TicketMaster vs. PurchaseMaster

By Deane Barker on December 15, 2007

Hannah Montana Tickets on Sale! Oops, They’re Gone: Interesting article about the bot war TicketMaster has with scalpers. There’s a program out there called “PurchaseMaster” which is tuned in to TicketMaster’s purchasing process and will start pounding it as soon as tickets go on sale.

What’s interesting is how they get past the captchas.

RMG answered Ticketmaster’s Captchas — the visual puzzles of distorted letters that a customer must type before buying tickets — not with character recognition software, he said, but with humans: “We pay guys in India $2 an hour to type the answers.”

TicketMaster has sued.

The article also impeaches StubHub, eBay’s wholly owned subsidiary that deals in secondhand tickets. When Hannah Montana tickets went on sale at 10:00 a.m., they sold out of TicketMaster by 10:05…then immediately appeared on StubHub. Average original ticket price? About $50. Average sale price on StubHub? $258.



  1. I think Ticketmaster should just start selling all tickets by Auction. Eliminate all the scalpers by forcing them to bid against legitimate purchasers. If a Ticket is trully worth $250 on the market, then let the Event Organizers make the Profit. Not some fat ass sitting on his lazyboy, scalping the tickets on stubhub.

  2. As long as the large media outlets sell their tickets, I don’t see ticket master getting help with this.

    It always made me laugh. If I try to resell an extra ticket for anything more then at cost it’s scalping and I can be arrested. Yet Ticket Master has been charging it patrons “handling fees” and “service charges” since the beginning.

  3. Why not just have only mail order for big bands? They could keep a data base and unsure who gets the tickets.

    People would go thru the trouble of mailing in money orders if it meant they only had to pay face and they would probably get tickets.

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