Folks, I’ve been in the ticket hustlin’ business for about 14 years now and what happened yesterday was a first. Now as most of y’all well know, I
scalp buy and sell tickets for events in the DC area. When I get a hot lead on a good show or game, I’ll generally post it here or elsewhere on my website as a way to sell advertise the fact that I’ve got good seats. With the Erykah Badu & The Roots show being in DC this week, I’ve enlisted my usual outlets in trying to unload the tickets… StubHub, craigslist, message boards, blogs and word of mouth. I got a response from a craiglist ad I had posted for the tickets sometime on Monday evening. The guy was inquiring as to whether I still had seats remaining. At that very moment, I had one set of box seats left. He and I corresponded back and forth until sometime Tuesday morning, where we finally agreed on a price and a location to meet.
So early afternoon yesterday, I roll downtown DC to K St. I wasn’t too far from where I work and the walk was good for me anyway. Dude left his job and we met up at a halfway point. He was a cool Black dude, dressed professionally and we talked for a few moments right there on the corner of 15th & I St. He showed me the cash and counted it out. I took the concert tickets from the envelope and allowed him to look at them to make sure he was getting what he was paying for. I accepted the money, he accepted the tickets and we both walked away happy…. so I thought. I wasn’t even 3 blocks away and my cell phone started ringing. I looked at the number and quickly realized that it was the guy I had just made the exchange with. I looked at the number hard before answering. I was trying to figure out what it could be that dude wanted. I finally answered and he was like “Hey ummmmm… I thought this was for the show on Thursday night”. I responded with “Naw maaan, the ad clearly said Wednesday. I even let you look at the tickets to verify everything before we made the deal”. Dude comes back with “Well, I can’t use them… where are you now?”. Where was I??? Was this clown serious!!!??? He surely didn’t think I was going to turn back around, give him his money back and he give me the tickets back… did he? I honestly had to be back in my office for a 2pm meeting, so I gave him the brush off. I just told him that I couldn’t turn back at the point due to obligations in the office (which was true) and that I’d see what I could do to help him out. Know you know good and well I was like “Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah right, should’ve read the ad correctly”.
Now folks, I’m a really nice guy. I don’t make deals that screw people over. I’ve never done that in all my years working tickets on the streets or using the net to facilitate purchases. I’ve probably made over thousands of ticket transactions in that time and never once had I actually sold to someone who realized later that they had the wrong tickets. That convo usually takes place when they inquire as to what seats and the date of the show I have. I was kind of stuck. I honestly could believe that he made an honest mistake. When we stood there on the corner talking, he was pretty excited about getting the seats for his lady. But now that he had the wrong date, what was he going to do? Suppose I was headed to the airport or something and really couldn’t do anything about it. I mean, dude had no legal ground to stand on. Yeah, call me ghetto, but I’m always thinking about folks trying to sue for dumb reasons. Therefore, I’m all about business and don’t deal with people I see as shady.
So here I was in a situation trying to figure out what to do. Meet up with him again and undo what had been done or take the stand of business is business, no refunds regardless. In an effort to see what I could do, I made a few calls and sent a few emails. Within about 2 hours I found a person willing to give up their Thursday box seats in exchange for the box seats for Wednesday that I had given him. It was a win-win-win for all three parties involved. I kept the money, my friend would get seats for Wednesday and dude would get tickets for Thursday. One problem, how was I gonna get all of us together? That was quickly solved by me being able to get the PDF file of the tickets that my friend had purchased. I never print tickets off my computer when buying off Ticketmaster. Folks who buy tickets from ads are skeptical of those. They want to see hard tickets printed from the box office. Those electronic seats can be printed off by the hundreds and when the date of the show arrives, the first person with those electronic seats gets in. By that point, the ticket seller is long gone in most cases. Anyway, I had her tickets printed on my office printer and headed to meet dude.
I got off work kinda late and met up with him over at one of the local hotel bars that me and the ticket crew chill at. He showed up about 20 minutes later. The minute he saw the paper tickets, he was like “Ummmm… are these good?”. I was like “Brother… I came back to help you out. Do you think I would even waste your time with giving you seats that weren’t good? I could’ve just forgotten that you called me back and chalked it up to you not paying attention to the ad”. He agreed, we shook hands and chilled for a while there. After talking with him for a while, I realized that he was a pretty high profile political guy. I had never heard of him, but he was Canadian. I didn’t catch the French accent when we first met, but it was very apparent for the time we chatted at the bar. Come to discover that he and his fellow colleagues attend Wizards, Redskins, and concert events all the time. I had made a good connection. Being able to lookout for dude after his error was going to pay off for me in future business. I didn’t expect that to occur, but it did. I can’t say honestly whether I would’ve given him the money back had my friend not come through with her tickets to swap. But that’s an afterthought now. It’s a done deal and everyone is happy.
I sure plan on enjoying Erykah and The Roots show with the wife tonight. Hope all the folks who’ve bought from me do as well.