There has been a lot of hoo-har lately about “ticket scalping”. ie the selling of football or music concert tickets for more, often much more, than their originally issued price.
Currently in New Zealand ticket scalping is permitted for “almost all” activities. There have been a handful of exclusions specifically set out in law, but apart from that, scalping, ie the on-selling of concert tickets is legal.
(Apparently in Australia, there are far more exclusions where it is NOT permitted).
Of course there will be many cases, especially when the tickets for many music concerts are sold months, sometimes almost a year, in advance, that a change of circumstances will mean that someone cannot ultimately attend. Perhaps they suffered an injury or illness, or moved address to the far end of NZ.
Concerns have been raised in two main areas. Firstly how primary sellers like Ticketmaster sold completely out of tickets, tens of thousands, within just a few minutes of sales opening online. And then how so many of those originally sold tickets ended up on Ticketmaster’s own re-selling website just MINUTES later, for greatly inflated prices.
However more consternation has been caused by Kiwis using a Swiss based re-selling site, “Viagogo” to buy tickets. Viagogo pays for internet advertising in such a way that it appears at or near the top of web search pages, often above even the original ticket seller’s own webpage.
Now just to be clear, Viagogo is NOT a scam. It is a genuine site, a web platform that allows people with “excess tickets” to place tickets for sale and it acts as intermediary, taking a commission. They also guarantee that tickets bought through the site are valid and will be honoured. Many folks have had trouble getting that guarantee itself honoured though, as telephone support is difficult to access in NZ with automated assistance options only in French, Italian and Swiss-German.
There’s also the distress factor caused when people turn up in say Auckland for a concert, having paid for airfares and hotel accomodation as they’ve come from elsewhere in NZ to attend a music concert, only to be turned away at the venue’s turnstyle gate, as the tickets they have are not valid.
Some people have suggested that NZ should go the way of Australia and some other countries and ban ALL ticket re-sales through secondary or third party platforms
However here are my thoughts. Now I enjoy listening to music at times, although I am not as into music as some folks are. (I’ve only ever been to one actual real concert, in the 1980’s when friends shouted me a ticket to see John Denver with multiple support acts opening for him including from memory Little River Band ). I’ll happily live the rest of my life without ever going to another real music concert again. Yeah it’d be nice to go out to another concert, but living without attending music concerts or football grand finals matches would not cause me any real distress, loss or hardship in my life.
However If I had to live without adequate housing, that would be a severe problem.
And yet our current housing systems, specifically buying, amount to basically a “scalpers market”. Also we hear stories about how in Auckland and Wellington, even renters face almost a “scalping” type situation as they effectively ‘bid’ to try to secure a place at home viewings.
The provision of housing, especially in our main cities is artificially restricted (mostly by specific government policies at a national and local council level). Many people buy houses they do not intend to live in, just so they can sell them on at higher prices a few weeks, or months later, walking away with a substantial profit (often tax-free).
One recent newspaper article concerned a woman known as “Pippa the Flipper” (Pip Hally).
Just to be clear… Lady, you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.
She refers to being “chuffed” at having sold on a house to a new purchaser having inflated the price by over $100,000 in just a few weeks or months, from what price she originally bought it for.
(And to be fair, at least in her case, she says she adds insulation and has 50-year-old wiring and plumbing renewed), whereas many other house “flippers” do little more than splash a bit of paint around and run the whipper-snipper ’round the garden, before bunging a few zeroes on the price and re-selling the house (as they walk away, laughing all the way to the bank).
In another example, from Auckland, a cash-strapped historic bowling club sold off some of their land. Only later did they realise that a same-day on-selling, netted a related party $525,000 cash in their back pocket ! (Money the bowling club could have well used themselves).
UPDATED 16 April 2018 On the consumer reports series FAIR GO on TVNZ-1, the Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi was quoted as saying that the government was “committed to stopping the secondary market in ticket scalping” and further that “I think that you shouldn’t have to pay too much for a (concert) ticket”.
It seems to me wrong that some governments have banned, or are thinking of banning, the on-selling of music concert and football game tickets, and yet they openly allow, facilitate and encourage folks to re-sell houses and land, often at huge profits. People can live without the luxury entertainment of concert tickets but cannot live without essentials like housing.
Just to be clear, the title for this item is a cross between tongue-in-cheek and a windup. I actually “don’t” support selling tickets for more than their original issue price. Perhaps if houses and land were required to be sold for the same, or less than, their original issue price, that would help fix our currently very broken, “housing market”. Certainly folks that buy a brand new car expect to lose 30% of the value as they drive it off the dealer’s lot, and then continue to lose 10% of value each year after that, no matter how well maintained the car is. That’s the price of having the newest car in the street with the glossiest paint. Shouldn’t about the same formula apply to old houses ?
Note the recently instituted “2 year bright line test” is a bit of a joke as you only have to claim something is your “family home” anyway, for it then to become automatically exempt !
Here follows links to the original stories about Viagogo concert ticket re-selling and House and land flipping for a profit.