How online ticket scalpers are ruining the Entertainment industry and overcharging for tickets

March 14, 2018

 Ticket scalping is the act of reselling tickets for admission to events such as concerts and festivals and is illegal in most states. Tickets are bought from licensed online sellers and are then sold for a price determined by the individual or company in possession of the tickets. Tickets sold through secondary sources may be sold for less or more than their face value depending on demand, which tends to vary as the event date approaches and the artist who is coming. When the supply of tickets for a given event available through authorized ticket sellers is depleted, the event is considered "sold out", generally increasing the market value for any tickets on offer through secondary sellers.

  

Online Ticket scalpers are getting smarter and using bots to buy all the tickets from licensed online sellers such as Ticketmaster. Since you are only able to purchase a certain amount of tickets, the scalpers are using different IP addresses and emails within their bots to buy bulk amount of tickets for the event. With hundreds of tickets purchased and now in their hands they re-sell them on sites like Ebay, Craigslist and more for double sometimes triple the original price they were valued at. Sometimes not all the tickets are sold but the seller is able to re-coupe his money back which leaves the event with open seats and less fans to support the show. Sometimes it is cheaper to wait to buy tickets at the door since they are over priced for pre-sale.

  

Ticket resale is common in both sporting and musical events and is a form of arbitrage that arises when the number demanded at the sale price exceeds the number supplied (that is, when event organizers charge less than the equilibrium prices for the tickets) but in most cases they do not do this until they have made back their money from selling their tickets at a higher price. Many celebrities have complained about this as they have seen a decrease of fans at their events. You sometimes have dead sections with rows of seats because the ticket scalper could not get rid of them all. In 2017, one of the largest online ticket sellers Ticketmaster filed a lawsuit against Prestige Entertainment for their continued use of scalper bots despite paying $3.35 million to the New York Attorney General’s Office just a year prior. 

  Ticketmaster claimed that Prestige Entertainment was able to lock up 40% of available tickets for performances of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, as well as a majority of the tickets Ticketmaster had available for the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight in Las Vegas in 2015. In an effort to curtail such behavior, Congress moved to pass the Better Online Tickets Sales Act of 2016, more commonly referred to as the BOTS act.The legislation was signed into law in December 2016 by then President Barack Obama. The BOTS act enforces several penalties and fines for parties found guilty of using bots or other technology for undermining online ticket seller systems with the hopes of selling them on the secondary ticket market

  

 

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