Have you ever been stood at a sold out gig floating around trying to source a way in, when you hear a call from someone down a dark alley asking if you needed a ticket? Isn’t that primal. Now instead of you having to get up and stand around at the venue you can go online to a resale sight and buy the ticket that you so desperately need. But there seems to be a small problem the tickets were advertised for £50 but they are costing £250 and like the sheep that you are, you buy. This is called ticket scalping and you have just been scammed. But don’t worry you are not alone you and thousands of others have paid over the odds for a ticket for their favourite shows.
Ticket scalping isn’t a new thing it has been around for decades. From the first Super Bowl to the latest Ed Sheeran concert buying and selling tickets have been a staple in the major event industry. People have been using online ticket resellers since the very beginning of online ticket trading began. But in the recent years there has been several instances of people who have been paying up to 400% mark ups for tickets to shows and events. People often wonder how do the scalpers make their money and they do it through the introduction of bots. Bots pretend to be people in the online que as they wait until the tickets go on sale. Then as the clock ticks down from five … four … three … two … one … that is when they pounce and snatch a lot of tickets therefore reducing the chance of a fair price ticket for the normal punter.
Now most people are quick to attack ticket scalping but i’m here to tell you that it is not that bad. Don’t get me wrong the people who buy three hundred tickets at twenty dollars each and charge one hundred dollars are not making things easy for those who are being fair and not going over the top. Many people (myself included) see ticket scalping as a legitimate business opportunity. Like many things in the 21st century there are many people taking ticket scalping to extremes like the aforementioned people in the previous scenario. As someone who doesn’t have a lot of money I have often thought about ways to make money and ticket scalping has certainly been one of my more thought about options.
There are many ways that I feel as though ticket scalping could be made legal or certainly better vetted. One example of which is tighter robot checks when you try to buy tickets online. This would help reduce or even eliminate the threat of robotic buyers. Another way in which ticket scalping could be more humane is by making those who wish to resale tickets on a major scale to register for a permit (almost like a business permit) that would allow the holder to sell tickets at an inflated rate and at an amount they like. But there is one major thing than makes the whole ticket scalping completely illegal. Can you guess what it is? No it’s not murder. It’s tax evasion. Every time someone sells a ticket on the side they are committing a crime that could be worth five years in jail. So the answer seems so simple. Just tax the ticket scalpers. The reason that they don’t get taxed is that when it is a cash transaction the government has no recollection of the transaction and therefore they can’t tax it. A way to combat this is by encouraging those who are reselling tickets to sell the ticket online. This would help those who are selling the tickets to have a forum to sell the tickets. Also it allows the tax man to take his cut from it.
So to recap ticket scalping has many negatives. But there can also be a more legitimate side to the dark art that is ticket scalping. So I ask you what side of the fence are you on? So I ask you the next time you buy a ticket online are you buying it from a ticket touting tyrant or a mum who is trying to make a quick buck.
By LUCAS LAING