Comic-Con Tickets: Buyer Beware
Two Los Angeles men were recently fined $750 each and got 10 days of public service for selling counterfeit Comic-Con tickets on Craigslist. Farhad Lame, 24, was sentenced today; co-defendant Navid Vatankhahan, also 24, pleaded guilty last week in San Diego Superior Court.
The popular San Diego event annually sells out, and officials say the public needs to be suspicious of anyone reselling Comic-Con tickets.
Buyer beware with Comic-Con tickets.
“It’s not illegal to resell tickets, which is what people often do on Craigslist, but it’s a Wild West out there,” said deputy city attorney Kristine Lorenz. “It’s important, if nothing else that consumers know the rules. For example, Comic-Con tickets are not transferable.”
Comic-Con’s Website states that every attendee must preregister before arriving on site, and each person must have a valid photo ID that matches the name on their confirmation when picking up a badge at the 2011 convention.
Buying tickets for any event through third parties such as Craigslist can be a gamble, but following some basic guidelines will help keep potential buyers safe and scam-free. Craigslist urges users to only deal locally with sellers you can meet in person, never wire money and never give out financial information.
“It’s a big gamble when you go to someplace like craigslist,” says Lorenz. “There’s no guarantee, and there’s no recourse.”
Lorenz says the San Diego City Attorney’s Office recently prosecuted a Craigslist case regarding fake Rolex watches that were being sold at a discount price.
“If it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” Lorenz warns about seemingly good deals.
Tickets for last July’s Comic-Con event, which drew more than 130,000 fans, had sold out months in advance. And, a limited number of passes that were available at the 2010 convention for the July 21-24, 2011, event sold out, as well.
Organizers recently sold 1,000 four-day badges in an online sales test that mostly avoided snafus that plagued previous attempts.
Tickets had gone on sale twice before, but only a handful were bought before computer systems were overwhelmed, said David Glanzer of Comic-Con International.
This time, the sales were spread over three Websites, which allowed the badges to be sold, but some bugs still need to be ironed out, Glanzer said.
He said officials with the organization that puts on the event will pour over data about what worked in this latest test and what did not, and will announce sometime in January when the next group of tickets will go on sale.