While online auction site TradeMe has stepped in to stop the sale of Rugby World Cup tickets on its site, scores of tickets are available on international auction site eBay.

This morning, more than 20 auctions were selling tickets to group stage and quarter-final games on the website, with one auction for four quarter-final tickets asking for more than USD$2,270 (around NZD$2,840).

Rugby World Cup 2011 spokesperson Mike Jaspers said the only official channels to obtain tickets were through RWC 2011 or authorised agents.

"Someone else is either selling bogus tickets or they're selling them illegally," he said. "It is buyer beware - you might end up with no tickets at all or having them cancelled."

Mr Jaspers said the tournament organisers had not contacted eBay, although it would be up to the International Rugby Board's commercial representative IMG to "protect the brand".

Rugby fans found out yesterday whether they had secured tickets for the semi-finals and final. More than 60,000 people applied for the ballots for the 15,000 tickets available for each of the games, which will be held at Eden Park.

TradeMe spokesman Paul Ford told Radio New Zealand the online seller had already removed scalped semi-final tickets from the website, including one which had sold for $1,250 - $150 over the original sale price.

"We got in touch with the fellow and let them know that the sale couldn't go ahead," he said. "We pointed out his legal obligations and let him know it was potentially pretty serious stuff to sell a ticket like that."

Mr Ford said the sale was not actually for a ticket, but rather the right to a ticket.

"That was the slightly bizarre element to this - tickets aren't actually available, no one has actually got a ticket in their hot little hand until late May. It was even more surprising that someone was keen to fork out $1,250 tickets that, A - were not in anyone's possession, and B - you couldn't even see them."

Mr Ford acknowledged scalping of World Cup tickets would be an issue for the website. The site will not be selling tickets unless it is part of a cooperative approach with the tournament's organisers, he said.

"Our position is we want the Rugby World Cup 2011 to be a success, just like everyone else in New Zealand, and we don't want anything to happen on our site that will undermine that."

According to Rugby World Cup 2011 conditions, tickets can only be sold to friends and family of the seller and not for a profit.

"You'd be a mug to do it because you leave deep electronic footprints on TradeMe - that information is there if authorities need it," Mr Ford said.