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Is Ticket Brokering Ethical?

by Brandon

Throughout my experience as a ticket broker, I’ve had a lot of practice answering the question “So, what do you do?” I tell them about my business, trying to stay away from phrases with a negative connotation–”ticket scalping,” just to name one. I tell people that I buy tickets online and sell them for a profit. It helps my legitimacy when I tell them that I’ve been able to pay off my loans with the money that I’ve made selling tickets online, but inevitably the same question always, always comes up, and it usually sounds something like this: “Is selling tickets illegal?”

Of course, you know better. Ticket brokering is 100% legal and the National Association of Ticket Brokers has even worked with the government to maintain integrity in the ticket industry. Companies like StubHub and eBay make millions of dollars as the arbiters of tickets being bought and sold and if this practice were illegal in the slightest bit, there would be a huge crackdown, pretty much immediately. Becoming a ticket broker is a 100% legal, legit way to make a living. I was comfortable with this fact when I first started my business.

But something else bothered me.

Where I came from

I’m really not the kind of guy who would go into a business just to make money. Obviously that’s a big part of it, but I try to hold myself to ethical standards before I jump into any business venture, and ticket brokering was no different. A standard I try to hold myself to is, “Would I be OK with someone else doing what I’m about to do?” And before I decided to take on ticket brokering, I was torn on this question. Is it right for people to buy tickets with the sole intention of selling them again?

Although I knew that selling tickets wasn’t against the law, I knew what it felt like to leave Ticketmaster empty-handed, and I always thought to myself, “I bet those ticket brokers are laughing their way to the bank.” Now that I’m a ticket broker myself, I’m realizing that I wasn’t the only one who felt this disdain toward ticket brokers. Here’s a post I found online by an anonymous writer, bashing ticket brokers:

Ticket Broker Post

As you can probably tell, the post is in reply to actual ticket brokers who were claiming that they provide a service to those who couldn’t be on Ticketmaster when tickets went on sale, or for whatever reason weren’t able to get tickets but still wanted to make the show.

Eventually I came to a conclusion, and I’m glad I did. I wouldn’t want to sell tickets online with a guilty conscience, and I’m sure you wouldn’t either. I mean, if you’re going to feel bad about what you’re doing, don’t you think it’s a better idea to just move on to something else?

In the end, after all my deliberation, the realization I came to was this:

Ticket brokers merely take advantage of the fact that venues purposely underprice tickets.

Truth is, if Madison Square Garden thought it was in their best interest to charge $300/seat, believe me, they would. The fact that front row Lady Gaga tickets could be had for “only” $75/seat isn’t some kind of generous philanthropy on the part of MSG. No, they’re actually convinced that it’s financially in their favor to underprice tickets because, according to economist Gary Becker, they make more money in the long term by consistently selling out shows. This makes sense: concerts and sporting events are exciting mostly because of the fans that you’re enjoying it with, and if a venue consistently has a sea of empty seats at every event, fans will soon stop buying tickets to their shows.

Comparison to other industries

If you think about how most other industries work, the same idea doesn’t really apply:

  • Would Swiffer mops be any less effective if less people started buying them?
  • Would HDTVs look any less clear and sound any less crisp if not as many people purchased them?
  • Would vacation packages seem any less appealing if less people chose to buy them?

With most goods and services, it really doesn’t matter how many other people are purchasing them. An MP3 player either works or it doesn’t. A mattress either feels comfortable or it doesn’t. A salad either tastes good or it doesn’t.

But in the entertainment industry, the end goal isn’t effectiveness or taste or even enjoyment: it’s live enjoyment that people want. And yes, if less people started attending concerts, the concerts themselves would be less enjoyable.

Fan backlash

This is why the comment I quoted above by the anonymous poster doesn’t really make sense. The fact is, you simply can’t buy and resell bread because bread companies already price the bread as high as they can get away with. You can’t become a “milk broker” because milk companies realize that it’s in their financial interest to price their milk as high as they can get away with. It’s a false analogy because there are different market forces at work in both examples.

