Where There are Tickets, There's Scalping - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Overwhelming demand for the 240,000 available tickets is expected for the swearing in ceremony for President-Elect Barack Obama and Vice President-Elect Joe Biden, and reports are swirling that tickets may be sold for as much as $40,000 online.

With demand comes opportunists, and the game of ticket scalping has begun across the country, despite the fact that tickets are free and will not be distributed to Congress members for distribution until a week or so before the Jan. 20 event date.

According to the Associated Press, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, who is overseeing Barack Obama’s swearing-in ceremony, said yesterday that she is writing to Internet sites such as eBay, asking them not to sell scalped inauguration tickets. She also said she’s coming up with a bill that would make selling tickets to the event a federal crime.

When the phrase “2009 inauguration tickets” is searched on eBay, no results come back, so apparently they’ve expedited the request to take down such offers. (But you can bid on some historic inauguration tickets such as one from 1865 that the seller claims is “prohibitively rare.”)

Feinstein aides are planning to write Craigslist and possibly other sites, according to reports.

Offers on Craigslist range from someone offering tickets to various balls for up to $500 to a buyer making a $99,999 offer to pay “top dollar cash,” for inauguration ceremony and ball tickets.

Again, just to reiterate, tickets are free, and will be distributed by your local Congress member. The lawmakers’ offices won’t get the tickets until a week or so of the event. In-person pickup will be required. To find contact information, visit Congress.org.

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.

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