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Selling Gig Tickets on eBay... [Sep. 28th, 2006|10:33 am]
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[mood |curiouscurious]

Is it wrong to buy gig tickets with the sole intent of selling them via eBay for a quick profit?

My heart tells me that it is, but my wallet wants to disagree...

Last year I made a quick buck selling a couple of tickets on eBay, but I soon decided that it was immoral and that by forcing fans to pay inflated prices I was possibly depriving less well-off fans the chance to see their favourite band.

To make up for my actions last year, this year, I've sold about 20 of my spare tickets at face value to friends and fans on band message boards. Each person that bought the tickets has been overwhelming thankful and happy (ecstatic in some cases...) and that has made me feel good. I feel I've helped spread a little bit of happiness in the world.

Recently I sold 4 Killers tickets to some of my friends at the face value (£22 each) and they were truly thankful. But today, after seeing the tickets selling on eBay for £150 each, I wonder whether I'm doing the right thing? I could have easily auctioned my tickets and made £500 profit. In fact, at the time I bought the tickets I had the option of buying tickets for all the venues on the current Killers tour, and therefore I could have made £3000 profit for essentially doing very little.

If I look at the other tickets I sold this year at face value, I've thrown away the chance of making another £1000. This amount of money really makes you sit up and take notice.

My morals tell me that this is wrong. Why should I force people to pay inflated prices? It's basic profiteering in essence. But the thing is, if I don't do it, plenty of people will (and are).

I stand by my decision to sell tickets at face value (an ethical tout if you want), but far from making me sleep more easily at night, the thought of all that money I've thrown away makes it harder.

I tell myself that it's good karma and that what comes around goes around... but when I want to buy tickets for a sold out tour (We Are Scientists at Nottingham) nobody else is selling tickets at face value. They're all raking in a tidy profit and no doubt laughing at my morals.


[User Picture]From: hatsumomo
2006-09-28 05:40 am (UTC)
I've always been confused about the legality of it. I sold tickets once to a Radiohead concert but I didn't add much to the price because I knew the guy really wanted to go and I couldn't because of an exam.

I don't think it's wrong per se but it is rather annoying for people who weren't able to get the tickets in the first place. My mother is a huge Scissor Sisters fan and I wanted to get the tickets for her birthday. I couldn't get through on the ticketline and ticketmaster were useless as always. Now the tickets are around £100 each and I just can't justify giving that much money to opportunistic touts.

Each to their own though.
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[User Picture]From: starsforlovers
2006-09-28 05:47 am (UTC)
I'd probably do it if I could be bothered. But it really fucks me off when I want to go to a gig. I'm hypocritical like that though :)
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From: from_this_angle
2006-09-28 05:48 am (UTC)
Go with your morals.

If your not going to go to the gig, don't buy the tickets.

It annoys the hell out of me when bands sell out in minutes and minutes later all the tickets are on ebay for inflated prices. Same with festivals, T in the Park tickets were hugely marked up.

IMO face value for some tickets these days is huge without people selling them on for even more.

You never know when you might be looking for a ticket.
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[User Picture]From: dan_g
2006-09-28 05:49 am (UTC)
I think its down to you...

The legality of the issue seems to be covered by ebay. Remember they are very quick to remove sales that smell a little dodgy, so if there are sales that earn the seller a massive profit, they need to remain legal.

After all, its not like your selling forged or rip-off tickets...

So the only real issue here is whether you can live with yourself. And if the money helps to sooth your seemingly troubled concience. Many people dont even give it that much thought.

At the end of the day though, if you list the ticket on ebay at face value, its not like you are forcing anyone to purchase at over the face value prices?
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[User Picture]From: starsforlovers
2006-09-28 05:58 am (UTC)
Hm yeah, I was just about to comment again and say that if people want to go and see a band play live that badly that they'd pay £100+ for the pleasure that's up to them. It's exactly the same (ebay wise) with clothing. There was a £1.50 primark purse on ebay selling for £30, the seller put it was from Primark and started the bid at £2, if people are that desperate, let them bid.

Personally I'm of the opinion that these people have more money than sense *waits for backlash*
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[User Picture]From: torallion
2006-09-28 06:08 am (UTC)
I wouldn't do it with the intention of making a profit - if I had to sell some tickets I might use eBay, but I'd sell them at face value. Why should the people with more money than sense be the only ones to have a chance at getting late tickets?
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From: beforedesire
2006-09-28 06:09 am (UTC)
The reason selling tickets on ebay is unpopular as it is a market that spreads information. In this case the bad news that there aren't enough tickets.

