Saturday, November 30, 2013

Let's stop bleating about the secondary market for event tickets.That's capitalism at work.

One of the immutable laws of economics is that the price of a commodity is determined at the intersection of the supply and demand curves. If Demand > Supply the price goes up. If Supply < Demand the price falls. We accept this as a given in our largely free market society. Take housing. We actually congratulate ourselves when the value of our homes increases. All that means is that there is a demand for our property which pushes up its price. The reverse can, of course, also apply. It applies to gold, to art, to everything that is traded. Without it the Auction houses and the Antique shops would go out of business. So why are event tickets different? They aren't. If, as in the Python case, more people want to go than there are tickets available the price will rise. Simple economics.

There is nothing inherently wrong in having a secondary market for anything legal. Indeed it is arguable that it is our right in a free country that this happens. Instead of doomed attempts by event organisers to prohibit resale of tickets they should facilitate it happening. My football club, Tottenham Hotspur, publicises the activity of "StubHub" a commercial operation which legally puts sellers of unwanted tickets in touch with buyers. The ticket price depends not on the face value but on demand. In truth eBay and the rest are no different. And remember that "Caveat Emptor" always applies! 


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