Thursday 16 February 2012

Trevor Mallard Agrees With Me

I wrote, in opposition to the former Labour government's legislation, initiated by Trevor Mallard, banning ticket scalping for the Rugby World Cup:
I also can see no particularly good reason that somebody with a ticket that somebody else values more shouldn't be able to make a buck in the transfer. Why should all the surplus go to the buyer?
Trevor Mallard writes today, after taking some stick for scalping (on-selling at prices above face value) some tickets for an event which he found he could not attend:
"I'm slightly surprised if promoters with whom I spend several hundred dollars a year on tickets complain when I sell some I can't use to someone who wants them using a Kiwi-based online auction."
He listed the tickets at face value, but let the auction run above $500 because he "knew that they were worth more".
"It's an auction system, I mean apparently there's some system when you can 'buy now'...I do [know] now because people have been telling me about it but I've never used it at all in the past."
The young people he had sold the tickets to had seemed perfectly happy when they came to pick them up, he said.
Exactly, Trevor. Shame you didn't see it that way when you banned everybody else from doing it a few years back. Would somebody offering to refund the money when caught have been given a break under your legislation?

HT: TVHE, Farrar, half of twitter....

Hit the scalping tab below for a rather extensive series of prior posts; this one's still my favourite.


  1. But why do you only qualify as a "true fan" if you're not willing to pay very much for a ticket?

  2. You can make a good case for that the high income folks probably aren't the most fun to have right up front in the mosh pit so you might want to underprice some of those floor seats to have a better show feel for everyone else, but that's best handled by having the artist run ID-matched tickets rather than by having the govt crack down on scalpers.

    1. People won't go into the mosh pit if they don't want to mosh, so the no-fun rich folk will self-select out of it anyway.

    2. I don't think that's the equilibrium. Rather, you get the rich folks buying up the floor seats then just standing there, maybe nodding their heads occasionally. The mosh kids get priced out of the pit.

  3. The government had good fun at question time yesterday at Mallard's expense. Worth a read:

    The highlight:

    Hon STEVEN JOYCE: I have received a report as late as this morning highlighting the problem of ongoing ticket scalping for upcoming events, taking place in this case, apparently, from a red-painted ticket sales office in Naenae, which is possibly part of a chain of such offices all across Lower Hutt. Notwithstanding that the alleged perpetrator has been quoted in the paper as saying “It’s not what it looks like.”, I think in this case it is what it looks like, and what it looks like is a clear case of “Do as I say, but not as I do.”

    1. Good fun, but it would be even better if they just got rid of the legislation. If companies want to ban on-selling, they can easily do it by requiring photo-id at the gate.