DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – To score tickets to the big game, consumer advocates say fans need to know the rules when it comes to buying tickets online.
John Breyault with the National Consumer League said while the Internet has made tickets more accessible, at times it has made buying tickets more complicated.
“All of us who buy tickets know how frustrating it can be,” Breyault said.
Brayault said technology has also made counterfeit tickets tougher to spot.
“It’s impossible for your average consumer to spot a fake ticket,” he said.
So before you buy football tickets this season, here are our top five things you need to know.
1. Be patient – In general, the best time to buy football tickets is just days before kick-off. According to StubHub.com, by waiting until one to two days before the game to buy tickets, fans can save 30 percent or greater.
This holds true more than 80 percent of the time, according to research. However, keep in mind there are those rare occasions when demand and price could go up.
2. Don’t post pictures of your tickets on social media – Consumer advocates warn that a picture showing the bar code of a ticket can easily be used to make a counterfeit ticket. Fans often don’t know they have been victimized until they show up at the gate and are turned away.
Breyault said the risk of purchasing a counterfeit ticket is also why he stresses to fans to go with reputable ticket companies with written refund policies just in case there’s any issue with the ticket.
“I would encourage consumers to avoid places like Craigslist when buying tickets,” he said. “There are really no guarantees at all that you are buying a real ticket that will get you in the door.”
3. Beware of restrictive paperless tickets – Just because you bought a ticket online doesn’t mean you can easily give it away or resale it. Some sporting events have “restrictive” paperless tickets. This often means the buyer has to show up at the stadium and present the purchasing credit card and a photo identification card in order to get it.
Restrictive paperless tickets are becoming more common as the industry tries to crack down on tickets being resold on the secondary market, but many consumer advocates say it does more harm than good for fans.
4. Know the opponent – If your main objective is just to see the Dallas Cowboys play, take a look at the schedule. The opponent can make a big difference in the price of the ticket.
For example, a ticket in the 400 section at AT&T Stadium for the game this season against the Philadelphia Eagles is priced online for more than $100 (at the time when the article was published). A ticket in the same section for the game a couple weeks later against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was found on the same website for $55.
5. Buy parking in advance – Parking at a Cowboys or a big-time college football game can often cost as much as a ticket. By planning ahead and reserving a parking spot online, fans can save money and time.
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