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Ticket resale From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Ticket resale is the act of reselling tickets for admission to events. Tickets are bought from licensed sellers and are then sold for a price determined by the individual or company in possession of the tickets. Tickets sold through secondary sources may be sold for less or more than their face value depending on demand, which itself tends to vary as the event date approaches. When the supply of tickets for a given event available through authorized ticket sellers is depleted, the event is considered "sold out", generally increasing the market value for any tickets on offer through secondary sellers. Ticket resale is a form of arbitrage that arises when the amount demanded at the sale price exceeds the amount supplied (that is, when event organizers charge less than the equilibrium prices for the tickets). Criticism of re-selling Many event promoters actively discourage ticket scalping. Individuals who genuinely wish to attend a popular event may find themselves unable to get tickets, as they have already been sold to ticket resellers. This practice enables the ticket resellers to sell the tickets at market value, with no effective loss because they had no intention of attending the event in the first place. Resellers argue that there is a fine line between the individuals who genuinely wish to attend a popular event (and decide to sell on their tickets later) and those that buy tickets in large quantities in order to resell their tickets for a hefty profit. The practice of reselling tickets may be defended on "free market" principles although some countries have outlawed the unauthorized resale of tickets (usually with exceptions where the reseller doesn't profit from the transaction). Resale of tickets at sold-out events can also encourage those without tickets to turn up at the venue, in the hope of purchasing one. This can cause crowd control problems, with numbers in excess of the venue's limits approaching it, and the access of those with tickets being hampered by a sizeable number of those without. Responses Legal responses A concern when buying tickets on the street from a ticket scalper or via an online auction, is that the tickets sold by ticket resellers may themselves be stolen or counterfeit. For many major sporting events counterfeit tickets are auctioned off in the months leading up to the event. These criminals and their activities are not to be confused with legitimate ticket brokers and individuals who abide by law to legally resell tickets on the secondary market. It is controversial whether tickets are a good which can be privately resold. Some parties argue that the money paid to the organisers is actually paid for the service of attending the event, which a buyer cannot resell because the buyer does not have the service to sell. Other parties argue that tickets are paid for by consumers and should be transferable just like any other good. Typically private resale will contravene the original conditions of sale, but it's legally questionable whether the original conditions of sale are even enforceable. In the United Kingdom resale of football/soccer tickets is illegal under section 166 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 unless the resale is authorized by the organizer of the match, such as what viagogo is doing through its partnerships with Chelsea FC, Manchester United, and Everton FC. A similar situation is applicable in the Netherlands where resale of football tickets is illegal unless through the official reseller Skelper.nl an official partner of clubs like Feyenoord, PSV, FC Groningen en NEC. The first official secondary ticketing internet platform launched in the Netherlands in 2007 and by now there are several like viagogo, seatwave and skelper. In the United States, ticket resale on the premises of the event (including adjacent parking lots that are officially part of the facility) may be prohibited by law, although these laws vary from state to state and the majority of U.S. states do not have laws in place to limit the value placed on the resale amount of event tickets or where and how these tickets should be sold. Ticket resellers may conduct business on nearby sidewalks, or advertise through newspaper ads or ticket brokers. Some U.S. states and venues encourage a designated area for resellers to stand in, on, or near the premises, while other states and venues prohibit ticket resale altogether. Resale laws, policies and practices are generally decided, practiced and governed at the local or even venue level in the U.S. and such laws and or interpretations are not currently generalized at a national level. Another issue in the United States is that since ticketing laws vary by state to state, many ticket resellers use a loophole and sell their tickets outside of the state of an event. Therefore, a ticket reseller who is reselling tickets to an event at New York's Madison Square Garden is not subject to New York State's markup laws as long as the sale takes place outside of New York. The majority of ticket brokers in the New York metropolitan area have their offices in bordering states New Jersey and Connecticut for this reason. Many states such as California limit their definition of scalping to the resale of event tickets at the venue for above face value only. Note, however, that many state and local laws prohibiting peddling on public property or local thoroughfares can effectively prohibit scalping of any kind. Depending on the Ticketing body's conditions of sale, tickets may be cancelled, or the ticket holder refused