8 thoughts on “In defence of ticket touts”

  1. Posted 25/02/2015 at 12:53 | Permalink

    The proposal to criminalise touting represents a volte-face for the Tories, who used to have a bit more sense on this issue. Governments seem to find ever more reasons to jail people, despite our prisons being a disgrace to a civilised nation, to chase a quickly-forgotten headline. On this occasion I’m rather at a loss to see whose vote is going to be influenced and I’m not sure this measure will be particularly ‘popular’. I anyway prefer the term ‘do-it-yourself economics’, an expression introduced by David Henderson in his Reith lectures. It conveys the ineptitude of this type of analysis, which leads to even bigger disasters than my botched attempts at putting up shelves.

  2. Posted 25/02/2015 at 14:03 | Permalink

    I remember once, long ago, taking my sister to the cinema. We wanted to see Gone With The Wind at the Empire, Leicester Square. Outside the cinema we were offered two £1 tickets for £4 each. (That shows how long ago it was!) My sister was a bit horrified at us having to pay £4 for a ticket with a face value of £1 (though I was paying). In response I launched into a spirited defence of ticket touts, along the same lines as Steve Davies above, but more briefly and less eloquently. Not only was my sister amazed, but so was the tout, to be informed what a valuable public service he was providing!

  3. Posted 25/02/2015 at 21:51 | Permalink

    I wonder if technology will kill off ticket touts – it’s increasingly easy to organise auctions for tickets so that buyers and sellers should be able to find a market price more easily. Instead of first come first serve, sellers can then sell to the highest bidder and cut out the tout meaning more profit for sellers and more value for buyers. But no need or reason to ban touts!

  4. Posted 28/02/2015 at 16:48 | Permalink

    So, kidnappers are doing people a favour because if they didn’t pay ransom, they wouldn’t value that(kidnapped) person?

    This is why air should be privatised, and people charged to breathe. It’s all part of how markets should operate,

  5. Posted 07/03/2015 at 17:24 | Permalink

    This is a kind of pettifogging argument dressed up as rationality. On several grounds. The good in question is not the ticket itself, but rather a performance at a date in the future. In the case of artists with international reputations often the quite distant future. The ticket is symbolic, and is something like money. The customer does not benefit from the good until the day of performance. Whereas the tout is already sitting on the money.

    The popular feeling is not so much of fraudulence, but something more like black-marketeering, gouging, skimming off, racketeering. The touts are not the middle men in respect of the product (ie the performance) but only in respect of the ticket.

    There is a fundamental inequity between the customer, and the tout. The touts use software, not available to ordinary consumers, to harvest large numbers of tickets, this undermines the potential equality and time saving of digital sales.

    Re the point of protecting the originator against the possibility of loss. The tickets can be priced high, and in the event of unsatisfactory demand, the price can be reduced, or the event cancelled or held at a smaller cheaper venue. Surely it is in the interest of the venue, the promoter, and the artist to seek the highest ticket prices. This seems to be a more satisfactory solution for everyone except the touts.

    Is it not perverse that venues and promoters are less sure of the value of the artist than touts, and that they( the originators ) are in essence driven by fear of loss to hand over some of the profits.

  6. Posted 10/03/2015 at 19:24 | Permalink

    Further thoughts. One hears in connection with some recent high-blood-pressure issues that company directors have a legal obligation to maximize the return to shareholders. I don’t know if something similar applies to venues, and artists’ management, but, the fact that tickets are issued at a price that is scalpable is evidence of dereliction of common sense duty.

    There is also an incentive for the potentially scalped to be scalpers.

  7. Posted 09/06/2015 at 19:00 | Permalink

    If I get there first and buy a ticket because you couldn’t be bothered to queue or book early then tough.
    Nobody criticises tesco for charging more than they paid.
    I have bought the ticket I can therefore do what I like with it.
    Terms and conditions on tickets are unenforceable and probably illegal.
    I wish that a secondary ticket company would take a few of the theatre companies to court.

  8. Posted 21/01/2016 at 00:53 | Permalink

    As somebody who is looking to work within the music industry, ticket touts make an impact to how the industry works. Right now, more than 75% of an artists income comes from live performances, and their tours. Touts have to buy the tickets at face value so they still have their income stream, but if the artist is playing big arenas or even stadiums and the fans aren’t there because the show sold out because touts have bought up the tickets and sell them at a ridiculous price, there are going to be empty seats leading to their next tour to be in smaller venues, resulting in a smaller income.
    I understand Neil’s point of getting up to book early or to queue, but some fans don’t have the money the day they go on sale, i know i have had to buy them at a later date before because I’m a student and don’t have money at times when i need it.
    However, i do understand that touting is an income stream for some people, as there is no age restrictions, but if you get touts that are selling them up to £50 more than face value that isn’t to bad, consumers will still pay that price. It’s when touters sell tickets for £200+ above face value.
    There are pros and cons for ticket touters, there is no wrong or right answer. There is legislation slowly coming into place to protect the consumers and eventually it could be made illegal like it is within football, and Olympic games.

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