Have you ever wanted to buy tickets to a gig, theatre or comedy show only to find the tickets have sold out almost instantly and you’ve been left without?
To add insult to injury those tickets appear on a secondary ticketing website such as Viagogo, Stubhub, GET ME IN! or Seatwave within minutes but at double the price.
Today when I heard that these four main websites had promised greater transparency following pressure from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), I was hopeful.
New rules don’t go far enough
But sadly, after a closer look at the rules I just feel like they don’t go far enough. The websites have promised to give consumer clearer information and as a result of this we’ll be able to see:
- The original cost of the ticket
- Entry restrictions and if there are restricted views
- If seats are next to each other
- If there are additional charges
- A contact email address if something goes wrong
The rules will help inform new legal restrictions coming into force under the Consumer Rights Bill later this year, which could see ticket-selling sites face fines of up to £5,000 if they don’t comply.
I know it’s probably unrealistic to ask for a cap to be placed on the amount of profit resellers can make from tickets, but it would be nice if face value ticket websites got more exposure and that’s the purpose of this blog.
You can resell tickets at face value
Twickets is a fan to fan ticket exchanges where you can sell tickets at face value.
It works a bit like the other reselling websites where you list a ticket for sale. The difference is that the price must be face value or less.
Twickets has been running since 2011 and also operates using the Twitter handle @Twickets. You can add up to 15% to cover the original booking fee, payments are via PayPal and you can set up delivery by post, drop & collect, meet up and download.
The firm promises the buyer that in the unlikely event tickets are not as described by the seller, you’ll get your money back.
It also has a transparent list of fees, for more information visit Twickets.com.
I was saddened to hear about the closing of another site at the end of last year called Scarlet Mist, which also ran a similar service for many years.
But wait, isn’t ticket reselling a smart way to make money?
I know some of you will disagree with me on this blog. It’s easy to see how snapping up tickets to a popular event and reselling them at a much higher price is a clever way to make extra cash.
In fact, the Government agrees too. In 2009 it published a white paper looking at the industry and concluded it was fair.
And as one of the bosses of these firms once said to me when I challenged him on the morality of his business: "You’re just selling a commodity, what makes it different from selling a house at a profit?".
It’s a good point. But it’s something I feel quite strongly about.
For me, going to see Blur play at Hyde Park, or Caitlin Moran interview Lena Dunham at the Southbank Centre is an experience.
It’s something I’ll never forget and the memories can’t be replaced. So, why because I can’t afford to pay double the price of a ticket, should I be robbed of this experience?
Sure you can make a quick bit of cash but I believe doing it makes you no better than a ticket tout standing on a street corner, except you’re in the comfort of your own home sat behind a computer screen.
I’d like to know what you think. Do you agree that reselling tickets for profit is morally wrong? Or are you keen to make a fast buck as a legal ticket tout? Please let me know via the comments section below or in the forum.