Why the cost of tickets are on the up

Some of the most sort-after events in the UK are costing consumers more year on year and this is due to not only demand as you would expect but also ticket touts. Whilst ticket touts have always been an issue when it comes to getting your hands on events and concerts tickets, the UK market for ticket purchasing is continuing to suffer year on year. The reality is that half of all tickets which become available for any major UK event are immediately snapped up by ticket touts and this is thanks to increasingly clever technology used at the point of tickets becoming available. The result is that the ticket touts acquire the majority of sort-after tickets, before individual consumers even have a chance to try. As such it is becoming increasingly common for consumers to pay over the odds in terms of price, simply for the opportunity to see their desired artist. In instances where event tickets are sold by the original supplier at one cost; touts will then use their advantage point to resell the tickets for double or even triple the original selling price. As consumers, we are then left paying much more.

It appears the route of the issue is not the initial demand for a concert, a sporting event, or a theatre performance; the reality is online retailers are being subjected to increasing attacks by ticket touts. Whilst there may well be several thousands of individuals each trying to obtain tickets at any one time, for the o2 arena to sell out in a matter of minutes, as it often does when a superstar arrives in town suggests an issue is afoot. This issue was touched upon in the Daily Mail recently when a ticket supplier was directly asked what the underlining issue is and how it is possible for entire arenas to sell out in a matter of mere minutes. The answer was simple; robots. These Robots, known also as cyber bots are advanced electronic systems which can buy a vast quantity of tickets before the average consumer has chance to join the virtual queue. There have also been multiple instances where having secured the desired tickets in the online basket, the point of paying sees the tickets disappear and then the availability is gone, as reported by some consumers.

The problem with this on-going issue is, that the practice being used by ticket touts and their cyber bots is not illegal and as such reducing their activity has so far proven difficult. As a result consumers are having to buy the tickets from the touts at inflated prices, via secondary sites which are not acting illegally. The bots can pre-populate thousands of credit card details and in doing so reducing the application time greatly compared to a normal consumer accessing the site for a few tickets. As detailed in the Daily Mail experts considering the problem have discovered that up to 50% of tickets are swept up by bots in the first few minutes of sale and this is a steep inside compared to years gone by. It is clear the issue of ticket touts and their bots is bigger nowadays than anyone could perhaps have predicted, highlighted as part of large scale criminal gangs and as far afield as the US.

Whilst investigators rumble on trying to pin down those involved and return value back to the market, the question most of us want answering is how can fairly priced tickets be located. Sadly, currently the options are somewhat limited. To a degree there needs to be a consideration of how much is the concert or sporting event really ‘worth’, meaning if the prices being offered by re-sale sites is too great; perhaps admitting defeat is the only option. Thankfully there are a few methods which could save money on the purchase of tickets for sort-after events. One such example is o2 priority which can offer customers the ability to access pre-sale tickets before they become readily available to the UK market. In addition, many artists have dedicated fan sites which can sell tickets directly and are not often the target for the cyber bots. Signing up to such sites could later result in an alert being received to advise when pre-sale tickets are available. Sometimes with the larger and more hotly anticipated events the initial demand is later followed by a more stabilised period of demand. This makes way for an opportunity to make purchases at reduced rates, once the initial frenzy has died down.

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Author: Internal Customer Services Agent


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