If your teenybopper daughter is bugging you for Miley Cyrus tickets, there's some good news and some bad news.
The good news is that Ticketmaster is taking the tickets for the Disney star's fall tour online-only in an effort to thwart scalpers.
The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription required) that "The technology, which Ticketmaster tested last year, is meant to make seats impossible to sell or transfer because they can be redeemed only at the concert, using the credit card with which they were bought. The plan has scalpers and resale sites crying foul."
The bad news is that without a lively secondary market for the tickets, consumers who aren't able to buy before the sell-out will be out of luck.
Ticketmaster is planning to make some premium seats available at high prices to capitalize on the demand scalpers profited from on Cyrus' last tour, but the majority of tickets will be priced in the $39.50 to $79.50 range.
Worse, some ticket reselling sites suggest that the lack of a secondary market for the tickets may create safety problems. Desperate to see their favorite star, some children may respond to ads from child predators offering to "get people in" if they meet at the door. That sounds like self-serving hype on the part of people who are losing their livelihood to Ticketmaster's new policy, but it might be a legitimate concern.
The Ticketmaster move is at least partly a response to the deregulation of ticket reselling in many jurisdictions over the past few years. With states mercifully no longer devoting police resources to preventing people from selling tickets to other people who want to buy them, the promoters themselves are now looking to clamp down on ticket scalping and preserve the profits from high demand for themselves.
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