Industry News

March Madness fans warned over reselling tickets

Basketball fans have been warned to do their research before attempting to buy March Madness tickets from resale sites.

This month’s college games continue to be offered for hundreds of dollars on resale sites, with demand far outstripping supply. TheTicketingBusiness News last week reported that average ticket prices for the NCAA games have soared by 29 per cent year-on-year, according to TicketIQ.

Now, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) consumer group has joined the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) to warn basketball fans to be smart when searching or purchasing March Madness tickets.

“The most important thing fans need to remember is to do some research upfront,” said BBB President Jim Hegarty.

Here are the BBB’s top tips:

Follow NCAA advice
The NCAA advises fans to buy from its website, or host schools’ ticket offices. The NCAA Ticket Exchange is the only 100 per cent guaranteed, NCAA-approved secondary ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell NCAA men’s Basketball Championship tickets with other fans. Ticket holders who are unable to attend a game or find their team eliminated have a place to safely sell their tickets, and buyers can be assured that the tickets are authentic and guaranteed. Log on to

Check out third-party sellers/brokers
Look them up on or call BBB serving Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa at 800-649-6814.

Buy only from trusted vendors
Look for the padlock symbol in the web address to indicate a secure purchasing system. Don’t click through from emails or online ads; a common scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.

Know the refund policy
Only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction. Sellers should disclose, prior to purchase, the location of the seats represented by the tickets, either orally or by reference to a seating chart; and, if the tickets are not available for immediate access to the purchaser, disclose when the tickets will ship or be available for pick up.

Use payment methods that come with protection
Always use a credit card so you have some possible recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfer or cash transactions are risky; if the tickets are fraudulent, you won’t be able to recover your money.

Be wary of ticket offers at extreme discount prices
These are usually too good to be true. Buy at your own risk if you choose to use sites like Craig’s List that offer no guarantees or seller identification. NEVER wire funds to strangers. Try to meet in person if possible.