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Experts: Be Careful When Buying Bears Tickets

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Bears playoff tickets for the Chicago-Seattle game are not selling briskly, brokers say. (CBS)

Bears playoff tickets for the Chicago-Seattle game are not selling briskly, brokers say. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) – If you’re looking to buy tickets for Sunday’s NFC championship game between the Bears and Packers at Soldier Field, the Better Business Bureau is warning you to be careful.

StubHub.com reports the secondary ticket market is a $10 billion-a-year industry that includes professional brokers, speculators and season ticket holders.

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Because many of these sellers are not licensed or bonded and are often found on unregulated online auctions, online classified and bulletin boards, sports fans need to be more skeptical and on alert, a release from the Better Business Bureau said.

“You want to avoid buying tickets from strangers in case those tickets might be counterfeit. Don’t ever wire payment in advance for tickets, and you certainly want to have the broker provide clear details, for instance, on where the seats might be, what the surcharges are involved, and whether you can get deliver of the tickets in time,” said Tom Joyce of the Chicago Better Business Bureau.

The Better Business Bureau also advises you to:

–Check to make sure the broker is licensed as required in the state of Illinois.

–Avoid paying cash for tickets in person from a stranger in case the tickets are counterfeit.

–Deal only with brokers that provide clear details about the terms of the transaction.

–Check if the ticket broker is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers and the Better Business Bureau.

–Visit several websites to compare prices and ticket availability for the event you’re interested in.

–Do not buy tickets form Internet sites that are not secure or lack a privacy policy; fail to disclose their refund, rescheduling and cancellation policies, do not provide a telephone number and fixed place of business or insist on cash payment.

–Verify the location of the seats on a seating chart provided by the venue to avoid purchasing non-existent seats or seats with obstructed views.

–Pay with a credit card or another secure form of payment so you can dispute the charge with your credit card issuer or bank.

In the past 12 months alone, there have been 171 complaints filed and more than 20,000 inquiries to the BBB about companies in the ticket sales category.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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