Scalpers using bots to grab most of the tickets for events is not a new thing, and the persistence of these people has been the bane of event planners and fans alike. If you're trying to set up software to handle ticket sales, you're likely to encounter more bots unless you program the preferences to try to eliminate them.

Limit Multiple-Ticket Sales

One option is to limit multiple-ticket sales. In other words, instead of allowing unlimited numbers of tickets to be sold in one group, allow only a few per transaction. This does have the disadvantage of preventing legitimate large groups from purchasing tickets, such as a church or school, or even a large family who all want to go to the event. However, it can slow down the small-scale scalper, someone who is buying a group of tickets and then plans to sell them individually. For legitimate large groups, you may want to set up a phone line so that you can talk to these groups, and reserve large sections of seats for these groups. If it turns out later that no large groups want the tickets, you can release them for general sales.

Limit ISP Sales

For bigger targets, like scalpers who have multiple connections all accessing the ticket-sale screen, you may want to limit purchases from the same ISP. Even if an ISP is dynamic and changing, it won't change so quickly that bots can keep reconnecting. Locking out an ISP for a set amount of time after a purchase can make it more annoying for large-scale scalpers to get in.

Stretch Out Sale Times

Another option is to release batches of tickets for sale over a longer period of time and then monitor the incoming connection requests for excessive repeat connection attempts. Your average ticket-buyer might reload a screen a few times, but a bot would reload the screen very quickly, many times in a row, for a long time. You could then exclude the ISP or other identifier from that potential bot.

Avoiding bots and scalpers is a never-ending job, and even the above tactics won't eliminate all problems. However, they can at least knock out a few bots so that legitimate buyers can get into the site and actually choose a ticket or two. You'll have to actively monitor the situation every time tickets go on sale, but with the software, you can keep reconfiguring your sales procedures to try to combat the latest bot attempts.