Thursday, August 09, 2012

Mich. Politician Objects to Tickets Selling for 10X Face Value, What About Tickets 10X Below Face?

Detroit News -- "A state representative said Friday he will introduce legislation capping the markup on tickets sold on the secondary market — in particular on websites like StubHub — at 10 percent above face value.

State Rep. Douglas Geiss, D-Taylor, requested a bill in response to a story published Thursday on DetroitNews.com, which showed ticket prices for the Detroit Tigers' upcoming seven-game homestand beginning Aug. 3 are, on average, listed at 17 percent above average ticket prices.

"It appears that we've got legalized scalping going on," Geiss said Friday. "There is a need within society for those with tickets that they can no longer use. But when you start talking about tickets with a face value of $100 being listed for $1,000 … that is usurious."

Geiss said after seeing infield box seats listed at 10 times face value on StubHub, he discovered Michigan case law allows venue operators to grant permission to resell tickets, but nowhere in the law does it permit the markup price on those tickets."
  
To Rep. Geiss: What about tickets that are selling for 10 times below face value, wouldn't you consider that to be as objectionable as tickets that are selling for 10 times above face value?  That is, if a ticket selling for 10 times its face value implies that the seller is "scalping" the buyer, then wouldn't a buyer of a ticket priced at 10 times below its face value be "scalping" the seller?  

Exhibit A: Some $52 face value tickets for the Detroit Lions-Cleveland Browns pre-season game tomorrow night (August 10) are selling for as low as $5 on SeatGeek and eBay.

Therefore, in the interest of fairness and to prevent buyers from taking advantage of ("scalping") sellers, would you consider including in your bill a provision that would cap the discount on tickets sold in the secondary market to 10 percent below face value, along with a cap of 10 percent above face value? 

25 Comments:

At 8/09/2012 10:36 AM, Blogger spotteddog said...

"It appears that we've got legalized scalping going on,"
What are gas/tobacco/property/income/etc taxes if not scalping by politicians?

 
At 8/09/2012 10:55 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

seems like a typical politician to me.

they favor businesses and individuals losing money, but get upset whenever someone makes a profit.

 
At 8/09/2012 11:11 AM, Blogger Its GSATT said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8/09/2012 11:18 AM, Blogger Its GSATT said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8/09/2012 11:19 AM, Blogger JakeW said...

9.9x face value is legitimate, but once you hit 10x, well then, you be damned.

 
At 8/09/2012 11:20 AM, Blogger Mike said...

$52 to see the Lions and Browns....in a pre-season game? And the criminal act in question is re-selling tickets with value above face?

 
At 8/09/2012 1:39 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

$52 to see the Lions and Browns....in a pre-season game? And the criminal act in question is re-selling tickets with value above face?

Bwahahahahaha so true.

 
At 8/09/2012 1:41 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Three businessmen are sitting in an American prison.

Says the first: "I sold my product at a higher price than my competitors and was arrested for profiteering."

Says the second: "I sold my product at a lower price than my competitors and was arrested for cutthroat pricing."

Says the third: "I sold my product at the same price as my competitors and was arrested for collusion."

 
At 8/09/2012 2:56 PM, Blogger kmg said...

I see the state of Michigan does not have more serious problems to deal with...

 
At 8/09/2012 3:09 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Geiss said after seeing infield box seats listed at 10 times face value on StubHub, he discovered Michigan case law allows venue operators to grant permission to resell tickets, but nowhere in the law does it permit the markup price on those tickets."

And nowhere in the law does it FORBID the markup prices on those tickets.

Pure pandering. Too bad politicians have such low opinions of their constituents' intelligence.

 
At 8/09/2012 3:41 PM, Blogger juandos said...

I see what the problem is now...

 
At 8/09/2012 4:51 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

"What about tickets that are selling for 10 times below face value, wouldn't you consider that to be as objectionable as tickets that are selling for 10 times above face value?"

No, because a scalper may sell a $100 ticket for $1,000 and another $100 ticket for $10, for a $810 profit, which represents consumer surplus.

 
At 8/09/2012 9:03 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

The problem is that Rep. Geiss is correct on it being usurious. Nothing would change for tickets less than face value if the requirement is that it be sold at most for face value, period. It might upset the few screwballs that buy up tickets enmasse, but it doesn't make a problem for the majority.

 
At 8/09/2012 9:07 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

I see what the problem is now...

No, the problem is places like this and others that are not the venue in question.

 
At 8/09/2012 9:17 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I've got an idea:

Seeing as it is impossible for consumers to know what price they are willing to pay (after all, if they are willing to pay a higher price for something, then they must be fools), let's get a commission together to determine prices. This commission will be able to make enlightened decisions for the ignorant masses and solve all our problems.

By the way, givemefreedom if you are reading this, I am being sarcastic :-P

 
At 8/09/2012 10:58 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Seeing as it is impossible for consumers to know what price they are willing to pay (after all, if they are willing to pay a higher price for something, then they must be fools), let's get a commission together to determine prices. This commission will be able to make enlightened decisions for the ignorant masses and solve all our problems."

Even that may not be necessary in the case of event for which tickets are sold. After all, isn't the price printed on the ticket? If that weren't the actual value we could assume that some different price would have been printed, duh. Don't you suppose the promoters know what the value of their own event is?

"We" only need to outlaw selling of tickets at any price above OR below the printed price.

Problem solved.

By the way, *anyone* if you are reading this, I am being sarcastic :-P

 
At 8/09/2012 11:37 PM, Blogger randian said...

Geiss is correct on it being usurious

No, he's not. "Usury" refers only to the lending of money, never to a retailer's markup on goods sold.

 
At 8/10/2012 11:19 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

"Usury" refers only to the lending of money,

Specifically to Jews loaning of money.

During the Middle Ages, Jews were often the official bankers of kings and emperors (this was simply because the Jews could have their wealth confiscated at the whim of the ruler and not have to deal with the wrath of the Church). Usury was deemed illegal so the regent could borrow money virtually for free. It wasn't until much later (around 1575) that interest rates could be charged legally.

Interestingly enough, this is where the stereotype of Jewish money hoarders comes from.

 
At 8/10/2012 3:56 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

The net gain of scalpers equals the net loss of consumers.

 
At 8/10/2012 4:57 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

The net gain of scalpers equals the net loss of consumers.

Only if the transaction is involuntary.

 
At 8/10/2012 5:35 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Consumers lose whether they're willing or forced to give up consumer surplus.

Where do you think the net gain of scalpers comes from?

 
At 8/10/2012 5:41 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Consumers lose whether they're willing or forced to give up consumer surplus.

No. No they do not. That is just categorically false. I mean, I am not even going to get into this discussion with you.

 
At 8/10/2012 5:47 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Jon, just because you declare something's false doesn't prove it.

 
At 8/10/2012 6:24 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Jon, I think, I found your problem:

Aggregate demand - Wikipedia

"Austrian School economist Henry Hazlitt argued that aggregate demand is a meaningless concept in economic analysis."

Aggregate demand is the summation of individual demand, which contain different equilibrium prices and elasticities, while aggregate supply is inelastic (i.e. fixed) in the case of tickets.

 
At 8/10/2012 10:07 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Only if the transaction is involuntary.

Or voluntary by technicality.

 

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