Monday, June 15, 2009

Miley Cyrus vs. The Ticket Scalpers

You can read about it at Going 'Paperless' to Thwart Scalpers.

Here is how it works:

"The technology, which Ticketmaster tested last year, is meant to make seats impossible to sell or transfer because they can be redeemed only at the concert, using the credit card with which they were bought. The plan has scalpers and resale sites crying foul.

Tickets for the concerts by Ms. Cyrus, the star of Walt Disney Co.'s popular "Hannah Montana" TV series, will cost $39.50 to $79.50, plus fees. When purchasers arrive at the concert, their credit card will be swiped with a handheld scanner that will print out a "seat locator.""

I guess a scalper could simply walk outside with the seat locator and sell them. But then it makes the scalper's job pretty hard. Maybe for some reason this is not possible anyway.

I never had a problem with scalpers. They would wait in line to buy tickets and then sell them to the highest bidder. You don't have to buy them from scalpers if you don't want to. They perform a service by waiting in the ticket line so you don't have to. Of course, these days computers are used to buy the tickets and scalpers might have automated programs to buy them. But that still saves you the time and trouble of trying to be first in line on the computer.

I don't understand why performers just don't charge a higher price to begin with. Then scalpers would not be an issue. With higher prices you would not have to have people waiting in line to buy tickets or trying to be the first online. People only turn to scalpers because they did not want to wait in line or waited and still did not get tickets (or tried to buy them online when they first came available and still did not get them). If you charge a price that is below equilibrium you create a shortage and shortages cause lines.

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