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Ticket Scalping:Welsh Rugby Union

This article typifies the usual mainstream media writing about ticket scalping, indicating that most journalists have little or no understanding of the concept of opportunity costs and gains from trade. [thanks for BrianF for the pointer]

Saturday's showdown at the Millennium Stadium has been a sell-out for weeks with official ticket prices ranging from £14 to £42.

But scores of tickets can be bought on internet auction sites at hugely inflated prices. One ticket has even been advertised on one site at £2,000.

Rugby fan Kevin Jones from Laugharne in Carmarthenshire said: "How do these people, who are not true supporters of their country, get the chance to have tickets when they have no intention of going. "The people selling the tickets are only out to make a profit."

I have heard and read this type of argument so often, it is nauseating. Carefully put, the objectors to scalping are saying that someone else is willing to outbid them and they want to get the ticket at face value or less even though others would value it much more. It's the standard, "You've got it and I want it" motivation.

But here is an interesting wrinkle that I've seen before, but only rarely. People who buy scalped tickets face higher risks -- people might very well sell counterfeit or stolen tickets. Buyers of these tickets could end up out of luck.

"There were people who left the game against in England in tears because they had bought tickets that were stolen and had to leave."

Stadium manager Paul Sergeant also warned against buying tickets from touts or over the web.

"You're going to get your fingers burnt, " he said. "You run every risk of buying tickets that are either forged or stolen.

"My advice is if you haven't got a ticket either stay at home or go and watch it in the pub."

Another option for reducing these risks is to buy scalped tickets only through reliable scalpers, like travel agencies that put together "tour" packages.