Tickets to the farewell event of President Barack Obama are being sold for up to $5,000 on Craigslist and eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY). This is despite the fact that the tickets were issued out for free on a first-come-first-serve basis at McCormick Place on Saturday morning.
Huge numbers turned away after record turnout
Though the issuing of the tickets was scheduled to begin at eight in the morning, organizers had started turning away ticket-seekers by seven despite most of them having braved very low temperatures. This is because the crowds had grown so huge that the organizers were sure not everyone would get a ticket. The enterprising spirit of Chicagoans, however, took over as this resulted in after-market prices that were shooting through the roof with the popularity of the tickets in Chicago being compared to the level of other events such as Hamilton the musical and the World Series games in 2016.
With the farewell speech scheduled for Tuesday at eight in the evening, the tickets were being sold in Craiglist for as much as $5,000 on Monday morning. There were many offers which ranged between $1,000 and $1,500. Despite not bearing a picture of the tickets, one listing was asking for $1 million!
It was not much different on eBay as there were a couple of tickets listed with a price tag of $4,000. The prices were for a buy-it-now option meaning that it was possible for those seeking the tickets to bid for them at lower auction prices.
Scammers on the prowl
Due to the likelihood of scam artists taking advantage of the situation, ticket seekers were warned to be cautious.
“Stay away from anyone selling these tickets. You don’t know who these people are. … Someone is always looking to make a profit on a situation, disaster or calamity. I guarantee someone will be turned away on Tuesday,” Steve Bernas of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois told the Chicago Tribune.
In Wednesday’s trading session, shares of eBay Inc edged up by 0.53 percent to close the day at $30.41 a piece.