Monday 24 September 2018

In the past, the term “resell” was synonymous with scalpers making huge profits at venues on the street corner waving tickets in the air, or calling out that they have tickets, but in recent years it has become a more widely accepted form of practice  where  people buy tickets they can’t use, or bought them to make a dollar, or whatever, they use secondary ticketing sites to resell them, there is a plethora of options to choose from.  The vast majority of these ticket sellers are scalpers.

Tthe biggest problem is when the victims get unsavory people selling tickets, sometimes on these websites, sometimes as 'brokers' on the side of the street prior to the show, and they end up being copies or forgeries of real tickets, and get turned down at the gate where they generally scan the barcode to let the concert-goer get in. if a concert-goer purchased a ticket from a website, he or she will likely get your money back but if you bought one from a scammer, you will have wasted your night going to the door to find out hat you have been scammed out of your money.

Scalpers are the scum that you see at the top of a filthy pond.  And if you look closer you will see that they are also embracing  Ticketmaster as their parents.

Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc. is an American ticket sales and distribution company based in Beverly Hills, California with operations in many countries around the world. In 2010 it merged with Live Nation to become Live Nation Entertainment.

Are you tired of being fleeced every time you go to a U2 concert or other show? This is the downside of technology when fans cannot get a ticket to a show for its face value. That is because scalpers buy tckets in bulk from Ticketmaster and then sell the tickets to people who can’t get tickets from Ticketmaster since the latter has no more tickets to sell. All the seats for the shows that Ticketmaster had are now only available to the victims who are forced to buy the tickets from the scalpers at an outrageos increase in price.

U2 had a choice on whether tickets could be resold on Ticketmaster or not and they allowed for resales. Moreover, Ticketmaster's Credit Card Access feature is a false protection against scalpers because scalpers can use prepaid credit cards and then ship the card to the buyer. All over eBay and Stubhub (an eBay subsidiary) ticket sellers state that they will ship the tickets on a "gift card" or "Prepaid credit card.) Bands like U2 have 100s of millions of dollars that can buy much influence with respect to this issue of their fans getting ripped off. People like Bono walk around talking about morality and social justice and yet it doesn't seem to matter for their own fans. There's a word for that. It is called hypocrisy and this practice needs to end.

Depeche Mode fans scouring Ticketmaster’s website for unsold seats to the band’s September 20th show, at Gexa Energy Center in Dallas, will find $900 tickets marked “RESALE” just a few rows up from $140 tickets sold for face value. It’s part of an experimental new program, Ticketmaster which makes it easier than ever for artists’ fans to scalp their own tickets online. “It’s safe,” says Jonathan Kessler, manager of Depeche Mode. “I would rather our fan base go to Ticketmaster to look at all the inventory of tickets rather than go, ‘Oh, that’s going to be sold out’ — and just default over to StubHub.”

Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation, have resold tickets before. What’s new about Ticketmaster is the artists are allowing resale tickets on the same webpage, often at the same time, as face-value tickets. The artists themselves aren’t really scalping the tickets.  Their fans are making deals with each other, with Ticketmaster as the middleman, just as they do on StubHub or any other resale site.

Why would artists participate in such a thing? Money is one reason. Just like StubHub, Ticketmaster will collect 10 percent of buyer and seller fees on each transaction and divvy up the revenue with the artists (depending on their contracts). Another is control. When fans resell tickets via other resale sites, they’re in a marketplace that no artist, promoter or Ticketmaster can do anything about that practice.

“There’s a lot of bad options in resale — counterfeit, speculating,” says Jared Smith, Ticketmaster’s new North American president. “This was our opportunity to do it in a way that’s completely safe and secure.”

Artists from Van Halen to Neil Diamond have been blocking off tickets for resale over the years in order to make additional money through the multibillion-dollar secondary market. They’ve almost always done this quietly, so fans don’t associate their favorite rock stars with the traditionally shady ticket-scalping market. However, Ticketmaster  shows a resale option on the same page in red capital letters, broadcasting that fans can buy StubHub-style, broker-sold tickets as easily on Ticketmaster as on any other website.

