Many people make their living online nowadays including myself. In many ways the methods and variety are just as widespread as normal jobs and employment. People run blogs, websites, buy and sell or simply provide advice or coaching. Many have moved their traditional, physical shops online, preferring the low cost. global reach of a website to the expense of bricks and mortar. You can hardly blame most of them, even if the rewards are smaller, which is rarely the case, the pressure and lifestyle is often usually enough to compensate.
However what’s becoming increasingly apparent is that with the upsurge in the digital world, people are becoming aware that they have two identities an online one and an offline one too. It’s the digital personae that we are going to talk about in this post in regards a particular area of online enterprises which are less than popular.
I’m talking about those group of people who become extremely skilled at buying up rare and hard to get items and reselling them at vast profits. Now I’m not talking about those who travel and buy and sell locally – some of this is all done from an armchair or an office without moving a bit. The particular example I’m going to reference is that of concert tickets.
Now if you’ve ever tried to buy some super popular concert tickets then you’ll know how hard it can be. Even if you sit ready to click on buy as soon as the tickets are on sale, then there’s no guarantee you’ll get any. In fact it’s an extremely frustrating experience if you play by the rules, as there are plenty who simply don’t.
Whereas most us have a single identity online, many people have tens or even hundreds of different identities and they use those to their advantage. While we’ll happily click on a single button to try and grab some tickets. Other people are running computer software designed to grab all the best tickets in milliseconds. Basically even if you have super reactions you won’t beat computer software or ticket bots sitting on super fast connections ready to pounce.
These people are often referred to as ‘ticket scalpers’ and they make huge amounts of money reselling concert tickets at inflated prices. In the UK some of these companies are huge organisations, who are even floated on the stock exchange but in reality are little more than efficient, digital ticket touts.
So how do they do this, well first of all they use software called ticket bots to ensure that the entire transaction is completed in a second or two. What’s more the software can run in multiple threads so they can make many purchases simultaneously. Which is part pf the reason why so many tickets disappear in seconds after release (and why the servers are often overloaded!)
The second part is to create these different identities for the bot to exploit. Most of the big ticket sellers like Ticketmaster try and prevent multiple purchases so to buy lots you have to pretend to be multiple customers. The simplest way to do this is by using proxies and multiple IP addresses. However you can’t just use any proxies or addresses, if you read this article about the best Ticketmaster proxies that are available you’ll see what I mean.
These can’t be ordinary, run of the mill proxies, they have to have very specific IP addresses in order to function. You certainly can’t use the sort of addresses that are shared by thousands of people to watch UK TV online (like this one), simply because they’re probably all ready been used and blocked from buying. The other increasingly important factor is that these anonymous IP addresses are classified as residential and not commercial which is actually very difficult to achieve.
There are lot of other factors that have to be considered, but in reality it doesn’t cost a fortune to set up this sort of infrastructure. Indeed many people just do it from their home in their spare time and pocket serious money by reselling tickets to the very popular concerts. Obviously, it’s on very dubious ground and the ticket sites are always trying to block these attempts but it’s very difficult to stop the smaller scale efforts. People buying a dozen or so tickets through a few credit cards and IP addresses are very difficult to stop but if you get many people doing this loads of tickets are taken off the legitimate market straight away.