Wednesday, 12 November 2008

The Irony Is Almost Sickening

So. There's this really big rugby match we'd bought tickets for. Quite good tickets, too. Only for events to materialise that mean we won't be able to go to it.

The tickets arrive, their arrival coinciding with our credit card bill reminding us just how much we'd paid for the damn things. We decide to put the tickets on eBay for someone else to buy. We look at some other listings to see what they generally go for, as well as some other websites to get a bit of inspiration for writing up a description. Our search takes us to one of many profiteering scumbucket ticket scalping websites. Sorry, websites specialising in "providing premium, hard-to-get or sold out International and Six Nations Rugby tickets". We're not sure the classification for "hard-to-get" means "able to go to Ticketmaster's website on a Friday morning a couple of months ago", but then we're not experts.

Some rugby men, yesterday.

Looking at the pricing on said scumbucket ticket scalping website, tickets in the same area of the ground as ours are going for £150, before VAT. That means anyone buying four tickets exactly the same as the four sitting just to the left of our keyboard right now will pay a total of £705. The face value of each ticket? £55. That means (not their real URL) has plonked a markup of almost £500 on four pieces of card with a shiny hologram in one corner. Of course, this does mean that, were we to be similarly evil, we could pocket ourselves a crafty £500 profit. That would be enough for 50,000 penny chews!

Unfortunately as far as our bank manager is concerned, we're not evil, and we decide to list the four tickets, including Special Delivery postage, at £300. After accounting for the tickets, booking fees, eBay and PayPal charges and interest on the BrokenTV credit card, that probably only leaves a fairly modest profit with which to buy enough stale bread and "Whoops!"-stickered own-brand pineappleade for the BrokenTV collective's dinner for a whole week. Plus, of course, it means that four fellow rugby-likers will get to watch the match at a reasonable enough price to prevent Jesus in His heaven from crying himself to sleep.

A few more rugby men, the day before that.

Us being us, we decide to idly fill out our product description with a dash of whimsy, and a smattering of faux-outrage. Viz:

Six Nations (and de facto European) Champions Wales take on the mighty All Blacks at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. The All Blacks will be keen to regain their rugby credentials after their capitulation against France.After a thrilling (if ultimately futile) comeback against World Champions South Africa, Welsh confidence couldn't be higher, which makes this a tantalising match-up.

Ticket scalping websites are shifting the cheapest Cat 3 tickets for this match at around £90 each, with tickets along the side like these (block L33, as per the map below) going for £150 each. £150! Ruddy hell. That means these four tickets would be £600 in total before VAT and postage. After VAT and postage? You're looking at £176.25 per ticket. That's a princely £705 for the four. It's not as if a fresh-from-Las Vegas Tom Jones is playing on the wing and you get a complimentary half-time lapdance from TV's formerly hot Sian Lloyd! £705! "Good Time Entertainments"? "Buying Up Block Bookings Of Tickets With Which To Fleece Honest Rugby Fans Entertainments", more like. I would rhetorically ask how they all sleep at night, but the answer is clearly "on expensively bought mattresses funded with the hard-earned wages of honest sports fans".

Sorry, got carried away. Where was I? Oh, yeah. I'm selling my four tickets (to reiterate, all four seated together in block L33) for a total £300, including postage by Special Delivery. That's a much more reasonable £75 each, and will be sent out by Royal Mail Special Delivery as soon as the listing ends, to ensure they arrive in plenty of time.

Of course, if it turns out that a fresh-from-Las Vegas Tom Jones really is playing on the wing and you genuinely do get a complimentary half-time lapdance from TV's formerly hot Sian Lloyd, I'm going to be looking pretty darned stupid at around 17:16 on the 22nd of November.

Granted, the above invective hardly makes us the new Max Boyce, or even whatever the rugby equivalent of Tim Lovejoy is, but it filled a space in the listing, maybe gave someone a bit of a chuckle, and cleared out a bit of angst-steam from our valves. If one-tenth of the seventeen people likely to read that listing are amused by it, we've satisfied one person, and provided another with 0.7 of a good time. We set the BuyItNow listing to five days, click 'Submit', and relax at 8:36pm.

At 8:43pm, our tickets have been sold and paid for. To a ticket scalping eShop that, if a sample listing of theirs is any indication, will be selling our tickets for around £140 each. And our listing was up for a fraction of the time it took us to take photos of the tickets, watermark them with our username, upload them, type out the description, and all the other stuff. And no-one, other than us and the buyer of the tickets (who almost certainly didn't bother reading the listing) paid attention to our lazily-typed description.

Another picture of rugby men. (Reader's voice: "That's rugby league, you dolt") Look, we don't know that much about it. Leave us alone.

Ah, crap.

(Oh, and the match in question will be live on BBC One, so this is in keeping with the BrokenTV remit.)

1 .:

Tv online blog said...

Rugby is a great sport, but my fave one is futbal. by the way, great blog. care for a link exchange? I already added you to my list. thanks

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