Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby BBadger » Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:07 pm

Stephendragonfly wrote:The BMorg likely will not change the transfer-ability of tickets. Apparently radical inclusion means including people in the ticketing process who have absolutely no respect for Burning Man or any of its ten guiding principles.


As opposed to those individuals who selectively have no respect for only some of the guiding principles when they become inconvenient (e.g. "radical inclusion.").

Hopefully the Bmorg will figure out something better next year.


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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby Stephendragonfly » Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:39 pm

I have been zinged by Bbadger. Ouch! :twisted:
The trouble I am having here is that Radical Inclusion and Decommodification would seem to be in conflict where the scalping of tickets in concerned.


Hmm how would glass houses fare on the Playa??
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby Eric » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:08 pm

Stephendragonfly wrote:Hmm how would glass houses fare on the Playa??


Ask Dicky

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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby gyre » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:23 pm

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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:59 pm

Stephendragonfly wrote:The trouble I am having here is that Radical Inclusion and Decommodification would seem to be in conflict where the scalping of tickets in concerned.

The thing about the 10 principles is that there are so many ways to apply them, emphasize one or two, push the others into the background. But there is almost certainly no way to equally and consistently apply them all...
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby Smenkare » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:51 pm

Scalpers can scalp tickets all they like. We're they're market. If we're not buying, there's no market.

If there is no demand there will be no supply. (Smen's avridged law of Ferengi accquisition)
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby Mitch » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:25 pm

Scalpers aren't going to list many tickets this early. They'll put up some postings on Stubhub etc., to gauge interest, but there's no point to trying to sell while people are still hoping to get some from STEP and via the Theme Camp sale. Once THAT's over, you can expect to see the sales start.

The idea that scalpers didn't get thousands of tickets defies logic. We've pretty much established that veteran Burners got 1/3 of the tickets they asked for. So you have to be postulating that (nonscalping) veterans bid for about 72,000 tickets (if 40% of bidders were newbies, as Andi Grace's blog posting -- http://blog.burningman.com/2012/02/news ... ther-nine/ -- says). Only 55,000 people went last year, and you have to subtract a couple of thousand from that for people who get guaranteed tickets. You can also assume that the first 3,000 tickets went to veterans, scalpers wouldn't pay $420.

So, you can believe that almost 50,000 newbies won tickets and that demand from returning Burners in February was nearly 40% more than last year's overall attendance, or you can believe there are thousands of tickets in the hands of scalpers/speculators of various stripes.
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby Max Callahan » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:32 pm

Mitch wrote:Scalpers aren't going to list many tickets this early. They'll put up some postings on Stubhub etc., to gauge interest, but there's no point to trying to sell while people are still hoping to get some from STEP and via the Theme Camp sale. Once THAT's over, you can expect to see the sales start.

The idea that scalpers didn't get thousands of tickets defies logic. We've pretty much established that veteran Burners got 1/3 of the tickets they asked for. So you have to be postulating that (nonscalping) veterans bid for about 72,000 tickets (if 40% of bidders were newbies, as Andi Grace's blog posting -- http://blog.burningman.com/2012/02/news ... ther-nine/ -- says). Only 55,000 people went last year, and you have to subtract a couple of thousand from that for people who get guaranteed tickets. You can also assume that the first 3,000 tickets went to veterans, scalpers wouldn't pay $420.

So, you can believe that almost 50,000 newbies won tickets and that demand from returning Burners in February was nearly 40% more than last year's overall attendance, or you can believe there are thousands of tickets in the hands of scalpers/speculators of various stripes.



Aaaaaaargggg! how many times must I restate the math.
Yes, there were 120,000 requests for tickets but some large number of those were from people gaming the system.
If everyone put in for twice the number of tickets they needed then there are only 60,000 people trying to attend (numbers made simple for purpose of example, demand is not likely to actually be that low, yes, only 54,000 people went last year (source wikipedia) but last year was a sell out and thus real demand was higher).

