Reminder: Not taking responsibility leads to chaos.

Olivier Biggs
Jul 31 · 5 min read

This was originally posted in the GET Protocol July update blog.

The return of Formula 1 racing to Holland led to a massive hype, followed by a million Dutch people who registered for the 100K tickets available. With such a high demand, it was going to be interesting to see how the organisation was going to deal with the potential of reselling and fraud.

It turns out, not great.

Within 30 minutes of the tickets being allocated to the randomly drawn winners, there were already dozens of tickets up for sale at incredible mark-ups.

The undisputed winner of resale was an offer on Marktplaats (the Dutch Craigslist), asking for a total of 34.000 euros for 12 tickets. Cash was fine, otherwise a wiretransfer would do.

The organisation behind the event has made statements saying that the reselling of tickets is allowed, however it is not allowed to make a profit off of the sale.

How this is regulated or checked exactly is not clear, and meanwhile hundreds if not thousands of offers and transactions have already taken place.

Another element that complicates things for consumers is that the tickets will be sent to consumers somewhere in 2020. This means that in a lot of cases, people who have purchased tickets from someone else through secondary platforms such as Marktplaats, will still need that person to transfer the tickets to them next year.

That’s a lot of trust to place in someone you don’t know.

Meanwhile CM, the ticketing company behind this event, has announced that they will be releasing their own secondary ticketing platform next year, to facilitate the resale of these tickets. Why this is only happening next year while hundreds of racing fans are already being overcharged and quite possibly scammed due to the vague specifics of the sale, I don’t know.

What I do know is that there can never be enough secondary ticketing platforms, right? Definitely not another calculated moneygrab, right? Riiiight? We’ll see… But we know.

Meanwhile media platform RTL Z started digging around and asked a spokesperson for the Marktplaats platform exactly how the Dutch GP was going to track down scalpers and those committing ticket fraud, to which they respond:

“Marktplaats connects a buyer to a seller, but we don’t monitor transactions. We also don’t provide user information to the Dutch GP. (…) We can’t go and block the reselling of Formula 1 tickets. That would negatively effect sellers who sell for the allowed price.”

The article rightly clarifies that while Marktplaats is not obligated to prevent reselling taking place, Dutch GP still reserves the right to take action and invalidate tickets at a later point. They have threatened to do so, but have yet to clarify how this would be done and under which conditions.

This leaves a looooot of grey area and — as can be deducted from the quote from Marktplaats — is likely to be a bluff. If not, it is likely that fans are going to suffer from randomly imposed sanctions. Either way: bad news.

All of this drama can instantly be prevented by our merged primary and secondary markets. Fans buy and sell their tickets in one place, with clearly defined rules that apply to everyone. This is no theoretical dream by the way, this is how GUTS Tickets works.

On a more positive note, the sale and subsequent reselling sparked some obvious outrage, which also consisted of a lot of mentions of GUTS as a viable solution to the issues:

This was fantastic to see, and a valuable contribution in public awareness and negotiating position in general of GUTS. When the business side of events or organisations can be unwilling to change, the public opinion and visible demand for innovation can make a lot of difference. So, thank you!

More about GET Protocol

Any questions or want to know more about what we do? Join our active Telegram community for any questions you might have, read our whitepaper, visit the website, join the discussion on the GET Protocol Reddit. Or get yourself a smart event ticket in our sandbox environment. Download the GUTS Tickets app on iOS or Android.

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Olivier Biggs

Written by

GET Protocol Foundation

GET Protocol

GET Protocol updates and announcements

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