Thursday, 16 February 2012

Ticket scalping and Trevor Mallard

I couldn't resist - if this isn't the best example of the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is.

From the article:

As a member of the Labour Government, Mr Mallard initiated the Major Events Management Act 2007, which tightened the rules around on-selling tickets to major events and allowed scalpers to be fined up to $5000.

In an opinion piece for the Herald at the time the legislation was passed, Mr Mallard said: "As for the proposed ban on scalping tickets for prices more than their face value - I think most people desperate for a ticket to a Rugby World Cup game would be frustrated, along with the event organisers, to see tickets being on-sold at levels designed only to make huge profits for the seller."
 And selling tickets to the Homegrown Festival for in excess of face value is different how, Trevor?

However Mr Mallard rejected he scalped the Homegrown tickets, saying he had intended to go to the concert but now had another engagement.
 
He said he started the auction at face value, but allowed it to run its course and not place a "buy now" option on the sale, as he knew the tickets were worth more.

He says he's done nothing wrong as they were sold at auction.
Oh, okay. That makes it all above board. It is also worth pointing out that the Homegrown Festival isn't under the Major Events legislation, so you can actually scalp. And then there's this:

"I'm tempted to breach their privacy the way they breached mine but I suppose that would be a bit silly," he wrote.

"I'm going to get a new trade me user name and others will front for my purchases and sales. Pisses me off." 
Hang on - if you've done nothing wrong, why would you go to all that trouble? Hmm.

For the record, I think scalping has desirable properties, most notably the reallocation of resources in a more efficient fashion. I have absolutely no problem with what Mr Mallard has done with his tickets - he just shouldn't deny that it is scalping. That's exactly what it is.

UPDATE: I should call it on-selling. That doesn't sound anywhere near as negative as scalping. Even if they are the same thing.

FURTHER UPDATE: It seems Mr Mallard is now offering to refund the scalped price of the tickets. Principles are sometimes hard things to stand by - but Trevor is standing by his (even if he needed his arm twisted).

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