Are you desperate for tickets to the sold-out Pan Am equestrian jumping finals?
Elizabeth Wilson wants to hear from you.
The 54-year-old marketing coordinator tried to sell a pair of tickets on Kijiji.ca for $200 each, but her ad was pulled at the request of Pan Am’s organizing committee, she said.
A Kijiji representative told her they were removing ads for Pan Am tickets because of infringement of copyright or trademark right.
Wilson was left to wonder if she will have to hawk her tickets the old-fashioned way.
“Am I supposed to put a sandwich board on and walk around saying ‘I’d like to sell my Pan Am tickets?’” she said.
According to section 4D of the ticket codes, you can only buy Pan Am tickets from people you already know.
If you want to sell them, you can’t offer them publicly — including on a website.
The policy is “pretty straightforward,” Pan Am spokesman Kevin Dove said.
Unless an event is cancelled or in other extraordinary circumstances, Pan Am ticketholders aren’t eligible for a refund. Which is why Wilson is in a ticket pickle.
She had planned to go to the equestrian finals on July 25 with her 18-year-old daughter Katie, who has been riding horses since she was a child, but her daughter couldn’t make it because she will be performing at the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival the same day.
Wilson said it never occurred to her that she wouldn’t be allowed to resell her tickets online.
She didn’t originally intend to make a profit, she said, although she was selling them for four times their face value.
“I’m not interested in trying to make a living off this,” she said, “but if people want tickets and they’ll pay hundreds of dollars then, sure, I’d love to make extra money on these. That’s not why I bought these, but if the market will bear it, great.”
On StubHub.com, the online ticket marketplace owned by eBay, tickets to same event were going for $349 to $949 each on Thursday afternoon.
There were also hundreds of Pan Am ticket listings on Craigslist for everything from artistic gymnastics to beach volleyball.
There were some posts on Kijiji left for Pan Am events, but communications manager Shawn McIntyre said the website would be taking them down soon.
Kijiji has already deleted hundreds of ads for Pan Am tickets, he said.
“Generally, we allow the resale of tickets on our site, but when a company reaches out like that, and they notify us that they strongly discourage the resale of their tickets, we generally comply.”
Blas, a 35-year-old who works in logistics for a healthcare company, said his Kijiji ad was deleted, too.
He was trying to sell two tickets to the opening ceremony on Friday at face value, $710 for both. He put them up for sale because his wife wants to leave the country to visit her ailing grandmother. He didn’t give his full name because his tickets are at the counter and he is afraid they will be confiscated for violating the resale policy.
He said he tried to sell the tickets to friends, but no one was interested. “We may as well go and enjoy the show but, yeah, I felt it was a little bit invasive” for the Games committee to ask Kijiji to remove the ad, he said.
Intellectual property lawyer Mala Joshi said the Pan Am organizing committee has every right to enforce the trademark by asking sites to take down ads for tickets to the Games.
Reselling tickets on Kijiji could create confusion about authorized dealers, she explained. “There is a greater good here that is thought to be protected with the enforcement of intellectual property.”
- With files from Sarah-Joyce Battersby