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eBay hit with fines for ticket scalping

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E-commerce website eBay has been fined by NSW Fair Trading after NRL grand final tickets with marked-up prices appeared on its website.

The penalty infringement notices were issued as the listings were in breach of the state’s ticket scalping laws.

NSW Fair Trading commissioner Natasha Mann said the strict rules were in place to ensure tickets stayed at a reasonable price.

“To protect consumers, NSW laws require advertisements for the resale of tickets to specify the original cost of the ticket and a resale price that is no more than 10 per cent above the original cost,” she said.

Crowds at the 2022 NRL Fan Fest at Martin Place in Sydney ahead of this weekend’s NRL Grand Final. Picture: Richard DobsonSource: News Corp Australia

“Fair Trading attended the offices of eBay in Sydney and issued a number of penalty notices for tickets being advertised contrary to regulations.

“NSW Fair Trading is actively monitoring other platforms where grand final tickets may be re-sold and will take similar actions where tickets are being sold contrary to NSW laws.”

Under 2018 NSW Fair Trading laws, it is considered an offence “to resell a ticket for more than the original retail price, plus transaction costs” for events in the state.

Ms Mann went on to say vendors should be aware of hefty fines before allowing similar listings on their platforms.

“Under the Fair Trading Act, corporations found breaching ticket reselling laws can be fined up to $110,000, while individuals can be fined up to $22,000,” she said.

“Earlier this month, I published a public warning about the risks of ticket scalping at major events like the NRL Grand Final.”

Parramatta Eels player Mitchell Moses meets with fans on the week of the NRL Grand Final. Picture: Richard DobsonSource: News Corp Australia

eBay Australia said it worked to remove the marked-up listing swiftly after being notified of their existence.

“eBay has clear policies in place in respect of the resale of tickets,” the company said in a statement.

“While we have a range of mechanisms in place to monitor for items in breach of our policies, we do rely on reports from our community, including regulators, to help keep our marketplace safe for consumers.

“Considering the tools we have available and our willingness to collaborate, it is disappointing that NSW Fair Trading has chosen to issue penalties without providing an opportunity to work together in this instance.”

Fair Trading’s investigation remains ongoing.


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