The unprecedented move by a local concert promoter to blacklist gig tickets sold for a profit may have warded off some scalpers.
But it has done little to stop at least three online sellers from hawking batches of highly sought-after tickets to an upcoming K-pop concert on an online auction site.
A check on auction site eBay Singapore showed a seller called deal.4.a.steal offering a 15 per cent discount on 10 pairs of tickets to the SM Town Live World Tour III In Singapore concert on Nov 23. One bid was placed for the tickets, which are spread over various seating categories, at press time.
The gig, organised by promoter Running Into The Sun (Rits), boasts a five-hour-long bonanza with big names such as Super Junior, Girls' Generation, BoA and SHINee. It will be held at The Float @ Marina Bay.
On the same site, a seller named yaz_doreen, was also touting six Category 5 tickets to the concert, at prices ranging from S$300 to S$350 a pop. The original price of such a ticket was S$218.
In another thread, an online seller touted a premier ticket for S$370, S$100 more than its original price.
The Chinese section of my paper first reported last Monday about Rits openly naming blackmarket ticket sellers and issuing warnings on its Facebook page.
In a post on Sept 29, Rits said that tickets to the concert - which first went on sale to priority customers that day - were available, but warned that blackmarket tickets can be tracked by its ticketing agent, Sistic.
On the same day, Rits began posting details of blackmarket ticket sellers, adding that their tickets had been blacklisted and invalidated.
Some 90 per cent of SM Town tickets have been sold so far.
Those holding on to blacklisted tickets will be refused entry to the gig, said Rits. At least four individuals and 34 tickets have been blacklisted so far.
Posing as a buyer, my paper called the listed phone number of an online seller named Darren yesterday. He had touted a pair of S$218 tickets for S$300 each. Darren said he was aware of Rits' move to blacklist tickets, but did not think he would be affected by it. He said: "I believe there's enough reason to let go of my tickets. I can't make it to the concert because it is during my exam period."
He claimed to have forgotten how much he originally paid for them.
Rits' creative director, Ms Beatrice Chia-Richmond, said that with the huge demand, supply from the black market is "almost expected.
"We won't be able to stop them entirely, but we are putting in additional resources and efforts to curb this practice to ensure fans do not get exploited and to maintain fair pricing."
No complaints have been received this year, but the Consumers Association of Singapore said it is monitoring the matter.
Another concert promoter, Lushington Entertainments, said that it is working closely with ticketing agents "to actively scan websites where online selling (is) rampant".
Responding to my paper queries, Sistic said its efforts have proved effective, with some sellers writing in to apologise, as well as taking down their online posts.
A Sistic spokesman said: "It is unfair to the consumer who buys from unauthorised sources, especially when such sellers sell the tickets far above the original price."
Get my paper for more stories.