A lot of fans complain about ticket brokers being “greedy” and even go as far to call them “scum,” but when you think of it, every business you can think of exists first and foremost to make a profit. Venues are trying to make a profit by selling out every show and keeping their fans happy. Ticket brokers are trying to make a profit by selling tickets at their true market value. And most of the time, ticket brokers win because fans are willing to pay.

Other fans complain that ticket brokers sell tickets for “more than they were intended to be sold for.” If this were really true, fans wouldn’t buy them. The fact that fans are buying tickets from ticket brokers means that the prices are at market value, not above it. What’s closer to the truth is that Ticketmaster sells tickets for below true market value, and ticket brokers fill in the rest.

Ticketmaster

A lot of fans don’t realize that Ticketmaster has actually created a platform for ticket brokers to do business right on their site. Not only that, but they’re making tons of money from it, too, all from buyer and seller fees. In essence, Ticketmaster is just another player in the ticket brokering game. Their service is called Ticketmaster TicketExchange.

Ticketmaster TicketExchange

See what it says right above “TicketExchange FAQ”? That’s all you need to know.

My conclusion

Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that ticket brokers are God’s gift to man and rave about how generous we are to be providing such a fantastic service to fans, although plenty of my customers have emailed me personally to thank me for the tickets they were able to buy. Like this one:

Tim McGraw Tickets Fan Email

The way I see it, a business that doesn’t have profit in mind isn’t a business at all. Venues price their tickets at low prices because they find that to be the most profitable business strategy for them. I price my tickets at true market value because that’s the business strategy that works for me. You should have no shame in selling your tickets for profit. Once you buy that ticket, it’s yours and the law gives you full permission to sell it again.

That’s how the business runs, and that’s how all businesses in a free market like ours have ever run. And it won’t stop any time soon.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn May 16, 2011 at 9:44 am

I disagree with what you refer to as the “true market value”. The way I see it, fans would be able to buy the less expensive seats from venues directly if you, as a so-called “ticket broker”, did not buy up all the best seats before they get a chance to purchase them. The only way a lot of fans can get great seats these days is to buy them off people like you who turn around and sell them for a much higher price than they originally cost. I’ve seen tickets go as high as $2000 (fixed price) per seat in some online sales. In my opinion, that is pure and utter ridiculousness when you consider the fact that, had a ticket “broker” not been allowed access to those seats, the fans could’ve gotten their tickets for 1/10 the price they’re sold for at resale. When you consider the fact that most regular fans (i.e. middle class, non-fan club members) already have to compete with fan club presales, VIP access groups, promoters and radio stations when they purchase seats, does it really make it fair to buy up all the rest of the best seats? Seats they could have access to directly if it weren’t for all the businesses that already have their hands in the pot before the tickets are even on sale to the public? No wonder venues charge an arm and a leg for concessions these days – it’s the only way they can make up for the fact that they don’t see a penny of the hundreds of dollars being paid out to people like you. I’m guessing any profit you make from the tickets you sell does not go back into the venue, or to the artist. So what happens when people can’t or won’t pay the exhorbitant prices that “brokers” have set? I’m guessing that those tickets go unsold, meaning there are less people attending shows, which hurts the venue and the artist when there are less “butts in the seats”. Who wants to attend shows where the arena is half-full? Not me. But it’ll keep happening as long as folks like you are around to price people out of the event.

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Ebay Sucks August 25, 2011 at 11:54 am

Supply and demand. Go back to 8th grade.

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Brent March 17, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Exactly… supply and demand. Accept for the fact that you COULD’VE beaten supply and demand and received these tickets if you would’ve planned ahead and been there when the tickets went public. So, if you arrive early, you get to beat supply and demand. However, most people hear an announcement on the radio a week before the concert, decide they want to go to the concert, and then when they see the prices, they get mad at ticket brokers, instead of themselves for not being there at the right time.

It all boils down to the fact that, the people who get the tickets to the concert are ultimately the people that want to be there more than anyone else. Either because they are willing to pay the extra money, or because they are dedicated enough to be there when the tickets go on sale. If you don’t fall into either of those categories, then your personal demand for those tickets is not high enough to where there is a ticket available for you.

