by Pete Levy

General Motors just confirmed a $2,000 price increase on the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, raising the base price from $51,995 to $53,995 for Stingrays ordered by dealers after March 1.

Meantime, Truecar reports that the actual price you’ll pay to buy a 2014 Stingray has been over $5,000 above the listed price.

Will this price increase change the price you pay for a new Stingray? Probably not a bit, and lets thank the Rolling Stones for the economics lesson here.

When the Stones toured the US in 2006, the average ticket sold was priced at $136.  For their tour last year, the average price was $355, a whopping 162% jump.  But here’s the thing:  most 2006 concertgoers paid more than $136, because they bought tickets from the secondary (that is, the retail or street) market, and scalpers always charge what the market will bear.

So in 2013 the Stones decided that, as long as the market was going to determine the actual retail ticket price, then the Stones should receive that price and not the scalpers.  Thus, the enormous price increase.

At the time, Mick Jagger said “Yes, it’s expensive.  But most of the tickets go for a higher price than we’ve sold them for, so you can see the market is there.”

General Motors figured that GM should be pocketing more of the street price, not their dealers (not that dealers are scalpers, but like scalpers, dealers will charge what the market will bear).

The strategy worked for the Stones, mostly.  There were some empty seats on the Stones tour, and the Stones did eventually release more seats at lower prices, but essentially the Stones succeeded at getting more of the retail price, and so will GM.  (I will not, NOT make a pun here about GM getting satisfaction over this).

But, the actual price paid by the consumer will be about the same, whether the profit is going to the dealer/scalper, or the Stones/GM.

So don’t rush to get your Stingray before the price increase hits.  It already has.


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