Major ticket company scams buyers
THIRD PARTY SELLERS TEST FANS’ LIMITS
The announcement for a tour goes up. Fans get on Ticketmaster hours before the tickets even go on sale, refreshing the page every few minutes, and when the concert goes on sale people surge to buy their tickets before the sellout.
Time and time again, this excitement is all for naught. Many fans miss their opportunity to even buy a ticket. The concert sells out in only minutes, leaving thousands without tickets. However, this isn’t the result of the seats being filled. The concert sold out so quickly because another company has bought in bulk. The culprit: Vivid Seats.
Even hours before tickets have gone up for sale on Ticketmaster, they are already being sold on Vivid Seats. Sound fishy? It should. All concertgoers must do is look a little closer to realize that many ticket companies are under the same umbrella. Under Ticketmaster or Vivid Seats websites, the direct links and customer support help-page give answers for one another. Very quickly it becomes clear that while fans are waiting hours to buy the ticket to catch a glimpse of their idols, ticketing companies are pre-selling in bulk to third-parties and making more than a measly buck off of the dedication of fans everywhere—because these fans will pay upwards of $200 to watch a live show of someone they idolize.
Buying tickets from promoters like Altitude Tickets traditionally could cost anywhere from $25 to a couple hundred. For example, Red Hot Chili Peppers’s most recent tour is $49 for general admission on Altitude Tickets—an equivalent of Ticketmaster—for the Pepsi Center in Denver. The Pepsi Center is a great venue for scaling high production shows for an artist that has a major following in Denver. Why, praytell, are those same tickets going for $199 to $1157 each on Vivid Seats—according to Vivid Seats’ pricing on Feb. 14?
At some point the harmless devotion of fans means nothing. These massive online companies are testing just how much fans are willing to spend to see something they love. It doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. Fans are not about to strike ticket companies because of their exploitation. It has been proven over and over again: True fans will do just about anything for the chance to be closer, to live what they’ve heard a thousand times through their earbuds, and to entertain a fantasy of somehow personally meeting the person or people they hold in such high regard.
Nonetheless, it is good for one to know and recognize the moral-absent monster for what it is. Third-party ticket sellers are the new scalpers—the only difference is that they can hide behind official-looking contracts and have found a way to seem legal. But don’t be fooled. It’s the same age-old tale, except now the scalper is selling a ticket for 200 percent of its original price before it is even up for sale by the artist themself.