Real number of attendees * gaming the system + scalpers =120,000

Also, demand is that high in February, because February is the only chance you get to buy this year. Last year selling out (even though it was late in the year) signaled that this year you _have_ to act early (and then the lottery demanded it).
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby Mitch » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:46 pm

Max Callahan wrote:

Aaaaaaargggg! how many times must I restate the math.
Yes, there were 120,000 requests for tickets but some large number of those were from people gaming the system.
If everyone put in for twice the number of tickets they needed then there are only 60,000 people trying to attend (numbers made simple for purpose of example, demand is not likely to actually be that low, yes, only 54,000 people went last year (source wikipedia) but last year was a sell out and thus real demand was higher).

Real number of attendees * gaming the system + scalpers =120,000

Also, demand is that high in February, because February is the only chance you get to buy this year. Last year selling out (even though it was late in the year) signaled that this year you _have_ to act early (and then the lottery demanded it).


Restate the math all you want, but you can't explain how theme camps only got 1/3 of the tickets that they asked for that way. The people who gamed the system were the scalpers, they bid very heavily for the two lowest tiers. THAT explains it quite nicely. (Yes, the rules encouraged earlier bidding this year, but still, the tickets weren't redistributed within the community, as the Bmorg thought they would be, and as they would have been if they hadn't ended up with scalpers).
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby trilobyte » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:52 pm

@Mitch - why exactly is it that scalpers are treating Burning Man so differently from the other hot ticket events where they ply their trade? It can't be because they don't have physical tickets yet, because nobody has physical tickets for Coachella, Madonna, or Bonnaroo yet and those events are swimming in listings. It can't be because they're waiting until it gets closer to the event, since Madonna and other events that are more than 6 months away have tons of scalped ticket listings. It can't be because they're waiting for there to be no more open sale, since there's no more open sale. And even if there were still tickets available for the general public to purchase, evidence shows scalpers don't mind. Scalpers have tons of listings for concerts and festivals that haven't yet sold out (including Bonnaroo, which I think still hasn't sold out). I'd be more than willing to believe that such a larger percentage of the ticket supply was in the hands of scalpers if there was evidence to support it.

A ton of people signed up for the main sale, that's why only 1/3 of the people got tickets. Your claim that they're all in the hands of scalpers sounds like an easy explanation, but so far there hasn't been any evidence of that (see above). The reason there aren't many listings may very well be because the vast majority of people holding tickets right now are interested in going to the event.
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:55 pm

What? Buy tickets cause you want to go? Stop that crazy talk, trilo!
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby Mitch » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:19 pm

Trilo,

Unless the numbers we're getting from Burning Man are totally off base, only 40% of the tickets went to newbies, so there should be many, many more than 30% of the theme camp members with tickets. There's no way around that. We're not hearing any of the them camps saying "we only got 30% of what we asked for but we asked for twice what we really needed." We ARE hearing them say "we're probably not coming because we got so few tickets."

One key difference with the other festivals, and this is the root of the problem, is that at any other event, higher-priced tickets have some benefit. At Burning Man, you get exactly the same thing if you paid $240 or $420, though I hear if you go up to $5,000 you get free parking.

I think the scalpers absolutely do read these boards, and they're taking the intelligent route of restricting supply and seeing what the demand will be before setting prices for the bulk of their tix. Unlike any other event, they have guaranteed winner tickets, there's no way they won't sell the $240s and $320s for at least $390. It's like playing poker in a stud game where you can see that you've already beaten the board. You don't bet wildly, especially early in the game because you hope that the bidding will rise among the other players.
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby pink » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:41 pm

What the 30% of theme camps argument fails to take into consideration is the percentage of burners that aren't in theme camps. Before last year , I wasn't a part of a camp, and therefore I wouldn't have been counted as a 'vet burner with a ticket' at all. And also, camps have reported in that have a much larger than 30% ticket acquisition.
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby Eric » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:49 pm

Mitch wrote:Unless the numbers we're getting from Burning Man are totally off base, only 40% of the tickets went to newbies, so there should be many, many more than 30% of the theme camp members with tickets. There's no way around that.


