My previous posts may have tipped you off on the fact that I hate ticket touting. From street corner scalpers to misleading websites claiming to be working “for the fans” – apparently, without them buying/negotiating bulk amounts of tickets and selling them at up to sixteen times the face value, poor, honest, “real” fans would not get a chance to see their favourite bands live. Apparently “real” means he who has the most money.
On this week’s episode of BBC’s Watchdog, the reselling of Ticketmaster tickets was covered.
This profiteering isn’t happening on any random auction site. It’s actually happening on Ticketmaster’s own partner site, Getmein.com. And for every ticket that’s resold there, Getmein take a sizable percentage.
It seems that the “honest, true fan” only gets a chance to buy a slice of the tickets at face value, and the rest go direct to the touting partner. I wonder which site the front row arena seats get put on?
For an hour, our researcher kept trying to buy a ticket through Ticketmaster, but the site just kept saying none was available. However, in less than half an hour, tickets to the concert were appearing on getmein.com. The most expensive one was a £30 seat, listed for almost £150. It appeared that some people were buying up tickets with just one intention; to make a profit.
Ticketmaster say their Getmein site is a marketplace where genuine fans can buy unwanted tickets at a fair price. It says it’s preferable to fans having to deal with touts. But if it’s allowing people to re-sell tickets within seconds of buying them, at massively inflated prices, what’s the difference?
Ticket agencies and eBay may not care about scalping – after all, they have something to gain from it too – but the artist’s agent and tour manager certainly will, and the bands who care the most about their fans WILL do something about it.
- Find out when tickets go on sale in advance and learn about tabbed browsing and the F5 key
- Know that REAL FANS WILL NEVER SELL TICKETS FOR ABOVE FACE VALUE – visit forums and ask in the queue on the day.
- Use sites like ScarletMist – who DO work for the fans and ban anyone trying to sell a ticket for above face value.
- Beat the touts at their own game – there’s nothing sweeter than being able to win an eBay auction, or get a ticket seconds before doors open, off a tout at face value.
Addendum: It was a little disappointing to hear David Mitchell’s voice on a recent Seatwave advertisement – I wonder if he researched what he was being paid to promote?