Cracking Down on Scalpers

We’ve all been there. Your favorite band announces a tour and you want to go. You’re ready with credit card in hand to buy tickets when go on sale, only to find out they’re already sold out. How can that be?


Okay, plan B. You head over to StubHub to buy a ticket secondhand, but every ticket listed for nearly three times the original price. You can thank scalpers for that.

How do they manage to do this? Scalpers use computer bots to buy up all the tickets they can as quickly as they can. They then post all the tickets they bought on secondhand markets like StubHub and make a huge profit.

Ticket scalping has gotten so bad recently that fans and bands alike are starting to fight back. Bands like Brand New (whose concert tickets are notorious for selling out within minutes) have taken multiple steps to combat scalpers and help their fans get tickets.

One of the most effective way to discourage scalpers is to offer will call only tickets, meaning the purchaser of the ticket must go to the box office the night of a show and show their ID and credit card they paid with. Tedious and time-consuming? Yes. Better than paying two to three times more than the original price? Also yes. They have also managed to reclaim tickets that end up appearing on StubHub.

“Because most sales and resales occur online, it is very difficult to track and prosecute the fraudulent seller,” Christine Burke, a spokesperson for the Attorney General of Ontario, said in an email. “For this reason, the regulation emphasizes the sale transaction, and tries to create an incentive for both buyers and sellers to use a safe, protected system.”

-Is There Any Way to Stop Scalpers From Selling $5,000 Concert Tickets?, via VICE

In the legal realm, laws unfortunately seem to vary state to state. Tennessee has taken a step in the right direction with the introduction of a new bill that would require ticket scalpers to register with the state to ensure customers were buying legitimate tickets. Scalpers would also have to disclose the face value price of a ticket and it’s exact location.

Most laws against scalpers are ineffective, hence why laws vary depending on where you live. Until laws are enforced more, it seems we will have to bite the bullet and pay extra for that Adele ticket…

Cracking Down on Scalpers

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