Three things you should know before giving sporting or concert tickets as gifts

Sun Sentinel

Published: Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 – 3:09 am

Who wouldn’t want tickets to see their favorite major league team or the next Shakira concert stuffed into their holiday stocking or given as a holiday gift?

But there could be problems. For instance, if you use your credit card to buy the tickets, your gift recipient might not be able to claim them at the venue without you there to show ID and the credit card used to purchase them. Bummer.

“Tickets make great gifts this time of year,” said Christopher Grimm, spokesperson for the National Consumers League. “But consumers need to watch closely and make sure they know exactly what they are purchasing and from whom.”

The League offers these tips:

Go with reliable retailers: Forget Dan’s Tickets and Tupperware Extravaganza shop if you’ve never used the company before. Check a seller’s rating before you buy, with the Better Business Bureau or via consumer review sites such as at Yelp! Also find out whether the seller is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers.

Check guarantees: Vendor guarantees vary. Websites like Stub Hub and TicketsNow guarantee every ticket sold on their sites and will replace them or provide refunds to consumers if their tickets are invalid or the artist cancels. Craigslist and other ticket-selling sites do not have similar guarantees.

Read the fine print: Even if you bought the ticket, you may not be able to transfer it to someone else. Some concerts and sporting venues sell restricted tickets, such as Ticketmaster. They require buyers to present purchasing credit card and a valid ID at the venue. With such events, you typically are not given a ticket beforehand or the ticket you print out is worthless without ID from the purchaser.

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