Scalped SDCC tickets

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It had to happen. Tom McLean reports:

Right now, there are about a dozen or so auctions up on eBay for Comic-Con passes. Prices on completed auctions show people willing to pay more than $100 for a sold-out one-day Saturday pass that originally sold for $35. Four-day passes, which originally cost $75 each and have been sold out for weeks, are going for as much as $300 each. Plus, there’s this solicit right here in the comments section of this very blog.


However, these may in fact be counterfeit or unusable confirmation letters.

Even with the scalping, we’ve been saying for some time that $75 is wayyyyyyyyyy too low for a FOUR DAY pass to the biggest show biz show of the year. It will be interesting to see what the market will bear, especially after the celebrity guests are announced.

[Via Whitney Matheson]

Comments

  1. That’s nutty, I’m right this minute editing a story on the secondary market for concert tickets, and how overall they tend to sell for *less* than face value. I’m sort of glad to hear that the convention powers are starting from a place of affordability, even if people are willing to pay more–hopefully they don’t start to study at the feet of Live Nation.

  2. thefreakytiki says:

    The admission prices for most cons are outrageous already. The fact that one pays for the ability to get inside of a convention center and spend more $$$ is ludicrous.

    It’s like being charged to get into a mall.

  3. thefreakytiki says:

    The admission prices for most cons are outrageous already. The fact that one pays for the ability to get inside of a convention center and spend more $$$ is ludicrous.

    It’s like being charged to get into a mall.

  4. Jonathan says:

    That’s funny you say that Heidi because the high cost of the tickets is a primary factor (along with location) that I’ve never gone to Comic-con.

  5. If you compare it to other cons, though, Comic-Con is actually pretty cheap for what you get. I did a price comparison a few months ago, and if you break the full membership down to cost per day ($19/day for that $75 ticket), it’s comparable to the Wizard World cons ($17/day for WWC) and to other big cons like Dragon*Con, Gen Con, etc.

    Start looking at “pro” cons like Wizard World or a Creation Con, and then they start nickel and diming you for all the different packages. Okay, it’s $17/day to get in with a base package, plus $25 if you want to attend this event, another $30 for that event, etc. With something like San Diego, you pay to get in, and you’re in.

    And then there’s the $40/day membership to WorldCon…

    @thefreakytiki: You are aware that there’s more to most cons than just the dealer’s room, right?

  6. Mark Coale says:

    I wonder when/if the con starts charging for Professional badges. I wonder what kind of effect that would have on Pros attending.

    And, could a Professional auction off the right for someone to be their “+1″ as it were at the Con?

  7. After you pay $25 for a 2-day show at a small local convention that you can do in two hours, $75 for SDCC’s five days doesn’t seem all that unreasonable. And you don’t have to spend a penny inside. Hell, you probably get better deals on most stuff through Amazon. But where else are you going to enjoy the wonder of Kirby tribute panels and the like?

  8. Alan Coil says:

    Chicago is usually $50 for a 3-day pass. Comic-Con is 10 times the convention Chicago is. Comic-Con should be charging the general public $125 for a 4-day pass.

  9. Unpopular says:

    $75 is too much for Comic-Con. However, I’ll probably pay it next year anyway. It looks like you get more for your money, but when you start having to skip panels or put off getting books signed until another convention because it takes 20 minutes to get anywhere on the convention floor or get up to a programming room. It ends up being too much money for too little in return. Hotel prices are what really keep me from going, though. $75 for the convention wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t cost $1000.00 for a hotel room for the week.

    It’s obviously still worth the cost and hassle to a lot of people. I hope it’s a success for everyone choosing to attend.

  10. ~chris says:

    Each ticket is assigned to an individual; only that person (with their picture ID) may pick up their ticket at the convention. Will CCI transfer tickets, as the auction descriptions claim?

  11. I often find it amusing when people that generally don’t actually have to buy their tickets complain that they are underpriced.

  12. Tom Spurgeon says:

    In your face, MacDonald!

  13. “I often find it amusing when people that generally don’t actually have to buy their tickets complain that they are underpriced.”

    *Ssssst!*

    I would like to hear from a CCI rep about whether or not they’ll accept transferred/scalped tickets.

