- One of the city’s most popular channels launched a social experiment to prevent scalpers from buying up tickets for their shows - by charging more on the first day
- “Yellow cows” drove up ticket prices for popular Canto-pop group Mirror, selling tickets for over HK$100,000
Would you pay HK$10,000 to see a show if you knew that the ticket price would drop the next day, and keep dropping on until tickets were only HK$10 23 days later?
Some Hongkongers would.
Trial and Error, a popular Hong Kong YouTube channel, will stage two shows filled with skits and dramas at Kowloon Bay International Trade and Exhibition Centre in October. They created an interesting social experiment in an effort to prevent scalpers from buying up tickets online and reselling them for a profit.
Earlier this month, the group announced on its Facebook page that it would sell tickets over a period of 24 days. The price was set at HK$10,000 on the first day, HK$5,000 the next day, HK$2,000 the day after, and so forth, until tickets cost just HK$10 on the final day of the 24-day period.
Thirteen HK$10,000 tickets were sold when they went on sale on the first day. When the price dropped to HK$5,000 the next day, four tickets were sold. In the end, all tickets –the total number of which is unknown–were sold in just four days.
“It’s up to you to decide how much the tickets are worth. This is the essence of the experiment,” Neo Yau Hawk-Sau, 30, one of the channel’s founders, said in a YouTube video.
“The game has to start with a price higher than the market price, and it also has to be as low as HK$10,” Yau said.
“This way, the experiment will be complete.”
Many people who expected the price to drop to HK$10 have missed out on the chance to see the show.
The channel was started a year ago and instantly became a hit, especially for teenagers in Hong Kong. It has around 278,000 subscribers, and its videos have racked up more than 37 million views.
The experiment aimed to counter the longstanding problem of what locals call “yellow cow”, referring to people who buy tickets for very popular events and resell them for a much higher price. This happened recently when popular boy band Mirror put on a series of concerts; tickets were quickly snapped up by “yellow cows” and resold online for as much as HK$100,000 a piece.
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By giving the audience a chance to choose the price for themselves, Yau explained, people were unlikely to buy from scalpers.
“Those willing to pay a higher ticket price would’ve bought them earlier for themselves,” he said.
“We didn’t aim to sell all our tickets in a split second, nor to tell others that ‘we sold them all in x number of minutes’,” he said, “In fact, we knew we may not have been able to sell them all in a week.”