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Customers and theater officials wary of Beyonce concert scalpers

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TWC News: Customers and theater officials wary of Beyonce concert scalpers
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CHARLOTTE--A number of big name concerts, plays and other events take the stage in North Carolina this year.

That means many scalpers will try to do what they can in hopes of making some quick cash.

Hundreds of people braved the cold in uptown Charlotte Friday morning looking to score tickets to one of this year's highly anticipated concerts, Beyonce's world tour.

“I've been trying to get them online since last week,” Elijah Brewer said.

“My brother is paying for it so we are going all the way,” Sheila Huntley said.

But within a matter of minutes, the show sold out, leaving some of her biggest fans trying to come up with a plan b.

“Hopefully it will be our day and we will get those tickets that we need,” Leah Lynn said.

Leaders with the Better Business Bureau said once shows sell out, many people turn to the secondary ticket market.

“A classified in the paper, an ad on Craigslist, Ticket Broker Online, eBay, here are lots of different options,” Janet Hart, vice president of Public Relations and Communications for the Better Business Bureau, said.

But those options come with risks, including paying more than you bargained for.

“There are people who will buy tickets to big events as a way of making a sideline income. You buy low, you sell high. It's the laws of supply and demand,” Hart said.

There's also a chance you could end up with counterfeit tickets.

“Wanting to see an artist and finding out that you've bought a ticket that's not valid for you to get in, that can be disappointing at times,” Huntley said.

“You're out the money, you got the disappointment, you're not going to the concert so it's worth paying a little extra to go with a secured seller,” Hart said.

Event organizers warn people about the dangers of ticket scalpers. The Bumenthal Theater in Charlotte is fighting back against ticket scalpers, after noticing people were up selling tickets to see Les Miserables for as much as $500 a piece.

Now at checkout, customers have to agree not to sell a ticket for more than $10 above face-value.

If they violate the condition, the theatre can void the ticket.

“We want to protect consumers and real theater fans who want to access our tickets,” Tom Gabbard, president of the Blumenthal Performing Arts theatre said.

As for these fans, they said they won't be taking any chances.

“It's not that serious. We can go to another state,” Lynn said.

The BBB reports there are reputable secondary ticket sites like Tickets Now, Stub Hub and Razor Gator.

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