There is a vast difference between 40% of tickets went to birgins and 30% of theme campers with tickets

"40% went to" is theoretically a hard number- 40% of tickets would be 16,000 tickets. Simple math.

"30% of theme camp members have" could be anything- how many people is that? There are around 700 theme camps! Some have 3 or 4 members, some have over 200 (our village, made up of smaller camps, had over 250 people it: that's just one village, but our camp is just 3-5 people. Right now our camp isn't registered separately, but some of our affiliates are- do they count as part of the village or as independent in these percentages?). Is 30% 1,000 tickets? 10,000 tickets? 24,000 tickets? It's simply not a hard number- it's a percentage of... anything, basically.

As an example of how fuzzy this number is- lets say we average out this number to, I don't know, 25 people requesting per theme camp- that would give us 17,500 people requesting tickets, at two tickets avg (yes, I'm rounding- it's guesswork) per request that would give us 35,000 ticket requests. 50 people average per camp would give us 35,000 people & 70,000 tickets requested. This is just theme camps, not birgins, not scalpers, not unaffiliated campers- just theme camps. Without a hard number of tickets requested by theme camps there is no way to know how many actual tickets that "30%" is. Is it 11,660ish or is it 23,000ish (which would cover almost all of the "missing" tickets). Is it somewhere in between, or over, or under these guesses?

None of this takes into account veterans who aren't part of theme camps, or who don't partake in facebook or the eplaya (yes- there are Burners who disdain the internet! Shocking)

None of this ignores that there are huge swaths of people without tickets, veterans, birgins and anything possible in between. It just means we don't have hard data, and probably won't until after the event (if at all- that decision is the Orgs). Just remember that all speculation, including mine, is exactly that: speculation. A guess.
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby Smenkare » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:53 am

Let's be realistic here.

We WON'T know how many tickets ended up with whom until well after the end of the Event.
We don't even know how many people actually wanted to go this year. We just know how many registered for tickets, and from what I've read, some of those people were scalpers and some of those were people who registered for more tickets then they needed in order to increase their odds.
Yes, we have numbers, but we don't have all the numbers and we don't know what the numbers mean.
Tickets change hands, sometimes multiple times as people decide not to go for a variety of personal, professional or financial reasons (this happens every year)
Arguing about what possibly happened is futile. Our efforts are better spent observing what is actually happening and then making a cohesive plan for the future of the event.
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby jorgebongo » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:24 am

Listen here everyone, none of us have tickets but does that mean the party has ended? Hell No! Regardless of the ticket fiasco the party does not stop if anything it got BIGGER! Regional's are going to blow up.
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby bradtem » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:50 am

Alas, very little data has been released on what is known about the breakdown, other than that 40% of buyers checked that they were newbies, and that we estimate that for many theme camps that only 1/3 got tickets, which was the ratio to expect with no oversubscription.

Less clear is how many buyers oversubscribed. The problem is that theme camps who oversubscribed by 3x and got close to 100% of their tickets are not going to brag about it. They now seem like dicks to the people who did not get tickets. So you have not heard many of their reports here.

As for scalper activity, unlike concerts, whose demand math scalpers know very well, there is not much solid knowledge out about the buying patterns of burning man attendees. In fact, so little knowledge that even the BMOrg did, as they will admit, a really bad job of predicting demand patterns. Scalpers may know psychology of the ticket buyer better but we know the burner better.

There are many types of burners. There are the people who started planning this burn on the playa last year. For them, to not get a ticket is anathema. They will spend what they can afford to get one, after trying for face value tickets through the various channels. There are bucket listers who will pay a bunch but also are fine with next year instead of this year. There are people who can't afford more than $240 -- or at least that's what they said when they entered the lottery -- a lot of them.