In fact, if you think about it, how is ticket brokering any different than investing in something? Do you get mad at the people who invested early in what are now large companies? Do you say to them: “That isn’t fair… I want to invest into this company at $1.00 per share like you originally did. Not $50 a share like it is now!” The answer is NO, you would not say that, because it would be an utterly ridiculous thing to say.

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Randy March 25, 2012 at 9:55 pm

This is a ridiculous comparison, these are tickets and resellers should be capped on the amount they can gouge the price.

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alex March 28, 2012 at 11:56 am

while i do see the force behind why people don’t like ticket scalpers, heres a good point to ponder. Airlines and travel agencies both sell flight tickets, yet the closer you book your tickets to the travel date, they will inevitably be much more expensive than if you had bought them in advance. Many travel companies make good profit off being able to secure seats on flights months before the actual date.

It should not be surprising to anyone that scalpers raise their prices. you could go to the convenience store to buy some chips and pop, but its gonna cost you extra because it was convenient for you. You could have gone to the grocery store and it would have been cheaper, but more effort. You don’t bicker when an Airlines give incentive discounts for advanced bookers, because you expect that.

So if your sick of getting “ripped off” by the brokers/scalpers, my question to you is why don’t you learn from your mistakes? Many people are just too indecisive about buying tickets for events, and often wait til the last minute. Expect it. The longer the scalper holds those tickets for that sold out show, will inevitably raise the price.

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BJames September 4, 2011 at 10:06 am

Jenn,
Your last few comments make no sense. The arenas are usually still sold out. The arena still got paid for every single ticket, even IF it ends up ring an empty seat. If people don’t want to pay those prices, then the prices the broker sets goes down closer to the concert date. It’s better to sell it for face value and for the broker to break even. Or even sell it under face value just to make some money back.

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Chris September 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm

You completely contradict yourself after portraying your business strategy as if you’re the “Patron Saint of Empty Seats”, when you Jenn called you out. She points out that by over pricing the seats you’re re-creating this situation that supposedly happens when the venue prices tickets at OH-SO-LOW prices (which is BS, they themselves are already piling on additional ticket fees then then hit you for parking, etc). And even if they were selling them for the minimum to cover the artist, venue, staff, etc expenses then that’s what we call REAL “fair market value”… the cost of goods & services based “time + materials= cost”. Feel free to trivialize that analogy & take it out of context but we all know what I mean and how things USED to be priced. Don’t act like you give a S%# about how many people actually attend a show, please.. you said it yourself; “You’re taking ADVANTAGE of the venue under pricing the tickets”. Any business philosophy that includes the phrase “taking advantage of” is crap and you’re just bilking the system. What happened for years and years BEFORE glorified scalpers were getting their greedy mits all over the ticket industry?? Seems it was just fine and people saw shows & everyone made money… it survived just fine without you so don’t try to come off like you’re such an integral part of the process… PUUULEEEZE. The funny thing is when I started reading your post, I started thinking “Huh, here’s a guy with ethics… he cares about the kind of business he does and is gonna finally provide some great answers to put my hatred to bed”… then you really show me with your lame-ass contradictory justifications. Hey man, whatever you need to tell yourself so you can sleep at night.

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Andrew October 25, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Chris,
You are an idiot. First of all, before brokers there often were large gaps of empty seats because venues allowed different retailers to sell blocks of seats, which is neither good for the venue nor the artist. You can read all about that on the ticketmaster website. Secondly, every time someone starts a business they are taking advantage of something, A.K.A. opportunity. Any business that does not take advantage of something is one soon to fail. I bet you already know that though, because you seem like such an affluent entrepreneur with your genius fair market value equation.

