Scot Tobias: People Just LOVE Ticket Scalpers!

Hold on to your concert tickets, ladies and gentlemen...

photo: Lenore Edman, modified under CC 2.0

Did you know people LIKE getting ripped off by ticket scalpers? Well of course they do, idiot!

At least, according to one ticket scalper, SORRY, “secondary ticketing reseller,” Scot Tobias.

Scot Tobias, the founder and president of Worldwide Tickets, sat down with Billboard to discuss the “Fair Ticketing Alliance”. According to their website:

We created the FAIR TICKETING ALLIANCE to campaign for:

Greater legal and regulatory clarity in the secondary ticketing market

Secondary website platforms to conform fully with the law

Responsible, licensed operators to have the right to buy and re-sell tickets whilst protecting consumer interests

All those ideas sound pretty good, but you know what would sound even better? NOT having to pay above face value for tickets in the first place.

During the interview, single-t Scot says this about the secondary market:

“The bottom line is that the public enjoys and loves the secondary market. They love the convenience. They love the availability. They love the true valuation of the tickets.”

The convenience? The availability? What would be convenient is if tickets were available at the original price (the “true valuation”), and not at inflated prices by some prick preying on the fact that people are basically idiots who will pay whatever they have to in order to see a concert.

Billboard’s interviewer grills Scot further, and his response is absurd:

BILLBOARD: “Critics say you’re ripping off fans by charging grossly-inflated prices for tickets.”

SCOT: “There is a sector of [fans in] the market that don’t get the opportunity to buy the tickets right away, but do like the luxury of being able to buy them later at a premium, or else they wouldn’t do it. People wouldn’t buy these tickets at a premium unless they wanted to.”

You know why they don’t get the opportunity to buy them right away? Because of so many assholes buying them to resell, or the fact that in some cases, the venue is just shoving half the tickets to the secondary market before they’ve even had a chance to be sold!

But there you have it… people wouldn’t buy these tickets at a premium unless they wanted to.

They WANT to pay double the price for floor seats from some guy on the internet.  Did you know we also like paying for gas when it’s over $3 a gallon?  We love it in fact, it’s so convenient!  That extra money in our wallets was just slowing us down anyway!

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Sure, people do it because they “want” the tickets, but if they had a choice, if you said to a person “would you rather pay $100 or $200 to see Queens of the Stone Age?”, who would ever pick $200? You know who might? King Henry I, according to Scot!

“The public has always wanted the service of ticket resellers. It goes back to the Middle Ages.”

What does that even mean!?  Like Scot thinks there were peasants saying to their peasant friends “gee, I sure would like to go see two knights fuck each other up whilst jousting today, but I just couldn’t get tickets… too bad StubHub doesn’t exist yet!”

It’d be nice if more artists spoke out about this.

Musicians can’t possibly like ticket resellers, can they?  If they sell tickets for $100, and some guy turns around and sells them for $200, the band doesn’t see any extra.  So now some other guy is making money off their name, off their fame, off the fact that people want to see them?

Personally I’d be pretty pissed if I were an artist, and I knew people had to pay double or MORE because all the good tickets were bought up by scalpers first, AND I’m not making any extra off that, some douchebag I’ve never met is.

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No one WANTS the secondary ticketing market.  It’s now a necessary evil that we need some sort of regulated way to resell tickets so that even BIGGER scumbags (the ones who don’t even have the tickets in the first place and are just flat out stealing) don’t ruin it for the regular scumbags just trying to make a few bucks off someone else’s hard work and talent… as if there weren’t enough hands in the music industry cookie jar already.

 

Buckley recently paid $60 to see Lewis Black live. If only he’d had the convenience of paying $120!


 


14 Responses

  1. Ron Mexico

    Ticketing is just economics 101. If there are people willing to pay a price above what the vendor wants to charge, then people will take advantage of that. There’s plenty of room for improvement in what exists now, but it beats the hell out a black market because only Ticketmaster has the right to sell a ticket legally.

