Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby Dr Dilemma » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:03 am

It concerns me that the BMorg don't seem to have grasped the sheer amount of tickets that are in the hands of scalpers now and what effect that will have on how much participation they can expect this year. I've seen the video that tries to spin this as just a rise in demand because BM is so awesome! Yes, we all knew ticket sales would be cut off and that some folks wouldn't get to go ... but for that number to be as high as it is has isn't just greater demand ... it is people trying to make a profit off tickets.
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby gyre » Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:32 am

I'm always baffled that anyone thinks scalpers post an open account of how many tickets they hold.

Want to see an ad from someone selling thousands of tickets?

" Flying Widgets tickets for sale "

That's all.
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby funkyjigsaw » Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:52 am

Just posted this on FB ... for what it's worth ...

"There are a number of different issues here, and it’s really important to have some clarity about what they are :

1. Scarcity – demand exceeding supply. BM has been a victim of it’s own success, together with scare stories, the end of the Mayan calendar, tickets selling out, the places you’ll go vid etc etc. Everyone saw this coming to a small extent, but NOBODY saw coming what it seems actually happened! It seems that there must have been around 150,000 tickets registered for (hence the 25-30% success rate). Everyone assumed that people have registered for excess tickets (hoarding) – it seems this is not the case, otherwise we wouldn’t be seeing theme camps and art projects in such distress. So where are the tickets? Virgins? Scalpers? I don’t think anyone knows, but the answer is probably both. Changing the ticketing system is not going to help with this issue. Guess what? If there is a ‘genuine’ demand of 150,000, then on a first-come-first-served system, there will still be a lot of people who don’t get tickets.

2. Scalpers - This can be fixed, but wasn’t. If the BMORG failed, then this is it. They probably should have bitten the bullet and had names on tickets / ID check at the gate. I’m guessing the reason they didn’t was that they didn’t see (1) above happening. Eliminating scalpers will go some way to solving (1) above, but we do not know to what extent it would solve it. Are the people who have all these tickets ‘genuine’ virgins / burners, or are they scalpers? We don’t know. What can be done NOW, is that everyone who has been awarded a ticket has to put a name to that ticket. This will mean a huge effort by the BMORG to do this, and it will mean a slight re-think of the gate procedures. But it can be done. And for fuck’s sake don’t take away everyone’s tickets and do a re-draw or go to a first-come-first-served system. That is not going to solve anything (see (1) above) unless names are put to tickets – which can be done now with the current ticket holders. And obviously, names on tickets for the final 10,000 in the Open Sale. And only resale / rename through STEP at face value. Again, for fuck's sake, there is no reason to do a recall / re-do! We will just end up in the same place, with even more of a shit-storm. Just put names to tickets ... now ... for those people who have been awarded tickets.

3. Theme Camps / Art Projects - not getting enough tickets for critical mass. Now this is a problem that NOBODY saw coming! And it’s a direct result of (1) above. And it’s a major problem. It also calls into question the principle of radical inclusion. It is clear to me that radical inclusion should be a principle for the COMMUNITY if we want it to grow and spread the ethos of BM to the default world. However, it is also clear to me that radical inclusion cannot anymore apply to the community’s annual festival TTITD. It just can’t. The question is : What mix of people do we want on the playa? Theme camp members, artists, veteran, mentors, non-theme campers, virgins, etc etc. This year, obviously the BMORG hasn’t made any attempt to pro-actively manage this (radical inclusion you know!) and it’s gone tits-up. Whatever anyone says, it is very important IMHO to have theme camps and art. So …. There are 10,000 tickets still to be sold … (a) let’s get tickets into the hands of the artists – very easily done I would think. (b) theme camps need to think about different ways to do stuff : merge with other theme camps, recruit new members from the great unwashed (normal campers and virgins). (c) get a chunk of the 10,000 into the hands of the theme camps. Again, I think quite easy to do.

Finally, be very careful believing that “everything will be OK, you’ll get a ticket if you really want it”!! It might not be OK. There just might be ~100,000 people out there also wanting those tickets! Just setting your expectations, that’s all. The BMORG said that it would be OK, and it’s very clearly not OK.

