I met Vincent (the name he gave after considerable thought and an elongated glance) outside Edison Field as I shopped for tickets for me and my son to that evening's game between the Angels and White Sox. We talked a little business, and then we talked a little about his business, always with one eye down the street at Johnny Law, who was fortunately for us busy directing traffic. He had some interesting things to say about being a ticket scalper; I would have liked to follow up some of the questions after the game, first among them: "Vincent—if that is your real name—why did you charge me 45 bucks a pop for seats located in the handicap section?"
OC Weekly: So, how's business? Vincent: Oh, pretty good. Angels fans are pretty good, but it's nothing compared to last year. Last year, you could pretty much name your price, and you had people fighting one another to pay. This year, I'm getting into a lot more arguments over price. Yeah, I guess it'd be hard to beat last year.
Yeah, 'cause I sold Angels and Ducks tickets last year. So, last year, you know, last year, I did pretty well [laughs]. I pretty much made enough last year to cover this year. Last year, oh, man, you couldn't hold onto the tickets. That was the whole thing last year—getting the tickets. Once you got 'em, you could sell 'em and pretty much name your price. This year, unless it's the Dodgers or the Yankees, the Red Sox, you can't be sure you're going to sell all your tickets.
Of the out-of-town fans, who are willing to pay the most?
Yankee fans, no contest.
Who are the most annoying?
Are there certain types of people that you figure are going to be good for business, you know, easy marks?
I don't really like that name, but I think I know what you mean. When there are a few guys, and maybe they've already had a couple of beers, they're usually pretty good. Not just because they've been drinking, but also because they're usually just buying for themselves. It gets harder when some guy is buying two, three, four tickets for his family. That guy is more likely to shop around. And sometimes dads, you know, like divorced guys bringing their kids to a game on the weekend—they usually will spend. Especially if their kid is with them; he's not going to argue much. This might be his only day with his son, and he doesn't want to look like a cheapskate, you know?
Ever feel sorry for guys like that?
Sorry? Man, this is my business. I don't know what those guys do for business, but I bet they don't feel sorry for the people they charge for whatever it is they do. This is how I make my living. Nah, I don't feel sorry for them. They're the ones who got the time and money to go to a ballgame.