EBay launches ticket re-sell site

Will concerts and shows get cheaper? Secondary ticket sellers Seatwave and Viagogo now have EBay to rub up against. EBay is launching its new StubHub marketplace operation, which claims it will not charge consumers a service for at the point of sale.

A first for the industry, it claims. Will StubHub make a difference?

£300m a year

The competition should help. But first, what are secondary ticket players? Basically they connect ticket buyers to sellers of concert or show tickets. In the US, StubHub sells a ticket every second and estimates the current value of the UK market at £300 million a year.

StubHub's UK site lists over 140,000 tickets to high-profile events such as Madonna, Coldplay and Florence And The Machine. However the secondary ticket market was recently shaken up by a Channel 4 documentary. It alleged StubHub rival, Viagogo, sold tickets at considerably inflated prices.

Viagogo attempted to block the programme being broadcast, which was overruled. Crucially, the C4 Dispatches program alleged many of the tickets offered by Viagogo came from professional ticket resellers or deals done with other promoters, rather than individual fans.

Ripped off?

"We sought an injunction to prevent customer information being made public," the company claimed in a Guardian article in late February. "Our number one priority is to protect our customers' data, so we will always do whatever we can to prevent that information from falling into the wrong hands."

Meanwhile StubHub says it will offer a full range of mobile applications, opening a central London retail outlet for fans to buy, pick up or drop off tickets. The first hub opens in the summer on London's Great Portland Street, plus additional pop-up locations across the country are planned.

"These will be conveniently located close to major venues, meaning fans will never have to worry about getting in at the last minute," says StubHub.
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