TicketsNow, the nation’s third-largest secondary ticket seller, has begun notifying its broker clients that the company will begin implementing an “in hand” option for ticket sales.
Called “InHandDate,” the new policy, which is scheduled to take effect May 20, gives brokers “the option to provide the date that each of your listings will be available to ship.”
TicketsNow touts the new policy as a way for brokers to gain a “competitive advantage” because customers will find it more enticing to buy tickets when they know the broker has them in-hand, and that they will ship on a certain date.
In an email to some of the company’s broker clients, TicketsNow said it “will calculate the ‘ShipBy’ date (currently labeled ‘Estimated Ship Date’) based on [a broker’s] InHandDate. We’ll add 3 business days to [the broker’s] InHandDate to arrive at the ShipBy date. This date is displayed to the consumer,” and it will be displayed to the broker within the TicketsNow internal system.
The new policy is designed to help boost TicketsNow’s profile in the industry, following a tough 2009 when it and parent company Ticketmaster were sued multiple times by concert fans for alleged deceptive business practices. The company settled a Federal Trade Commission complaint for similar charges concerning how it handled Bruce Springsteen ticket sales. Ticketmaster is now a subsidiary of Live Nation Entertainment.
TicketsNow did not respond to messages seeking comment.
StubHub, the nation’s largest secondary ticket marketplace, has quietly been implementing a similar policy and has begun notifying its broker clients about the change. Brokers can input the in-hand date, but if they leave it blank StubHub calculates it to seven days before the scheduled event. The TicketsNow policy calculates three days before the event, if the field is left blank.
Glenn Lehrman, spokesperson for StubHub, said that he “can’t comment about this at this time.”
Several industry insiders who spoke to TicketNews praised the TicketsNow move, and said that within the next several months virtually all of the online ticket exchanges, and large brokers, will likely implement similar policies. The move is in the spirit of proposed federal ticketing legislation sponsored by New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., who has called for more transparency in the industry.
Brendan Ross, president and CEO of RazorGator, declined to speak specifically about his company’s policy, but said the time is coming for the secondary industry to act.
“We’re looking forward to the day when the collective point-of-sale systems quickly adopt a standard for tickets in-hand and delivery dates,” he said.