buying and selling tickets on the internet

let’s take a break from the wedding and relationship stuff for a second…

(sorry if this upsets you)

i recently had a pair of concert tickets that i needed to sell so i did what most of us would do and i posted them on craigslist.

it came to the day before the concert and i was a little nervous that they weren’t going to sell.

luckily, i then got a message from a potential buyer. her concern, like many, was the security of the sale. was i a scam or not?

i also had these tickets posted on stubhub, a popular online ticket buy/sell website to increase my chances of a sale.

the woman who had messaged me really wanted the tickets and we had agreed on a price. my proposition was for us to meet up in a central and public location where she would pay me in cash and i would transfer the tickets into her ticketmaster account where she could then print her own tickets to make sure that the tickets were legit. she found this to be a fair and safe solution. her husband didn’t. since i really needed the sale i tried my best to convince them i wasn’t trying to scam them. this was to no avail. i then reluctantly mentioned my stubhub post. reluctantly because stubhub takes fifteen percent of the sale and i would make less money. her husband found this to be a better and more secure solution than my proposition.

the funny thing is, stubhub itself is secure but its business model is flawed.

now before i tell you the flaw, let me explain how the ticket entry process works for a concert. each ticket has a barcode, once that barcode has been scanned, no other copies of that barcode will be accepted into the building. simple.

so here is the flaw: i still had my own copy of the tickets in my ticketmaster account because they were never transferred to her account. so, what is stopping me from printing my copy of the tickets, going to the concert early to line up at the door for the time the doors open and make sure my copy of the tickets is scanned before hers is? that way i would get into the concert and i still have my money that she paid through the website. so essentially, she would be paying for me to go to the concert.

even if i had transferred her the tickets into her ticketmaster account and gotten paid in cash, i could have printed my own copy while the tickets were still in my account then transfer them to her and do the exact same thing i mentioned with the stubhub flaw.

if i’m way off here and this is a safeguard against this please let me know, but if i’m right…. the most secure way to buy tickets online is to always have a hard copy.

i’m not the kind of person to do this so her and her daughter did have a great time at the concert, just so you know.

lights out!

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