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19th March 2012

Bristol Ticket Shop speaks out against re-sellers

Bristol Ticket Shop believe that the resale of tickets is unlawful under existing laws

Bristol Ticket Shop have been operating as a primary ticket agent for 25 years.

Bristol Ticket Shop believe that the resale of tickets is unlawful under existing laws and it is the duty of the govt and police to take action against offenders.
Primary ticket agents have operated for nearly 100 years on the basis of having no rights over the ticket or the resale price. We work on the very simple premise that acting as owner (when the T&C preclude that option) is an offence under the theft act 1968 and carries a potential seven year prison sentence.

Primary agents negotiate the sale between the promoter/owner and the customer. Their rules are those of the owner. There is no primary agent in the country that does not forbid resale in it's T&C.

If the Govt continue to ratify the legality of secondary selling by taking no action against offenders, they are sending out a message that an online contract is unenforceable. If so, then there is nothing to stop a primary seller from re-selling stock at inflated prices. (The 10% fee is fixed by the contract with the promoter) In fact that would be very beneficial to the primary agent as supply of stock is governed by sales achieved. The faster you sell the higher the allocation.

You suffer because the government won't enforce the law

Last Saturday Bristol Ticket Shop sold 75 tickets to a very small warm up show. We didn't put them online because we didn't want them going to resellers. It is never our wish to restrict access to the public. We were forced to take this action due to Govt inaction. i.e. Forced into a position of denying some of you access to the tickets because of apathy over reselling.

And that is just the thin end of the wedge

The face value was £15 (resale £16.50) Of the £1.50 fee. 33p to the bank. 25p to VAT leaving 92p for staff, rent, printing costs etc.

Theoretical value to a reseller £150?

What agent will not be tempted if the Govt continue to deny that it is an offence? Why should they make 92p when there is a potential to make £125.00?  In the example above we can make more money selling 1 ticket than we make selling 75.

The primary industry would fall apart overnight. Everyone would leap on the bandwagon and the result would be empty seats at every single venue.

Using the governments own words from the Olympic T&C

(where reselling was specifically outlawed as hosting was dependant on it)
  • 1.21 ‘Ticket’ means evidence of a personal revocable licence.
So, if a ticket is merely evidence that you have paid for a personal revocable licence, as we believe it is, it has no value. It's a receipt. We already don't have to let you in if you bought from the secondary market. (under the T&C) but Promoters and Primary Ticket Agents have always been reluctant to penalise the buyer when it is the re-seller who is offending. We're the good guys and we urgently need everyone to support our actions in trying to keep event prices well below that which can be achieved on the open market.

The main argument against forbidding resale..

..comes from Ebay and other secondary sellers and relates to those customers who find they can no longer attend. Yet, according to STAR, 65% of primary agents do allow resales. (inc BTS)  Not only that but the percentage of buyers in that situation is minimal.
We estimate less than 1 in 1000 genuinely can't attend.
Furthermore we know of no other product that is dependant on the customer being in a certain place at a certain time (travel, accommodation etc) where refunds are offered as a right of purchase. An aeroplane flexi-ticket costs a great deal more than a non-variable ticket.

That said: We do support the move to make all Primary Agents offer resale as an option.

Pricing policy for the future

Artists and Promoters deliberately price tickets to music events below the market value. If the Govt refuse to legislate and the secondary market is allowed to continue buying up tickets on an industrial scale, there is no longer any point in the promoter making them available at a lower price. The problem already extends well beyond in demand events (164 tickets for Bow Wow Wow currently on sale via Seatwave etc)

If there is more profit in selling one ticket at market value than in selling 75 at an inflated price. It doesn't take too much imagination to work out that the next step will be buying up an entire venue allocation to set the price even higher. Why would they care if only 10 people can afford to attend?
There is huge momentum at the moment. It is being discussed in Parliament. A lot of very key figures in the industry are behind the movement for change. Please Please Please write to your MP. It really will help.
 If you are not sure how to contact your MP (or even who they are!), follow this link and enter your postcode.
Write to your MP here

There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what just happened
Bristol Ticket Shop

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Bristol Ticket Shop speaks out against re-sellers

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