Saturday, October 8, 2016

How common is auction-based (dynamic) ticketing?

A simple web search for Ticketmaster auctions results in numerous articles stretching back close to a decade bemoaning the impending disaster. The actual price for some or all seats is determined by what the market will bear through a web-regulated process (sometimes referred to as dynamic pricing). What I’m seeing, in practice, via Ticketmaster and other dealers, are a small number of fans paying top-dollar for special tickets to a small number of premium events. The fan forums erupt with charges of artist collusion and someone eventually mentions Hitler due to Godwin’s Law.

What’s really happening? No matter what is charged for a front row seat to see the greatest show of all time, the seats are full at concert time. Someone, somehow gets those seats, and the artists live to perform another day. Either someone pays the money or someone has an inside source for the seats. It has always been that way, auction or not. The beautiful people get the goodies and the little people are ignored. The marginalization of the little people (like me) is not TM’s fault. They’re just trying to make a buck, and some TM employee gets health insurance because you pay the exorbitant fee.

As with any ticket sale, use reputable, primary sources, decide what you’re willing to pay, and pay it. 


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