In general it seems that both you and the buyer of the ticket win. They would rather have the ticket than the money, you would rather have the the money than the ticket. In switching you both win.

I don't understand when venues simply don't charge more.
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[User Picture]From: turbojugend_mcr
2006-09-28 06:28 am (UTC)
Hundreds of people go out and burgle houses every day. It doesn't make it any more morally acceptable.

It sucks when genuine fans of bands have to pay stupidly inflated prioces because dickheads with no genuine interest in the music (this isn't aimed at you personally) are buying up all the tickets with the express intention of selling them on.

Please don't scalp them.
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[User Picture]From: bananapickle
2006-09-28 06:37 am (UTC)
I couldn't agree more. I wish something could be done so that gig tickets don't get bought up by scalpers and sold on for a quick profit.

I see nothing wrong with using eBay to sell spare tickets, (I've bought and sold many myself when friends can't make it) but I find it shitty that huge profits are being made. This new breed of "housewife touts" need to be stamped out.

I really think someone needs to act soon or within 12 months regular fans are going to get priced out of the market. Perhaps people shouldn't be allowed to resell tickets for a profit?
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[User Picture]From: a_pawson
2006-09-28 06:45 am (UTC)
I don't see a problem with it. Tickets are a commodity like any other, and if people are willing to pay ludicrous sums of money for something then fine.

Regarding the legality, the only tickets it is illegal to resell are football tickets. However, other tickets usually state on them that they may not be resold and the promoter is allowed to cancel any tickets they believe to have been resold should they wish to do so.

One thing that has come from this is that promoters have realised people are willing to pay a lot of money for tickets to gigs, and as a result you see a lot of gigs with ridiculously high ticket prices. The likes of Madonna, The Stones etc. can now charge £80 minimum for a general admission ticket, which is way more than I would ever pay to see anyone play a gig, but as they regularly sell out entire stadiums at that price it seems I am in the minority.
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From: privateskylark
2006-09-28 06:53 am (UTC)
I'd do it.

Fact of the matter is if a person can afford to spend £150 on a ticket then it's NOT YOUR PROBLEM. It's their walle, their money and THEIR DECISION at the end of the day - You're not forcing anyone to buy tickets at inflated prices.

Seriously, if you can make a £500 profit then do it.
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[User Picture]From: turbojugend_mcr
2006-09-28 08:28 am (UTC)
Yeh, but the point is what about all the people that can't afford to pay £150, and miss out seeing their favourite band because all the tickets have been bulk bought by opportunist rip-off merchants?
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[User Picture]From: midget_gem
2006-09-28 07:32 am (UTC)
I'm thinking if you start the auctions at maybe just below or around face value, then people have the option of not bidding- and if bidding goes over face value to inflated amounts then it is totally their own doing.

or offering a buy it now just above to give a small margin of profit and seeing if people go for that- or think they can get it cheaper if they bid, thus losing the option?

I dunno
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[User Picture]From: etceterate
2006-09-28 08:05 am (UTC)
I agree with this point, I found myself with a spare Reading day ticket last year, put it on Ebay at face value plus a little to cover the booking fee (about £65 or so) and it went for £95!
I didn't buy it with the intention of selling on at a profit, and would have been happy for it to go at face value, but wasn't going to say no to the extra £30 or so!
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[User Picture]From: turbojugend_mcr
2006-09-28 10:15 am (UTC)

Re: What would Kant do?

Very well put.
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[User Picture]From: cherub_ellie
2006-09-28 07:15 pm (UTC)
Is it wrong to buy gig tickets with the sole intent of selling them via eBay for a quick profit?

Yes it is.

It really pisses me off when I can't get a ticket to a gig but then check ebay and see that instead of me paying £20 for one ticket, I'm expected to pay around £80 for one sodding ticket. I can't afford to pay that much. If I have a spare ticket I'll try and sell it to a friend for face value as you've been doing, I'd never put it up on an auction site, depriving real fans from seeing a singer or band they love.
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[User Picture]From: akicif
2006-09-29 12:13 pm (UTC)
Look at the terms and conditions on the ticket (or the agent's website).

When the T&Cs forbid transferring the ticket, it's not unknown for people selling tickets outside a gig to be moved on or have their tickets confiscated (or the purchaser simply not be let in).

In what way would selling the ticket on eBay be different?
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