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mike the ticket guy January 30, 2012 at 1:53 am

Chris,

slow down, you are not making sense. markety value isn’t cost. market value is cost per unit plus the profit attainable by setting and adjustment the price to match demand (the price that the consumer is willing to pay and at a rate of sale adequate to satisfactorily deplete inventory). i made that up myself.

a car is manufactured. is ‘costs’ 5,000 to manufacture. the manufacture has a business model that seeks the maximum profit that the market will bear. it sells to dealerships at x% above the manufacturing cost, per unit of said make/model. dealer then resells the cars, also maximizing profit by pricing each car according to what is reasonable per prevailing demand and the business model for that dealer. one dealer may go for volume, the other for fewer sales at higher prices. either way, the consumer demand more or less determines what the optimal prices will be. you buy a car from a dealer. five years later you are bored with it and want a new one. you resell the car, at whatever darned price you want, which the market will bear. money goes to YOU, not to the ‘artist (manufacturer), not to the ‘venue’ (dealership).

farmer squirts milk from a cow. sells it 10 cents a pint, cuz that’s what he can get away with dealing with the processing plant. processing plant later resells it 50 cents per pint. they profit something. warehousing distributor then sells to walmart for 90 cents per pint, becuz they CAN. WALMART SELLS TO YOU AND ME FOR 95 CENTS PER PINT, TARGET FOR 1.15, CORNER GAS STATION 1.50, FANCY GROCER USING DIFFERENT BRAND NAME FOR SAME PRODUCT 1.95, and so on.

price is whatever the market will withstand per the company’s business model and customer base.

Gaga records new music. Promoter plans tour. Tickets need to be sold. TM semi-monopoly handles that and profits a percentage of each ticket sale, according to contract with promoter (or whatever contractual arrangements exist). Plus, TM profits off fees charged to buyers. They price at whatever they choose according to their business model and prevailing demand. Venue profits off of A FULL HOUSE of fans buying concessions, paying for parking, etc. And I’m guessing they get a cut of the ticket sales too! Broker manages to secure tickets. Broker does the same as the car dealwership or the guy selling his used car. The same as the processing plant or the warehouse distributor or the corner store.

If you buy that car / that pint of milk / that ticket… you are free to resell it as an individual and/or a business for WHATEVER PRICE YOU CHOOSE AND THAT THE MARKET WILL BEAR. the profit on resale doesn’t go to manufacturer of the automobile, the cow / the farmer or to Gaga. It goes to you. Or to Brandon. Or to me ;)

Yes there are differences… you had a chance to buy that ticket from TM (but not the milk from the farmer or the car from the manufacturer). Tough luck. You shoulod be happy to have the chance. Why can’t you buy the car from the manufacturer? Its ready to drive! dealership provides NO SERVICE AT ALL! they simply secure the product and resll at a higher price! that’s life.

every product is different. milk MUST be processed and then stored properly and needs to be bought close to home to have it fresh to your fridge. cars need to be bought and shipped in volume to keep economies of scale intact through the supply chain. tickets don’t have such needs as they are a different product. they have a striong emotional attachment by nature. plus there is that possibility of acquiring it at face value (straight from the manufacturer!) and so there is a big emotional factor there. if there were no resellers, you’d pay less money for the tickets. but as brandon explained, the venue / promoters (i added the promoters) have a vested interest in a packed house.

if they price at 300 per ticket, not 75 per ticket, then sales will be gradual. there will be less excitement becasue the show is not ‘sold out’.m plus, if they charge 300 each… you’ll go nuts on THEM instead of the resellers! they don’t want that.

tickets go on sale today for the west coast shows. price is 300 each. week later, 50% of tickets have sold. now tickets go on sale for east coast shows. are people on the east coast anxious to buy tickets? nope. no excitement, no worries of a sell-out. what are the vendors paying to sell tshirts at the venues? can the charge them $5000 each to be there if ticket sales are slow? that’s one little example. everyone in the industry wants a quick sellout as often as possible. they price accordingly.

anywhere, in any industry, where there is a chance to profit, another layer of business will develop. brandon said it. tickets are sold below market value by TM etc. It is a fact of life in a marklet economy that correction will occur. Ticket resellers do not provide a necesary service. ticket resellers do interfere with fans’ ability to buy at lower prices… that’s tough luck. you should consider yourself lucky that there are tickets priced below market value by the promoters / venues. you do have a chance at least, and many fans do get tickets at ‘face value’.

