Amelia Wade is a court reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Trade Me double-checking sales of Beyonce tickets

Trade Me is putting every listing for Beyonce tickets on its site under the microscope after tickets appeared yesterday for five times their face value.

The auction website will be checking the seller has the physical tickets in their possession after scalpers flocked online to make a killing when the final sale of tickets to her three Auckland shows began yesterday.

The main release to all of the superstar's performances at Vector Arena at the end of October sold out within 15 minutes. Top price for tickets were $249.90 for the platinum section with gold general admission on the floor starting at $189.90 and cheap seats available for $99.

Last night, a pair of gold general admission tickets were listed with a $1000 buy now and another auction had been viewed more than 3000 times.

"People like you make me sick," wrote a viewer of one auction. "Scalping is a big no no!" wrote another.

Trade Me said some people "jumped the gun" and listed tickets that were not yet in their possession which violates the site's terms and conditions.

The head of the site's security team, Jon Duffy, said sellers needed to be able to prove they actually had something tangible, not just a right-to-purchase or electronic ticket.

Last night a policing team was checking that tickets listed were legitimate - by 5pm there were 24.

"If they suspect the seller doesn't have the physical ticket, they will contact them and ask for proof," Mr Duffy told the Weekend Herald.

That proof is a photograph of the ticket next to a newspaper with today's date. Mr Duffy said anyone who suspected that someone was selling tickets that they didn't have in their possession should contact the community watch team.

Last night, Mr Duffy did not have figures on how many auctions had been taken down by the security team.

It is legal to on-sell legitimate tickets, so Trade Me's position has always allowed them to be sold. The site has previously polled its community about whether they should allow the on-selling of tickets and the result was an overwhelming "yes" (81 per cent), so they decided to continue to allow their sale.

Spring is shaping as a mammoth run for international pop acts in Auckland with One Direction ($99-$129), Rihanna ($99-$139), Justin Bieber ($102-$152) and Taylor Swift ($111-$152) playing multiple nights at Vector Arena. Beyonce's Mrs Carter Show world tour follows the birth of her first child last year. It will be her first solo tour in New Zealand.

- NZ Herald

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