Get’s down from his soap-box …."
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby 5280MeV » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:01 am

People are still not taking seriously the notion that there may be an absolutely huge spike in population growth. This whole idea of 6% annual growth is only the result of blindly fitting an exponential curve to the last seven years of the event. Unless one understands the social dynamics that underlie such a growth pattern, it is pointless to try to extrapolate it even one year into the future.

Things do double and triple in popularity in just a years time - even more, and they do so in a wildly unpredictable manner. In 2005 consumers spent over 600 million dollars to put 30 second clips of songs on their phones to make them ring. Not many people would have predicted this a few years back. Of course, after 2008 sales started falling. The reason for this is even more mind boggling. People were not buying ringtones because their phones were not ringing - because kids were not using their phones to talk anymore! Tell that to a marketing director in 2005 - "oh, by the way, in 2012 people won't really be talking on these things."

Do 150,000 people really want to build stuff and showcase it in a wild cacophony while surviving in the harshest desert in North America for a week? Maybe.

I would think that the scariest possibility would be that there are 150,000 people who want to have a creative and inspiring event, but the reality of the harshness of the playa has not quite sunk in.

Ultimately, scalpers want to give you their tickets. If scalpers were screw up 2012 real bad than that would be a bummer, but then the demand for 2013 would be a lot less, and I think that the BMorg at this point is ready to try something more drastic to kill off the scalping in 2013 - if that is really the problem.

I am not convinced of either scenario. Nobody knows what happened to the missing tickets.
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby marcgorcey » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:51 am

Yes, there may be a huge spike in growth but as others have pointed out, the scarcity of tickets means that any scalper would be guaranteed to make money on any ticket. That is, IMO, more likely an explanation for an explosion of interest than people just wanting to go to burning man.

BMORG can absolutely stop scalpers... force all tickets to be registered, disallow private transfer of tickets... radical steps I"m sure but something needs to be done to make scalping a no-win proposition and get these vermin out of our community.
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby chrispassanisi » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:58 pm

AntiM wrote:I'd believe a huge jump in interest as a part of the equation. There's a lot of factors, can't be just one thing.

So, in no particular order: normal increase in population, panic over the sell out, padding of ticket orders, scalping professional and amateur, bucket lists, economy improving, friends bringing friends, videos and documentaries, burners turning old enough to go, Facebook, YouTube, and good weather last year. Look at the 2009 dip after the terrible dust of 2008 couples with the bad economy.

For example, how did you hear of the event, why is this your year to go? Just curious. (Hmmm, maybe this would be a good thread in Experience?)


I'm glad I jumped over to e-playa. Some of the kids on facebook are retarded. It's all just supposition, for sure, but the reasons above are pretty complete and compelling. The burner community that's within a day drive is a lot bigger than the actual number of participants who go every year (I'm on the every-other-year plan myself). But the lottery system made EVERYONE who has ever been or ever wanted to go put in. And why not? Unwanted tickets could be sold easily, for a profit or at face value. The lottery process couldn't have been setup any better to encourage over purchase, hoarding and speculation. Am I the ONLY one who isn't surprised at all about these numbers?? In non-sell out years past, if you asked a burner around SF if they are going, you'd get a different answer every other month, unless their last one was "not sure, I think so, probably, depends, are you?, maybe.."!! My camp is pretty small, experienced and with great infrastructure, so we can pretty much get it together regardless in short time. What I didn't think about was the impact to large camps and artists that have to make some hard decisions early on. So I see the bigger problem now.

So what does this all mean? I'm personally not worried about a ticket. Yes I lost the lottery, but there's three bright points (in order of soonest to latest how I might score a ticket) A) there's 10k left to be sold direct, B) after June, physical tickets will hit the street and enough plans for those who have them will change and C) and this one is waaaaaayyyyy down the hope list, STEP. Despite the recent announcement, there isn't going to be much redistribution in the next two weeks. The only chance for getting the tickets out of the hoarder's hands and back into circulation, in my oh-so-humble-and-mostly-uninformed-and-speculative opinion, is to make the tickets already sold non-transferable. But logistically I doubt that can even be done this year- but who knows what the org is cooking up. So we are left with waiting until June and buy on secondary markets, through friends whose plans change, and I assume STEP will still be plugging away all along.