ticket resellers aren’t heroes, but neither are the farmers or milk processors or warehouse distributors or corner stores or the auto manufacturers or car dealers or even your doctor or dentist or local firefighters. they are all stepping in, according to their ability and interests or life long dream or dumb luck… in order to make a living off of other consumers and taxpayers.

no one is taking advantage, we’re just making a living. if you can’t afford 300 per ticket for springsteen, take your kids to the circus instead. if you can’t afford a lambourghini do you complain that the price is too high? they certainly don’t cost THAT much to manufacture! you don’t complain about that, you buy a camry instead. milk prices spiraling out of control? drink tap water.

people flip tickets, flip cars, flip houses, flip stocks and other investment options… they flip whatever they can flip to pay the bills. not all incomes are derived from providing ‘necessary services’.

neither i nor brandon will ‘put your haterd to bed’. ticket reslling is (a little bit!) like abortion or politics or religion or sports rivalries. it is a polarizing, emotional topic and most peoples’ opinions are deeply entrenched one way or another.

and i’ve heard that ‘how can sleep at night’ nonsense in many forms… resellers should be ashamed of themselves and how can they be spouses and moms or dads and do such a thing as resell tickets?! how terrible! please… spare me… there is no crime being committed, no one is being harmed. if you can’t afford to get your kid to a gib time rush concert, i’m sure there will be no lasting trauma! we’re talking about entertainment and disposable income for cripes sakes! no one is taking food off your table. and honestly, how many events really become unattainable to the average household which has the disposable income to spend on even the face value tickets? does your quality of life or the well-being of your children really depend upon attending specific sporting events and concerts? how lucky are we to live in a country that has such a dizzying array of incredible professional entertainment options?

celtics tickets start at under $10 per ticket for some games right now! check your local nba team! i bet its the same there.

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Chris November 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm

hahaha… you’re hilarous. You can’t even speak to the root of my point & essentialy are only arguing semantics on what your definition of “taking advantage” is. Sounds like when the banks claim they’re helping customers by only providing loans to home buyers while at the same time talking them into borrowing far beyond their means with misinformation just so they can later forclose & resell the house repeatedly for continuous profit all while making fees & interest. Just giving an honest loan and providing sound financial advice to a customer isn’t good enough to do business. Please refer to the last line of my previous post again.

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Oscar December 17, 2011 at 11:16 am

Tickets are priced accordingly so that people without a ton of money can see shows too. Imagine a person that brings home $1000 of “fun money” a year. Tickets to an event that his kids a really into are priced at $75 each and he wants to take his family of 4 to see the event. He is a dairy farmer and works during the day, unfortunately he cannot buy tickets as soon as they come online. He comes home from work and tickets have sold out. He goes onto a ticket brokering site where he finds the same tickets for $300 each. He sits on his bed and cries for 5 minutes before getting up and helping with dinner, where he’ll have to tell his kids they won’t be able to go to the event.

A ticket broker sips his glass of milk, feeling no shame, relishing in his genius. A glass of milk that was purchased at a price set by the (no not the farm as our author Brandon claims) National Fluid Milk Price Committee. (If he lived in the USA there are federal milk marketing regulations – there’s no such thing as setting your own price for milk.)

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mike the ticket guy January 30, 2012 at 1:59 am

if the dairy farmer has $1000 of fun money per year, then perhaps he should spread ot out instaead of chucking 30% at one 2 hour concert. perhaps his kids shouldn’t be so spoiled that they expect first class entertainment when they are buying their clothes at the secondhand store and mom works 2 jobs and they can barely pay their bills.

who cries over missing a concert? and what happens if the tv stops working? suicide? let’s puts this all in proper perspective. first-class entertainment is NOT a god-given right. it is a luxury that may or may not be affordable, and it is NOT an intelligent expenditure for anyone on a tight budget.

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Rebecca January 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm

I hear the argument you are making regarding the true market price. You’re probably right on that — fans wouldn’t keep buying from ticket brokers if the demand wasn’t there. However, I have to say that I still think you provide less of a service than you’ve convinced yourself you provide. You still take advantage of people who want to attend events, but couldn’t get tickets on their own because so few tickets are available for people who log on to ticketmaster and try to get tickets at face value (which in my opinion are still pretty pricey). I wouldn’t walk up to you on the street and hand you $200 just because I like Bruce Springsteen, and for the same reason it would make me a real sucker to do business with someone like you.

