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Craigslist, eBay Pledge to Shut Down Inaugural Ticket Scalpers

Reports of thousand-dollar ticket purchases via online retailers have surfaced

By Jessica T. Johnson
|  Thursday, Jan 17, 2013  |  Updated 11:57 AM EDT
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Presidential Inaugurations Then and Now

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People waited in long lines to pick up their inauguration tickets, Jan. 19, 2009.

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Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) praised eBay and Craigslist on Thursday for agreeing to combat inaugural scalpers.

While the official inauguration tickets are stamped "not for sale," reports of thousand-dollar ticket purchases via online retailers have surfaced in the days leading up to the 2013 Presidential Inauguration.

Tickets to witness the inaugural ceremony from the grounds of the Capitol were free from the offices of members of Congress -- but high demand has led to some ticketholders trying to profit.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton received more than 3,500 requests for tickets, but had fewer than 200 to distribute.

"I hope that everyone who has an inaugural ticket will think twice before posting these tickets on any ticket resale site," said Schumer, who is chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. "This is a chance for people from all 50 states to celebrate our democracy, not for ticket scalpers to make a quick buck."

Schumer had called on eBay and Craigslist to follow the example set by StubHub, which already had a policy to discourage scalping on their site.

Now, eBay says it's enforcing a policy to prohibit such listings, and Craigslist employees have pledged to remove any posts by users seeking to sell the free tickets.


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