He gets his inventory from brokers or fans with extra tickets. One example: he bought a ticket for five dollars, and sold it for ten. From Carter Maness's article:
Michael periodically huddled up with other scalpers to compare inventory, but mostly worked his turf alone. There were approximately 15 others posted near the arena's entrances, and they were careful not to step on each other's toes. NYPD vans lined the perimeter. Security guards were fanned out among the crowd, but they studiously looked away from any transactions.Anyone who's walked through the arena plaza, or hung out there, has seen the scalpers and/or been approached.
"It's a violation, not a crime, most of the time," Michael said. "As long as you're not directly in front of the venue, it's usually not a problem. But you can get a summons. Sometimes, if they have warrants, people go to jail."
If arena security officers don't care, it's because they want people in the building and/or have better things to do. (The more counterfeit tickets, though, the more the brand suffers.)
As for the cops, collaring scalpers could be low-hanging fruit, as it could be for finding parking violations on nearby streets. But I suspect it's not a priority, either, unless it affects public safety.
Previous coverage of scalping, and comments
In December 2012, I cited a first look at scalping, and a report from a reader who bought a counterfeit Nets ticket. In October 2013, the New York Police Department reported that, in the first nine months of the year, there had been 45 arrests outside or inside the arena, such as for illegal scalping, unlicensed vendors, and trespassing
A report from a wrestling event
On Reddit, the professional wrestling community Squared Circle, one poster a year ago wrote that "the level of people who got scammed [at a Barclays wrestling event] was unprecedented":
1) Someone set up a printer and let people print off their digital tickets for $5. This was legit, but actually forced the ticket prices UP instead of down at showtime.Another poster wrote that he "once got scammed outside Barclays for $15 for a Nets ticket."
2) People sold fake/doubles of digital tickets over and over again. (Including a group of teenagers that were warned by a crowd that it would be bad, but didn't listen!)
3) BS secondary market sites. This was apparently a big one.
4) Fake HARD COPY tickets. This surprised even the cops, as one told me that the precinct was lined with people who got ripped for $400-$1300 and even more.
Some were straight up pros that were known to security and have been playing people for years.
Events like this is a breeding ground for these scam artists looking at banking off good people looking for an enjoyable experience. They are BLATANT. Especially when people are just trying to take their kids to see their heroes, people are willing to put logic aside to get their kids what they want.