Ticket scalpers exist because ticket prices in the primary market are often set below the market equilibrium price. The question is why are prices consistently set too low? One theory says that the desire to sell complementary goods such as concert memorabilia explains why ticket price are set below equilibrium. Technological improvements, however, have rendered that theory obsolete. Economic theory still does not explain why ticket prices are frequently set too low. Perhaps the reason is simply that artists do not want to gouge their fans.
Major Themes in Economics
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"An Analysis of the Secondary Market for Live Music and Complementary Goods,"
Major Themes in Economics, 22, 55-61.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/mtie/vol22/iss1/6