I don’t think you make money in a truly honest fashion, and even though it’s legal, I still wouldn’t feel great about the “service” you provide if I were you.

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mike the ticket guy January 30, 2012 at 2:19 am

is it ok for me to feel great about having been laid off, having no jobs in sight, 2 kids, 2 car payments, a mortgage, 2 cats, and my wife being in a profession with limited income potential… and staring a ticket reselling buisness to keep us in our home? because i feel FANTASTIC about it! and i do agree that i am taking advantage of the emotional attachment that fans have for their sports and entertainment heroes. but i honestly believe that making someone pay 135 each instead of 100 each (my margin runs at about 35% of my direct cost) is not harming anyone whatsoever. its minor amounts of disposable income here that we’re talking about. even if its $300 each for $50 tickets… if someone can shell out the $300 each… no harm has been done to anyone! if someone else can’t afford that… sorry, that’s life! this is a luxury item we are talking about. i own a hyundai sonata not a lexus. i watch the bruins games on tv. oh, the horror of it all, LOL!

when people quibble over price i often say something like, “listen, when you’re sitting there at the game, the last thing you’ll think about is how much you paid to be there. you are going to see an incredible game, to share that experience with your kid. your going there to make a memory and the $20 we’re arguing over is not something you’ll recall years from now when talking about going to this game together”. And i’m not ‘selling’, i’m being totally honest with them. and most people realize it. they are still often so petty and cheap that i end up selling to someone else, though LOL AGAIN!

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Jamie January 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Okay, I see both sides of the story. I, as a fan am pretty pissed when I log onto Ticketmaster.com right when tickets go on sale and the best seats that I can get (after frantically clicking and entering those hard to read authentication words) are in section 201 or worse. However, from a business stand point and being a broker in a different industry, I totally understand supply/demand and market values.

Brandon – I’ve enjoyed the information that I’ve stumbled upon here on your site. You’ve been extremely informative and I’ve been entertaining the idea of buying your ebook and starting a ticket brokerage up on the side (I’ve recently purchased 10 tickets and have sold them for profit).

However, after reading this discussion and the many replies, I have yet to see any replies or rebuttals from you (unless you’re BJames). This makes me think that you are not true to your word and purchasing your materials would just be a waste of time because it could all be B.S.

In one of your previous sections titled “How to Stand Out in a Sea of Ticket Brokers,” you talk about how it is important to add value to your customers and being proactive. One section you even say “Remembering that I also had Buble tickets in the very same row, just a few seats away, I jumped on the opportunity and called him immediately.”

You are marketing your product (the ebook) and to be true to your philosophy of communicating and having that “razor edge,” I feel that you should reply to all postings to remain credible. Please respond to this discussion (and to me personally) to prove to everyone that you are committed to what you say.

I would love to learn more from a trusted source.

-Potential customer

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Brandon January 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Hi Jamie,

As I keep saying, I’m still here. I try to read as many comments as my schedule allows.

Frankly, I enjoy allowing the community discuss these issues, so I tend to lurk in the background. Any points I wish to make on this issue I made in my original post.

Ticket brokering is a unique business where the everyday person has the opportunity to bring a valuable (tickets) to its true market value. As I mentioned before, venues do not wish to do this themselves because they see inherent value in sold out shows.

Anyone who thinks that ticket venues are underpricing their tickets for the benefit of the “real” fan, the everyday Joe Schmoe who can only afford $50 tickets, is fooling themselves. These are multi-billion dollar corporations who have a responsibility to their shareholders to make as much profit as possible.

To everyone complaining about how ticket brokers jack up the prices of tickets, I have one message: if Madison Square Garden thought it was in their best interest to jack up prices, they would do it much faster, and much more effectively than we do.

