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Taylor Swift ticket trouble: Sellers backing out at the last minute

Some Taylor Swift fans around the country have found their tickets canceled when the third-party seller backed out right before the show.
Posted at 6:59 AM, May 26, 2023

Taylor Swift's Eras tour is the most talked-about tour in the country this year, but even those who think they have tickets find it's not always a done deal.

Ticket buyers should be aware of reports of re-sellers backing out of online ticket sales, leaving some buyers empty-handed.

A mom and her little girl are concerned they could be among them.

Aleena Briley, 7, is a young "Swiftie" in Clermont County, Ohio, who, since Christmas, has been looking forward to "my first Taylor Swift concert!"

For mom Katie Briley, "It was a dream come true. This was going to be my daughter's first concert ever and her first Taylor Swift concert."

But Briley is worried.

They paid a StubHub reseller $600 per seat six months ago but have not received any tickets.

"I have spent many hours trying to get StubHub to release these tickets to me, and they haven't," Briley said.

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Reports of problems around the country

Worse, she has seen news reports from DenverNashville,and other cities around the country about StubHub resellers canceling tickets.

"A lot of people are finding the day before the concert that the tickets are never released," she said.

According to those news reports, StubHub has been refunding buyers who run into this situation.

But Briley doesn't want a refund, saying that to purchase similar seats right now would cost $1,700 each.

Melanie McGovern with the Better Business Bureau says, while it's frustrating, there are cases where a seller has the right to cancel a sale.

"This is where terms and conditions shouldn't be something you just scroll past and click 'accept,'" she said.

Her suggestion: try to buy from the original seller and check out any reseller's rating at theBetter Business Bureau.

"That's why we always encourage people to buy the tickets from the venue or from the authorized seller," she said.

One practice to be especially careful of is "speculative ticketing," where unofficial sellers list tickets before they have them, betting that they'll be able to get them and resell them to fans.

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The tickets don't always show up.

"We've seen a lot of that," McGovern said, "especially with these big concerts where the tickets are for sale online before they even go on sale."

We reached out to StubHub, where a spokesperson told us, "It looks like there was an error in transferring tickets. We're hoping to get in touch with the seller shortly to provide resolution."

The spokesperson told us they would do everything to make things right with the Brileys.

But if you are buying tickets secondhand, demand the seller transfer the tickets ASAP, not the day before the show, in case they change their mind.

"This was gonna be a very special occasion for her and myself, to be able to share this," Briley said.

She hopes she doesn't have to disappoint her daughter.