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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby Mitch » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:57 am

Eric: The theme camps are a wide, diverse group. If they're reporting that they received 33 percent of the tickets for which they bid, then on the face of it you can assume that everybody had a one-in-three win rate. Bmorg has said that three times as many bids were received as there were tickets, so 120,000 bids, and that jibes with 1 in 3 from the main sale.

What can mess up that calculation is the tiers (and people lying about whether they're virgins or not). The Bmorg probably won't tell us, though it would be useful to know, what the bidding was at each tier. It would also be useful to know if the auctions ran from the $240s to $320s to $390s or the other way round, or in random order. Bottom up would have benefited scalpers and less affluent Burners.

If you think newbies won 16,000 tickets, and you don't believe in scalpers, then you must think veterans won 24,000 tickets (and, most likely 3,000 in the presale). If you accept the premise that the theme camp experience mirrors that of all veterans, then you would have to believe that veterans bid for about 80,000 tickets. Since the population of BRC last year was only 54,000, you're postulating growth of nearly 50 percent among the veteran population alone. That's very hard for me to believe. Total population growth last year was 5%; in the past 5 the most it's been is 21 percent. I don't believe a video brought in tens of thousands of birgins, I don't believe that theme camps ordered twice the tickets they actually needed, and I don't believe that scalpers ignored the golden opportunity presented by the $240 and $320 tickets.

My guesstimate is that natural demand grew 25% to 30% this year, accounting for over-ordering and newbies, so, let's say about 70,000 tickets. That means 50,000 bids came from scalpers and if they won a third of those, then it's 16,666 tickets.


Smenkare: I agree the numbers are unknown and potentially unknowable (in the end, we'll get 55,000 people in BRC, and they'll have a wonderful time).

Also agree that ARGUING about it is futile, but if you want to be involved in making a plan for the future, then you need the facts. The Bmorg is being parsimonius with them, so we can take what's available and try to postulate the rest. A public debate, with many voices being heard, is a good way to create theories of what went on.
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby bradtem » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:07 pm

Another thing that's been confusing me is that I certainly didn't sense any knowledge or wide belief that 3x would be the right amount to oversubscribe. I got that sense that more commonly people would plan things like a 30% oversubscription or perhaps 2x at most. Oversubscribers will not want to talk (under their names at least) about what they did, but I hope some might create anonymous accounts and come in over TOR to tell us how much they oversubcribed, and why. 2x seems like a likely choice for couples because it's easy.

This bothers me because if we had many theme camps who didn't oversub at all, or barely did, and a lot of virgins who also would be unlikely to oversub by 3x, and if those who did oversub did it at less than 3x -- that leaves too many tickets to explain by other means.
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:21 pm

Mitch wrote:Total population growth last year was 5%

Okay, lets not use last year's population growth as indicative of anything, since there was the cap from the permit. We know that demand outstripped supply, we don't know what supply was...

Mitch wrote:Also agree that ARGUING about it is futile, but if you want to be involved in making a plan for the future, then you need the facts. The Bmorg is being parsimonius with them, so we can take what's available and try to postulate the rest. A public debate, with many voices being heard, is a good way to create theories of what went on.

I don't know if we are creating theories, or just spit-balling because human beings feel safer if they believe they understand what's going on. After a month of this ticketing discussion, plus whatever went on last year, I think that very little useful is coming from these discussions. While I agree that more information would improve the quality of the analysis of some of us (not, necessarily my own), I think that most of the verbiage is inherently unhelpful, in part because most of the "theorists" don't have the background to make good use of the information, and in part because they just don't care about the truth, so long as they can have that feeling of self-assurance of a comforting hypothesis.
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby socks » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:54 pm

This was the monster BM.org created.They planed on a secondary market from the get go.But surprise,surprise,surprise its a secondary market is in the hands of scalpers.Great job BM.org
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby socks » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:01 pm

Cryptofishist i take no comfort in this at all.Buying your ticket SHOULD NOT be the hardest part of going to Burning man.
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby Mitch » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:36 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
Mitch wrote:Total population growth last year was 5%

Okay, lets not use last year's population growth as indicative of anything, since there was the cap from the permit. We know that demand outstripped supply, we don't know what supply was...

