Recently-released Paradise Papers have brought incredible amount of attention to things such as international corruption and tax evasion. Now only have we seen more information on the big problems but also the lesser-known ones. Specifically speaking, StubHub has been caught offering special deals to scalpers but not just any scalpers though, according to CBC News.
According to CBC News, they followed a trial in the Paradise Papers that led them to Julien Lavallée. He is a “Canadian superscalper” known for running an international scalping operation. He runs a gig for reselling of huge ticket resales. An example show how scalpers were able to beat legitimate fans by using bots to purchase tickets for Adele’s world tour last year:
CBC News obtained sales records from three U.K. shows that provide unprecedented insight into the speed and scale of Lavallée’s ticket scam.
Despite a four-ticket-per-customer limit, his business snatched up 310 seats in 25 minutes, charged to 15 different names in 12 different locations.
The grand total? Nearly $52,000 worth of tickets at face value.
Even though using bots to scalp is nothing new, we’ve seen it before, but according to CBC‘s investigation, StubHub and other resale website were found in the cross-hairs:
The CBC/Star investigation also discovered a password-protected portal exclusively for StubHub’s top sellers who prove they can move more than $50,000 worth of tickets a year.
The company offers them special software to upload and manage huge inventories of tickets.
In its Top Seller Handbook, Stubhub offers incentives for high-volume resellers, including reducing its 10 per cent cut on each ticket sold. The higher the reseller’s numbers, the sweeter the deal, with special rates for those who hit sales of $250,000, $500,000 and up to $5 million US per year.
StubHub may say that they require sellers to follow “all relevant laws,” but when CBC News approached them for additional details, they declined. The company has also not provided any volunteered information to British authorities that are investigating scalpers.
In a statement to CBC, StubHub said that it “agrees that the use of bots to procure tickets is unfair and anti-consumer. StubHub has always supported anti-bots legislation and encourages policy-makers to look comprehensively at the host of factors that impact a fan’s ability to fairly access, buy, resell, or even give away tickets in a competitive ticket market.” Now what’s interesting here is that StubHub says it’s against such practices, but refuses to give details on how it makes an effort to make sure its sellers are complying with everything. They’re offering deep pocket discounts for sellers that are able to move a lot of tickets.