In a move designed to capitalize on its reputation and offer its members another vehicle for selling tickets, the National Association of Ticket Brokers...

In a move designed to capitalize on its reputation and offer its members another vehicle for selling tickets, the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) is preparing to launch a new website called Ticket MarketPlace where consumers can buy tickets directly from NATB members.

The new site, which will be located at NATB.com, is scheduled to go live on August 1, and will allow consumers to search for tickets by the event, venue or date. See the screen shot below.

The following greeting welcomes consumers when they log in, “This ‘Ticket Marketplace’ site was created by the members of the NATB for the public to be able to buy tickets directly from a reliable source. All the tickets available on this site are for sale only by member brokers of the NATB. This assures you that the tickets being purchased are from a source that provides consumer protection, confidence and a written guarantee, as provided by our Code of Ethics. There are no Hidden fees or percentage charges added. The only additional charges would be possible required sales taxes and shipping charges. Just type in the event you’re looking for in the search bar below and enjoy the easiest search for tickets you have ever experienced!”

Steve Parry, president of Golden Tickets, is spearheading the project for the NATB, and he told TicketNews that the group had been considering it and working on it for close to two years.

Currently, the NATB has no plans to formally advertise the site, and brokers will only be able to list tickets for free for the first three months. After that, once the group determines the site’s maintenance costs, it will charge brokers a nominal fee to list tickets.

“There was some debate among members as to whether the NATB should do this, but it’s not like we’re trying to build a race car and compete in NASCAR. We looked at this as a benefit for our members and for consumers,” Parry said.

It could also be viewed as a bit of a defensive move for the trade group, as its members battle increased competition, a struggling economy and the launch of the new TicketsNow consumer ticket exchange.

The NATB is spending well under $25,000 to create the new marketplace, according to Parry, and any NATB member in good standing will be allowed to upload tickets. Only inventory that brokers actually have on hand will be allowed to be listed. The NATB expects between 100 and 150 brokers will list tickets at the time of the launch.

“As people were contacting the NATB, the problem was they wanted to buy from NATB member brokers, but that wasn’t always easy,” Parry said. “This assures people that they will be dealing with an NATB broker. And, it will help us get our piece of that bigger pie. We’re very up front about it. We’re a trade association whose goal is to help our members do more business.”

By Alfred Branch Jr.