Brandon

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Rebecca January 31, 2012 at 10:46 am

Mike the ticket guy —
Your argument makes no sense. You think I don’t have money struggles? I have car expenses, I have 2 cats, I have a rent that needs paying every month, and I am not in a job where I make a ton of money (oh and I have student loans). Most people can play the “woe is my financial situation” game. Why should I have to pay your salary just because I want to go to a concert? I’m currently not going to an event I really want to go to because I was priced out of it. I was online the minute tickets went on sale trying to get one. But the people in your profession cornered the true fans out of the market, all to make a buck. I will never support a ticket broker again.

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Diane February 14, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Scalping is illegal. End of story. I can understand service fees and even a little profit for the ticket holder. But 400% of face value to see a concert, NBA or NFL game? Once again, the hardworking, middle class family of four is left out for the elite 1%. It’s all about greed and shame on ticket companies, ticket holders and venues allowing this to happen.

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pete February 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm

The bottom line is, if you have money to buy tickets when they first go on sale, then you have a better chance at getting what you want. A person who makes $28,000 and saves his money to purchase the best available tickets, has the same chance as a person who makes $100,000 a year. It’s all about timing. That’s what makes the secondary market a profession, the broker’s ability to find best availability before anyone else. It is the entertainment industry, either you can afford to go to an event or you can’t. That is why the $28,000 fan saves and stands in line for hours, or is ready to right click on line the second these tickets go on sale, while the $100,000 fan casually waits 2 weeks before the event, and pays double the price to a broker. I myself am a $28,000 a year fan and I am grateful for brokers. There are some occasions when I cant afford a $85 ticket when they go on sale, but with brokers, I know I still have the opportunity to buy the seats I wanted(when I do save up) for a heftier price of course, but that’s the “price” I pay for not saving, or not being rich for that matter. And that’s how business works in all forms. So don’t complain about the middle class hard working getting screwed by ticket brokers. Car dealers, House realtors, and banks all have the buying power to buy and re sell to the working class with high interest rates(same as raising the price on a ticket,or fees), but them people can take your car, your home, your money, and your credit, but a broker can’t take back the experience you endured during an event..Now I ask, where’s the crime in that?

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Jeanne April 6, 2012 at 11:11 am

I can understand what you are saying about these brokers or scalpers are trying to make a living. But there are some of us especially in today’s economy that will continuously miss out on going to a concert due to the fact we can’t afford to pay $300.00 a ticket in the nose bleed section. Yesterday was my 4th attempt to get tickets through ticketmaster online to a very popular concert. They were having a pre sale yesterday at Madison Square Garden through ticketmaster..my daughter and myself had two laptops ready to go and right at 1 minute to 4 we pressed the F5 button to refresh put in our two tickets, pasted in our password as we already copied it so we wouldn’t have to waste time typing it in, typed in the captcha and wow no surprise we get the sorry screen. This is the 4th venue we have tried and this happend with on totally different days. Yesterday morning I noticed brokers were already selling tickets before they even had the pre sale. So how is that fair? Where are they getting these tickets? I honestly feel that this should be illegal as people like me barely getting by that would like to go to an occasional concert should be able to pay face value. For ticket master to say tickets SOLD OUT in under 2 minutes is a LIE they aren’t sold out the Brokers and Scalpers had them before the pre sale as I saw it on their sites myself. So Today the rest of the mysterious tickets left go on sale to the general public. I don’t plan on buying scalped tickets who the hell can afford them? It surely isn’ t me. This time I am going to a ticket master retailer and see if IS have any luck the time they are supposed to go on sale. If I can’t buy any tickets today at the retailer….. putting tickets on sale for pre sale and general public is just a SCAM. Because if I can’t get tickets there were no tickets to get so why publicize this? I go on these broker sites and shake my head and laugh…wanting $10,000.00 for first row seats and I saw as high as $108,000.00 for tickets. I contacted my news station yesterday trying to bring awareness to this atrocity. It really needs to stop. It’s like saying to the general public okay you aren’t rich you can’t go only the rich people can buy these tickets and if they do they are freaking stupid. I want to see this band bad but they aren’t god. Only God is worth that much money. Hope these Brokers and Scalpers are stuck with tons of tickets in the end and get what they deserve :)

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david April 23, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Giving us yet another reason to hate Ticketmaster, the company revealed that it has been scalping tickets through its secondary TicketExchange and TicketsNow Web sites. Designed as a means for fans to sell tickets they’ve already purchased, Ticketmaster senior vice president for legal affairs Joseph Freeman told the Wall Street Journal that TicketExchange and TicketsNow “only rarely list tickets offered by fans.”

