Have you ever penciled “buy concert tickets” into your calendar so you could get online the second they were available… only to see them sold out within minutes?
Well, I haven’t.
But sources tell me this is something that happens when you enjoy activities involving other humans. And it’s a serious bummer.
What makes the situation particularly distressing is tickets aren’t selling out because of others like you in the virtual line buying their share.
They’re selling out because sneaky resellers are using programs to buy more than their fair share. That way they can increase the price and resell them to you through platforms like StubHub.
Thankfully, Congress is stepping in to curb this kind of ticket scalping.
Yes, we know you haven’t heard that line in a while, but we assure you, it’s true!
On Thursday, Congress passed the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016. The bill prohibits the circumvention of systems (like CAPTCHA) that enforce ticket purchasing limits — for the laymen, using bots to buy all the tickets.
It also prohibits the sale of tickets obtained with bots.
It’s great news for you, the ticket-buyer, because resellers are marking tickets up by 49% on average, according to the New York Attorney General’s ticket sales report from earlier this year. Sometimes they resell tickets for as much as 1,000% over face value.
Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran sponsored the bill and wants this measure to “level the playing field” for ticket buyers, he told The Associated Press.
“The need to end this growing practice is reflected in the bill’s widespread support,” Moran said.
The bill means tickets should be easier to get from the original source, and you shouldn’t see prices jacked up quite as much through reselling platforms.
Between this bill and Ticketmaster’s class-action settlement earlier this year, the tide may be turning in favor of consumers when it comes to live events. We’re happy to see it!
We reached out to Sen. Moran for comment but have received no reply by time of publication.
Your Turn: Do you plan to buy tickets to a concert, sporting event or Broadway show in 2017?
Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more, attempting humor wherever it’s allowed (and sometimes where it’s not).