Taylor Swift tickets for $6,000? The dam on ticket price gouging may have finally broken.

Photo (c) Aleksei Derin - Getty Images

Massachusetts and Texas have already put a stop to the plague

As ConsumerAffairs reported recently, the 2023 summer concert season is not going to make many music lovers happy, but the least happy of the bunch will be Swifties -- Taylor Swift devotees. It seems that many of her fans have turned on their beloved star in the name of greed.

While Swift has done all she can to check ticket resellers and get tickets to her gigs directly to her fans at fair market prices, a report from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) suggests that many fans who’ve scored tickets for her Eras Tour have decided to take advantage of the opportunity and resell those tickets at unheard of prices. 

How high? According to StubHub, seven times more than a Springsteen seat, nine times Adele and Beyoncé, and 13 times what this year’s Super Bowl charged.

In Cincinnati, for example, ConsumerAffairs found tickets 10 rows from the top – yes, in the nosebleed section – for $2,718 each on Seat Geek and as much as $6,190 a seat in Denver, even though StubHub lists 623 available tickets for that particular show.

Resellers are at wit's end

The Journal says that the situation is putting resale platforms in a serious bind, too. Some of these fans are new to the ticket resale game and to get the biggest buck they can, they're listing their seats on multiple platforms.

That’s not uncommon for a professional ticket reseller, but the newbies aren’t taking down their listings when the tickets have been sold elsewhere and that's causing a major traffic jam.

There are others who fail to notify the platform that they have transferred the tickets to the buyer, leading platforms to inform the buyer that the transaction has been canceled.

Some platforms are scrambling to find a way to deal with the situation. For example, the Journal reports that a number have tightened deadlines for sellers to deliver tickets, proactively offering to help uninformed sellers who have been tardy in sending tickets or charging some sort of penalty to those who fail to deliver.

Fortunately, some consumer-conscious platforms have offered to help buyers find other tickets elsewhere when an order falls through the cracks.

Brett Goldberg, co-chief executive of TickPick, told the Journal that his company has committed to fulfilling 100% of orders for the tour. And TickPick is paying a pretty price to make customers happy, too.

By the time Swift does her last mic drop on August 9, Goldberg estimates that the company will have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to make sure people get in the door. 

Is there any relief in sight?

As Swift wrote in “All Too Well” from Red: "You call me up again just to break me like a promise / So casually cruel in the name of being honest.” But there are a few who are trying as feverishly as they can to make things better.

In Massachusetts, State Senator John Velis and State Representative Dan Carey have introduced bills to try and limit price gouging and force transparency in the ticket market.

The pair’s “An Act Ensuring Transparent Ticket Pricing” — aka the “Taylor Swift bill” – would require both sellers and resellers to display the full cost of their tickets right up front including all of those dreaded associated fees.

If enacted, the law would also prohibit suspicious “dynamic pricing” – the play where ticket vendors jack up the cost of tickets based on customer demand.

And as of Wednesday, another concert ticket pain point -- price gouging -- is completely illegal in Texas. Thanks in part to the new, wonderful world of artificial intelligence (AI), some “unknown individuals” recently leveraged AI bots to purchase more Swift concert tickets than they were allotted.

The situation put many Swifties up in arms – some reported to be the daughters of Texas lawmakers who forced their dads to put their heads together on Senate bill 1639 – a bill that was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott that now makes using bots forbidden. 

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