How Secondary Ticket Sellers Get Around Ticketmaster’s Credit Card Pickup Rule

If you’ve ever bought tickets for a concert on Ticketmaster, you may have run across the following caution:

All tickets are restricted to Box Office Pick Up, DAY-OF-SHOW only. No name changes are allowed. Tickets are non-transferable. You must present your photo ID and credit card used for purchase for ticket pick up. You must enter the venue with your guest immediately after ticket collection.

In other words, the only way you can get into a gig is to provide photo ID and to swipe the credit card which was used to buy the tickets. So how does it work for tickets purchased through a secondary seller like StubHub, Craigslist or Kijiji? How does the Seller–the person with the ID and the credit card tied to the purchase–get the Buyer into the show? Here’s one technique told to me.

Once the Seller has found a Buyer and the money has been transferred, the Seller calls up Ticketmaster and says “You know the credit card I used to buy tickets to the show by [insert artist name here]? It was lost/stolen/eaten by my dog. I’ve asked for a replacement, but it will have a different number. Can you help me out?”

Once the Seller verifies all the details of the purchase, Ticketmaster then issues a gift card to the Seller. The mag stripe contains the exact same confirmation information that would have been read from the credit card that was allegedly lost. The Seller then gives the card to the Buyer. At the show, the Buyer swipes the gift card and voila!

I know of one person who bought secondary market tickets this way and had NO issue getting into the show. Anyone else have this same experience? Do tell.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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