Jackson Memorabilia Turns Into Goldmine

By Sadie Bass

Jun 30, 2009 1:56pm

ABC's Tina Babarovic reports from London: Since the news of his sudden death, there is growing nostalgia around the world for the eccentric, talented Michael Jackson’s music and his dazzling concerts.  And now that he is gone, the nostalgia is turning into a memorabilia, money-making bonanza for celebrity hawkers and followers alike. While there are many still waiting for answers to questions surrounding his death; there are also those fans, too, waiting for refunds to the sold out “This is It!” tour, which Michael Jackson was to launch on July 13th.     The refunds are said to be available tomorrow (July 1st) via the official ticket site MichaeJacksonLive.com, although fans can elect to be sent the actual tickets they would have received to attend the shows instead of a full refund.  Official ticket sellers say the refund offer will remain valid through August 14th. At more than 750,000 tickets sold, this could be one of the biggest refunds efforts in the history of the concert industry, totalling $85 million in returns to ticket purchasers . The ticket itself, which was allegedly originally designed by Jackson and printed with a special 3D effect (which wasn’t really described any further) and a quote from Michael Jackson, may present itself as an opportunity to make a profit off the performer who the Guinness Book of World Records calls the “most successful pop star of all time.”  Ticket stubs for the cancelled concert are now considered a collector’s item. They were selling through official venues like Ticketmaster and Viagogo, for between $82 and $123 and are now listed on sites like EBay as a “Michael Jackson memento” or a “commemorative ticket.”  Such tangible memories are commanding up to $328.00 on EBay, while EBay sellers tout the keepsake tickets as rare and exclusive and “are only offered to ticket purchasers instead of a refund.” Or ” a must for every fan.”
But there are warnings on the web that if you bought your ticket outside the official sites, from private sellers, and you used your credit card, you’re probably out of luck. Card providers only recognize ticketing agents as the official way to receive a refund. If you used PayPal, you may have a chance to get your money back. So is Michael Jackson worth more — dead or alive?  And who benefits?  Aside from Michael Jackson’s estate (which will no doubt be fought out in the courts for a long time to come) fans and profiteers can seize the moment and are already putting an added value on Jackson’s memory.

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