Rye High Grads Come Up With A New Way to Buy Tickets At Ridiculous Prices

Rob Perez and his boyhood friend Ian Wells recently launched HiLo Tickets, an online service that is both an auction site for resellers and a “Buy It Now” virtual box office for music and sports events.

Published October 20, 2011 7:53 PM
3 min read

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hilothumbRob Perez and his boyhood friend Ian Wells recently launched HiLo Tickets, an online service that is both an auction site for resellers and a “Buy It Now” virtual box office for music and sports events.

 

By Mitch Silver

 

Rob Perez and his boyhood friend Ian Wells recently launched HiLo Tickets, an online service that is both an auction site for resellers and a “Buy It Now” virtual box office for music and sports events.

 

hiloThe pair graduated together from Rye High School in 2005 and then went their separate ways — Mr. Perez to UNC Chapel Hill, where he studied Communications with an emphasis on sports broadcasting, and Mr. Wells to Miami, where he majored in Entrepreneurship before heading to New Orleans, working for the NBA Hornets.

 

Then one Sunday in April, Mr. Perez decided he wanted to attend the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, but couldn’t get a ticket for a penny less than $1,200. “It made me mad, but it got me thinking,” he said.

 

The friends had stayed in touch and soon came up with an eBay/StubHub competitor that uses a penny-auction format to offer breathtaking savings for winning bidders, and “risk-free bidding” for everyone. Their website describes how it works: “HiLo Tickets offers sold-out tickets starting at 99% off face value. You purchase credits, like arcade tokens, and you bid with them until you’re on top. Every bid placed increases the price of the tickets by one cent. When the timer runs out, the high bidder wins.”

 

And does it work? HiLo’s first auction, for two Swedish House Mafia floor tickets at Madison Square Garden with a face value of $180 for the pair, were won — after 308 frantic bids — for a total of $3.09. That’s right, $3.09! For two!

 

What’s more, purchasing a pair of ducats for this sold-out concert from a ticket broker on the secondary market would almost certainly have cost you the going rate of $768.

 

Their second auction was a Childish Gambino ticket with a face value of $70. If you’re one of those who love Childish Gambino (and who doesn’t?), imagine: the winnner paid exactly $1.60 to attend.

 

If all this sounds like Milo Minderbinder buying eggs for five cents, selling them for three and making money on “volume” in “Catch-22”, then you’re not Rob and Ian.

 

“Non-winning bidders can use the money they spend in our Buy It Now Space,” said Rob. “We have a major presence on Facebook and Twitter, we  have cloud-based servers to handle the volume. We’re ready.”

 

The partners are also ready for a little venture capital money to help them expand, but they insist their business model is a moneymaker already. “We ran our alpha test in two markets in the spring, and our beta test this summer. It works.”

 

To learn more about “Hi Demand Tickets at Lo Prices”, go to www.hilotickets.com. Or just jump in. The duo will welcome newcomers, especially those from their hometown.

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