By Ingrid Sapona
I sometimes buy on-line vouchers/coupons from Groupon and
other such sites. Though many of you probably know what a Groupon is, for those
who don’t (like my Mom), here’s a brief explanation. Groupon’s an on-line
service where merchants offer special deals on their products or services. To
get the deal, you buy the Groupon voucher, which you then redeem with the
merchant. WagJag is another voucher/coupon service we have here in Canada and
it works the same way.
I tend to buy Groupon and WagJag vouchers for restaurants I
like or that I’m interested in trying, and for things like oil changes and
sometimes tickets to shows. I don’t buy many vouchers, but they send out emails
to entice you, and I will confess to breezing through the e-mails frequently,
to see what’s on offer.
Last week an email from WagJag advertised tickets to see
Trevor Noah’s stand-up act. Out of curiosity, I clicked through to the website
to find out about the deal. As I was scrolling around, I noticed they were also
offering tickets to see comedian Amy Schumer, so I clicked on that first.
A number of things about the deal surprised me. Besides
finding it odd that she’s playing a huge sports arena, I was surprised when I
saw the price. The tickets ranged from $70 to over $600. (Actually, the highest
price was over $950, but that wasn’t for just the show – it included a limo and
dinner, though there was no indication that Amy would be at the dinner, which
you’d hope at that price!) Oh, and for some reason, though the shows are here in
Toronto, all the prices are in US dollars, which means we can add an exchange
premium of at least 25%.
Out of curiosity, I then checked the price on Trevor Noah’s
show. He’s playing a smaller venue (nicer, I think, for a stand-up act), but
tickets to see him aren’t exactly cheap either. They range from US $84 to US $613.
Now, I like Trevor Noah quite a lot, but at those prices, I’ll have to settle
for enjoying him four nights a week on the Daily Show.
You know, WagJag claims to be “an online deal community
where Canadians and their families can find great savings on things they need
and love…”. So those ticket prices are supposedly a savings! I guess I had NO
idea comedians command such prices. Clearly I’m woefully out-of-touch.
A few days later, another ticket offer caught my eye on
WagJag – tickets to Adele in October. I know Adele is hugely popular – so
popular, in fact, that she’s playing four nights here. Naturally, I was quite
curious to see what her tickets are going for, and so I clicked on the deal.
Well, my first reaction was that there was a misprint. There
had to be. There was no way the high price was over $8,800. Thinking I was
misreading a comma for a period, I clicked to make the font bigger. To my shock,
it really was a comma. Oh – and in case you’re wondering – no dinner or limo
included – just the show. In fact, $8,800 isn’t even the all-in price – there’s
an additional $1,100 in fees on top of that. Did I mention that all those
amounts are in US dollars and they are PER TICKET!
There was also a disclaimer-like notice for each of these
offers to let buyers know that the offeror is a “resale marketplace, not the
ticket seller”. For what it’s worth, apparently you also get a “200% worry-free
guarantee”… I guess that’s the difference between the WagJag tickets on offer
and those you buy from a common scalper.
Normally when I hear about something I can’t afford, I may think
about it for a couple minutes – maybe dream about buying it when I win the
lottery – and then I move on. But not this time. I can’t tell you how many
times the past few days I’ve thought about the idea of spending $8,800 for a concert
ticket. For the longest time, I just couldn’t get my head around why anyone
would pay that kind of money for a concert.
Eventually, however, I figured out what’s really bothering
me. It’s not about Adele at all. It’s not even about wondering who has the kind
of disposable income that allows them to spend thousands of dollars for two
hours of entertainment. What I’ve really been hung up on is that I lack the imagination
to think of anything I’d find so
entertaining that I’d be willing to spend $8,800 on for two hours.
What would you spend $8,800 on?
© 2016 Ingrid