Action News 5 Investigates: Scalper Secrets - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Action News 5 Investigates: Scalper Secrets

He asked to be called Bob.  It's not his real name.

Bob is a ticket scalper who worked a recent Hannah Montana concert in St. Louis, and doesn't want his real name known.

Why?  According to Bob, teens across America are blaming people like him for buying up all the tickets to the Hannah Montana show, causing ticket prices to skyrocket.

Now, many fans can't afford to go.

"The problem is capitalism," Bob said.  "It's not ticket brokers.  It's supply and demand."

So how does this supply and demand work?  Bob twirled a toothpick in his mouth as he laid out his whole process.

First, he picks a hot show, like the Hannah Montana Concert Tour.

"I buy as many tickets as I can for that show, and then I try to sell them on the retail side, which is on the internet," he said.

The ones he doesn't sell online, he sells on the street the day of the concert.  For the St. Louis show, his Hannah tickets sold out on the web, so he made even more money by buying tickets from other people outside the concert.

"Yeah, bought 'em low and sold 'em high," he said.

In fact, Bob bought tickets for as low as $60, and sold them for up to $1,000.

According to Bob, Ticketmaster has gotten into the game recently by launching its own broker site, TicketExchange.com.  But, Steven Zito, Operations Manager at FedExForum, said there's a cap on how many tickets each person can buy.

"All the tickets are fed into, you know, Ticketmaster," he said. "The tickets are sold through the Ticketmaster system.  There is a four ticket max."

But Bob admits some brokers have found a way around that with computer technology.  They have software that can purchase many tickets in one stroke.

Officials at TicketMaster say they have fought in court for fair and equal access to tickets, and to stop scalpers from jumping in line on the internet.

Bob says scalping will exists as long as there's arena entertainment.
    
"The landscape will stay the same, and the landscape looks like this: We're gonna buy as many tickets as we can, and we're gonna sell the tickets for as much as we can get them for."

The only thing that will change, according to Bob, is how the brokers get your money.


Click here to send an email to Kontji Anthony.
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