ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Are Ticket Scalpers Really All That Bad?

Updated on May 9, 2011

Have you ever bought tickets from a scalper?

See results

A Risk

If you go to any popular event (theatre, sports, concert, etc.), someone is bound to approach you. They’ll tell you a story about how they bought too many tickets and would be willing to trade you their better tickets for yours plus an extra fee. Usually, they leave the story at home and simply tell you that they’d be willing to trade you their tickets for yours plus that darn extra fee. Let’s say though that you never had the chance (For example, tickets sold out before you could purchase a pair.) to buy tickets, but you really want to go. This is when the scalper (Someone who resells tickets to a public event, but isn’t associated with a ticketing firm or the arena itself.) is your new best friend.

You may or may not be surprised to find out that ticket scalping is not exactly legal. In Massachusetts (my state), I believe it’s still illegal, but not as closely watched as it once was. When I was younger, my parents always cautioned us not to ever buy from a scalper because they could be selling fake tickets or, even worse, be a cop in disguise who wants nothing more than to arrest you. Nowadays, scalpers seem to be more open about their dealings. As I’ve seen more than a few “ticket exchanges” in recent years, I’m pretty sure that as long as they keep their price around the price of the actual ticket, authorities turn the other way. I could be wrong though.

Reasons Why Ticket Scalping Would Be/Is Still Illegal:

  1. Years back, I heard of a lawsuit between Ticketmaster (an official ticket agency) and a company that manufactured a program that allowed scalpers to get around Ticketmaster’s online security measures. Using this program, scalpers could easily buy out the bulk of the tickets to the event in the first few minutes of them being on sale. As they were pretty much the only people with tickets, the public had to seek out scalpers for tickets. Ticketmaster saw this as unfair to the public. I would argue that Ticketmaster’s biggest motivation to sue though was their own welfare.
  2. Having the upper hand (They have tickets or, at least, better tickets than yours.), scalpers can make an enormous profit off of you. A ticket that, at face value, is only $50 can easily cost you $100 (and definitely more) if you’re desperate enough to go.
  3. Scalpers have been known to sell counterfeit tickets. Using a program that can duplicate tickets (or mimics the appearance of a real ticket), they can sell you a fake ticket and you won’t even know the difference until you get to the door. In recent years, scalpers have been collecting already scanned tickets (You go to the door. The ticket taker scans the ticket. You hand the ticket to your scalper friend who then sells the ticket to an unsuspecting person. The unsuspecting person gets to the doors and is told that the ticket has already been scanned.) and reselling those.

Personally, I think ticket scalping shouldn’t be illegal. Yes, it is a risk, but with computer glitches it can be just as risky buying from an official seller. Though it’s happened to me a few times over the years, I will never forget the first time it happened. I was very little and my parents had saved up to take my brothers, grandmother and I to see The Nutcracker. I was so excited. And then another family came to our row and started a fight with my parents. Even after we showed them our tickets, they still insisted that we were in the wrong seats. Once the manager was called, it quickly became apparent that the ticket office had accidentally sold the tickets twice. As it was a sold out show, six people would have to hang out in the back standing room area and six people would get to keep those seats. Being that my parents didn’t threaten to sue and throw a temper tantrum, guess who had to forfeit the seats? Since then, when the validity of my tickets comes into question, I never move. While it’s the venue’s fault and neither the other couple nor my guest and I should be put out, I’m not going to move from the seats I purchased just because the other couple is whining. If you’re mature enough to buy the tickets, you should be mature enough to deal with this unfortunate mistake.

Though I only used a scalper once, it was a truly positive experience. My middle brother had bought me tickets to a concert for my birthday. Being that it was only my second concert, we got there very early. As we approached the gate, we were stopped by a scalper. I guess he liked something about us because he turned our second to last row seats into some really amazing seats for only ten dollars extra. He easily could’ve made a hundred bucks on that deal. Instead, he took our ten and a bucket load of thanks. I am aware though that it could’ve gone horribly wrong. Yet, considering how badly buying legally can go too, it almost makes the risk worth it.

Yes, buying from a scalper is a definite risk. You could be duped out of your money either because you overpaid or because the tickets you’re holding aren’t worth the paper they’re made on. Also, your scalper could actually be a cop and you could end up spending the night in jail instead of at the show. Yet, overhearing a scalper talk to another couple about some awesome tickets for a low price, I always have to dig my nails into my palm to keep from going to him. Humans are programmed to always want more and better things. Knowing this, scalpers will never go out of style.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • LowellWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      L.A. Walsh 

      9 years ago from Lowell, MA

      Glad I could help. Thanks for the comment! :o)

    • WeddingConsultant profile image

      WeddingConsultant 

      9 years ago from DC Metro Area

      Thanks for answering my hub request on ticket scalping! And thanks for educating me on the topic...I always wondered about it but you really cleared the air.

      I especially liked the "Reasons Why Ticket Scalping Would Be/Is Still Illegal" section.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)