NSW Fair Trading fines eBay Australia over marked-up ticket listings

Featured image credit: ebayinc/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

E-commerce giant eBay Australia has been fined by NSW Fair Trading after marked-up tickets for the National Rugby League (NRL) Grand Final appeared on its platform. 

The penalty infringement notices were issued as the listings breached New South Wales’ ticket scalping laws. 

NSW Fair Trading commissioner Natasha Mann told Australian news outlet “To protect consumers, NSW laws require advertisements for the resale of tickets to specify the original cost of the ticket and a resale price that is no more than 10% above the original cost.

“Fair Trading attended the offices of eBay in Sydney and issued a number of penalty notices for tickets being advertised contrary to regulations.

“NSW Fair Trading is actively monitoring other platforms where grand final tickets may be re-sold and will take similar actions where tickets are being sold contrary to NSW laws.”

Under trading laws from 2018, it is considered an offence to resell tickets for more than the original retail price and transaction costs for events in the state. 

Mann added: “Under the Fair Trading Act, corporations found breaching ticket reselling laws can be fined up to A$110,000 (£64,000/$71,000/€73,000), while individuals can be fined up to $22,000.

“Earlier this month, I published a public warning about the risks of ticket scalping at major events like the NRL Grand Final.”

eBay Australia said it removed the marked-up listing swiftly and said in a statement: “eBay has clear policies in place in respect of the resale of tickets.

“While we have a range of mechanisms in place to monitor for items in breach of our policies, we do rely on reports from our community, including regulators, to help keep our marketplace safe for consumers.

“Considering the tools we have available and our willingness to collaborate, it is disappointing that NSW Fair Trading has chosen to issue penalties without providing an opportunity to work together in this instance.”