Ticketmaster is secretly hiring 'scalpers' to resell tickets at a higher price

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Two of the journalists went undercover with hidden cameras and posed as scalpers to attend Ticket Summit 2018, a trade convention held in July at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. It was there that they discovered that Ticketmaster has developed a professional reseller program and a web-based inventory management system for resellers named TradeDesk. "TradeDesk allows scalpers to upload large quantities of tickets purchased from Ticketmaster's site and quickly list them again for resale".

Ticketmaster has long claimed that, like most people, it's no fan of scalpers, and does what it can to combat the practice.

The resale program and TradeDesk appear closely guarded by Ticketmaster.

In an undercover investigation, two CBC reporters uncovered that Ticketmaster has been hiring scalpers to artificially drive up the prices of tickets.

The software is not mentioned anywhere on the Ticketmaster site, and to access the TradeDesk website requires a registration form.

Ticketmaster's main business has officially been fighting the use of bots, with a "buyer abuse" division whose role is to police suspicious activity.


Ticketmaster and its owner Live Nation didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

"We don't spend any time looking at your Ticketmaster.com account". The sales representative adds: "It's not something that we look at or report".

The reports could have a crippling affect on the ticketing giant.

The report cited the example of a $209.50 ticket, which would net Ticketmaster $25.75 on its first sale.

Ticketmaster is secretly running its own scalping scheme, allowing it to profit from both the original and secondary sales of tickets, according to an investigative report. According to reports, a Ticketmaster employee said 100 scalpers in North America are using TradeDesk: "I think our biggest broker right now has probably grabbed around 5 million", he said.

"We clearly delineate between standard tickets sold by the venue and tickets sold by third parties, with clear disclosure that resale prices may exceed (or be lower than) face value", the company told the news outlets in a statement. Ticketmaster's highly-publicised Verified Fan program was supposedly brought into place to curb the affects of the secondary ticketing market, with big-name acts like Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift using it for their own concerts.

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