Archive for the 'ebay' Category

If touts are entrepreneurs then that degree I bought online makes me a doctor.

So it seems that Glastonbury only sold 100,000 of 137,000 tickets when they went on sale over the weekend. Now this could be because of the horrible lineup (Jay-Z? Really? Ugh.) – not that a bad lineup has ever stopped people in the past. It could be because of the weather – but the weather is vile almost every year. Or, perhaps, it could be that the new anti-touting measures have worked and we’ve seen what the actual demand is instead of the fake demand created by touts and people trying to make a fast buck off other music fans. Considering that Reading/Leeds, T in the Park and V Festivals all sold out immediately, I’m thinking it’s that last one myself.

For better or worse (it’s looking like for worse at the moment), we purchased T in the Park tickets. Unlike last year, when we managed to get 1 ticket between 3 of us, this year we managed to get 4 tickets between 3 of us. Why four you ask? Well, you could only get a maximum of 2 and 3 of us wanted to go. To avoid last year’s problem we opted to try for 2 from each household. It worked. The number of people who did the same is probably pretty high. We offered our spare to a friend who accepted. Most people will have gone straight to eBay. If touting were illegal, this dilemma may not have occurred. It would also have prevented the several hundred tickets that were on eBay within minutes of the festival selling out being on there at outrageous prices. Or the hundreds that will be sold via eBay, Gumtree and other, similar sites and through dodgy ticket resellers between now and mid-July.

When hundreds of tickets go on sale every day, it suggests that an extremely large percentage of the tickets for T in the Park (or any festival or major gig) are going to touts, not to fans. So people aren’t getting the helpful opportunity to buy tickets from resellers when they miss out because they didn’t know something was on sale or couldn’t get to the phone or computer, they are being forced to buy tickets this way because touts (and we mean you, music fans who are selling your spares above face value, as well) are cornering the market and artificially driving up ticket prices.

Now, Word Magazine had an interesting suggestion which they claim will sort everything out without the need for legislation – just don’t buy tickets at inflated prices. But can you imagine being a 16 or 18 year old who’s missed out on getting a ticket to the gig or festival you’ve been dreaming of for months or years, finding out all your friends managed to get those tickets and then being faced with the dilemma of paying 2x, 4x or even 6x the face value but not missing out or staying home and feeling like a social outcast? It’s not going to happen.

With the kids starting to go to gigs now for the first time having this scenario as the norm, they will just accept it and nothing will change. If anything, it will get worse – and the bands and artists aren’t even benefitting from this. The touts are actually making more money per ticket than the artists are in many cases. If you consider that a £30 ticket to the Manchester Apollo for the Arcade Fire was selling for a couple hundred pounds, you have to wonder about a government commission that tells us that these people are offering a useful service when what they are really doing is making a living by being disrespectful to the artists and disrespectful to the fans. These people take pride in contributing nothing to the betterment of society and instead would rather make a living off other people’s hard work instead of their own. To me, that behavior is not only unethical and greedy, it’s highly anti-social.

Word Magazine suggested that maybe touting agencies should be required to pay royalties to the artists. Well now, that won’t make them raise their prices further, now will it?

When you consider that the ticket touting, ahem, reselling industry makes a living by trying to disguise the fact they are resellers, offering tickets for sale that have not been bought yet, and is full of companies that take people’s cash and never deliver, you have to wonder that the government has not cottoned onto the fact that this is not legitimate business any more than the spam emails we get from “universities” offering degrees and the ones offering prescription drugs prescribed “legally” are legitimate businesses.

When will the people who make the laws wake up and see that they should be encouraging entrepreneurship and community, not greed and laziness? Make touting illegal.

Oh, and if you miss out on tickets, or you end up with spares, please use Scarlet Mist.

Posted by JustHipper on 8th April 2008 at 9:07 pm | comments (7)
File under ebay,gigs,Rant,stop touting,Tickets,touting.

Touts Spoil Everything: That Led Zeppelin Ticket Lottery

When the details were announced for the Ahmet Ertegun tribute with the remaining live members of Led Zeppelin reforming to perform, Bricking Chick phoned me up and asked if I would please register. Her better half is a massive fan, as is she, and she knew that The Ledge and I, to put it mildly, are not. I happily obliged. I mean what better thing to do than to acquire tickets to the most talked about gig in the whole world and present them to a friend?

Well, it seems, the touts have spoiled even that.

So, anyone without a credit or debit card in your own name, parents trying to buy for their kids, kids trying to buy for their dads, and, well, anyone else who may have also chosen to register to get some tickets for someone they knew would desperately want a pair – if you don’t use them yourself, you’d better not buy them.

The email I received today telling me I was eligible to purchase two tickets reads as follows:

This passcode is non-transferable. Only the winner of the ballot as named above is eligible to purchase a maximum of 2 tickets using this passcode and a credit [or debit] card in their name.

It then goes on to inform me that, “Tickets purchased by anyone other than the winner of the ballot as named above will be cancelled. ” Then there’s some stuff about not being allowed to resell them or they get cancelled, before the following piece of joy:

Each original purchaser must provide the actual credit [or debit] card used for the purchase along with valid PHOTO ID (passport or driving licence) in order to receive the tickets and non-transferable wristbands. All wristbands will be fitted immediately. The name on your photo ID must match the name against which your passcode is registered AND the name on the credit [or debit] card used for the ticket purchase, otherwise you will be refused entry to the event.

Furthermore:

There will be no exceptions to the above, no name changes or letters of authorisation will be accepted under any circumstances.

And then the two pieces of info explaining the idiotic restrictions listed above:

We reserve the right to cancel any ticket purchase made by any person whom we reasonably believe to be associated with any ticket broker or tout.

and

We are doing our best to keep the tickets for this event out of the hands of secondary ticket sellers and in the hands of the fans so please help us by adhering to the above.

So, in summary, the touting problem has gotten so bad that I cannot buy a pair of tickets and give them to a friend who is a massive fan, because if they don’t put stricter controls on the gig tickets than they do on security at airports, then these tickets, tickets for a charity gig, will be changing hands at prices that even the band, the promoter and TICKETMASTER realise are ridiculously high.

Now, if touting were illegal and all of these vile ticket resellers were put out of business; if eBay were to restrict tickets sold via their website to “Buy It Now” at face value ; if people didn’t have so little sense of morality that they were more than happy to sell tickets to other people just like themselves at prices they know cannot be afforded by the average person; and if music fans could control themselves and realise that the world won’t end if they miss one gig and refuse to pay these prices, refuse to buy from touts and shout and scream about the idiocy of the situation, then I could maybe get a pair of tickets for my friend and her partner and they could go see this gig.

And yet again, other people’s lack of ethics and decency is spoiling it for the rest of us. Good luck getting Glastonbury tickets folks.