I heard a news article, probably on Radio 4, about the problem of ticket buying and reselling. Businesses use deceptive means (credit cards in false names, multiple addresses) to buy large numbers of tickets for shows when the sale opens, and then resell them at significant markups. The big ticket companies, like Ticketmaster, have a ticket resale wing, and this is used - much more anonymous than eBay with its rating system. Now, there will always be a reason why people need to resell tickets. Someone in a group might get sick, for example. People might decide they want to go for a date that's released later on. But that doesn't seem to be what's dominant.
We had the opportunity to see it in action today. We were tasked to try and secure a couple of
tickets in the presale for a Twenty One Pilots gig at Alexandra Palace on 11th November this year. Literally within minutes of the presale opening, possibly less than a minute, no tickets were available.
By 9.30, that is, just half an hour after the presale OPENED, there were over 270 tickets being resold on Getmein, the Ticketmaster resale website. The markup was £10 or more per ticket. The tickets on Getmein were all being sold at around the same price - presumably this is a fairly mature tour, so by now the people buying to resell have a pretty good feel for what the market will bear. Valuable societal skills right there.
Some bands and artists have already reacted against this. There are means of regulating it which would make it much less desirable to touts. For example, Getmein could limit ticket resale price to the purchase price - why should someone reselling tickets make a profit from the transaction? Who does that benefit? Or, especially given that the tickets aren't normally sent out until a few weeks before the gig, they could offer resales only a week before the tickets would be sent. The trouble is, at the moment, Getmein/Ticketmaster makes even more money this way - they end up getting commission for selling the same ticket more than once!!
Just to let you know, if this is how you run a business and you happen to be reading this, then you're a spiv and a parasite. You are making money off other people's work, whilst adding no value of your own and just ripping other people off.