Tokyo Olympic ticket scalpers raking in big profits


"I've already resold all 80 of the tickets to 2020 Olympic events obtained through the first offering. I made over 10 million yen. For example, in the men's soccer final -- which is in especially high demand -- I paid 67,500 yen for a seat in the "A" section, and resold it for 600,000 yen. That's a good way to make money."

The speaker, a Chinese identified only as Mr Z, boasts to Friday (Oct 11) about his recent wheelings and dealings in the Olympic ticket market. 

Last May, the first round of sales of admission tickets to events offered some 3.9 million tickets to buyers inside Japan. These were promptly snatched up. The demand for high-profile events in particular proved so high that it was virtually impossible to gain access to the online application sites.

But another reason for the difficulty in obtaining desirable "platinum tickets" was the large presence of illegal resellers. Friday's reporter tracked down Mr Z via an SNS and the latter agreed to meet and discuss his operations.

"It wasn't difficult," Z told him. "My outfit employs some 400 Chinese in Japan who work as narabiya (literally, stand-in-liners). Before the first ticket offering, I contacted them via a group chat app and told them I'd buy anything they could get their hands on. I wound up with 80 tickets."

According to Z, Chinese residing in Japan were eligible for the offerings, and he paid them double the face value of each ticket. Then via SNSs, or various flea market or auction sites, he resold them for 5 to 10 times what he initially paid. 

"Soccer, basketball, table tennis, volleyball and swimming were in particularly high demand," he relates. "Most of the buyers were wealthy people. We've got plenty of them in China these days." 

As a precaution, entry to the events will only be allowed to people who had registered their names when purchasing tickets. But Z figured out a loophole. 

"That won't be a problem, because up to the day of any particular event, the names can be changed any number of times," Z explains. "When the purchaser first transfers money to pay for the tickets, they are issued an ID and password. The purchaser can log into the sales site and easily change his name. Likewise for the registered email address and password. Once that's done, nobody else can interfere."  

As impressive the number of narabiya working for Z may appear, he tells Friday he believes his group of 400 is only medium-sized. 

"Along with groups, there are also any number of people who resell tickets as individuals," he tells the reporter. "Out of the 3.9 million tickets sold at the first offering, I suppose maybe 200,000 to 300,000 were snatched up by Chinese." 

While resale of Olympic tickets via SNSs or commercial sites is strictly prohibited, enforcement in China is essentially nonexistent. 

"Are you working for the organizers?" the Chinese woman, who appeared to be in her 30s, asked Friday's reporter suspiciously.

After being assured he was not, she relaxed and told him she was originally from Shanghai, had been in Japan for eight years, and in addition to her regular job for a real estate agency, moonlighted as a reseller.

"Quite a few of my friends applied for tickets. One really lucked out and got one to the opening ceremony. But several have already cleared over 1 million yen so far," she claimed. 

A 3-night, 4-day tour package from China, including air tickets, hotel accommodations and front-row seats at events like table tennis and diving, is currently said to be going for as much 45,800 Chinese yuan (690,000 Japanese yen).

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I'm not the least bit surprised. A year ago this appeared in another publication:

Spa! (July 10) focuses on Chinese who operate through large-volume, small-margin trading, by cornering the market on limited edition brand goods. They are referred to as tenbai-yā(resellers), with the yā extended to resemble the English word baiyā (buyer).

Their modus operandi is to hire students or housewives to stand in long queues for limited edition items; they then buy as many as allowed. “Hot” items of late include rice wine from Niigata Prefecture, deluxe golf clubs, fishing rods and Balenciaga sneakers.

“It means that nearly all types of limited edition goods don’t reach Japanese,” commented Yuki Okukubo, a freelance writer.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I paid 67,500 yen for a seat in the "A" section, and resold it for 600,000 yen. That's a good way to make money."

Did he pay tax on that income?

resold it for 600,000 yen.

Something is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. lol

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As long as it’s all paper money, it’ll happen. Next, get eye scanners or fingerprint scanners, or other proof at Olympic venue doors.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I wouldn’t go to see olympic soccer if you PAID ME ¥67,500!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

You see Chinese doing this all the time for hot ticket items be it sporting events, electronics first day sale, etc Quite parasitic actually but probably hard to combat.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Limit the number of tikets sold to any event to 4 per person/credit card, and print the name and credit card number on the tickets when issued. They have to match for you to get in. This presumes people buy tickets in blocks, of course, not scattered around, like dafuya do.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"I've already resold all 80 of the tickets to 2020 Olympic events obtained through the first offering. I made over 10 million yen.

Dude bought 80 tickets. Isn't it obvious that he was gonna punt 'em on? I'm sort of angry about this, but mostly jealous I guess.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

He bought 70 tickets from indiviual resellers rather then directly from official sellers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Meant to type 80.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Allowing someone to change the name of the tickets and transfer freely to "friends and family" doomed this anti-scalping law from the start. Like, did they not realize how easy that loophole would be open to abuse?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Chinese people doing this are a massive minority compared to the Japanese though lol I bet the point of this article is make them jealous they can't cash in another foreign bakugai because they don't have any language skills

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And this doesn't include the fake tickets they will print up and sell on line to suckers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Chinese are pretty shameless and the loopholes makes the organisers look stupid. Olympics tickets should only go to real fans and not the resellers. There are plenty of agencies and hospitality tickets for rich Chinese.

I've seen the Chinese tenbaiya in Harajuku when popular street brands and sneaker brands release limited items. Nobody else stands a chance because there are scores of them and highly organised.

I was in a store years ago and the supervisor was blatantly passing the same gold card to tenbaiya in the queue and in view of store staff who said nothing. The gold card was going down the line.

The Olympics should have locked this down. You should not be permitted to change your name on your application - at any stage.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

a Chinese identified as Mr Z, racketeer by trade, boasts to Friday

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Chinese people are not Communist by Nature - this simply proves the point, they're business minded. The CCP simply restrains their ability and takes over whenever local businesses have grown too big or are seen wielding too much influence.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ain't no big surprise.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ticket scalping is probably the world's second oldest profession. As long as a customer is willing to pay a ridiculous amount for a ticket, whose business is it really? Nobody holding a gun to his/her head after all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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