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Majority of tickets sold on Viagogo reportedly come from just three traders

Less than 10% of tickets on the site are sold by individual customers

  • Becky Buckle
  • 1 September 2022
Majority of tickets sold on Viagogo reportedly come from just three traders

New findings show ticketing resale site Viagogo have been selling the majority of festival tickets through just three traders.

For individual sellers using the site, less than 10% of tickets get sold.

The investigation made between ITV News and FanFair Alliance took place over three months, analysing 11,000 ticket sales — of which two-thirds were sold by three traders, making between £730,000 and £1.7 million.

The majority of primary ticket sellers in the UK do not allow for large, wholesale purchases of tickets for one event. Therefore for the traders in question to be selling the tickets, they would have to be "speculative selling."

Read this next: Viagogo is denying ticket holders refunds for events cancelled by the pandemic

Speculative selling is the act of selling tickets that the seller doesn't yet own and finally buying the ticket for a cheaper price and finally forwarding the ticket over — this practice that is illegal in the UK.

Behind local rock festival Cardiff Psych and Noise, Ed Townsend explained that as soon as tickets for his event went on sale he already spotted 20 tickets being advertised on Viagogo which he told ITV, “doesn’t make any sense to me because when you look at the backend of our ticket sales, we’ve only sold 14 tickets to the event.”

Townsend added: “We haven’t announced a lineup, we’re not expected to sell many tickets already, but to sell 20 tickets, I would’ve seen 20 tickets sold to two individuals, ten tickets each, but that hasn’t happened at all.”

Back in 2020, the National Trading Standards successfully prosecuted two ticket sellers for speculative selling.

The two made £9.3 million after re-selling Ed Sheeran and Adele concert tickets and were sentenced that February.

A spokesperson for Viagogo responding to the new investigation said: “We treat concerns about tickets with the utmost priority. In this instance, we acted swiftly to remove the relevant listings and have returned several to the site that have clearly demonstrated that they are legitimate and valid.

“We continue to review the remaining listings and these remain off site.”

Read this next: Ticket resale websites in the UK could be shut down under new guidelines

Viagogo is currently not required by law to fact-check the details of every ticket that is listed on the site; however, it has to complete more checks than previously.

Parklife festival announced in May this year that they would be running a last-minute ticket resale when they found extra tickets had been made available on an anti-tout scheme and failed payment plans.

Consequently, the festival worked with Greater Manchester Police to find the fake or stolen tickets that had been resold to people at inflated prices.

Graeme Openshaw, GMP Chief Superintendent, said at the time: “We recognise that for an event such as Parklife that there are many people who will be unable to get tickets. Unfortunately every year we deal with unsuspecting victims who buy tickets from touts and get ripped off because the ticket turns out to be a fake or stolen.

“Our advice would always be that if you don’t know where the ticket has come from and don’t know the person who is selling it to you don’t be tempted to buy it.”

[Via: ITV News]

Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Video and Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter

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