  14. “I wonder when/if the con starts charging for Professional badges.”

    GAA!!! Bite your tung, Mark! I’d never be able to go to a con again. Although, I don’t think that’ll happen. It’d be pretty stupid to start charging the people that fans pay their money to come see, to show up. There are a lot of artist and writers that have a large number of fans, who still have to watch the money they spend. Travel expenses (gas… need I say more?) are bad enough when going from con to con. Conventions used to be more for pros and retailers to begin with, anyway. I remember the days when we’d go to Comic Con, and have the floor (and panels) to ourselves for two strait days, without any fans to distract us from doing our business and talking our shop. Then they’d arrive and we could have a good time, knowing we got done what we needed too. Now we’re lucky to get five minutes to shoot the shiznat, before getting pulled in 20 more directions. Hey, are there even any shows left with pro days? I’d love to go to one.

  15. Tom Spurgeon says:

    I don’t want to pay for anything ever, but if I were within the margin where another $75 would be the difference between my not being able to afford to go and my being able to, I’d sure as hell stay home.

  16. At $75 for 4.5 days, that’s the cheapest part of being at the con. With the cost of food, travel, lodging, and all the purchases you’re apt to make at the show, you’ll be lucky if that’s a whole 10% of your total cost. And you get access to a lot of panels, of movies, and of other events for that money.

  17. Mark Coale says:

    “It’d be pretty stupid to start charging the people that fans pay their money to come see, to show up.”

    Well, I would imagine that Conventions will still comp their “Guests,” but, if we’re talking about SD, there are probably several thousands Pros that attend.

    One of the best times I ever had at SD was the (last time?) they did Pro/Con. The CAC was during that and there were a number of great workshops those two days.

  18. Tom Spurgeon says:

    Damn you Comic-Con and your unfair policy we’ve made up on your behalf!

  19. Indeed.

  20. The exorbitant ebay prices are not a measure of what the market will bear. They’re a measure of what the post-sold-out market of a few hundred (stupid, if passes aren’t supposed to be transferable) people with extra cash and a very rare commodity will bear.

    Also, the market this year is not comparable to the market next year, which will exist in a recession with the cost of fuel and airfare doubled.

    I’m going to guess that at this time next year, there will be plenty of 4-day passes still available for the Big Festival of Discretionary Spending, I mean, CCI.

  21. “The exorbitant ebay prices are not a measure of what the market will bear. ”

    Not as an average, but the rapid selling-out is a clear indication that the market will bear more… which is not to say that the con should charge more. First off, Comic Con is a nonprofit organization (which is not to say that they shouldn’t keep an eye on income, but income is not their primary goal.) Secondly, maximizing the money made from ticket sales would not maximize the money made total; pricing that increases ticket dollar volume while actually decreasing attendance would decrease the price that could be commanded for booth space.

  22. It was a few years ago, but I once tried to attend San Diego using a friend’s pass as he was unable to go himself at the last minute. The convention did indeed insist on a photo-ID to honor the pass, and as I did not have this, they would not allow it. I ended up just buying my own (you can see how long ago this was – I was able to just buy a full convention pass right there at the door).

    I don’t think the people buying scalped passes are going to be very happy when they show up without corroborating IDs.

    I’ve never heard of an official mechanism for transferring membership to a second-hand pass-holder. I imagine that’s one further dimension of nightmarish bookkeeping that the organization may not wish to descend into.

  23. Martin says:

    Ebay passes can be transferred to the buyer’s name so that person can register with his/her ID. Passes can be transferred as long as Comic Con is notified in advance.

  24. SDCC will let you switch your badge to someone else as long as they have THEIR money. Something else to look into are the hotel reservations. I saw a reserve for two queen beds at the New Hard Rock hotel accross the street here in Sd: Sold for $450. (Thats just the reservation mind you. Doesn’t include the extra $280 a night for the room)

  25. SDCC will let you switch your badge to someone else as long as they have THEIR money. Something else to look into are the hotel reservations. I saw a reserve for two queen beds at the New Hard Rock hotel accross the street here in Sd: Sold for $450. (Thats just the reservation mind you. Doesn’t include the extra $280 a night for the room)

  26. Some more tips would be great as real estate lawfares do change often. Plus more experiences are appreciated.

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