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A fascinating read on a fascinating free-market business,
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This review is from: Scalper: Inside the World of a Professional Ticket Broker (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
If you're heading out to the ballpark or football stadium planning to scalp a ticket or two, load your wallet with small bills.
In almost every case the scalper will lie to you and say he or she doesn't have change. So be prepared with enough singles and fives to make an exact purchase. It's one of the rules of the game when dealing with professional scalpers.
Here's another tip: If want cheap, wait until three minutes into the game to make your buy. "That's when the scalpers start dumping," say the authors in this short, insightful and savvy look into the world of the professional ticket broker.
If the game happens to be a playoff, the stakes are a little higher; so wait until the end of the third inning if it's baseball and until the end of the first quarter if it's football.
At a concert, wait until the headliner hits the stage and then walk around a bit, say the authors. There's probably a scalper out there who is willing to take less than he paid just to get rid of the ticket.
Martin and Clinton do exactly what they say in the title of this Kindle Short. They take you into the life of "Sunshine," the not-real name of a professional scalper in his fifties who has been making a living since he was in his early teens standing out in the sun at the Masters, the Super Bowl, the Indy 500 and the World Series reselling tickets for a living.
It's Sunshine's profession and he's done well supporting a wife and family on the six to seven hundred dollars he earns a night. Then there's the Kentucky Derby where it's possible Sunshine says, to take home twenty grand in three days. Problem is, he's always on the road.
Ticket brokers have morals and values and the older ones are professionals who thrive by developing a loyal clientele. The younger ones, Sunshine maintains, are much less trustworthy. But whether the scalper is young or old, never buy a ticket that's been printed from a computer. It's likely counterfeit.
The secondary ticket market is big business, estimated at about $3 billion a year. The authors say it's really a form of arbitrage: The scalper buys the ticket at a "bid" price; and tries to take advantage of a spread by selling at higher "ask" price. And always the law of supply and demand rules. This is all fascinating reading that gives you an insider's take on a fascinating business. It's a great introduction to free-market economics, in its purest form.