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Ticket Scalping - Illegal? Immoral? Both!

heidilee 16 901
4 Dec 2005 12:53PM
U2 tickets went on sale this morning for the Australasian leg of the Vertigo tour. The Auckland concert date is set for March 17th, and tickets sold out in 15 minutes, causing all sorts of chaos to the phone lines and various websites.

Half an hour later an online auction site has members offering so-called spare tickets (ie: "I bought extras for my friends who can't go now") for 3-4 times more than the purchase price.

These people say they are entitled to sell them on at the higher prices because they queued for them. Meanwhile, fans who also queued missed out because some people were buying multiple tickets.

According to the sellers, what they are doing is not illegal, however I do recall when the Lions toured NZ, online auctions for the tickets were illegal? Sellers had to sell something (like a pen) and add that the tickets were an added bonus to get around the rules.

Does anyone know if there is a difference between reselling sports match tickets and concert tickets?

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Westers 15 3.9k 1 Burkina Faso
4 Dec 2005 1:02PM
Illegal? Don't know.

Immoral? Hardly. At the end of the day it's just entertainment.
onewildworld 18 696 4 United Kingdom
4 Dec 2005 11:36PM
Same thing happened over the weekend with the XBOX 360 launch. people queued, bought some and then as the supply was so limited (and in fact ran out in only an hour or two of shops opening), started selling them on eBay for double the retail price.
Where there's a quick buck to be made, someone will be there making it.
Not sure it's illegal although the organisers might say it is, immoral...possibly though for a lot of people, morality usually takes a dive out the window where money is concerned.

LAF 17 1.7k
4 Dec 2005 11:43PM
Immoral? Hmmm, it's not like they're raping nuns or sending downs syndrone babies to the pet food factory is it. It's just capitalism, which is generally accepted by most. Though I'm sure there's some tree-hugging, guardian preaching, hasn't washed in weeks because of the effect of detergeants on our rivers, student types who wouldn't like it. Or possibly Bono himself for that matter.

c_evans99 16 7.0k 1 Wales
4 Dec 2005 11:53PM
Hmm. A few years back cash strapped Welsh rugby clubs were selling their ticket allocations to hospitality companies - it wasn't pleasant in the Arms Park to be sat alongside idiots in (suspiciously new) Barbours drinking champagne with their backs tunred away from the pitch - it was particularly galling when you'd left rugby fan mates at home for want of a ticket. Nothing illegal but completely out of spirit with the game and its traditions.

So I can sympathise with music fans pipped by touts who will sell to anyone, fan or ideal fancy.

elowes 16 2.8k United Kingdom
5 Dec 2005 12:06AM
Where a profit is to be made people will seek to make a profit.

Ticket selling is better controlled now with limits per household etc but often multiple sales are made and some will seek to make money out of the desperate or gullible. Human nature I'm afraid.

If you don't like the price don't buy.
debbiehardy 16 363 United Kingdom
5 Dec 2005 12:08AM
Didn't Sir Bob successfully ban eBay sales of Live8 tickets?
c_evans99 16 7.0k 1 Wales
5 Dec 2005 12:11AM
'human nature'? I kope not.
lobsterboy Plus
16 14.9k 13 United Kingdom
5 Dec 2005 12:28AM
To be honest I can't see the problem, the tickets were originally sold with a profit margin on them, if you bought them through an agency they would add a profit to it, why does it become a problem when others do it?

No one is forced to buy U2 tickets (thank god) so why is it immoral? Ever since Thatcher I thought that was exactly how we were all supposed to behave anyway.
heidilee 16 901
5 Dec 2005 12:32AM
A 2nd concert was announced for the 18th. Tickets are to be limited to 2 per person when sales start next monday.

According to the news, any ticket that is not bought from an authorised seller is invalid and the ticket holder can be refused entry.

Police and event organisers are supposedly now looking into all auctions for the tickets in order to establish genuine 'something came up I can't go' stories from the scalpers.

Apparently some tickets have already been cancelled (I can't find anything legit to cofirm this however), so it'll be interesting.

I'm all for making profit, as any business person is, but there are some things that just shouldn't be onsold.

I'm also not that impressed with those sellers who have taken concert images from the internet for their auctions, surely they don't have the right to use somebody else's images for commercial purposes? Or is that ok now too?
digicammad 17 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
5 Dec 2005 12:38AM
Nobody is forcing people to buy the tickets at inflated prices. It's only because folk are so stupid that this can happen. If nobody bought the auction tickets then the sellers would have egg on their faces big time and the practice would gradually stop. Human nature isn't like that though, instead people pay the ridiculous amounts asked and then complain they have been ripped off.

elowes 16 2.8k United Kingdom
5 Dec 2005 12:44AM
Authorised sellers?

This is a thorny problem. It might help by efficient selling of genuine tickets and the efficient policing of touts. Many tickets get to touts through the back door. How many get into the market through indeviduals who have bought a couple and sell them by auction?

The difficulty is what defines a tout and that there are people who will pay the price.

I have tickets for an Elton John concert. If I don't need them I would certainly try and sell them locally. I know that promoters can set the conditions but I have bought the tickets in good faith. Should I just be left stuck with them?

Would I be a tout if I asked more for them than their face value? Would I be foolish not to seek what ever the market will pay? After all, that is how the economy works in the end.
heidilee 16 901
5 Dec 2005 12:44AM
Fair point Ian. I was completely surprised at the amount some people were prepared to pay.

$99 General Admission tickets, have sold for over $2000 (NZ dollars).

I'll be waiting till next monday to purchase my 1 ticket, at $99 which is a very good price for a concert. I also quite like the idea of a legitmate ticket that can't be refused for being onsold from an unathorised dealer.
heidilee 16 901
5 Dec 2005 12:48AM
Eric, the problem people have is not with the people who have legitimate reasons for not being able to use their tickets.

But why line up for a ticket, only to conveniently 'discover' you can't go an hour later? Meanwhile, other people who also lined up, miss out.
lobsterboy Plus
16 14.9k 13 United Kingdom
5 Dec 2005 12:52AM

But why line up for a ticket, only to conveniently 'discover' you can't go an hour later?

I think the $1001 profit you quoted might be an answer to why Smile

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