Why is Scalping Tickets Illegal?

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If youÂ?ve ever tried to purchase tickets to a sold out concert, theater show or basketball game, youÂ?ve probably encountered ticket scalpers. In our supply and demand economy, why is scalping tickets illegal?

It's not in most states. Reselling tickets in some states is illegal because of an attempt to control the selling of tickets by the major ticket agencies, promoters or sports teams in those states. The excuses they use are that scalpers buy up all the seats and then mark them up to make money from unsuspecting customers. The truth lies much deeper than that.

Ticket agencies such as Ticketmaster and Tickets.com have a grip on the industry that gives them total control over distribution of tickets to live events. They have spent millions in both local and federal government to get ticket reselling stopped by everyone but themselves.

Both companies even had some success in New York for a while, which allowed them to mark up their service charge as they see fit and making it illegal for anyone else to do so without their permission. This did not last long since every union and organization in the ticket business fought back and got it changed.

Fighting for Control: How Artists/Entertainers are Trying to Change the Way We Buy Tickets

Ticketmaster and Tickets.com control over the industry has been challenged in the past by various groups over the years with one of the more high profile lawsuits filed by the rock group Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam attempted to get the government to take a look at the control Ticketmaster has over the industry in setting their service charges over and above the face value of tickets and their control with contracts that force venues to only sell through their services.

But it was a simple matter for Ticketmaster to say that they do not have a monopoly over the industry. Their claim was that the customer can simply go to the event box office and buy tickets with no service charge. Unfortunately, on most occasions, the box office at a particular event venue is not open the day the tickets go on sale. Even if they are when tickets do go on sale to a major event tickets can get sold out in a matter of minutes.

In recent years many of the performers, sports teams and live theatre venue have set up various ways to get tickets at inflated prices. Fan clubs provide on sale privileges, VIP seating and some sports teams are using tiered pricing based on supply and demand for a visiting team or seat location. VIP ticketing services are offered by various live theatre venues.

All of these options are a result of the performers, sports teams and venues to get a larger share of the revenue they think is going into the hands of after market ticket resellers. This leaves us with the option of trying to call companies like Ticketmaster or Tickets.com on the phone or going online in an attempt to get through to make your purchase. Another option is going to services like eBay or classified ads where an individual may be selling tickets at inflated prices.

This has become a cause of concern for many clients since a large percentage of transactions on a company like eBay or through classified ads mean your dealing with unlicensed or unbonded individuals. This may result in you never getting your tickets or getting tickets that have been misrepresented as to their seat location or quality.

Various organizations have contacted both eBay and newspapers who take these ads. In asking what they plan to do about this problem both eBay and the newspapers offer little or no response. It is unlikely that they want to change something that provides good revenue without a fight.

How Can You Still Buy Tickets to Sold-out Events?

Rather than dealing with a scalper or private individual, a better choice would be to do business with a licensed and bonded ticket broker. Reputable ticket brokers have been around for several years and maintain a good track record. These brokers not only offer a safe and secure way to buy premium tickets to a sold out event, but in most cases have resources to get much better seats that you can get through the box office, fan club or sports team reseller systems.

Many have not only phone service but online website as well. Once you develop a relationship with a ticket broker, you can depend on them to provide you with the service and quality you are entitled to when paying a premium for tickets. Additionally, they are available to answer questions about your sports tickets, concert tickets or theatre tickets.

David Boitano has worked within ticket sales for over 14 years. He currently manages news and information for Ticketfinder. For information on concert tickets, sports tickets or theatre tickets, visit http://www.ticketfinder.com

Go to http://ticketfinder.com/industry-news/index-page.html for more useful articles on the ticket industry.

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