I love this time of year. Temperatures claw their way into the 50s, the Red Sox return to Fenway, and the scalpers awake from their long winter hibernation and bloom like daisies. I've long hated scalpers, probably dating to the time I headed to Fenway on my lunch break from my cushy state job and a scalper trying to move a $20 seat for $60 told me "A guy wearing a suit oughta be able to afford that." My reply: "I got this jacket at Marshall's."
I don't know why I was complaining. A 300% markup is about standard. And I don't so much mind that, since I think the market should be allowed to price itself.
What makes me angry is the uneven enforcement of the state's antiquated ticket scalping laws, plus the fact that the scalpers operate in plain sight of police officers, probably because the scalpers are mobbed up, something documented by the Boston Herald a few years back.
You might say they officers are there to keep the peace and not police scalpers, so I offer my au contraire
moment: I was trying to get rid of a single seat to a September 2003 Red Sox-Yankees game at Fenway. The markup was running around 500% that day -- tickets going for five times face value.
I agreed to sell my $27 ticket to a girl near the Kenmore Square T station for $60, until an ogre of a man came over and asked if I was selling it for face value. Me:
"Face value," showing his police badge.Me:
"You're going to sell that ticket to her for $27, because scalping is illegal."Me (to the girl):
"You're getting a deal."
The ultimate insult came a moment later. "Don't worry. I'm not going to arrest you. I can tell you're not a professional."
Of course not. The professionals were the guys less than half a block away with stacks of 50 tickets who the police never hassle.
Will it change? A Boston police captain was quoted
this week saying this would be the year they cracked down, but I'll believe it when I see it.
Labels: Rare Serious Posting