eBay asked to cancel rugby cup final tickets

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The Rugby Football League has asked eBay to pull listings for tickets for the Challenge Cup final on August 25th. The RFL’s communications manager Craig Spence has said “The terms and conditions for all our match tickets state that they cannot be resold. We’re informing them that unless they remove their tickets from sale we will make their tickets void and they will not be entitled to a refund.” It seems that eBay have been busy this morning: from the “hundreds” of tickets the Guardian quotes as available, at the time of writing just seven pairs of tickets are listed, though bidding is hot on all of them.

The final is the first rugby league match to take place at Wembley since 1999 after the stadium finally reopened earlier this year. St. Helens will face Catalans Dragons, the first foreign team to make it to the cup final.

4 Responses

  1. This stuff really annoys me.

    eBay is about what happens in naturally free markets. Whilst I’m not a fan of touts who I don’t feel put much value into the system (and aren’t real fans), I do understand their are people who provide a service by selling high in demand tickets late on.

    But there are a lot of fans in sport or music who genuinely can’t go to events sometimes, or have had a friend pull out, or sometimes buy an etxra few tickets to sell at a profit to subsidise their own tickets. I’ve done all three of these.

    Quite frankly the act of “The terms and conditions say not for resale” but doing bugger all to help the fans, smacks of hypocrisy to me. The event organisers could stop this buy offering better alternatives. But they don’t want to invest in money themselves. Glastonbury spent a lot of money making sure people could only get in with their own tickets, and it’s understandable since so many people scammed the way in. But everyone else expects to put a line in the T&C on the back and make eBay do the enforcing. This is quite frankly rubbish.

    If the organisers really cared about the fans, they would develop ways for fans to return tickets to be rebought. By the organisers don’t want to be caught with tickets coming back because that could potentially lose them money.

    I’m continually surprised that the organisers don’t keep xx% of the tickets to auction themselves on eBay. eBay as it does would then set the real price based on value.

    I hope that someone takes them to task. When I see protectionist business like this, it really annoys me. Where’s the innovation and ingenuity that show up in good business?

    It’s not like by focussing on eBay other companies aren’t going to spring up? StubHub, Get Me In, Seatwave etc.

    Anyway, rant over.

  2. The best argument I’ve seen to allow free trade for tickets was in the Boston Globe. I still fail to see why they are any different to any other product one might buy and then resell at a profit.

    The organisers do nothing to cater for seperate groups of people:

    • Those with little money but are huge fans
    • Those who are at work and can’t sit on the net or in a phone queue to get tickets in the hour or so before they’re sold out.
    • Those with plenty of money that just want to see the event and don’t care what it costs.

    Until they come up with a way to satisfy all fans (or at least give an element of fairness to all three types in ticket distribution) they’ll never stop secondary sales. Not to mention they make a mint flogging huge blocks of tickets to corporates for many sporting events.

  3. The organiser don’t care about the people, if they did they wouldn’t treat the ‘users’ as criminals.

    As to your second point, even when you can sit on the phone, the systems time out and crash. I spent 4 hours trying to get U2 tickets for the last gig and just spent 4 hours listening to busy signals and watching web pages time out. Have you seen any organisers come up with anything innovate to solve this?

    Worse it sets a precedent for Terms and Conditions become a way of deciding how your product is sold.

    What’s next, LouieV deciding that you can’t resell handbags, and eBay must take down all genuine second hand bags? Book publishers deciding that you can’t trade books because they don’t make money out of subsequent sales?

    Ultimately I’m convinced that these sorts of protectionist business strategies fail. The internet is a disruptive medium and eBay, Stubhub etc etc are proving it.

    They would do a lot better compete on selling a better product and service than stopping a free market acting like a free market.

  4. When are companies like Louis Vuitton and ticket selling companies going to realise that people are going to sell their product on eBay and/or other sites whether they like it or not. If they make it easy for people to do this they can in some way control the process i.e. make it easier to identify fakes. Instead things have to go underground….


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