Buying seats before on-sale date? NJ bill targets speculative ticketing
⚫ NJ bill targets the tickets you see online before the public on-sale date
⚫ Resellers aren't exactly certain which tickets they'll get their hands on
⚫ NJ already has some rules related to speculative ticketing
Your favorite music artist announces that tickets for their next tour will go on sale in a month. But somehow you're already seeing multiple listings online for tickets you can buy right now.
Those tickets aren't technically in the hands or digital inventories of the websites that are selling them. Nor is it a guarantee that they ever will be. Yet you can still make the purchase.
"All of a sudden, now you get a ticket and it's not the ticket you wanted. Or worse yet, you don't even get a ticket," Assemblyman John Catalano, R-Ocean, told New Jersey 101.5. "Then people are lost, and they're trying to get their money back, and they don't."
Legislation introduced in June by Catalano would create a complete ban on speculative ticketing. In no event would a ticket-reselling site be able to sell tickets that aren't in their possession.
“It’s important that this bill becomes law to ensure that consumers are purchasing from a reputable source, have access to all the appropriate information when buying, and end up with the tickets they intended to buy,” Catalano said.
Sites that offer these sales are assuming that they'll be able to secure tickets in the general areas for which they're offering tickets, when the event eventually goes on sale to the public. In some cases, resellers have season ticket packages and know where their seats or sections are before, say, the summer concert season begins.
Under current New Jersey law, resellers can employ a "tentative ticket policy" as long as it's disclosed to the buyer. Also, the seller must refund any money put out by the buyer within 10 days after the event. Catalano's bill, which has a companion in the Senate, would make these transactions illegal as well.
“Speculative ticketing has duped consumers for years and puts a strain on both verified ticket sellers and the venue,” said Sen. Senator Jim Holzapfel, R-Brick.