My fears are the well planned theme camps will bail, the attitude will suck, and there will be way too much shirtcocking.

I just hope people don't start buying the scalped tickets. I believe enough tickets will be coming up over the summer that non-professional speculators will be panicked to get rid of them at cost. DON'T FEED THE SCALPERS!! I'd rather burn my bins in the back yard that pay some speculative son-of-a-bitch's rent. But I don't believe that 50% are in professional scalpers hands- I think it's a very small number, actually.

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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby BeachBum » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:11 pm

Correction to the math done in this thread (except for a few posters):

The estimates of how many lottery entrants, based on the probability of them getting tickets, need to be calculated per tier, not overall. From our own camp's results and what's been posted in the more reliable, minimally trolled threads, and considering that people who got tickets at lower than their max price was extremely low:

$390 - 70-80% got tickets - 15,000 tickets - about 22,000 tickets were requested
$320 - somewhere around 50% got tickets - 15,000 tickets - about 30,000 tickets were requested
$240 - jack got tickets, significantly less than 10% - 10,000 tickets - well over 100,000 tickets were requested

Our camp of low double digit people was within a couple tickets of getting the tickets we need, because we estimated approximately these probabilities in advance. We recommended to bid high and overbid the top tiers. We estimated this based on the normal rush to get cheaper tickets was significant in previous years, even among people who could afford them. And we forecast a massive number of scalpers getting in the mix, the vast majority going for the cheaper tickets. To scalpers, they can overwhelm a Rolling Stones stadium tour, so overwhelming Burning Man is small potatoes to them. Which made bidding for the $240 tickets rather useless.

We wouldn't need to guess at this subject if the org would just release the numbers that they have. And release the geographic distribution of tickets, that could easily show whether an inordinate amount of tickets have gone to various non-traditional areas, which indicates scalpers. Also please release the number of previous scalpers kicked out of the queue. If data like this isn't released, people will estimate and speculate, and we have every right to do so.

The only solution for 2013 is one price tier, non-transferable tickets tied to your name, and distribute tickets to good theme camps/mutant vehicle owners/artists/... prior to a lottery.

My heart goes out to our friends who have been shut out of tickets.

Beach Bum
PS: I, too, like this guy's analysis: http://alchangplus.blogspot.com/2012/02 ... l?spref=fb
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby Savannah » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:22 pm

chrispassanisi wrote:
AntiM wrote:I'd believe a huge jump in interest as a part of the equation. There's a lot of factors, can't be just one thing.

So, in no particular order: normal increase in population, panic over the sell out, padding of ticket orders, scalping professional and amateur, bucket lists, economy improving, friends bringing friends, videos and documentaries, burners turning old enough to go, Facebook, YouTube, and good weather last year. Look at the 2009 dip after the terrible dust of 2008 couples with the bad economy.

For example, how did you hear of the event, why is this your year to go? Just curious. (Hmmm, maybe this would be a good thread in Experience?)


I'm glad I jumped over to e-playa. Some of the kids on facebook are retarded.


They're worse than WE are?

HOLY CATS. :shock:

Welcome to ePlaya!

And excellent, thoughtful first post. While it's neither here nor there, I happen to agree with you on a number of points (I'm underwhelmed by the showing of scalpers to date, and think there will be steady if not immediate redistribution, especially after STEP begins and the Open Sale happens. Right now, anyone with extras is hunkering down quietly and 'considering their verdict').
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby Mitch » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:58 pm

BeachBum wrote:Correction to the math done in this thread (except for a few posters):

The estimates of how many lottery entrants, based on the probability of them getting tickets, need to be calculated per tier, not overall. From our own camp's results and what's been posted in the more reliable, minimally trolled threads, and considering that people who got tickets at lower than their max price was extremely low:

