tickets for the same seat, it's not your problem.

Then their loophole is closed, if they can email you, they can download and print their own ticket, it's done all the time for airline tickets.

[edited by: rocknbil at 7:41 pm (utc) on Feb. 3, 2010]

7:40 pm on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Have the police go to the event and arrest whoever is sitting in seat X


What if the person in seat X bought the tickets and had no idea that they are "stolen"/"fraudulent"?

I understand this is a common occurence at sold out events. Very often some of the "merchants" standing outside of the venues selling tickets are involved in this scam.
7:59 pm on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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2] Person A claims that he never received the ticket and asks for a refund two days prior to the event.


Any proof of delivery on the consignment? If you've had them signed for then refusing a refund until the tickets are returned/not used is reasonable I would have thought.
7:59 pm on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your quick replies. I really appreciate it.
LifeinAsia
... Would police show up to an event where tickets are like 50-100 bucks? I don't think she has ever tried that

bwnbwn
...That's a great idea. I think that is the way to go for the printed tickets.

rocknbil
... She sends the envelopes to people, who claim that they never ordered the tickets. We both are relatively new to this web business. I think your idea of selling virtual tickets is great. That way, the viewers save money on the S&H charges, my client can reduce her headache and people can gift the tickets all they want.

Rugles
... Yes you are right. And these innocent buyers are usually your potential customers.

Thanks a bunch for all your replies
Su
8:09 pm on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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What if the person in seat X bought the tickets and had no idea that they are "stolen"/"fraudulent"?

It's just like someone buying stolen merchandise- the police can come and return it to the rightful owner.
8:28 pm on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Yes, but it does not indicate the person sitting in seat X knew they were buying stolen goods, therefore its not a crime.
 

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