Red & Blue ball is sold out. White Party is sold out. Frankly, there will be plenty of other parties that will sell out as well.
If you desire to go to those events and do not possess a ticket, you should not be annoyed that you did not log on to Campus Groups to purchase a ticket at the exact moment tickets went on sell.
There is no need to put that cocktail down and open up your laptop. Fortunately with 1700 students, there will always be movement of tickets up to the minute of the event. The underground market is strong.
So what happens if you are a holder of a ticket to the Red & Blue Ball and can no longer go due to an impromptu meeting with Ben Bernanke? Well, the process typically occurs like this: You text your closest buddies to see if they want the ticket. If no one does, you then send a message to an affinity GroupMe. If no one wants it, you branch out and think maybe you should try the Cohort group that no one ever participates in. No one responds as expected and then you finally post the extra ticket on Wharton Market. But then you see that the event is sold out so you decide to sell the ticket above face value.
Yay. All good. As a fan of capitalism and as student of what Donald Trump refers to as “the best school in the world, the Wharton School of Finance” – I should applaud dynamic pricing for tickets to Wharton events. Let the free market reign for Wharton resale tickets. Right?
Wrong. I use StubHub and will graciously pay over face value in order to get a ticket to a sold out event that I deem worthwhile. And I support dynamic pricing on Uber and Lyft.
But I stand firmly against this scalping practice at Wharton.
Why? Because we know each other. We are a community, some would even say a family, of 1700. So let’s not screw each other over in an attempt to make a few dollars from a Wharton party. That in my view is sufficient. For example, if you had an extra ticket to the sold out Taylor Swift concert and you sold it to your friend or friend-of-a-friend, if you are a good person you will charge face value for the ticket. You would not charge the hypothetical market rate.
The MGEC fan will respond by saying, that price the fairest way to allocate tickets to those who value them the most. Because of the unique environment of this school, I do not agree with that premise. But if you agree with that premise, then compromise and donate all the money gained from the arbitrage to charity.
Furthermore, the practice of buying a discounted member ticket to an event to resell it at the non-member price is sleazy. For example, let’s say you bought a White Party for $20 at the club member rate and sell it at the non-member rate at $55. You may feel good about yourself for being shrewd and making $35. This type of arbitrage is not to be applauded. If you do this, the true value you create is the additional burden a fellow student needs to go through to attend the party he or she is so eager to attend. If you are not going to an event, do not purchase a ticket.
Scalping Wharton tickets above face value needs to be stigmatized. Student who sell their tickets for the highest offer tarnish the family environment of the Wharton MBA program. First come first served provides an equitable way to distribute excess tickets and preserves the spirit of the Wharton party scene. The brand of Wharton is class and professionalism, and shouldn’t be sullied by the people engaging in behavior pioneered by homeless-looking dregs who hustle outside of Phillies stadium.
You go to Wharton. Don’t act like a low-life.