StubHub’s stockings are filled with tickets.
I’ve never purchased tickets through StubHub. But I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately (it was their advertising campaign that wormed its way into my brain – like a good advertising campaign should).
So today I decided to click on over to the site to see just what the heck was being hocked.
And would you look at that! One of the shows they were selling (oh wait, sorry, StubHub’s attorneys would be quick to point out that StubHub doesn’t sell anything, it just connects people . . . you know, like Napster and LimeWire did before they were shut down for causing financial havoc to an industry) . . . one of the shows they were “connecting” was mine! Kinky Boots!
I was interested in seeing what people were paying for seats on this “connector” site, so I clicked on December 27th and . . .
What . . .
What the . . .
What the @$#%?
I know what you’re thinking . . . that I’m stutter-swearing because of the price of the tickets. But noooooo. I’m st-st-stutter-cussing because StubHub is currently listing 523 tickets for sale for that performance.
We’ve got 1424 seats at The Hirschfeld. That means 37% of the capacity for that one performance is on a secondary sales site.
After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I checked the availability of tickets for other shows on the same performance day (12/27).
Lion King has 508 tickets available.
Wicked has 338 tickets available.
Book of Mormon has 159 tickets (much smaller theater).
How is it that such a huge percentage of tickets are being sold on a secondary site?
Well, it may be because some of the tickets up there are dups . . . as Brokers sometimes put up seats (without specifying the exact locations) they don’t actually have yet but they know they can get from another source. And then another broker puts up those same/similar seats because they know they can get them from the same source.
So there may be some dups.
But ok, let’s say that HALF of them are dups. In the Kinky example, that would still be 18.5% of the house. Or even a quarter of them would still be almost 10% of the house on one performance!
And even if there are dups . . . should there really be that many people trying to sell these seats away from the primary site? And many of them DO actually have exact ticket locations on the site . . . shouldn’t we try and at least spot check some of these to see how they were acquired? To see who is selling them? To make sure the industry/artists/investors aren’t losing revenue that it should be receiving?
It’s a sticky wicket, because we do live in a free market society. And if I buy something I don’t need anymore, or don’t want anymore, or just want to try and make a few bucks on, I should be able to sell it to someone who does need it/want it/or who wants to try and make a few bucks on it himself (that’s what the real estate market and any market is all about).
But something seems to have gone a little awry considering the amount of Broadway tickets that are available (even if many are just virtually available).
But what can be done?
Well, when Ticketmaster saw the incredible profit potential in the secondary market, it went out and bought TicketsNow . . . and now they have their own secondary market.
Think Telecharge will ever do the same? Should they? Should they not? Let me hear ya . . .
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