Taylor Swift accepts an award on stage during the 2022 MTV Europe Music Awards on November 13, 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Kevin Mazur | Wireimage | Getty Images
Taylor Swift fans aren’t getting ‘Love Story’ from Ticketmaster — and could be falling victim to a scam if they’re not careful when looking for affordable concert tickets.
Ticketmaster announced Thursday afternoon that it did plans to sell tickets to the public have been cancelled for the pop star’s upcoming “The Eras Tour,” her first since 2018. “Due to extremely high demand on ticketing systems and insufficient ticket inventory to meet this demand, tomorrow’s public sale of Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour has been canceled ,” site said on Twitter.
Tickets were set to go on sale to the general public on Friday, November 18 at 10:00 AM ET.
Fans got access to Taylor Swift tickets this week through a pre-sale offer for Capital One cardholders; these tickets are no longer available.
Unless more tickets become available to the general public at a later date, fans may consider turning to the “secondary” market to get a seat — that is, sellers other than Ticketmaster. But this market can be full of landmines for unwary buyers, experts say.
“If you’re in a rush trying to get tickets — which of course you’re going to be because of demand — it’s very easy to make a mistake quickly,” said Chris Cobb, owner of the historic Exit/In rock club in Nashville, Tennessee.
Swifties, as die-hard fans of the artist are known, flooded the Internet this week to buy advance ticket sales for “Era”.
Flood the Ticketmaster website is temporarily down Tuesday and hours of waiting to buy tickets. Chaos led to calls from US Senators and Tennessee Attorney General for probes from the ticket seller market power and sales practices.
Meanwhile, tickets on the secondary market rose in price — exceeds $10,000 in some cases through ticket sites like StubHub. These are the asking prices, not necessarily what fans are paying to get a seat.
Amidst all the hype — and the craze for tickets — desperate fans may be glad to come across what appears to be a good deal. However, it may actually be a scam.
“You won’t find any hot ticket deals,” said Andrew Farwell, vice president of Outback Presents, a Nashville-based independent concert promoter. “This is capitalism at its best, supply and demand.
“It’s the ultimate dream and nightmare at the same time,” Farwell added, referring to the high demand for live events after the pandemic-era lull.
Some Taylor Swift fans who bought seemingly legitimate tickets did already discovered they were deceived.
Buying tickets on the “secondary market” creates an increased risk of fraud and/or overcharging for consumers, entertainment industry experts warn.
Ticketmaster is the “primary” retailer for Taylor Swift’s tour, for example. Event tickets that appear on the primary seller’s website are first-time tickets and are sold at face value (ie the price printed on the ticket).
“There are almost as many of them [secondary sellers] that you just can’t keep up,” Cobb said.
Big consumer concern: The secondary market has seen “an increase in fraudulent, unethical and illegal activities” such as ticket scalping and ticket touting, respectively Technavio, a market researcher. The firm estimates that the global share of the secondary market will grow to $2.2 billion by 2026, representing a growth rate of about 8% per year; North America is expected to account for 44% of revenue growth.
Of course, this does not mean that secondary sellers are scammers in all circumstances. But it’s becoming a “buyer beware” market, experts say.
Exit/In has had a series of sold-out concerts lately — and they’ve had to turn away bands every night, Cobb said. They inadvertently bought fake tickets.
Sometimes this can happen when an intermediary sells multiple tickets; only the initially scanned ticket will work at the door. In other cases, the broker may sell you tickets that he hasn’t even secured yet.
It’s easy to see why consumers are confused: On Thursday afternoon, Google searches for “Taylor Swift concert tickets” showed ads for StubHub and Vivid Seats — both secondary sellers — ahead of those for Ticketmaster and Taylor Swift’s own website. And it may not be clear how to distinguish between these two groups.
The question for consumers is how to know if they are making a mistake before they buy.
Experts say there’s a surefire way to buy online: Go to the artist or venue’s website first and click through to find tickets. This will take you to the main seller page.
Before buying, double-check the website domain name to make sure you’re buying from “ticketmaster.com” and not “ticketfaster.com,” for example, Cobb said.
Of course, there is the possibility that a given show may sell out or that the face value of tickets may be higher than hoped for through Ticketmaster when fans go to buy.
“I understand that fans want to see a show if there are simply no tickets, but they risk overpaying or running into counterfeit tickets, scammers,” said Tim Gray, CEO of Grayscale Marketing and vice president of marketing for Romeo Entertainment Group. , talent buyer and concert promoter.
Social media is another potential landmine for fans, Gray said. Since the pandemic, he has seen “a gigantic amount, an absurd, insane amount” of fraud through Facebook and other platforms.
In such cases, the bot (which may even pretend to be a person you know) may encourage you to click on a fake link to live stream a sold-out concert, or tell you that it can no longer use the tickets you purchased for the event. These are often attempts to steal your personal information or credit card number, Gray said.
He urges fans who purchase tickets this way to click on the relevant social media profile and look for potential red flags, such as very few previous posts that signal the account has just been created. Fans can also search Google for consumer reviews of the retailer in question, which can provide clues as to whether others have been scammed.
It’s likely that prices of even legitimate Taylor Swift tickets purchased on the secondary market will plummet from current levels after the initial hype wears off, experts say.
“A broker is looking for fish to see what they can get,” Cobb said. “These numbers will continue to decline as all this spurious demand goes away and a correction takes place.”