Tickets to the BCS National Championship Game in Miami, FL on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 are easy to find on the web right now. Of course, you have to be prepared to fork over some big money.
StubHub.com reveals seat prices are as high as $4,900 in section 142 near the 50-yard line. Even in the nose bleed sections like 420 though, the price tag starts at $1,500 per ticket.
That's the great thing about the web - you can price compare before you buy. One big tip? If you're serious about going buy early. In past years, ticket prices have skyrocketed in the run-up to college football's title game.
To guard against scams, experts with the North Alabama BBB advise using sellers offering protection - like StubHub or individual team websites. If you do decide to go the eBay route, you might have some luck getting a discount if you wait until just before the big game - when people try to unload tickets at the last minute. The downside? You aren't guaranteed a ticket. You also have to worry about rip-offs.
"Unfortunately because others may be posting real photos of tickets, people could copy those and present them as theirs when they're not," North Alabama BBB President Michele Mason said, "You might get to the game and find out someone is already in those seats and travel all that way to find out you can't attend the game."
Don't forget to check the websites of reputable travel agencies as well. Many are offering package deals including tickets, travel and access to various events - deals that may be cheaper than buying each element separately.
Last but not least, here are some tips directly from the North Alabama BBB for protecting yourself as you shop online:
- Do your research. When purchasing tickets through an online broker, look for the BBB seal on their website and check out their BBB Business Review. Assess the company’s policy for customer satisfaction and what happens if tickets purchased through their site are fake or not as advertised.
- Verify the tickets are real. If buying online, ask to see a picture of the tickets
so you can confirm the seats match up with the venue. If your friends already
have tickets, you can also compare and make sure they look the same as the ones you want to buy. Search for guidance online about how the tickets should look.
- If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. The reason tickets are expensive is because they’re hard to get and the chances of you getting lucky and finding a deal are slim. If a situation sounds too good to be true, such as someone
selling tickets to a popular event for much less than offered elsewhere, it
- Pay with a credit card or PayPal account. Consumers should avoid paying by cash, check or wiring money to a seller. Often there is little or no way to get back
your money if the tickets do not arrive, which is why scammers often do
business this way. Using a credit card or PayPal account provides additional
protection and the opportunity for potential reimbursement if the seller is
uncooperative or does not follow through with sending tickets.
- Watch for hidden fees. Some websites include service charges and additional shipping fees with the purchase of tickets. While these charges
should be identified on the website and disclosed to you before the transaction
is finalized, read the fine print to make sure you know the total cost that
will be billed to your account.