Get-rich-quick dreams shattered for Blackpink scalpers

By Ha Thu, Tan Cao   July 17, 2023 | 05:04 am PT
Many have spent tens of millions of dongs (VND1 million = $42) bulk-buying tickets to Blackpink Hanoi concerts aiming to resell them to earn profits, only to have no other choice than cutting losses.
Blackpink is set to perform at Hanoi’s My Dinh National Stadium on July 29 and 30. Photo from Blackpink’s Twitter

Blackpink is set to perform at Hanoi’s My Dinh National Stadium on July 29 and 30. Photo from Blackpink’s Twitter

Hoang Tram, 30, of HCMC, says she came up with the idea of making profits from selling tickets to the global superstar’s concerts after seeing the seemingly high demands. She ended up buying three tickets, worth VND3.8 million (around ($161) each.

But selling them thereafter was not as easy as she had thought.

"I was excited when I checked out the tickets successfully," she says. "But over the following days, I felt worried, as I realized I would have to compete with many people having the same idea of making profits [from selling the tickets]."

Nobody contacted her for the tickets despite the fact that she had posted selling announcements in many communities on social media. The "competition" was even worse when hundreds of people commented under her posts saying they were having tickets to sell as well.

Tram started being worried that she would wholly lose the money and having to ask her acquaintances to buy the tickets for her.

She even thought about using them as gifts for her family members. Fortunately she found a customer who took all of her three tickets eventually.

Blackpink announced last month that they would hold their first concert in Vietnam on July 29-30 at Hanoi’s My Dinh National Stadium.

Tickets to the concerts went on public sale on July 7, priced at VND1.2-9.8 million.

The 25-year-old Hanoian Tu bought a total of 11 Blackpink Hanoi concert tickets and managed to sell seven, making a profit of VND500,000 for each ticket sold. He plans to keep three for himself, his wife, and a friend of them.

That means he still has one ticket left, which he bought for VND5.8 million and is thinking that he will need to sell it for VND4.8 million only to get it sold.

Tram and Tu were the lucky ones when they managed to get their tickets sold, partly because theirs were that of the middle-ranged prices. A coworker of Tram bulk-bought tickets of higher prices and was not able to sell any of them, despite having lowered the selling prices.

The closer the concert dates approach, the more people decide to cut losses by setting their selling prices lower than the amount they originally paid to buy the tickets. Quang Minh, 35, of HCMC, explained: "I spent twice my monthly salary on the tickets. If I cannot sell them, I will lose everything."

Meanwhile, many people planning to go to the concerts are patiently waiting for a few more days to be able to buy tickets for more attractive prices after seeing how high the supply is. Hong Hanh, 29, of the northern province of Phu Tho is one among this group.

Although the tickets were still sold on the distributor’s official portal for days after the public sale opened, she says she will buy from the resellers, hoping to get better prices.

Others say they bought tickets from the official distributor to show their support to the event and the girl group.

The group was formed in 2016, including Jisoo, Lisa, Rosé, and Jennie. They quickly achieved huge success in South Korea before becoming one of the most popular girl groups in the world.

Their two studio albums, "The Album" and "Born Pink," achieved massive success internationally, with the latter topping the Billboard 200 and UK Albums Chart, making them the first K-pop girl group to do so.

Explaining this "high supply, low demand" situation, many people who have had experience scouting concert tickets say resellers incorrectly assessed the demand for the event.

On average, Blackpink Hanoi shows’ tickets are higher in prices compared to tickets to the same show in countries nearby including Thailand and Indonesia, while benefits offered to concert-goers are considered less attractive.

Vy Hoang, 35, resident of HCMC, who has attended many concerts in various countries, says even fans of Blackpink hesitate to buy tickets to the Hanoi concerts due to the ticket’s high prices and the fact that Vietnam is the last destination on the tour, which means some of the fans have been to other countries to watch the same show and are not interested anymore.

Another reason for people’s hesitation is the risk of scams. Tickets to Blackpink Hanoi concerts are issued digitally in the form of QR codes, so fans are aware that one seller could send one code to different buyers.

Tu confirms this, saying that his success in selling the tickets is partly because he uses his verified Facebook account and agrees to meet his buyers in person to exchange the tickets.

As someone of whom the ticket selling process was not as smooth as Tu, reflecting on how she mentally struggled before managing to find a ticket buyer, Tram seems to have lost her optimism.

"I was too greedy," she admits. "Will definitely never do this again."

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