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We've booked two concert tickets but later found out that we can't go.

Can you think of a safe and feasible arrangement for reselling the tickets, given the following facts:

  • The tickets cannot be returned.
  • The tickets were issued as a PDF file for printout at home.
  • The tickets have my name on them ("Purchased by ..."), but anyone may use them and get admission.
  • There's little chance I could hand over the tickets in person, let alone at the venue right before the concert.
  • I haven't sold anything online in years, therefore I have no substantial "trust rating".
  • I'm intending selling the tickets at face value.

The basic problem is obviously how the buyer and myself can trust each other. Buyers might suspect I'm a fraudster selling counterfeit tickets, or selling the same tickets, although valid, more than once.

The most promising idea I had so far would be sending a printout of the tickets by registered mail with return receipt to have proof the buyer has received the tickets, and demand payment via bank transfer within two days after the concert. That way, the buyer would be totally safe to have received valid tickets. However, this arrangement leaves me with all the hassle if the tickets remain unpaid for.

(Hopefully the Personal Finance stackexchange is the right place to ask. Moderators, feel free to move my question to a more appropriate site.)

  • I wouldn't bother about sending them in the mail, just use email. If the buyer wants to cheat you, the 'mailing proof' is worthless, as he can just claim 'they didn't work', and you have no way to prove different. So either it works because not all people cheat, or not. – Aganju Jun 27 '18 at 14:02
  • Good point, Aganju. Sending the tickets by registered mail will not protect me from being cheated. At least I'd have the buyer's postal address and signature, whereas an email address proofs nothing. – user108733 Jun 28 '18 at 6:39
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You could use a third-party site to resell the tickets. Typically this works by you uploading the PDF to the website, and they handle payment details and send the PDF to the buyer.

If something goes wrong, the website has policies in place to handle it - make sure to read these carefully if you go this route, and be sure to keep appropriate documentation to prove your tickets were authentic. For example, StubHub guarantees purchases by requiring a credit card to sell, which they will use to purchase a replacement ticket for the buyer if the seller had posted a bad listing. If the buyer were to claim you sold bad tickets, you would then have to show StubHub receipts and such to prove that your tickets were good. (Note: I haven't personally sold on that site, but it seems to be popular and had easy to find policies for this example :) )

They will take out some processing fees, but in return both you and the buyer have peace of mind knowing that the website is mediating the transaction. Using a third party also sidesteps the issue of trust, since the buyer only needs to trust the website and its refund procedures, not you personally.

  • I need to add that the terms of sale define certain conditions under which tickets may be resold. One condition is that tickets must not be resold or auctioned on ticket platforms (they mention Viagogo and Ebay, Stubhub might just be less well known in Europe), otherwise they might become invalidated. I wanted to stay clear of these platforms and use small ads instead. Still, it looks like the safest option. Maybe there's a little scaremongery from the organizers. They do have a point that ticket touts reselling tickets on the secondary market at a premium are a nuisance. – user108733 Jun 28 '18 at 6:53
  • @user108733 You should edit that into the question. – Em C Jun 28 '18 at 11:56
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The basic problem is obviously how the buyer and myself can trust each other. Buyers might suspect I'm a fraudster selling counterfeit tickets, or selling the same tickets, although valid, more than once.

That is the key issue. See if you can sell this to friends or friends of friends. This should solve the trust issue.

If the demand for the tickets is more; some unknown buyer maybe ready to take the risk.

The most promising idea I had so far would be sending a printout of the tickets by registered mail with return receipt to have proof the buyer has received the tickets, and demand payment via bank transfer within two days after the concert. That way, the buyer would be totally safe to have received valid tickets. However, this arrangement leaves me with all the hassle if the tickets remain unpaid for.

Else this seems to be the option of last resort. Anyways if you can't attend and the money is lost. If someone else sees this and doesn't pay you; its still the same. Lost money.

  • Giving the tickets to someone I know would be ideal, but I hardly see a chance in my particular case. The concert will be on a weekday in a distant city, which makes it even less likely to find someone who's willing to take one or two days off, even if I gave them the tickets for free. – user108733 Jun 28 '18 at 7:01

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