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[August 2022]

I can't see my fave! Surge of trouble over purchase of resold tickets

Recently, an increasing number of young people support their favorite artists or groups and spend much money for concerts and other live events.1 With the COVID-19 pandemic, many concerts and sport events were canceled, postponed or conducted at a reduced scale since 2020. On the other hand, some events have been held with measures against COVID-19.

Under these circumstances, local consumer affairs centers and the like across Japan have received an increasing number of inquiries and complaints about resold event tickets, particularly from young consumers in their 20s (e.g. trouble after buying a live event ticket on a reselling site or social media).

Graph: Number of inquiries about tickets resold online2 registered with PIO-NET3
Graph showing the number of monthly inquiries from April 2021 through May 2022, followed by description in text
In 2021, the number of monthly inquiries was 35 in April, 42 in May, 31 in June, 49 in July, 71 in August, 67 in September, 75 in October, 94 in November and 99 in December. In 2022, the number of monthly inquiries was 65 in January, 91 in February, 123 in March, 180 in April and 204 in May.

  1. 1 White Paper on Consumer Affairs in 2022 (published by Consumer Affairs Agency) [PDF format](Japanese version)
  2. 2 The number of inquiries and complaints about tickets resold online including C2C transactions, online auctions and online flea markets (e.g. tickets for concerts, sports, theater, movies and other events)
  3. 3 PIO-NET is a database that collects information on inquiries concerning consumer affairs by linking NCAC with local consumer affairs centers and similar organizations across Japan via an online network.

Sample Cases

[Case 1]
Without knowing that I was accessing a reselling site, I bought an expensive live event ticket.
[Case 2]
Later I've found that the ticket I bought on a reselling site is not valid.
[Case 3]
I have been unable to contact a social media friend after transferring money for a live event ticket to the person.

Characteristics and Problems

  • Ads of reselling sites often rank high in search results and consumers may wrongly assume that they are official sites.
  • It is not clearly shown that a user is accessing a reselling site.
  • The number of remained tickets and the time limit countdown are shown on the screen and consumers feel pressed.
  • Tickets for which resale is prohibited are being resold.
  • Personal purchase from a social media friend carries a risk.

Advice for consumers

  • When buying a ticket, buy from an official site.
  • Before using a reselling site, check if the ticket you want to buy is prohibited to be resold.
  • Do not resell tickets illegally.
  • In case of trouble or concern, consult your local consumer affairs center right away.