The Truth Behind Those Avengers: Endgame Tickets Selling For Over P700,000 On eBay
Tickets for Avengers: Endgame went on sale on 2 April, and almost immediately that afternoon, legitimate news sources began sharing the story that US eBay sellers were making as much as $15,000 auctioning off their tickets for the film. Trusted sites such as IndieWire and Hollywood Reporterran articles about the sales, with the headlines even getting airtime on local news channels, like New Jersey News 12 in West Orange, NJ.
It's true that tickets for Endgame are being listed for exorbitant amounts on eBay. There are listings ranging from $1 to more than $20,000. But what these news sources are failing to report is that, while there are troves of auctions for insane starting prices, there are only a handful of completed sales. And, more significantly, none of the actual sales appear to be legitimate, all brandishing the extremely obvious red flags of a scam or shady listing.
NJ.com (and a number of other publications) reported on a particular sale of two tickets to an AMC Dine-In Theatre in West Orange that went for a whopping $15,000. But right away we can tell that something is awry here. The seller has 0 reviews, 0 followers, and even on Wednesday morning, only 78 total views as an eBay member.
Even if we can believe that a legitimate buyer would spend $15,000 on a Buy-It-Now listing from an eBay seller with no verifiable history, for two tickets to a film that will have already opened the evening before in nearby New York City (and will continue to play at high frequency everywhere for the next many months), the most insane thing here is that tickets for this exact screening are still available to purchase for just about 20 bucks. even points this out—but what they don't mention is that an auction like this is clearly some form of bullshit.
eBay did not respond to Esquire's request for comment.
On Tuesday, a sale for six tickets for a showing at a cinema in Costa Mesa, CA ended for $25,000. Again, the seller has 0 followers, 0 reviews, and has only been on eBay for about a year. The description on the listing here should be enough to show that there's something shady going on. First of all, the title of the sale is simply "Avengers Endgame Tickets Starlight Cinema Costa Mesa OC 10:45 Pm." There's no date specified–would someone spend $25,000 for tickets without even knowing when the screening is? Likely not, especially considering that, once again, there are still tickets available at the cinema, even for its earliest screening on opening night.
A quick search for "Avengers tickets" on eBay's "Sold Items" function reveals that there are only actually three confirmed sales at prices any higher than about $150. Two of them are the sales I described above. The third is a sale for $4,000, which actually resulted in a suspicious "Best Offer" purchase of $1,950. The tickets are for a screening in New York on Friday, April 26 (which is a day later than the film opens in this area), and, as expected, there are still tickets available for this screening via Fandango.
The other thousands-dollar completed sales were all ended on "Best Offers," and these Best Offers are not revealing the actual final price of the sale. If a savvy seller (or group of sellers) wanted to make it seem like tickets were being bought for towering prices, they could list them with high numbers and then quietly accept Best Offers, which results in the completed listings looking almost identical to a normal sale.
It's not clear as to why people may be conducting illegitimate sales of Avengers tickets on eBay. One could assume that they're trying to troll people to get news coverage of some sort. Or, perhaps they're trying to drive up demand to trick people into paying top dollar for screenings that still actually have some open seats. Marvelfans are rabid, and people on the internet have, time and again, proven themselves to be predatory and weird–probably not a great mix.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.