Below is an excerpt from an Ebay guide written by Melissa Young (bigolepig on the forum!), which includes tips on how to avoid being scammed when you purchase race tickets on Ebay. Thanks to Melissa for permission to reproduce the text below.
NEVER purchase tickets from a “second chance” offer UNLESS it appears on your “my eBay” page under the second chance offer section. There are individuals from overseas who scan completed auctions, and collect names of the losing bidders and offer to sell additional tickets to them for a set price. They will insist that you pay them with either Western Union or an instant transfer of some sort,…It is never a good practice to purchase tickets outside the scope of eBay. Save your hard earned cash for the track…if it does not go through ebay…chances are you won’t be going through the gates at the race track. You have NO recourse when the deal goes south if it does not go through eBay. Ebay works diligently to educate members about these type of fraud and scam techniques. I recommend purchasing from people who have tickets “in hand” and can ship upon receipt of your payment. Check the sellers feedback rating, and see what other people have purchased from them. Always check with the track for tickets first…this ensures you will get the seat, for a fair price or if nothing else will give you a “baseline” for the price of the seats…and some tracks will let you “renew” you seats from the following year after you purchase from them.
And finally…this may be my best advice to finding cheap seats on eBay. Some sellers end up letting go of great tickets because they don’t know how to list them properly. Always search with “title and description” box checked and instead of putting in TICKETS in the search try the word SEATS. Put the City or State where the event will be held also…and the word “RACE” you will be amazed on how many auctions you can find this way. Use these words in all combinations and you will find items appear that don’t in the traditional “NEXTEL CUP TICKETS” searching. Set up Automatic searches with these combinations and you will get daily updates from eBay when new items are posted…Another thing…if you find one of these auctions where someone has a really vague description…contact them right away, and if they seem like good seats bid on them immediately…little known to most eBayers, once an item has a bid on it the seller can not change the original title description, therefore if the listing continues “as is” this will increase your chances of winning and getting the tickets for a great price.