    Reply
    • nichi_yes

      I’d take a bunch of individual scalpers over one huge scalper that creates a monopoly and buys out most of the tickets instantly.

      Reply
  2. Wellman

    It should be regulated. A simple 10/10% split on the up-sell(scalped) is more than plenty. Ten percent for the reseller, ten for the company for reposting it. I agree when it’s jumping to double or even 4x the amount it’s just crazy. But if the percentages were low enough, then it would increase the amount of extra work / hassle and hopefully curb this insane process.

    Reply
  3. Eric

    I know plenty of people who have money who almost exclusively buy from Stub Hub at top dollar, but it doesn’t mean they love it! It just means they can. And it means that people who can’t, which is MOST PEOPLE, are completely locked out. The current state of the secondary ticketing market is turning concerts into a luxury for the 1%, which is just sad. You can talk about Economics 101 all day long and “what the market will bear” but the reality is that this is hurting more people that it’s helping. There needs to be regulation to create some sort of ceiling to protect everyday consumers!

    Reply
    • [email protected]

      What about all the times tickets sell below face value. Would that not help the other 99% score tickets at a better price? According to Forrester Research about 40% of tickets sell below face value.

      Reply
  4. [email protected]

    The author of this article could not be any more embarrassingly out of touch with the economics of live entertainment. The concept of ticket brokers making money by purchasing tickets at face value and selling them at market value hasn’t been a viable business model in almost twenty years.

    This kind of abhorrent regurgitation of aincent propoganda is exactly why trade groups must continue to spend money pushing out their messaging.

    Reply
  5. Eric

    Please explain more. Is the issue of brokers (i.e., scalpers) using bots to purchase tickets and then reselling those tickets on the secondary market not an issue? What are we missing?

    Reply
    • james

      Bots were made illegal a year ago. It is no longer a real issue because there are real consequences to it (jail time) and Ticketmaster knows when someone is using a bot now. So yes, It really isn’t a issue anymore.

      Reply
  6. DDS

    The only ‘idiot’ in this conversation is the angry writer, who doesn’t want to recognize what most consumers already know – that the primary market (largely the monopoly made up by Ticketmaster/Live Nation and it’s promoters/artists) have been ripping the fans they supposedly care so much about for years. They control the artist, venue, ticketing, merchandise, music, and even the price of beer.

    When I buy tickets on the secondary market, I’d say less than 25% of the time am I paying more than face value, and the customer service provided by companies such as StubHub is vastly superior to that provided by Ticketmaster. The whole live concert industry is run on the basis of monopolistic control by the main players. The secondary market threatens that control, which is why people like you decry it, but the reality is that more competition to the primary monopoly is what is best for the consumers.

    Reply
  7. Dave

    More attention grabbing uneducated nonsense. Man, the holier-than-thou bands and promoters have the general population fooled. Sure, they make a huge deal about the scummy scalpers reselling their tickets, they are soo concerned about the poor fans getting taken advantage of but it’s all subterfuge. They are in the resale game just like everyone else. Most of the best seats for the best shows are held back from the general onsale and sold as ‘vip packages’ and ‘platinum’ seats right on ticketmaster at hugely marked up prices. They are using the scalpers as fodder to get away with what they are doing, they get to make more money with none of the backlash. Genius.

    The secondary market can actually be a good thing, the last few shows I went to I was able to get tickets BELOW face value. Granted they weren’t the most popular events but hey, still a win.

    Reply
  8. james

    click bait.
    Stubhub has repeatedly said that by their own analytics 2/3 of all tickets sold on their site sell for under face. That means that by volume 2/3 of secondary markets buyers are getting a hell of a deal. Ever buy a ticket a baseball game during the week? Yeah, your probably paying 50% or less of cost. Go the katy perry tour last year? If you bought off stubhub you probably paid 25% of cost. This is just a rant by somehow who couldn’t pass economics and likes to rally against a fictional enemy.

    Reply

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