How do we stop online ticket scalping?

SIMON SWEETMAN
Last updated 10:53 09/06/2014

I'm not sure what the answer is to ticket scalping - specifically to people buying online and then selling for an inflated cost via TradeMe. But whenever you see a whinge article it's always some mother moaning about missing out on tickets for a demanding tween. And it's always to something they shouldn't really be seeing - Katy Perry for instance. So the kid will be crushed because its whole class is going and they've been a fan for, like "forever" (even at age 7 or 10 or whatever). 

Anyone dumb enough to pay $500 to see Katy Perry gets what they deserve. If I had a seven year old girl I'd gladly be the father taking her to concerts. Great fun. I'd also happily be the one telling her she can't go to a Katy Perry or Lady Gaga concert.

I've seen both acts and for all the talk of a show and spectacle I'd still rather not have to explain why the superstar was trying to swallow the microphone as she bobbed her head in time with the second syllable of the word 'Peacock'. And then, as she repeated that word over and over and increased the speed of head-bobs she turned side on to fully accentuate the gesture. That's a car-ride conversation I'm not looking forward to. I'll have my version and then versions of that, sure. But there have to be bigger disappointments in life than not getting to see the pop star du jour.

I wanted to see heaps of shows as a kid. The standard answer was 'No'. Later on my parents took me to a few really cool shows - including my first big-name international act and a couple of other really "important" concerts. But that was when I was older, when they could afford it, when it coincided with a holiday and when, perhaps, I had earned it.

Am I still sad about not getting to see MC Hammer and Nirvana and whatever other acts I claimed to - so badly - need to see? Not at all. I can hardly remember the names of most of the shows I had at one time announced were so important to me; that I'd die if I didn't get to see them.

I've ended up getting to see more than my fair share of shows. And there's no resentment towards my folks at all. They taught me several great lessons - including that you can't always get what you want. Well, maybe it was something in their record collection that taught me that specific line, but anyway...

Should TradeMe make it illegal to sell concert tickets altogether? Should the person who bought tickets as a Valentine's Day gift or birthday present only to then split up with their partner be punished for wanting to at least try and save face-value of the ticket? Should someone suddenly struck down with flu have to think of another way to sell the ticket because there are also scalpers milking the system? Or should we just let it run because if the market dictates that a Katy Perry ticket might be worth $500 then that's just someone else's crafty gain?

I reckon TradeMe should step up and ban the selling of any and all event tickets. That's just my personal opinion. I'm happy to be told I'm an idiot - it happens most days anyway. The guy or girl who ends up having to sell tickets because of an unforeseen situation, wanting only the cost they paid in return, has other avenues - they can pitch the ticket on Facebook; they can email out, add it to an office noticeboard, they can give it away, they can go to other forums. I'd like to see TradeMe take that stand because in most cases people are out to make an extra buck from selling tickets and I reckon that stinks.

What do you reckon?

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- Stuff

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