$390 - 70-80% got tickets - 15,000 tickets - about 22,000 tickets were requested
$320 - somewhere around 50% got tickets - 15,000 tickets - about 30,000 tickets were requested
$240 - jack got tickets, significantly less than 10% - 10,000 tickets - well over 100,000 tickets were requested




This analysis makes sense IF you think the theme camps (foolishly) made substantial bids in the $240 and $320 tiers. I'm sure scalpers flooded the $240 tier, there was no reason not to, but the basic premise that your odds were terrible in the $240 tier and challenging in the $320 tier is so sound that I've been assuming that most camps did what you -- and we -- did, and bid heavily at $390. Sure, I'd like to save $150 (and use it on camp expenses) but if you're spending several thousand dollars, why take the risk of not getting to go for such a small percentage of your overall costs?

I haven't seen any of the big theme camps that complained of few tix won address the tier issue, but you'd think some would've mentioned if they aimed low. Do you have any links that show otherwise?

Agreed that the Bmorg should provide this information and also tell us if the bidding started at the $390 level and went down, or $240 and went up or whatever.
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby The CO » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:04 pm

Anyone, anyone at all, explain one (1) verifiable, factual scrap of proof that tickets are "missing."

Just one.

Lacking that, I'd settle for (again) verifiable, factual proof that more than 5% of tickets are held by scalpers.

Go on. I'll wait here.

Until there are cites, this a lot of people talking out their asses.
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby Mitch » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:11 pm

No Signore Columbus, I won't fund your expedition. Your theory of a round earth has no proof.
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby The CO » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:16 pm

M*A*S*H 4207th: An army of fun.
I don't care what the borg says: feather-wearers will NOT be served in Rosie's Bar.
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby BeachBum » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:32 pm

Mitch wrote:This analysis makes sense IF you think the theme camps (foolishly) made substantial bids in the $240 and $320 tiers. I'm sure scalpers flooded the $240 tier, there was no reason not to, but the basic premise that your odds were terrible in the $240 tier and challenging in the $320 tier is so sound that I've been assuming that most camps did what you -- and we -- did, and bid heavily at $390. Sure, I'd like to save $150 (and use it on camp expenses) but if you're spending several thousand dollars, why take the risk of not getting to go for such a small percentage of your overall costs?

I haven't seen any of the big theme camps that complained of few tix won address the tier issue, but you'd think some would've mentioned if they aimed low. Do you have any links that show otherwise?

Agreed that the Bmorg should provide this information and also tell us if the bidding started at the $390 level and went down, or $240 and went up or whatever.


Mitch, what is the data from your theme camp? What bids, what percent of entries in each tier were wins?
Our data is approximately: $390 - 7 of 8, $320 - 4 for 6, $240 1 for 7

One of many data points that show otherwise is from BlankRockCityPimp who said:
"4 ppl in our household routinely do early arrival and we all got tickets. We went for tickets at the highest tier expecting cheap fawks to go crazy over the lower tiers. I expected this based on the fast sellouts of first tier tickets in years past. We got 100 percent reporting back and got about 70 percent of tickets requested. We all went for 2 tickets knowing and being forewarned about most of the tickets only being available during this round of sales. From what I gather alot of the ppl that got screwed went for lower tiers while also being able to afford higher tiers. The good news for peopke with no tickets is that August is a ways off, people WILL have tickets for reissue/resale. Out of 40,000 peopke there is bound to be layoffs, injuries, evictions, arrests, vehicle meltdowns etc that will result in people having to skip this year."

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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby BBadger » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:39 pm

Mitch wrote:No Signore Columbus, I won't fund your expedition. Your theory of a round earth has no proof.


To use your analogy, the OP's "theory" is more like a flat-earth theory--where the theory is based on very localized, observable phenomena (like falling off the earth at the horizon).
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby Jackass » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:09 pm


My fears are the well planned theme camps will bail, the attitude will suck, and there will be way too much shirtcocking.



More shirtcocking?!?
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:10 pm

Jackass wrote:

My fears are the well planned theme camps will bail, the attitude will suck, and there will be way too much shirtcocking.



