Buying tickets online

When buying tickets to your favourite sporting, music or entertainment event, make sure you are dealing with an authorised seller and follow our tips for protecting yourself and getting the best seats.

Your rights when buying tickets

All your usual consumer rights apply when you purchase tickets online.

The business must have the right to sell you a product or service and must not mislead you or hide costs and other details from you. The ticket must match the description provided on the website.

Buy your ticket from an authorised ticket seller

We recommend that consumers buy their tickets from ‘authorised sellers’. Tickets sold by authorised sellers often carry conditions that restrict their resale or transfer above face value. Promoters and venues also have conditions of entry.

If you buy from an unauthorised seller (also called a ‘reseller’), you risk:

  • being turned away at the venue
  • not getting the seats you've ordered
  • not being made aware of certain conditions (for example, restricted view)
  • not getting a ticket, or getting a fake one.

Your rights to a refund or exchange may also be affected if the show is postponed or cancelled.

Don’t trust search results alone

Make sure the ticket seller who has come up first in your online search results is actually the authorised ticket seller and not a reseller who may have paid to be at the top of the list. Unauthorised sellers often maintain a strong online presence, reselling tickets at prices higher than the original ticket price.

Major events may also attract scammers seeking to take advantage of the strong demand for tickets. Scammers may use fake ticketing websites or email scams to make false claims about the event being part of a ticket lottery or competition. These scams will often request additional payments or personal information to secure tickets.

If you see tickets on sale before the official date, be cautious because they might be fake.

Paying for tickets

If you pay for tickets with a credit card, and you do not receive what you paid for, you can ask your bank or credit card provider for a chargeback. Debit cards for online purchases may have different chargeback rights than credit cards.

Some online shopping service providers also offer protection when a problem arises with your purchase.

Remember: don’t transfer cash into a ticket seller’s bank account, and get a receipt for your transaction.

Overseas sellers

Our view is that the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) applies when you buy tickets from an overseas online business. However, if a problem arises, you might find it difficult to get a replacement or refund from them because they are not based in Australia.

If writing to the overseas seller doesn't resolve your problem, we recommend asking the consumer protection agency where the seller is based if it can help.

Tips for getting the best tickets

Sign up for alerts

Sign up to your favourite artists’ mailing lists and social media accounts, as well as mailing lists for venues, festivals, event promoters and authorised ticket sellers. This is how you can find out about upcoming events, pre-sale details and other important event information.

Be prepared

Create an online account with the authorised ticket seller and make sure you’re logged in so you are ready to go when tickets go on sale.

Be patient

For high demand shows you might be placed in an online queue, so be patient. If a ‘sold out’ message pops up, don’t panic – additional dates or seats may become available. Keep checking.

Check the ticket you’re buying

Check where your seats are and if there’s a restricted view, age restrictions or other special conditions. Authorised tickets sellers and resellers are required to provide buyers with clear and accurate information.

Tickets that sell out quickly

Although it can be disappointing when tickets sell out quickly, this situation is unlikely to breach the ACL if tickets were genuinely made available for sale. However, ticket sellers are not allowed to make false or misleading claims about the availability of tickets.

Drip pricing on ticketing websites

Contact the ACCC if during an online purchasing process, you experience additional charges that were not adequately disclosed at the beginning of the process. This is known as drip pricing and may be considered misleading.

If there's a problem

  1. If you receive fake tickets or don’t receive your tickets, contact the resale website. You may receive a refund under their terms and conditions.

  2. If you don’t have any luck with the ticket resale website and have purchased your tickets using a credit card, contact your bank and request a chargeback.

  3. If you have been scammed or had a problem with your purchase, report it to the police and/or consumer protection agency in your state or territory.

More information

False or misleading claims

Shopping online