Goonix defends scalpers at TVHE:
Events in high demand that have limited capacity sell out. See for example the Wellington Sevens or Toast Martinborough, which sold out in three minutes and thirteen minutes respectively. These events sell out as demand far outstrips supply at the price that the seller sets. In other words, many of those purchasing the tickets would be willing to pay much more than they actually do pay in order to attend said event.
High demand events such as these are the capitalist world’s version of queuing for basic food items in a communist shit-hole. When buyers are unable to adequately express their willingness to pay, due to blunt ‘one-for-all’ pricing and an inability of the seller to price discriminate, shortage ensues.
Enter the scalper. Scalpers are typically demonised by the media in New Zealand. However, scalpers simply allow buyers to reveal their true willingness to pay. When a scalper auctions off a ticket on Trademe, buyers are able to pay exactly what they value their attendance at said event at. What ensues is the efficient allocation of resources – scarce resources are allocated to those that value them highest – an admirable economic goal. Contrast this with the lottery that is the current ‘log-in and hope’ method of ticket allocation. Rather than be vilified, scalpers should be commended for their actions that facilitate the clearing of the market!
Indeed, a commentator at the NBR goes further, calling scalpers “unsung entrepreneurs”. I tend to agree with this sentiment.
I can only agree also. My only restriction would be to limit how many tickets one can buy, so one company doesn’t buy up every ticker to resell them.
I wonder if the more efficient way might be to auction off tickets for events like the Sevens. People can bid for blocks of tickets and the highest bidders win.
Or, if there is some reasons you want to fix the maximum price, it would be better to have a proper lottery with random selection of those who want tickets at that price. That would be preferable to the nonsense of 100,000+ people all trying to buy tickets within 180 seconds online, and everything overloading.Tags: scalping, The Visible Hand in Economics