More shirtcocking?!?
thumbnailCATY1R90.jpg

Worse yet, bad attitude, poorly-planned shirtcocking.
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby Savannah » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:24 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
Jackass wrote:

My fears are the well planned theme camps will bail, the attitude will suck, and there will be way too much shirtcocking.



More shirtcocking?!?
thumbnailCATY1R90.jpg

Worse yet, bad attitude, poorly-planned shirtcocking.


Poorly Planned Shirtcocking

* Nightshirt just too damned long
* Finding yourself bottomless in a vest (rookie mistake)
* Shirt suddenly ripped away in driveby by DPW knaves
* Falling facefirst in obscuring playa mud before having a chance to parade
* Padlocked into jeans during sleep by asshole campmates
* Counting on breakaway stripper pants that don't actually breakaway, leaving you there in both a shirt and trousers (humiliating)
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:25 pm

Best post today!
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby International Incident » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:13 pm

I have the answer!

Fertility 2.0 = clones.

We forgot that the clones need tickets.

Damn clones took them.
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby The CO » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:33 am

In the interest of full disclosure, I am sick of this shit.

Tick tock... Anyone have any credible facts yet?
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby International Incident » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:35 am

The CO wrote:[size=50]In the interest of full disclosure, I am sick of this ?


Same here. Hence I say blame the clones. Easier to blame them.
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby marcgorcey » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:14 am

Anyone seen this ? Is it real ?

Hello,
My name is Miss Ngabolo Olashade, the director of theme-camp ticket
purchases for the Nigeria Dubstep Camp to be located at 9:20 and
Castration at Black Rock City. It is my pleasure to inform you of a
transaction involving some fifteen (15) over-invoiced Tier-1 ($240)
Burning Man tickets purchased in January 2012.
These are paper tickets and unfortunately we cannot pick them up due to
our foreign status. We need a Burner located in the United States to
process the transaction, for which repayment will be provided. Four of
the fifteen tickets will be "gifted" to the transaction partner
following the transfer of payments. We ask that this transaction be
carried out in the strictest confidentiality.
If you are interested, please send email to me and we will contact you
shortly about the arrangement of your monies and tickets.

Many blessings.
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby AntiM » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:17 am

Sigh, honestly? No, it isn't real. Nothing from Nigeria is real on the internet.
we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:31 am

It's like Narnia? :?
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby AntiM » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:32 am

FIGJAM wrote:It's like Narnia? :?



Yes, except it is out of the closet.
we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:54 am

melaniejane wrote:
The CO wrote:[size=50]In the interest of full disclosure, I am sick of this ?


Same here. Hence I say blame the clones. Easier to blame them.

Where are the clones! Send in the clones!
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby Mitch » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:57 am

BeachBum wrote:
Mitch, what is the data from your theme camp? What bids, what percent of entries in each tier were wins?
Our data is approximately: $390 - 7 of 8, $320 - 4 for 6, $240 1 for 7




I'm checking, it's a bit hard to do, we're one of the most dispersed camps, so it takes a while to gather the info.

I know we were 4/4 in the $420 sale, and that we were 1/1 at $320 and 2/2 at $240 (!) and then I think we went 6/14 in the $390 sale -- with 2 winning at $240, but I don't know for sure that all of those WERE at $390, except that nobody who lost said they weren't. I'll post again when I have solid data, and there are still about 20 people I haven't heard from.

So very generally, our experience is the same as yours. If it turns out that thousands of Burners bid at $240, then that explains things, but I should think many camps would have looked at it as you and we did.
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby Killbuck » Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:21 am

The CO wrote:Anyone, anyone at all, explain one (1) verifiable, factual scrap of proof that tickets are "missing."

Just one.

Lacking that, I'd settle for (again) verifiable, factual proof that more than 5% of tickets are held by scalpers.

Go on. I'll wait here.

Until there are cites, this a lot of people talking out their asses.
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby The CO » Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:33 am

Mystery solved! Veronica must have used her fathers wealth to buy all the tickets!
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Re: Do the math: over 50% of tickets went to scalpers

Postby Killbuck » Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:12 pm

The 1% got them?
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