The new service doesn’t sit well with artists opposed to scalping. In 2009, when Ticketmaster automatically shifted Bruce Springsteen fans to its resale site, TicketsNow, when a show sold out, fans complained so loudly that Springsteen himself had to circulate a scathing letter opposing the move. Ticketmaster would make this process even easier. “It definitely feels weird,” says Fielding Logan, who oversees touring for anti-scalping Black Keys and Eric Church as part of their management team. “There’s always been a firewall between the primary ticketing site and the resale sites, where scalpers operate.”

Scalping opponents such as Springsteen and Pearl Jam can turn it off, or choose paperless ticketing, which forces fans to show ID at the door with tickets  that were bought via the internet. But so far, some 30 to 50 events have employed Ticketmaster including concerts by Depeche Mode, Black Sabbath and Backstreet Boys. “We’ve got high hopes that it becomes a ubiquitous part of the experience,” Smith says. “Do we think it’s going to be widespread through the industry? Absolutely. But do we also intend to give artists control on whether it turns on? Absolutely.”

Even anti-scalping artists see that the resale market, if it has to exist, might as well play out via Ticketmaster. “I don’t think the promoters are even going to think about approaching these artists to say, ‘Hey, we’re sold out, do you want us to activate the secondary-market option?'” says Stuart Ross, agent for Tom Waits. “But this is just another service. Ticketmaster is trying to beat StubHub at their own game.”

Ticketmaster is now accused of running what looks like an underground ticket scalping project that may be driving up prices and costing consumers millions. An investigation by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)and the Toronto Star claims that the box office giant is helping scalpers buy tickets and reselling  them with a secret program.

There's no federal law against ticket scalping. There certainly should be,   however Ticketmaster has publicly opposed the practice of scalping in the past.  Then they abandoned their oposision ro scalping.

Wearing hidden cameras, journalists from the Toronto Star and CBC posed as scalpers at a major live entertainment conference in Las Vegas in July. That's where they found Ticketmaster representatives appearing to pitch a company-owned resale platform used by ticket scalpers.

"They have a secret scalper program that they don't talk about in any corporate reports," said CBC investigative reporter Dave Seglins. He's one of the reporters who went undercover as a ticket broker from Toronto. "What we discovered is they are selling something called TradeDesk, which is an online system. It's purposely designed for professional scalpers. It helps manage large inventories of unsold tickets."

Here's how it works,  Scalpers set up fake accounts to buy tickets in bulk on since the website limits how many "tickets one person can buy. The scalpers then sell those tickets at inflated prices on TradeDesk.

When CBC's undercover reporter asked a Ticketmaster representative whether the company will police the use of multiple accounts, he said, "No. I have a gentleman who's got over 200 accounts."

Ticketmaster can then make money off fees from the initial ticket sale and the resold scalped ticket. For example, CBC analyzed ticket sales for a Bruno Mars concert and calculated that Ticketmaster could make up to $658,000 in fees – half of that coming from scalped tickets.

Seglins said. "I'm hoping from an investigation like this, we're really bringing transparency  to this practice  so that people could look at this and ask themselves whether this is right, moral, ethical or  legal,"

In a statement to the Toronto Star and CBC, Ticketmaster says in part that it offers "a safe and fair place for fans to shop, buy, and sell tickets" and that it operates that "marketplace more transparently and securely than any other."  That is pure unadulterated bull shit.

In a statement to CBS News, Ticketmaster said, "It is categorically untrue that Ticketmaster has any program in place to enable resellers to acquire large volumes of tickets at the expense of consumers." It also said it has begun an "internal review professional reseller accounts and employee practices." In my opinion, their bullshit is just drooling out of their mouths.

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