Ticketmaster outsmarts scalpers
Paperless ticketing is the key
Here's good news for many sports and concert fans: Ticketmaster has found a way to sidestep the scalpers and control the price of ticket resales.
How does it work? It's made possible by Ticketmaster's paperless ticket option. Limited now in application, you can expect that more and more ticket sales will become paper-free.
Our Smart Spending colleague Teresa Mears explained how paperless ticketing worked when she did a most unfrugal thing by attending a concert by the Boss, who likes the paper-free approach. (I am extremely jealous.) Teresa said:
To get into Sunday's Bruce Springsteen concert in South Florida, concertgoers had to swipe the credit cards with which they had bought the tickets. The handheld machine then printed out paper tickets with their seat numbers on them. If one person had bought the tickets for a group, they all had to enter at once.
Venues also require a separate photo ID.
The Associated Press explained how the resale system is operating for Nittany Lions season ticket sales this year. The season costs students $240, which works out to $30 for each home game. Because paperless tickets have given Penn State total control, it could limit the number of resold tickets to six per student and set a top price of $60. A entire season of tickets had been known to scalp for $1,400, AP says.
The resale is done through Ticketmaster's Web site, and both parties have to have student IDs.
For the initial sales run, fees amounted to a little more than $4 per ticket, but on resales the buyer was required to pay $1.95 and a 15% transaction fee -- up to $10.95 a pop. In the home opener, the total resale fee averaged $7.89 and was shared between Ticketmaster and the university.
Sure, brokers aren't happy, and those who used to profit handsomely from tickets resales are most likely upset. But the average resale price at Penn State was actually much less than $60. (By the way, Ticketmaster is trying to sell TicketsNow.)
What do you think about this development?
For in-depth reading about Ticketmaster and the secondary market, check out "The price of the ticket" by John Seabrook in the Aug. 10 issue of The New Yorker (subscription required).
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Some workers lose up to a quarter of their paychecks paying off old debt from credit cards, medical bills and student loans, as well as child support.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'