Sad but true - Metallica tickets have officially sold out.

But they are already appearing on the black market, where sellers are being offered several times their face values.

Tickets costing up to $153 for the heavy-metal veterans' two Auckland shows - on October 13 and 14 at the Vector Arena - sold out in a frantic 20 minutes yesterday.

But within hours, they began appearing on the auction website Trade Me, where bids were reaching into the thousands of dollars.

That caused anger among fans of the rock group who missed out, and re-sellers were having to defend online their actions and the legitimacy of their tickets.

One, who said he was forced to sell two tickets after friends pulled out, was abused in the comments section of his auction.

One disgruntled Trade Me member said: "Curse on you, scalper. Hope they cancel your tickets."

Another said: "Mate, all I can say is you are a [deleted]. You should have listed them for the price you paid or double, the max ... "

Others tried to ruin auctions by making false bids. Just after 7 last night, someone had bid $25,000 for the two tickets.

Another wrote: "I will give you $20 million now. Thanks."

In another auction, where a general admission ticket was being sold, the latest bid was $50,000.

One upset fan was more than happy to make his feelings known to "the ticket scalper".

"This is unreal bulls***. Trade Me can't do a thing about these guys as long as they have proof that they have the tickets.

"Illegal is what I say, and you are bidding while they are all sitting back and having a laugh at all of our expense."

A Ticketmaster worker last night said the call centre was still being swamped by fans who missed out in the original sale.