eBay to ban ticket re-sale

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eBay is about to stop UK traders from re-selling unwanted concert or sports tickets. The Financial Times has reported that instead they will be redirected to eBay's ticket resale site - StubHub.

But why is is doing this, and what does this mean for consumers?
The report said that eBay is working to re-invigorate the UK arm of its ticket business. The first step is an advertising campaign this week. The second will be to stop the sale of tickets on eBay in the spring.

The newspaper said that at the moment in the UK there are around £5,000 tickets on eBay at any one time. StubHub, meanwhile, sells only a few thousand a month.

The problem

StubHub is massive in the US, but has failed to take off in the UK, where it is dwarfed by competitors.

The whole industry faces a reputation problem, as there are those who argue it's another sales tool for touts. StubHub certainly has its share of sellers who sell tickets to sold-out events at a huge mark-up. This weekend, for example, there's a chance to pay twice the face value to see the Spice Girls musical Viva Forever, or three times the face value for Ronan Keating's tour at the LG Arena in Birmingham.

A Dispatches investigation last year didn't improve the reputation of the industry much when it went undercover at some of the sites and discovered that touts selling tickets on for profit greatly outnumbered the fans selling on unwanted tickets for gigs and events they could no longer attend.

However, fans of the sites argue that by making more unwanted tickets for sale, it is pushing down the re-sale price, so the touts are making less money, and more fans are getting to see the show.

They add that having guarantees associated with these sites means there will be fewer falling victim to fraudsters, conning them with counterfeit tickets.

What it means for you

Taking this argument to its logical conclusion, you are better off going to a dedicated specialist to buy and sell your tickets, because the protections are specifically set up to cover this form of sale, so this is a positive step.

It's unlikely to affect the number of tickets that are for sale, as eBay will simply push those selling tickets on onto other sites, so there's no down-side here either.

However, there's a serious problem - the cost. For real fans trying to re-sell their tickets the costs will escalate. On eBay you could pay an insertion fee of up to £1.30 depending on your starting price, plus 10% of the total amount it sells for. On StubHub you will pay 25% of the sale price.

Buyers also face higher costs on ticket sites, as while sellers pay 10% on Seatwave and Viagogo, buyers also have to pay a fee, plus a fixed price for shipping, which sees the overall cost increase considerably.

But what do you think? Would you use these sites? Are the fees fair? Let us know in the comments.

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eBay to ban ticket re-sale

Using a mobile phone to make and receive calls, send texts and browse the web while abroad can be extremely costly – especially if you are travelling outside the European Union (EU), where calls can cost up to 10 times as much as at home.

To avoid high charges, Carphone Warehouse suggests tourists ensure a data cap is in place, use applications to check data usage, turn off 'data roaming', avoid data-intensive applications such as Google Maps and YouTube and use wi-fi spots to update social networking sites.

Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) is supposed to help people to continue meeting their loan, mortgage or credit card repayments if they fall ill or lose their jobs. However, policies are often over-priced, riddled with exclusions and sold to people who could not make a claim if they needed to.

At one point, sale of this cover - which was often included automatically in loan repayments - was estimated to boost the banks' profits by up to £5 billion a year.
Now, though, consumers who were mis-sold PPI can fight back by complaining to the bank or lender concerned and taking their case to the Financial Ombudsman Service (08000 234567) should the response prove unsatisfactory.

It could be you, but let's face it, it probably won't be. In fact, buying a ticket for the Lotto only gives you a 1 in 13.9 million chance of winning the jackpot.

With odds like that, you would almost certainly be better off hanging on to your cash and saving it in a high-interest account.

No-frills airlines such as EasyJet may promote rock-bottom prices on their websites. But the overall fare you pay can be surprisingly high once extras such as luggage and credit card payment fees have been added - a process known as drip pricing.

Taking one piece of hold baggage on a return EasyJet flight, for example, adds close to £20 to the cost of your flight, while paying by credit card increases the price by a further £10.
It may therefore be worth comparing the total cost with that of a flight with a standard airline such as British Airways.

Cash advances, which include cash withdrawals, are generally charged at a much higher rate of interest than standard purchases.

While the average credit card interest rate is around 17%, a typical cash withdrawal of £500, for example, is charged at more than 26%.
What's more, as the interest accrues from the date of the transaction, rather than the next payment date, costs will mount up even if you clear your balance in full with your next payment.

Supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda often run promotions under which you can, for example, get three products for the price of two.

However, it is only worth taking advantage of these deals if you will actually use the products. Otherwise, you are simply buying for the sake of it, which is a waste of your hard-earned cash.
To avoid paying over the odds, it is also worth checking the price per kilo to ensure that larger 'economy' packs really are cheaper than the smaller versions.

Buy a train ticket at the station on the day of travel and the price is likely to give you a shock - especially if you are travelling a long distance at a busy time of day.

However, you can cut the cost of train travel by 50% or more by going online and making the purchase beforehand - especially if you book 12 weeks in advance, which is when the cheapest tickets are on sale.
Other ways to reduce the price you pay include avoiding peak times and taking advantage of so-called carnet tickets, which allow you to buy, for example, 12 journeys for the price of 10.

Most High Street banks offer packaged accounts that come with monthly fees ranging from £6.50 up to as much as £40, with a typical account charging about £15 per month.

Various benefits, such as travel insurance and mobile phone insurance, are offered in return for this fee. But whether or not it is worth paying for them depends on your individual circumstances.
Before signing up, it is therefore essential to check that you will make use of enough of the benefits, and that you cannot get them for less elsewhere.

Overseas money transfers or travel money purchases attract the same high rate of interest as credit card cash withdrawals.

Worse still, most credit cards – and debit cards – also charge you a foreign loading fee if you use them to make purchases while abroad.
You can, however, avoid these charges by using a Saga Platinum or Nationwide Building Society credit card.

Numbers starting 0871 cost 10p or more from a landline, while those starting 09 can cost more than £1 a minute from a mobile phone.

And the operators of these high-cost phone lines, some of which are banks, often get a cut of the call charges.
Most 09 numbers are linked to scams and should therefore be avoided at all costs, while 0871 numbers can often be bypassed by searching for an alternative local rate numbers on the saynoto0870.com.

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