Mitch wrote:Also agree that ARGUING about it is futile, but if you want to be involved in making a plan for the future, then you need the facts. The Bmorg is being parsimonius with them, so we can take what's available and try to postulate the rest. A public debate, with many voices being heard, is a good way to create theories of what went on.

I don't know if we are creating theories, or just spit-balling because human beings feel safer if they believe they understand what's going on. After a month of this ticketing discussion, plus whatever went on last year, I think that very little useful is coming from these discussions. While I agree that more information would improve the quality of the analysis of some of us (not, necessarily my own), I think that most of the verbiage is inherently unhelpful, in part because most of the "theorists" don't have the background to make good use of the information, and in part because they just don't care about the truth, so long as they can have that feeling of self-assurance of a comforting hypothesis.


Crypto! Don't take my infoout of context....I looked up the pop growth for each of the last 5 years, the most was 21%. It FELL 12% in 2009. Last year did indeed reach the cap, but not until the summer, so it's not a bad assumption that supply wasn't too far behind demand.

Can't speak for other people, but I've attempted to use the kind of mathematical analysis that economists and analysts use when valuing companies. You take the data that's available, plug in what seems like reasonable assumptions, and go from there. The alternative of believing everything you're told is not particularly satisfying.
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:41 pm

Niether is the alternative of believing that you don't have enough data to make a real judgement...

But it may, in the long term, be less painful than an unsubstantiated guess.
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby Mitch » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:45 pm

From the Burning Blog:

Marian Goodell Says:

March 2nd, 2012 at 12:27 pm
OK People

Relax! There are only 17 tickets on the STEP have queue anyway. Currently, there are a little over 21,000 on the STEP want list. So, we are going to suspend adding to the STEP want list until we get some more flow on the have queue. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Maid Marian



You could use this to make the argument for or against scalpers, but ti's pretty interesting that STEP hit 20k in less than half an hour.
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby vargaso » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:50 pm

Mitch wrote:From the Burning Blog:

Marian Goodell Says:

March 2nd, 2012 at 12:27 pm
OK People

Relax! There are only 17 tickets on the STEP have queue anyway. Currently, there are a little over 21,000 on the STEP want list. So, we are going to suspend adding to the STEP want list until we get some more flow on the have queue. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Maid Marian



You could use this to make the argument for or against scalpers, but ti's pretty interesting that STEP hit 20k in less than half an hour.


Wow, this has to be the most misinformed post ever.

The Marian post is a troll. The queue is capped an 2K (not 20K) at a time.
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby Savannah » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:58 pm

Indeed. That bogus quote is not a blog post--it's from the Comments Area, which is notorious for having trolls posting in there as Marian, Larry, Mary Magdalene, Jesus Christ, D.B. Cooper, etc.
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby Mitch » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:07 pm

Indeed, it is from the comments area. Do any of you Mods know for sure that it's bogus?
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby lemur » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:11 pm

100% for sure its bogus.

any comments from any LLC member or senior staff that were relevant to the community and the post itself would have been added as an 'update' in an edited post in the blog itself..or a new blog post ..... this is how it has been done in the past.. theres no reason for them to bury their comments in the bottom of a blog post comment section, especially when they know some people rely on RSS feeds to view the posts..
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Re: Why Are So Few Tickets Being Scalped

Postby Savannah » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:13 pm

Mitch wrote:Indeed, it is from the comments area. Do any of you Mods know for sure that it's bogus?


Yes.
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