Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Olympics of ebay

Posted By on Tue, Feb 9, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Good luck if you're in the market to buy a ticket to witness Olympic glory this month. Tickets are at a premium if you can get your hands on them. I've been in the market for tickets, any tickets, to any competition at the Winter Olympics. I'm here in Vancouver, B.C. to report on the games. No problem. I should be able to get in to any venue. Not true. I happen to be one of the thousands of journalists from around the world who did not receive International Olympic Committee credentials. So here I am in Vancouver trying to buy my way in to witness a bit of Olympic history.

So I did what all savvy shoppers do. I turned to ebay. I had heard through a friend that I would find cheap tickets there. All it would require was a little patience and fast fingers so I'd be able to outbid another virtual buyer in the last four seconds of an auction. Easy. Least that's what I thought.

Turns out it's hard work bidding on tickets and there's no such thing as a cheap Olympic ticket. Auctions for opening ceremonies which take place this Friday will run you anywhere from $1000 to $2000 on up. Four tickets to men's hockey - the gold medal match - $16,999. Tomorrow, that'll be even higher. Two tickets to go see Olympic figure skating, that'll cost upward of $5,000. These tickets are all out of my league. Sure, I did make a bid to see the opening ceremony. But my $175 offer didn't even hit the reserve price. That's what the seller wants at a minimum. Otherwise they won't sell the item.

After a week of watching auctions I had my heart crushed multiple times. It's amazing I'm still alive. The anxiety and pressure of bidding in an auction's final minute has proved almost more than I can handle.

But at the point where I just about gave up all hope of seeing an actual Olympic event, I scored. No. I won't be at the opening ceremonies and you won't find me watching figure skating. However, you will find me at men's curling on February 19th. And in the final four seconds of an auction to watch women's luge in Whistler B.C. I won two tickets. It cost me $162. Now I only have to meet up with an OR surgeon from New York this Saturday somewhere in Vancouver to claim those coveted tickets.

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