Avoid Ticket Scams
KNOW YOUR BOX OFFICE
As a general rule, a legitimate promoter does not sell tickets except through authorized box offices. In Hawaii, these are:
- Ticketmaster outlets (currently Walmart Customer Service desks) and ticketmaster.com
- Blaisdell Box Office
- Aloha Stadium Box Office
- Venue box offices selling tickets to shows at their location (Hawaii Theatre, Blue Note Waikiki, The Republik and the Maui Arts & Cultural Center are venue box offices)
- Temporary box offices, such as a Sheraton Waikiki lobby desk for a Sheraton Waikiki show
- Online through various web-based companies such as Ticketweb, Eventbrite, Flavorus, and so forth that hold agreements with the promoter
- Particularly on outer islands, local stores will sell tickets and these outlets will be listed in a promoter’s print and broadcast advertising. On Kauai, for example, this could be Big KMart or Hanalei Surf, among others.
You can differentiate between a valid sales site and a scalper site by whether or not the ticket price is inflated — that is, if a ticket with a face value of $100 is being sold for more, chances are good it’s a scalper site. ALL SITES have corporate offices and customer service lines, and ALL SITES charge service and handling fees, so you can’t use these to gauge legitimacy.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Ticket brokers and ticket scalpers are two different things:
- A ticket broker is licensed to sell tickets at a discounted rate or is licensed to package tickets with value-added services (a tour company like JTB or American Express Travel, Groupon, or a broker who sells various Waikiki shows like Sav-On Tours)
- A ticket scalper is someone who is NOT licensed to sell tickets but will avail themselves of market demand and inflate the price of acquired tickets above their face value
Many scalper and scalper sites call themselves “brokers” but this is incorrect – they are scalpers, pure and simple, who profit from charging you more for a ticket than it was initially worth. Scalpers profit from YOUR actions; buying, selling or trading tickets in this so-called “secondary market” environment is a thriving business because there is demand from the consumer side.
There is currently no law prohibiting ticket scalping in Hawaii. We’ve lobbied hard to have this changed, but scalpers lobbied with the same vigor. To date, the State of Hawaii has chosen to table discussions on the subject…if you believe that Hawaii residents deserve a fair shake at face value for favorable seats to shows in Hawaii, write your legislator or representative today!
“BUT I REALLY =REALLY= NEED TO SEE THIS SHOW!”
We want you to purchase your tickets from legitimate sources so that the full contract between seller and purchaser falls within the limits of enforceable law – for you and for us. But if you insist on using the secondary market to acquire tickets to a show, please keep these points in mind:
- Your ticket could be stolen or counterfeit, and you’d be denied access to the event. A promoter bears no obligation to a ticket purchased via secondary sources so you’ll be out your hard-earned money with nothing to show for it. Do your homework on the seller before you agree to the transaction.
- NEVER pay cash! Your credit card is your only defense against fraud. A cash receipt does nothing for you, since a scalper will often use a false name and false contact information when providing one.
- Complimentary tickets (tickets with a $0.00 face value) were given by the promoter to someone the scalper knows…or to the scalper themselves. Think about what it means: the promoter’s generosity results in a loss of revenue not just for the value of the tickets themselves, but any additional revenue a scalper makes from them. Try to remember that scalpers have no financial interest in bringing shows to Hawaii…but promoters invest heavily to do this! Help us do what we love doing by refusing to purchase complimentary tickets.
“I’M WITH THE PROMOTER” & “I KNOW THE ARTIST’S BROTHER” SALES PITCHES
Certain individuals may claim to represent a promoter or an artist when, in fact, they do not. We’re always available to validate any claim by someone seeking money for either tickets or artists. BEFORE you hand over your hard-earned money, drop us a line and we’ll do our best to verify the information you provide. Try to include:
- Name of individual who approached you
- Contact information for the individual (if available)
- Name of the artist
- Date of show
- Price discussed
It’s not our intent to conspire with enforcement agencies in the pursuit of fraudulent business practices; we simply need enough information to make the proper inquiries. Your request will be kept confidential to the maximum extent allowable by law. Together, we can prevent another one of these from happening.