Everyone hates paying the inflated prices that secondary ticket sellers charge, but many customers feel they’re a necessary evil. If you want a seat, especially a good one, they’re probably the only game in town. But that may not be as true in Europe soon as Ticketmaster announced it will shut down its GET ME In! and Seatwave sties in October.
According to the Ticketmaster blog: “We’ve listened and we hear you: secondary sites just don’t cut it anymore and you’re tired of seeing others snap up tickets just to resell for a profit. All we want is you, the fan, to be able to buy tickets to the events you love. We’re excited about making ticketing simpler.”
While that sounds like a grand gesture to its customers, Ticketmaster and other secondary retailers are under much greater pressure and scrutiny in Europe these days. The introduction of stricter rules for secondary sites in the UK designed to better protect fans from falling victim to fraud and paying highly marked-up prices had much to do with the closures.
Resellers are now required to disclose the original price of the ticket, as well as quote the ‘unique ticket number’ (UTN) to a buyer so the consumer can identify the ticket’s seat, standing area or location. The Advertising Standards Authority also banned several pricing practices by secondary ticketing providers, including not telling buyers the total prices of the ticket up front as well as how the tickets will be delivered and the fee for doing so.
No one likes to overpay or be gouged, and that’s what many feel is happening with secondary ticketing (they’re not wrong). While some positive steps have been taken in the UK and Europe to harness the practice, you wonder whether something similar will ever happen in the U.S. I guess we can dream, but don’t hold your breath.