As you may know, this blog is new. Every day I receive more visitors. My subscribers continue to climb!
I also continue to get more email. I would guess about 60% of our emails are from fans who think it is pretty cool that I am sharing simple strategies for buying tickets. Many of them have specific questions. Other just write to say “Thanks!”
About 20% of the emails are from Brokers. Angry Brokers. “Why are you telling people this stuff?” Or, “You are ruining our business!” All sorts of profanity and threats. I feel it is a whole lot of worrying about this little blog. More on that in coming days.
The last 20% are angry Fans. Very angry fans! Even more angry than the Brokers for some reason. The past few days included emails calling me a “parasite.” And one even said my “kids should be taken away because Brokers are worse than Prostitutes.”
Americans hate Ticket Brokers. In a country that has prospered like no other – it seems we do not believe that capitalism and free market principles should not apply to tickets. And while we understand that supply and demand impacts home prices, and the cost of gas or strawberries – tickets are different.
I am obviously biased, but I feel selling tickets for a loss or profit should not be taboo. And I believe it is hypocritical to believe selling tickets is any different than every other business in America.
My goal is to share my thoughts on the topic. Please feel free to leave your comments below.
America is a free market. In simple terms that means businesses decide what they will sell or produce, and consumers decide what they will buy. In free markets, sellers are free to price their products or services at any price they see as appropriate. In turn, consumers vote with their dollars, and can choose to buy something, or pass on a purchase. Fairly simple.
An apple farmer decides he would like to charge $1 per apple. They are his apples, and he can charge any amount he pleases. The consumer then has a decision. Pay $1 and receive an apple – or pass on the apple.
Tickets Brokers are no different. They set their prices at what they feel is appropriate – and Consumers have the freedom to buy or pass.
“But its not the same thing – the apple farmer is producing something tangible. Ticket Brokers just buy and resell.”
That’s true. So let’s discuss the grocery store. The grocery store buys the apple for $1 and sells it for $2. Now the apple farmer makes his profit, and so does the grocery store. And the consumer pays more for the apple. Does this make the grocery store an Apple Broker? An Apple Scalper? Why don’t we despise the grocery store for buying apples for no other reason than to resell them for profit?
I believe the reason we are okay with grocery stores is that we view them as a convenience. A very expensive convenience – but one we find acceptable. After all, what are the consequences? Milking our own cows, or baking our own bread?
Ticker Brokers provide a service and convenience for for many consumers. Here are the top few reason consumers may use a Ticket Broker:
- Consumers want tickets for a show that sold out quickly
- Consumers did not know the show was on sale until it was too late
- Consumers forgot the tickets were on sale
- Consumer has a job or other obligations that conflicted with the tickets going on sale
- Consumer could not afford to buy tickest when they went on sale
- Consumer just moved to town and now would like to attend an event
- Consumer would like a large group or additional tickets
- Consumer need better quality tickets to entertain a client
Ticket Brokers provide liquidity in the market. Without them many fans would not be able to attend an event.
Let’s say you move to town and want to see a concert that has been sold out. Or, you bought 4 tickets because that was the limit for a show through Ticketmaster, and you have a family of 5. If Ticket Brokers did not exist and it were illegal to sell tickets above face value, where would you turn for help?
No where. Because the only people who would have tickets would be fans. And why would fans give up their tickets at face value? So other fans can take their place?
That is the beauty of a free market. Consumers can choose how much they value something. Sellers charge what they want – and Buyers decide if they value the product as much as the seller.
As an interesting side note – this works the opposite way with tickets as well. Brokers buy tickets for a sports team, then the teams does poorly, then the Broker drops the price below face value. The consumer does not pay face value just because that is what they originally cost – the consumer pays what they are worth at the time of purchase (in this case less than face value.)
Still not convinced? If you own a business, or work for a business, you subscribe to free market business practices and are no different than a Ticket Broker. Think about it. Every business sets out daily to produce a product or provide a service and sell it for more than it costs to produce or provide. It does not matter what your job is – if it is a company, then you are selling something for more than face value. Are you a parasite? Of course not!
What about selling land, or you house, or car, or a autographed baseball card? If you have ever bought something and resold it for a profit (or loss) then you participated in a free market.
There is a reason almost every state makes it legal to buy and sell tickets for a profit. It’s because to make it illegal is hypocritical.
Can you imagine the government telling you that you can’t sell your home for more than you bought it? Or telling you that you can’t sell your car or less than you bought it? What if you could only buy and sell items (including stock in your 401K, your home, etc) for exactly face value?
In my opinion – its one way or the other. We either price fix everything, or we price fix nothing.
What do you think?