admission, if tickets are resold at a premium (for a profit). This is so with Ticketek tickets (Ticketek is an Australian based ticketing company). Efforts to clamp down on ticket resale have included labelling tickets with the name or a photograph of the buyer, and banning people without tickets from the near vicinity of the event (where they might otherwise congregate hoping to buy a ticket from a ticket reseller at the last minute). Online auction sites like eBay only enforce state ticketing laws if either the buyer and/or seller resides in the state where the event is taking place. Otherwise, there is no resell limit for tickets. Price gouging From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Price gouging is a pejorative term for a seller pricing much higher than is considered reasonable or fair. In precise, legal usage, it is the name of a felony that applies in some of the United States only during civil emergencies. In less precise usage, it can refer either to prices obtained by practices inconsistent with a competitive free market, or to windfall profits. As a criminal offense, Florida's law is reasonably typical. Price gouging may be charged when a supplier of essential goods or services sharply raises the prices asked in anticipation of or during a civil emergency, or when it cancels or dishonors contracts in order to take advantage of an increase in prices related to such an emergency. The model case is a retailer who increases the price of existing stocks of milk and bread when a hurricane is imminent. It is a defense to show that the price increase mostly reflects increased costs, such as running an emergency generator, or hazard pay for workers. Some support the ability to raise prices under such circumstances, asserting that government prohibition of the practice is a violation of individual rights or that the ability to raise prices has beneficial effects or both. While some economists who defend the practice use the term "price gouging", others disparage it as merely pejorative. Criticism In the United States, laws against price gouging have been held constitutional as a valid exercise of the police power to preserve order during an emergency, and may be combined with anti-hoarding measures. Exceptions are prescribed for price increases that can be justified in terms of increased cost of supply, transportation or storage. Statutes generally give wide discretion not to prosecute: in 2004, Florida determined that one-third of complaints were unfounded, and a large fraction of the remainder were handled by consent decrees, rather than prosecution. Advocacy Many of those who oppose laws against price gouging view the rapid increase of prices as a valid system for rapidly distributing scarce resources to those who need them most and rewarding those who have prepared for potential scarcity by taking steps to provide the highly desirable resources. They also argue that since these systems do not reward the provider, there is decreased incentive for suppliers to plan for unusual demand situations, causing further scarcity. Rent control From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Rent control refers to laws or ordinances that set price controls on the renting of residential housing. It functions as a price ceiling. History of rent controls in America In the United States during World War I, rents were "controlled" through the efforts of local rent anti- profiteering committees and public pressure. Between 1919 and 1924, a number of cities and states adopted rent and eviction control laws. Modern rent controls were first adopted in response to WWII-era shortages, or following Richard Nixon's 1971 wage and price controls. They remain in effect or have been reintroduced in some cities with large tenant populations, such as New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Oakland, California. Many smaller communities also have rent control, notably the California cities of Santa Monica, Berkeley, and West Hollywood, along with many small towns in New Jersey. In recent years, rent control in some cities, such as Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been ended by state referenda. New York State has had the longest experience of rent controls, since 1943, with most residents being unable to remember a time beforehand. (Although only 51 communities currently participate in the state's program, New York City is one of them, and contains the vast majority of units covered by that program.) The period has been marked by the lack of an "adequate supply of decent... housing". The worsening in the rental market led to the enactment of the Rent Stabilization Law of 1969, which aimed to help increase the number of places put up for rent. The current system is very complicated, which is especially troublesome as most of the protected renters are elderly, and understanding the city's complex rent-control regulations is difficult even for experienced lawyers. Purpose and scope Although the political debate over rent control is far-reaching, as described below, the purposes and provisions of such laws are intended to be limited in scope. They define which rental units are affected, and may have only larger or older rental complexes covered by the law. The frequency and degree of rent increases are limited, usually to the rate of inflation defined by the Consumer Price Index or to a fraction thereof. San Francisco, for example, allows annual rent increases of 60% of the CPI, up to a maximum 7%. Unregulated rent increases may be allowed when a tenant moves ("vacancy decontrol"). Rent-control laws that don't include vacancy decontrol are called strong rent-control