Max Deale writes in the voice of the snake oil salesman and reading Sold Out... So What! my inner monologue reflexively channeled Hayes Barnard. Sold Out... So What! drips with exclamation points, big money declarations, personal testimonial and guarantees up the wazoo. But in a world where good old fashioned puffery has given away to the complex con-game of the multi-million dollar ad campaign, and everyone too slick and focus-grouped to dare appear the braggart, Deale's quaint man on a soapbox spiel has a disarming charm; And if you can cut through it, a few handy tips for ticket buyers.
Deale's tactics aren't revolutionary. Waiting for the day of the show to buy tickets off Craig's List or Ebay is pretty underwhelming even among the ranks of homespun wisdom. But like the wheel or gravity, the genius of discovery is lost in the retelling. It's that none of Deale's strategies challenge common sense that makes me buy into his hype. I won't do him the disservice of listing them, but each is intuitive and actionable, and if by no means full proof, with little effort, each should work. For now.
The ease and simplicity of Sold Out... So What! is also its downfall. I may be too courteous to compress Deale's 90 pages into 900 words, retag it John Morgan's Badass Tacks to Circumvent Scalpers and Upgrade Your Seats, but in a world where intellectual property is a dying concept, someone will. And it won't take a lick of effort. Because, aside from some anecdotal padding, every tool, tactic and idea put forth by Deale comprises about two pages of content. And once the cat's out of the bag, and 17 wiki's contain derivatives of Deale's double-dealing, stadium and brokers will adapt and the party's over.
To come full circle, the expiration date on these plays might be Deale's strongest selling point. If you wait for the wiki, you risk losing out on some very clever methods to attain cheap tickets, upgrade to better seats and stick it to that scourge of sports fans everywhere: the authorized reseller. His chicanery exists somewhere between the po' boy practicality of "discarded pizza boxes are an inexpensive source of cheese" and the high-minded radicalism of Steal this Book. For someone like myself - who's a little poor and a little radical - Sold Out... So What! is a welcome pamphlet on saving money and being bad.