Goods suppliers, warehouse managers and retailers are not the only ones who can benefit from barcode reading software, as sports teams are more frequently turning to and updating their data collection tools in order to stamp out fraud.
Thanks to the rise of internet forums like Craigslist and online resale markets like StubHub, the secondary sports and event ticket market - the buying and selling of tickets outside of a venue or team's direct purview is more prevalent than ever. The market now has an annual net worth of approximately $4 billion, according to Bloomberg.
However, as more consumers look to outside forums instead of more official avenues to purchase tickets and as more places issue paperless tickets, the opportunity for scammers to rip people off has increased. Although major resellers make a concerted effort to stamp out fraud, even the sale of just a small number of bad tickets has the potential to generate bad publicity and anger fans who spend hundreds of dollars to obtain certain tickets. A prime example of this happened in Syracuse, New York, last month, when CNY Central reported that at least six fake tickets for a college basketball game were sold via Craigslist.
"Without paper, fraud is a lot harder to spot (that 'T' in Toronto doesn't look quite right? You'd never know)," Forbes contributor Tom Van Riper wrote in a recent article. "Same with the anonymous seller the internet world brings – it's not like the days when you could size up a scalper outside a stadium and judge whether he's legit or trying to pull a fast one. For StubHub, the industry leader among online third party brokers, the spike in fraud in the paperless age was [noticeable]. And risky. After all, the company guarantees its sellers will get paid and its buyers will get the seats they're expecting. While fraud doesn't make up a big percentage of overall transactions (less than 1 percent), it can generally eat away at customer satisfaction and, by extension, business."
New York Yankees Target Scammers with Better Barcode Scanners
In an efforts to target counterfeiters and reduce the likelihood of fans being sold fake tickets, the New York Yankees recently announced that they will be updating the barcode reading software used at the front gates, The New York Times Baseball Blog reported. This way, the baseball club will able to more accurately determine is a ticket is legitimate, with the hopes that this new technology will deter people from even trying to scam the system.
"It is unfortunate that unscrupulous resellers utilize deceptive practices and tactics and employ unofficial Web sites, all of which give rise to counterfeit tickets," Hal Steinbrenner, managing general partner of the Yankees, said in a statement, according to the Times.