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You Can Still Get Tickets for the 2012 London Olympics. But There’s A Catch

Updated on August 12, 2012

It’s still possible to buy tickets for the 2012 London Olympics. It’s even possible to buy tickets for some of the most popular events, such as the Closing Ceremony, as long as you’re willing to pay the price of this once-in-a-lifetime event. But regardless of how much you spend on your tickets, there’s a catch.

Closing Ceremony

The Closing Ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics will take place on August 12th at Olympic Stadium. The official prices for tickets to this historic event range from the symbolic price of just £20.12 ($31) up to £1500 ($2325) for the best seats in the AA category. As you would expect, these tickets sold out long ago due to the huge demand. However, it is still possible to purchase tickets to the Closing Ceremony.

The eBay auction site is currently seeking bids on two tickets to the Closing Ceremony. These tickets are in Category A, which is the second best category of seats behind the AA category. The official price for these tickets is £995 ($1542) each, which works out to £1990 ($3084) for the pair. The eBay listing says these tickets are in the same section and same row, but are 16 seats apart rather than side-by-side. The winning bidder will also need to pay $50 for expedited shipping and insurance. The auction will end on August 5th. The bidding started at $0.01 on July 31st, and the current bid was posted yesterday at $1675.

Since there are still two days left in the auction, you could still buy these tickets and attend the Closing Ceremony in person. However, since the current bid of $1675 is still significantly below the official price of $3084, and since there are still two days left in the auction, it’s very likely that you will need to enter a bid substantially higher than the current bid of $1675 in order to win the auction. Due to the nature of auctions, it wouldn’t be surprising if you need to bid substantially higher than the $3084 official price.

But, as mentioned above, there is a catch. Even if you win the auction and buy these tickets, you should be aware that Olympics tickets purchased from London 2012 are not transferable. The London 2012 website includes the following information about ticket resale:


Ticket resale

If you are no longer able to use the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games tickets you have purchased from London 2012, you can now submit them for resale through the official London 2012 ticket resale programme. For more information please read Ticket resale.

Tickets are strictly non-transferable and must not be sold or advertised for sale on the internet, in newspapers or anywhere else other than via the official London 2012 ticket resale programme.

Please be wary of tickets being sold by unauthorised websites. Read more about how to stay safe online


So, if the tickets being auctioned on eBay were purchased from London 2012, buying them through eBay would seem to violate their terms and conditions, which say that they are non-transferable. The origin of these tickets is not mentioned in the listing, so it’s unclear what terms and conditions apply to them.

Caveat Emptor

Especially when purchasing unique and high-value items over the Internet, buyers should take care to exercise “caveat emptor”, which is Latin for “Let the buyer beware”. Are they authentic tickets? Did the Seller acquire them legitimately? Even if they are authentic tickets acquired legitimately, does the Seller have the right to advertise them over the Internet? And are the tickets themselves transferable to you?

Before bidding on these tickets on eBay, it would be wise to use the “Ask Seller a Question” link to get these questions answered to your satisfaction. This same general advice goes for any other potential purchases of Olympics tickets that you might make. Perhaps there will be no problem with these tickets, but that’s something you need to find out before buying them and traveling to the stadium.


Unless you exercise due diligence in making your purchase of Olympics tickets, you may find yourself watching the Olympic Games on the telly at the nearest pub, rather than watching them live in the stadium. At least you could drink a few pints of ale to forget how much time & money you wasted!


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    • profile image

      Tobin Vance 5 years ago

      The pricing you've talked about is not surprising for an event of this magnitude. The catch about the tickets not being transferable is also not surprising. That kind of thing is not uncommon with organizations that are "non-profit". I would expect that the tickets purchased on ebay will be denied entry, and that the sellers either missed that detail or didn't care. I use for games and events I want to go to here in the states. The secondary market is, for the most part, legitimate and useful.

    • tipstoretireearly profile image

      tipstoretireearly 5 years ago from New York

      It will be very interesting to see the winning bid on eBay. Thanks for stopping by!

    • A K Turner profile image

      Joseph A K Turner 5 years ago from West Yorkshire

      might actually be worth tracking that, Watching Ebay is more interesting than the olympics in my opinion!

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 5 years ago from Nottingham UK

      I saw the road cycling free last weekend which was amazing- over a million people on the streets of London. Just shows you can see an Olympic event without tickets

    • tipstoretireearly profile image

      tipstoretireearly 5 years ago from New York

      Hi CyclingFitness - Great tagname! Seeing the marathon would be awesome. What a terrific opportunity for people in the London area.

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 5 years ago from Nottingham UK

      I have tickets which say they can only be resold through the London2012 official site so be aware of eBay sellers

      Tickets are still available in the uk through the official London 2012 site

      However there are still free events to see- triathlon. The marathon and race walking events are free to view- I have a hub with all the details