laws. Such laws were in effect in five California cities (West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Berkeley, East Palo Alto and Cotati) in 1996, when AB 1164 (known as the Costa/Hawkins Bill) made strong rent-control unenforceable in California (except in special cases like mobile home parks). Arguments In Favor The rental-accommodation market suffers from information asymmetries and high transaction costs. Typically, a landlord has much more information about a home than a prospective tenant can reasonably detect. Moreover, once the tenant has moved in, the costs of moving again are very high. Unscrupulous landlords can thus conceal defects and, if the tenant complains, threaten to raise the rent at the end of the lease. With rent control, tenants can ensure that hidden defects at least be repaired to comply with building code requirements, without fearing retaliatory rent increases. Rent control may thus compensate somewhat for inefficiencies of the housing market. Rent control is considered necessary by the state of New York to protect the public and to prevent landlords from imposing rent increases that cause key workers or vulnerable people to leave an area. Maintaining a supply of affordable housing is believed to be essential to sustaining the local society. Homeowners who support rent control point to the neighborhood instability caused by high or frequent rent increases and the effect on schools, youth groups, and community organizations when tenants move more frequently. In certain instances the term "rent stabilization" is used instead of rent "control," for example, in some cities in California, such as San Francisco. With rent stabilization and vacancy de-control landlords are free to set prices of vacant units at market prices, but once rented to a tenant, subsequent increases are capped based on the rate of inflation or a regulated percentage. This is considered a basic form of consumer protection: once tenants move into a vacant unit at market rents they can afford and establish lives in these homes, they won't have to renegotiate. Without rent regulation, landlords can demand any amount and tenants must either pay or move. Thus, tenants can become vulnerable to arbitrary and extortionate increases above market value. For example, elderly or disabled tenants may be unable to move, and families risk disrupting children's educations by moving in the middle of a school year. Advocates insist that finding a new home is not a trivial matter, and tenants should have some assurance that they can maintain some stability in their housing situation. It has been contended that housing is a positive human right that equals or exceeds the property rights of landlords. Therefore the needs of the tenant should equal or override the needs of the landlord. Without rent control, even tenants paying full rent can be forced unexpectedly from their homes through no fault of their own. For example, if their landlords mortgaged excessively and the property goes into foreclosure, tenants may be evicted even in the middle of a lease. In the U.S., federal "bailout" legislation enacted in 2008 may protect some tenants from foreclosure evictions if the loan is owned by Fannie Mae, but others still face eviction. Many believe, "People who work hard and play by the rules should not find themselves out on the street when things turn sour through no fault of their own." Arguments against Speaking in 1989, Vietnam's Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach said: "The Americans couldn't destroy Hanoi, but we have destroyed our city by very low rents. We realized it was stupid and that we must change policy." A ceiling on rents reduces the quality and quantity of housing available.  Rent regulation, despite its good intentions, leads to the creation of less housing, raises prices, and increases urban blight. Price ceilings can create shortages and reduce quality. By capping the price of accommodation, rent control may increase demand and reduce available supply, causing a shortage. It is argued that rent control also reduces the quality of available housing, deters investment, and raises rents on tenants who are excluded from its protections (for example, in jurisdictions with vacancy decontrol, tenants who move or arrive later). Areas with rent-controlled housing are blamed for difficulty of finding vacant housing and the resulting power imbalance between landlords and tenants as tenants may "game the system" to impose onerous conditions on the landlord, forcing long cycles of judicial action, leading to considerable economic hardship for the landlord. Likewise, new tenants have serious difficulty finding housing, so they are seriously disadvantaged if they must move. As a result, landlords can impose numerous conditions and requirements. In jurisdictions that do not already have rent control, introducing it may reduce the resale value of affected property. The benefits of rent control can accrue disproportionately to wealthy and well-connected tenants. Affordable housing can be more efficiently made available to the poor and middle income through rent subsidies, making use of the free market for distribution. Such programs allow the community to better target those requiring assistance, have a less distorting effect on rents and development, and distribute affordable housing cost over the community instead of unfairly burdening property owners in the effort to achieve a social good. Moreover, it is argued that rent control violates the property rights of the property owners, as it limits what they may do with their property.
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