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Laowai Scalper (selling my train ticket)


kongli

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Hello All,

So I have a bit of dilemma and would appreciate any advice. A couple of days ago a bought a train ticket from a 票贩子 (scalper), though she said she was just a student who was unable to go to her destination so is selling the ticket. I got her number from the kuxun website. Certain things just didn't add up about her story (she was a student but had two tickets to sell, plus added a 50 kuai 'surcharge' etc). Also, the ticket seemed like it may possibly fake because the ink was somewhat lighter than other train tickets I have seen. Regardless I bought it because it was my only option to go to the place I needed to go. Immediately after I went to the train station and asked if they could verify its legitimacy. After many inspections they just gave me the answer that 'it seems legit but who knows'. This was not at the train station for which the ticket is purchased but I am skeptical that even they would be able to give me a concrete answer.

However, today I find out I can no longer go to said place and now I am out 300 kuai. So, do I try to sell the ticket? It may be fake which means I would be screwing someone over.....but it also could be real and I would be helping someone out and saving myself 300 kuai.

So what do you think I should do? (Side note: besides for the somewhat shotty ink and an almost inconceivable difference in paper quality, all the other signs point to it being real, it has the correct patterned stamp on the side, the numbers are all correct etc)

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Do you know where it was purchased? I can't remember if it's on the ticket or not, but you should be able to get a refund, minus some handling fee, but I think you need to head back to where it was purchased. Wouldn't be surprised if someone tries to buy it of you while you're in the refunds queue.

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According to this, which was the first result on Google and is therefore gospel, any train station would be fine. Assuming you're in or near Wudaokou, Beijing North at Xizhimen would be closest.

There are how to spot a fake guides online, but if people who handle tickets all day can't tell, I doubt you'll be able to. See what happens. I suspect the official China Railways method of identifying fake tickets is to wait until everybody is on board and see if there are any fights over who should be in seat 61.

Alternatively, sell it but be honest about its provenance - someone who's desperate for the ticket might take the chance, particularly at a discount.

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Having a look at my pile of train tickets I keep in my pocket, the quality of ink does vary. Also the station of purchase is written in the top right hand corner in Chinese only. In fact even the pink ink colour can vary quite a lot.

I'd say the ink is no indication what so ever.

Check the station in the top right and see how far away it is.

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Just sold it. Told him I bought it from a scalper. He didn't ask any questions about it though, but I know if I said 'yea not really sure if it's fake or not' he would probably not of bought it.

Oh well, he has my number and will probably hunt me down if it turns out to be fake. Still feel somewhat uneasy about it.

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I'm interested on how often the tickets being sold by scalpers are fake. I've had problems getting tickets in the past and one classmate had a hostel get her some after they were sold out. Is there a limit to the amount of tickets you can buy, or do people try to buy out popular routes?

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I once went to another city and had to buy a new return ticket(loosing tickets = bad), I went to the train station to get a new return ticket. They sold me a ticket for a train I explicitly asked for when I went in Beijing to buy my tickets, but in Beijing I was told they don't have any for that train.

Until recently I thought that it might be that at the place I usually buy my tickets they don't like me, but a friend told me that not every ticket selling place sells the same tickets (meaning that some might only sell tickets for some trains and not all available trains).

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