The Ticketmaster TicketExchange – New Ways to Get Your Cash

Scarlet Mist has a blog post up on their MySpace page about Ticketmaster’s new Ticket swap facility. If they’re correct, then anybody who wants to can purchase a ticket via Ticketmaster, decide after a couple of days that they don’t want it, and put it up for sale via Ticketmaster at whatever price they choose using their new TicketExchange.

So to sum this up, Ticketmaster have decided that if the touts are making money off their tickets they want part of the profit. They’re helping the touts out by giving them a way to prove the tickets exist, and the touts are giving Ticketmaster a fee for their troubles, because Ticketmaster is charging the seller to resell the undispatched ticket. Not only are they charging the seller, though, they also charge the buyer which means they’re getting their service charge paid a second time on the same tickets, even though they’ve already put a service charge onto the inital cost of the ticket. Finally, they’re charging for the delivery – this is also for the second time because that will have already gone on the purchase price. This delivery fee includes the standard £2 for printing your own ticket from what’s displayed on the screen on your account.

So how does this help the fans? How does this help stop the touting problem?

The issue with which they are ostensibly dealing is touting – the ever-worsening scenario of businesses and individuals buying scads more tickets than they need for a show or an event, stopping people who do want those tickets from getting them at the price at which the artists and promoters intended them to have them – and reselling them on often at 200% or 300% markups, thereby pricing most people out of the market and stopping kids from getting to go see their favourite bands. So how is setting up a facility to enable this, to even help it along, doing anything about the situtation? As far as I can tell, it’s only helping Ticketmaster make sneaky extra money off tickets they’ve already sold once, so why wouldn’t they want to encourage the touts to use their service and to hike up the prices as much as they choose?

Ultimately, I don’t think anybody but those of us buying the tickets really cares about this problem, although they should, because if it carries on people are simply going to stop going to gigs and festivals because of the prohibitive costs.

Once again music fans, don’t let them do it. If you don’t get a ticket at face value, don’t go. When venues start to have noticibly huge gaps of seats for ostensibly sold-out shows, the artists will maybe start to stick their necks out for us. And if you don’t have to, don’t use Ticketmaster. We’d recommend We Got Tickets, they use e-ticketing and don’t add idiotic service charges to print your own tickets.

8 Responses to “The Ticketmaster TicketExchange – New Ways to Get Your Cash”

  • Matthew Says:

    It’s not like tickets are much of a bargain as it is. This may get worse too, as the economics of the industry changes. Apparently, where previously groups would tour to promote an album, now, with digital downloads cutting into album profits, they often as not release an album in order to sell a tour. I am not sure how true this is – I just read it somewhere – but apparently ‘the genuine experience’ has more value these days than a reproduced digital file that anyone can own.

    If this truly is the case, they want to be very, very careful about alienating fans from gigs. The ‘processing fees’ are already enough of an irritant.

    I only really go to gigs up to a ticket price of about £15, although I usually have to add a tenner for the return fare to Glasgow on there, so I’d never have been at The Killers gig for example, or paid lots to a tout for anything. As you have said, I just wouldn’t go, no matter who was playing, and I spend a lot on live music. Imagine what the people with only a casual interest will do.

  • JustHipper Says:

    What gets me is that nobody is outraged at how unethical this whole thing is – Ticketmaster are taking tickets they’ve already been paid once for, and then getting their full fee a second time over. Where is the customer care in that or the consumer’s rights? That second consumer who didn’t get a ticket on the first go should not have to pay more simply because their broadband was slower or their phone line did not connect as quickly. That isn’t about market value, that’s about bad luck. Yet Ticketmaster think it’s ok for them to take advantage of that fact?

    At some point we will put up our thoughts on Tessa Jowell’s report on touting from that summit on touting that she chaired recently; but needless to say, I think it’s all a crock to shut up the few public sources of discontent over touting. She did, after all, say to reporters afterwards that the fans like touts and feel they are an important part of the process. As a fan, I would say she’s clearly got no idea what the fans want or need….

  • Matthew Says:

    Where’s the RIAA when they could actually be doing something useful for a change?

    This pretty much turns touting into a legitimate business, really. You’ll get ‘shops’ setting up on this service like they do on eBay. Tony’s Tremendous Touting Emporium – marvellous.

    I don’t go to a lot of big gigs anyway, but I got to see Dirty Pretty Things, Maximo Park and The Raconteurs last Summer in Edinburgh and it was electric. I’ll happily stick to smaller gigs to avoid being fleeced, but it will be a real shame to have to give up on the odd blockbuster.

  • JustHipper Says:

    It will be a real shame when festivals end up costing more than a 2-week holiday to Sydney – which they will if the touts have their way.


    I am STILL waiting for a refund from tickets that i sold on ticketexchange TWO MONTHS after i sold the tickets! All this hassle and fifty emails to get back TWENTY QUID LESS THAN I PAID! Its a scandal


    PS It goes without saying…use EBAY to sell your tickets! A LOT LESS HASSLE…i wish i did.

  • DAVID HILL Says:

    I have Just gone to book Tickets to see Stereophics at Newcastle Arena. Ticketmaster added £14 to the price of the tickets. Good old rip off Britain. Why doesn’t somebody who actually appreciates live music sell tickets instead of these profiteers?

  • JustHipper Says:

    £14? That is outrageous. I say boycott the Stereochronics. Just say no to paying too much for bland dadrock!

    Seriously though, these charges have got way out of control and the only way to reduce them is to refuse to pay them by going directly to the box office or by shopping around for the cheapest place to buy.

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