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Learn why you should avoid and other sellers in the unauthorized secondary market.

Unauthorized ticket resellers purchase tickets at face value from official sources with the intent of selling them for a profit on a secondary marketplace. Unfortunately, there are no federal laws that prohibit the resale of tickets, and the practice is considered illegal, without a special license, in only seven states (New York, Alabama, Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Massachusetts).

Because there is neither federal nor state protection, many Michigan nonprofit arts presenters like UMS are vulnerable to secondary ticket reselling practices that harm organizations and their audiences.

We have put together this page in an effort to make these harmful practices more transparent to arts consumers searching for events online.

Unauthorized ticket resellers have challenged sports, arts, and entertainment presenters in large cities for years, and are now becoming a more common occurrence here in Ann Arbor by ticket resale websites such as This particular site features the most recognized performance venue of UMS and the University of Michigan in its title and claims to be a “fan site,” but it admits in smaller type that it is “not affiliated or sponsored by Hill Auditorium” and “links to resale tickets to events at Hill Auditorium.” Those links take visitors to a commercial reselling site that sells tickets at above-market prices with exorbitant fees and may promise seating locations that cannot be honored by UMS.

How Their Unauthorized Reselling Practices Work

  • Various websites with different names rely on ticket engines that scrape information from official ticket sellers and offer up generic seating locations at a premium price, often without specific seat locations (e.g., Section 10 row M, 1-6 tickets available).
  • The reseller purchases the ticket from UMS at face value, then offers it to the purchaser at an inflated price. Recently, UMS has seen $14 tickets sell for $68-$300+.
  • Ticket reselling sites also charge exorbitant fees that are not disclosed upfront (“junk fees”). One recent site charged $16.75 per ticket, more than double UMS’s ticket fees.

How Ticket Resellers Negatively Impact Audiences

  • Audience members pay inflated ticket prices and fees, even when less expensive options are available from
  • Seat locations may not be provided and/or may be inaccurate.
  • There is no guarantee that tickets are valid — the same seats could be sold multiple times through different providers, and if that happens, UMS cannot honor them.
  • Audience members don’t receive customer service information from UMS about the performance, such as parking and traffic alerts, notices about late seating, program notes about the works being performed, etc.
  • Audience members instead receive information from the ticket reseller, encouraging them to purchase other UMS tickets at inflated prices.

How Ticket Resellers Negatively Impact UMS and Artists

  • The inflated ticket price and fees paid by fans to secondary market sellers do not benefit the performing artists or UMS.
  • Lost revenue potential for arts organizations. Ticket sales already only cover 35% of our total costs, so this puts more strain on fundraising to help support the events.
  • UMS cannot reach customers directly with details about the performance they are attending, especially problematic if there is a late-breaking change.
  • UMS offers low-priced options to make performances more accessible to all; when ticket resellers purchase these tickets and resell them at inflated prices, they are taking lower-priced tickets off the market.
  • Some secondary resellers initiate credit card chargebacks if they are unable to sell the tickets (or even if they are), thus creating an extra administrative and financial burden for UMS.
  • Some ticket resellers may be using stolen credit cards to purchase the tickets from the authorized source.
  • It costs UMS significantly more to advertise events as we have to pay more than the reselling sites do to be listed online in premium placements.
  • Reputational Harm: if someone purchases at an inflated price from another source, it reflects poorly on UMS. We are not able to provide refunds to ticketbuyers who pay inflated, secondary market prices for their tickets, nor are we able to accommodate people who have invalid tickets.

How You Can Protect Yourself and Others

  • Share this information with your networks and other concertgoers
  • New sites are popping up all the time. The ones that we are currently aware of are,,,, and others.
  • ALWAYS make sure to purchase directly from and to look carefully at the url of any ticket purchasing site.
  • Lobby your state representatives for legislation to make this practice illegal in Michigan and federally.
  • If you, or someone you know, have purchased tickets through one of these sites, please reach out to us at We would like to learn more about your experience.

Audience in Hill Auditorium

The magic of live performance shouldn’t come at the cost of inflated ticket prices and exorbitant fees. Let’s work together to ensure everyone has the chance to experience the joy of live music, theater, and dance without getting taken advantage of.

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