Bruce Springsteen originally brought the scam to public attention last month. He lambasted the company on his own Web site when thousands of his fans complained after Ticketmaster began automatically redirecting ticket buyers to its TicketsNow site, where the concert tickets were being sold for heavily inflated prices. Ticketmaster, who would admit no wrongdoing, blamed the redirection on a “glitch.” Despite not accepting fault, Ticketmaster agreed to reimburse the ticket buyers and settled with the New Jersey attorney general office for $350,000, mainly for court costs.

Even more infuriating, it’s not just Ticketmaster: NUMEROUS ARTIST have actually partnered with the ticket goliath in this sham, sharing the scalped profits. Earlier this month, Britney Spears tickets, regularly available for prices ranging between $39.50 and $125, were being sold on TicketExchange for as high as $1188.60. Other “starving artists” getting in on the action include Elton John, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Celine Dion and Neil Diamond (whose agent just so happens to be the Ticketmaster CEO). The CEO, Irving Azoff, told the WSJ that Ticketmaster is “working to clarify the origin of tickets on TicketExchange.” Right.

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david April 23, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Being in the ticket business for several years I on occasion am questioned by some as some are questioning other ticket brokers here. First of all, there is very little you will ever buy in this country that wasn’t bought at a cheaper price from the seller you bought something from regardless of what it was where it was bought or for how much. Its free enterprise people and it’s been happening for a few hundred years and still happens all day long everyday. Secondly, I realized long time ago that I am not in the ticket business for anybody and everybody who ever wanted to go to a concert. Just like the owner of a high class steakhouse is not in business for anyone and everyone who wants to have steak for dinner tonight. Some would love to purchase his steak dinner at his set price and some won’t! To sit outside his restuarant and whine and carry on that its not fair is ubsurd. Period. I am in the ticket business for those who willingly and happily and thankfully purchase the tickets we bought for re-sale. And if buyer and seller can agree on a set price for purchase and do so willingly, happily and thankfully then so be it! This is America people!

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Davd August 15, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Completely get both sides. However I honestly have to side with brokers. They provide a service and although sometimes you pay more than the face value, sometimes you don’t. I’ve gotten tickets for events day of from brokers for half the cost. It’s a risky buisness and nobody talked about when brokers get it wrong and lose tons. Just a thought. Look at MLB prices, you can get in so much cheaper for most games by going with a Broker then the team itself. Honestly if you think there should be a cap please go to Russia or some communistic country. We live in capitalism. If your willing to risk thousands of dollars on tickets as a broker, all the power to you

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James September 28, 2013 at 10:25 am

Brokers say they are providing a service. That “service” is buying up all available tickets the second they go on sale so that legitimate fans are unable to buy them at ACTUAL market price. Favorite band coming to town? Get on the ticketmaster site at the exact time tickets go on sale! What’s that? Brokers bought up all the tickets in 10 seconds and now you cant afford to go? Sorry, that’s the “service” they are providing to you. And hey, it’s the AMERICAN WAY! Don’t like it? Move to Russia.

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William Taylor December 7, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Just looked up one direction tickets for the end of September 2014. They went on sale today for a price of $40 to $150. Already sold out. Found the same tickets on one of these so called brokers sites for insane prices. Instead of $150 for center stage they were listed for over $5000. These people in my opinion are nothing more than crooks. For any of them to say that they are providing a service is ridiculous. For them to compare themselves to any legitimate business that provides goods or services is at best a lie. This is one of the major problems with this country. People are allowed to legally rip you off. I thought oil companies were were the worst scum on earth but these scalpers really do want money for absolutely nothing.

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