MSE Blog: Reselling tickets for profit: Legal ticket tout or money making genius?

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"Have you ever wanted to buy tickets to a gig, theatre or comedy show only to find the tickets have sold out almost instantly and you’ve been left without?..."



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  • sb65
    sb65 Posts: 107 Forumite
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    Whats the issue here when you state "But sadly, after a closer look at the rules I just feel like they don’t go far enough."

    Is it preventing fraud, restricting touts from profits, Ensuring people dont buy too many tickets, etc.

    Nothing has been made completely clear on this. Its a hodge podge Bill thats doesnt add any more consumer protection. These secondary websites refund if you dont get into the venue so no buyer if disadvantaged. etickets can still possibly be cancelled by ticketmaster if a seller puts in the seat numbers now required so if you bought from Seatwave you may a greater chance of not getting in as the seller has had them cancelled perhaps?

    Is it the envy of touts making money so let6s just cancell the tickets as ticket row, blocks and seats need to be provided (identifing a seller)

    Everything sounds like a good idea until the detail is looked into.
  • purplepenny
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    This is so frustrating and is an opportunity missed. IMO ticket touts are the lowest form of pond life and I would love to see them put out of business by making it illegal to sell tickets over face value.
  • Browntoa
    Browntoa Posts: 49,320 Forumite
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    edited 11 March 2015 at 8:23AM
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    I can see a legitimate reason for someone with one or two tickets but there are companies using custom scripts to bombard the ticket sites and buy up tickets on an industrial scale , blocking the real fans

    http://www.newstatesman.com/economics/2013/08/bot-wars-why-you-can-never-buy-concert-tickets-online
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    Long term forum member
  • nancypearl
    nancypearl Posts: 67 Forumite
    edited 11 March 2015 at 8:47AM
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    This is how I get tickets for a show.

    1) sign up to mailing list of artist/event I want to see live
    2) check emails regularly for details of upcoming gig/event
    3) book day off work for the day the tickets go on sale
    4) be at my computer ready with credit card in hand a few minutes before the tickets go on sale
    5) get into rugby scrum/bun fight with everyone else. Sometimes I am lucky and manage to get two tickets.


    The problem is touts and that the intended audience for gigs has grown so much now that too many people want to go. It is very tempting to want to see bands from my youth on their reformation tour. I also want to see a play because a famous actor is in it, not because I like the play.

    For the price of the ticket again, you can often get a VIP experience. This includes a lanyard, fast-track entrance, flushing toilets and access to a non-public area.

    I don't know if there is a way to stop this kind of touting. If there is a market, then there is a price. Moral, no. Easy, yes.
  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,334 Forumite
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    The market exists because the actual artists, promoters and so forth are willing to sell tickets to the public for less than 'market value', that is, for less than than the maximum price at which nearly all available tickets could be sold. In other words, they are willing to reduce their earnings so that people who value the experience are not prevented from attending by a high price. That is why the activities of ticket touts are immoral, and why this situation is different from simply selling a house for as much as possible on the open market. (Instead, ticket touts are a bit like people who get control of social housing at a subsidised rent and then sub-let at a much higher free-market rent.)

    The simple way to prevent this activity would be for venues and ticket outlets to take ID details at the time of booking, and check these details at the point of entry to the event.
  • SailorSam
    SailorSam Posts: 22,754 Forumite
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    When we were kids we'd go and queue up if Liverpool were playing a big match. Sometimes they'd only be givving two tickets and so we'd go round and round again getting more. But at the time the tickets were probably only 10 shillings (50p), or £1. Then we might have got double the face value, selling them. The people we sold to were mostly neighbours who were glad to pay the difference 'cos they hadn't needed to travel down to Anfield and have a day off work.
    But i think there's a big difference between my days as a spiv, to the ticket touts selling tickets on ebay for the Macca Conerts.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
  • esuhl
    esuhl Posts: 9,409 Forumite
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    If I want to sell a Mars bar for £15, I should be able to. If I want to sell a £5-face-value ticket for £50, what's the problem?

    Clearly the ticket is worth £50 otherwise it wouldn't have been possible to sell it with such a high markup.

    If we're going to limit the profit that ticket traders can make, why don't we limit the profits that shops make? No sandwich should cost more than £2.50. You can't charge more than 70p for a can of cola, Champagne is illegal at over £10 a glass, etc.
  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,334 Forumite
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    esuhl wrote: »
    If I want to sell a Mars bar for £15, I should be able to. If I want to sell a £5-face-value ticket for £50, what's the problem?

    Clearly the ticket is worth £50 otherwise it wouldn't have been possible to sell it with such a high markup.

    If we're going to limit the profit that ticket traders can make, why don't we limit the profits that shops make? No sandwich should cost more than £2.50. You can't charge more than 70p for a can of cola, Champagne is illegal at over £10 a glass, etc.

    Read my post above for an answer to the question you pose.
  • johnmcga
    johnmcga Posts: 190 Forumite
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    esuhl wrote: »
    If I want to sell a Mars bar for £15, I should be able to. If I want to sell a £5-face-value ticket for £50, what's the problem?

    Because touts are artificially inflating demand and distorting the market.

    It's very hard to tell how much demand there really is when a gig sells out in seconds because touts are buying tickets in large quantities.
  • ziggycj
    ziggycj Posts: 316 Forumite
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    For those saying the original companies are selling them below market value in the first place, they are selling at a acceptable rate. The touts/resellers are the ones that are overcharging.

    If ticket companies sold tickets at £500 (because there are people that are willing to pay that rate) there would be uproar. People would be complaining about being priced out of events. People already complain enough about West End ticket prices, concert prices, everything.
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