Scalpers have been trying to sell Radiohead tickets before they even arrive in the post - but they have been stopped in the act by online auction site Trade Me.

The website has removed every auction selling tickets to the band's only show, which sold out in minutes, after being told by Ticketmaster not one person has their tickets yet.

Trade Me's terms and conditions state its users must have the item they are attempting to sell in their possession. So far, it has stopped 10 auctions - one of which was because the user was attempting to do a trade breaking the site's rules - and four listings closed without the tickets selling.

But two auctions ended before Trade Me was aware that tickets had not been sent out. One selling two tickets closed for $500, almost twice the face value of the $130 tickets.


Trade Me's head of safety and trust, Jon Duffy, said the auction website had been assured by Ticketmaster that no one had received Radiohead tickets yet.

"That means that they can't list them on Trade Me. So there are no listings on the site and we will be pulling any that we see."

Tickets will not be sent to legitimate buyers until October. Ticketmaster is not sending out the tickets until that time to try to stop scalpers on-selling them for a profit.

"We are aware that already, after a limited pre-sale, tickets are appearing on eBay and Trade Me for highly inflated prices. Unfortunately, there is simply no legislation in place to prevent this activity, at this time. We are taking measures to minimise this market, but there are limitations as to what restrictions to resale we can impose", a statement on Ticketmaster's website said.

The ticket vendor warned Radiohead fans in New Zealand and Australia not to buy tickets from unauthorised ticket sellers and scalpers - including those selling on eBay and Trade Me.

It is understood the promoters dictate when the tickets are sent out to try stop scalping.

Ticketmaster said it reserved the right to cancel tickets from unauthorised ticket sellers and there was no right of refund if the ticket was cancelled.

"While we appreciate that there is an overwhelming demand for tickets from genuine fans, we just want everyone to be aware of the potential risks and we strongly encourage fans to only purchase tickets through the registered ticketing agency, so that they know the tickets will be valid."

The on-selling of in-demand tickets was under the spotlight recently as one of the Flight of the Conchords' promoters called for a law change to make it illegal after tickets to the comedy duo's shows were listed on Trade Me.

It is legal to on-sell tickets on Trade Me as long as the seller has the ticket in their possession and the event is not included in the Ministry of Economic Development's list of "major events".