Can a $58 ticket be worth $1,000?

Published on: Feb 20 2007 by Bob Bernstein

It is common place for ticket brokers to sell premium and sold-out tickets at ten times or more over the price printed on the ticket.  Common examples are Wimbledon tickets or front row seats for a show such as Celine Dion.

Where do brokers come up with these prices? Prices in the secondary market are made up of a combination things but mainly the broker’s perceived value of how much they think they can get for their tickets.  Where the broker’s perceived value of what his tickets are worth and the consumers percieved value of what the tickets are worth is generally where the transaction usually takes place.

In the end, the question of “worth” in the secondary market has nothing to do with the price printed on the ticket.  If the brokers are wrong and have over priced their tickets, the market forces will eventually force the broker to lower their prices.

A common phenomenon is when a discrepancy between the two percieved values or worth are few transactions taking place. The buyers and sellers are not seeing eye to eye and so a threshold has to be crossed.  Either time will begin to run out and buyers will rise up to meet the seller or the sellers will panic and begin lowering their prices.  This happened recently at the last BCS National Football Game when Ohio State took on Florida State.

So the next time you’ve spent $250 for a ticket which has $75 printed on it, judge your purchase not on what the price printed on the ticket, but on whether you had a good or bad time at the show. If you had a good time, then it was “worth” the price you paid for it.

Enjoy the show!

Bob Bernstein

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