Kim Yeon-soo, 27, was able to get her hands on a resale ticket for her favorite artist's concert, but at twice the regular price.
“I wanted to see the concert so badly, I searched social media and resale websites. Hundreds of tickets were up for sale at ridiculous prices," said Kim, an office worker. "It's upsetting to give money to scalpers who take advantage of fans’ desperation, but I didn’t have a choice."
Ticket scalpers are one of the biggest headaches for the Korean music industry, including musicals and classical music. Although scalpers have always been an issue, the problem has grown in size and scope, and ticket scalping has turned into a lucrative business.
"More than 50 percent of the tickets for sold-out performances typically go to scalpers. Sometimes they take up more than 70 percent of the seats," said Yoon Dong-hwan, the chairman of the Record Label Industry Association of Korea, who recently filed a petition for an amendment of the law to confront the ticket scalping problem.
Yoon pointed out that the introduction of macros has accelerated the growth of the ticket resale industry. Macros are automatic systems that can go through the multiple steps of purchasing a ticket in seconds. Ordinary consumers without such a program cannot compete with the speed of macro.
Scalpers make a profit by selling tickets to fans who are willing to pay an extra fee through resale sites or social media. On Ticket Bay, one of the most well-known reselling platforms, tickets for a popular boy group The Boyz concert were trading at up to 7,000,000 won ($5,410) as of last Thursday, while VIP seats for one of the best-loved ballad singers Sung Si-kyung's concert were trading at up to 1,199,900 won. The original price of each ticket is about 150,000 won.