A Winnipeg Jets fan looks for tickets for the Jets inaugural game against the Montreal Canadiens at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011. Kijiji Canada says it will remove the option to sell event tickets on its platform as the shift to digital has made reliability in the category a challenge. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Kijiji Canada cuts ticket option from site as digital issues prove challenging

Kijiji made the move to combat issues that digital tickets have created issues around authenticity

Kijiji Canada is removing the option to sell event tickets on its platform due to authentication and other challenges encountered in the shift to digital from physical tickets.

The online buy and sell site, owned by eBay Inc., said Monday it cut the option to sell tickets, effective immediately. But listings already posted will stay up until they expire. All postings will expire in 60 days.

Kijiji made the move to combat issues that digital tickets have created issues around authenticity, especially as they can be bought and sold directly online. It said the tickets category is growing in popularity but is also a contentious space — as even buyers who do their due diligence find it difficult to verify the validity of tickets they purchase.

“The shift from physical tickets to digital over the years has made it hard, it’s posed some challenges for Kijiji,” said general manager Matthew McKenzie.

“There’s always risks related to purchasing tickets from private sellers. And there’s also just an emotional piece too. If you’re looking to go to a concert and maybe time is of the essence and you make that decision that you might not typically have made.”

The company had previously restricted resales of Toronto Raptors tickets for the NBA Championships as seat prices soared into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Kijiji will prevent event ticket listings elsewhere on the site through a combination of automated monitoring, customer support teams, and users being able to flag posts.

Users will still be able to sell community event tickets through the community category.

Ebay, however, will still have a significant stake in the ticket-resale market as the owner of ticket site StubHub.

Ticket reselling has been a hot button issue as fans and some artists balk at inflated ticket prices, sometimes driven up by “scalper bots,” which are able to purchase large amounts of tickets for live events.

Various levels of government are starting to crack down on ticket sellers.

The Competition Bureau said earlier this year that Ticketmaster’s advertised prices are deceptive because consumers must pay additional fees that are added later in the purchasing process, but that it had not contravened federal competition legislation by facilitating the mass scalping of tickets through the use of its TradeDesk software.

British Columbia in April proposed consumer protection legislation to prohibit mass-buying software and regulate how tickets to live cultural, recreational and sporting events are bought and sold in the province.

That same month, Ontario scrapped part of a law that would have capped ticket resale prices at 50 per cent above the original face value.

The Canadian Press

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