Austen’s example was of selling tickets that had gone unsold. Austen put in work to find buyers for the tickets. People got to see the event last minute at reasonable prices. So you’re right, not all ticket reselling is immoral.
Preventing people from buying tickets at reasonable prices by being faster than them at buying or using some technological advantage they can’t match, and then reselling those tickets at greatly inflated prices is deeply immoral. I find it both sad and disturbing you don’t understand that.
If you had the money to buy all the medicine that treats a particular disease (or could buy a controlling interest in the drug company that makes the only cure…), do you understand that it is reprehensible to then resell that medicine at 10 times the original cost?
It’s a direct analogy to help see why the former is immoral. Yes the consequences of ticket touting are far less severe than what some drug companies have done, but the thinking behind those actions is the same.
The point of my analogy was to explain why it is worse and quite different to normal selling. Normally people do not have the ability to corner a market and control the price, letting them overcharge people. Because this is an immoral act that causes society harm, most societies have laws and prohibitions against this sort of thing.
Computer-aided ticket touting is a new twist on an old formulae, and the laws are trying to catch up.
One summer my cousin got me a job with him cutting the grass at golf course in Vancouver. It was a municipal course owned by the city, so unionised and a pretty sweet gig. It was a super early start so we had some time in the pm.
My cousin had just returned from an extended tour of SE Asia and a friend there was now back in Australia and selling the clothes from Khao San Road at a market in Brisbane with a 1000% markup (the valley, for those that been) and making a killing. Genius.
We got ourselves a stall at the Chinese Night Market (you had to pay the rent for the whole summer upfront, it was a big stretch) and we were in business. The timing worked, cut the grass in the morning and sell merch in the evenings. We were the only white dudes there selling, but we moved product. We ended up doubling down on our best seller, exclusively selling women’s stretchy Ts with fun graphics.
Perhaps the high point was when I was dancing with a girl in a club and then noticed she was wearing one of our shirts! Saw a few more out in the wild after that.
I think unless prohibited by the vendor someone who buys should be able to then sell on. Why not? It’s a discretionary purchase, not comparable to life saving drugs. They may be servicing a market who are happy to pay for the convenience. Everyone has close to equal chance of purchasing if we ignore bots and the like. For some sports events purchasing tickets you cannot be sure who you’re going to end up watching and the market price of your ticket might increase if a more popular matchup occurs. Should ticket holders then be banned from reselling.
Should the original ticket vendors be allowed to use any kind of ‘dynamic’ pricing where tickets may be held back and released at a higher price after demand is gauged?
I think anyone ticket touting on a big scale or using a technological edge should be prevented from doing so by vendors but on the grounds of preserving customer experience not on morals and the onus should be on vendors.
I can understand it would be frustrating if you were unable to see an event because you were priced out by resellers but I dont think it’s much of a reflection on morals. It seems like people have accepted the view its morally repugnant to do so because a few ‘poor musicians’ have tweeted that it is. What A Time To Be Alive
I don’t think reselling tickets should be banned, there are genuine reasons for changes of plans. It’s the buying in bulk that’s the problem. That’s what’s preventing real fans buying their own tickets. Tickets to big events go to the buyer with the fastest internet connection and they sell out in minutes
I completely agree with you here. These “hugely inflated prices” that people are getting upset about only exist because people are prepared to pay them. Using bots to scrape large amounts of tickets is rightly illegal. But if you’re prepared to log on and beat someone to it and sell them to the highest bidder… that’s just hustling. The reality is the artists have priced the tickets below their market value. Anyway the market has been largely clamped down on the UK, with ID checks etc.
I think one of the points that Adam was making is that “touts” provide a service to those who can afford a higher price point. If those individuals don’t want to, or can’t, wait in line at 9am to buy tickets (as they are at work etc.) and they are prepared to pay more… shouldn’t they be just as entitled to buy them at an inflated price?
It’s not that they can afford it and you’re ripping them off… it’s that they’re actively participating in the market and are driving those prices. If they weren’t prepared to pay more there wouldn’t be a secondary market of that scale. I think the question really is… Should tickets be distributed via a lottery at a price (almost) everyone can afford, or should they be distributed via a dynamic pricing mechanism? I would say the latter and you would say the former. That’s fair enough and everyone will have their own view on it.