Another Scalper Discussion

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Re: OFFERED: BURNING MAN TICKETS

Postby knowmad » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:48 am

waywardvirtuoso wrote:Uh craigslist faqs says scalping is fine but warns that buyers dont like it and will probably flag your post for removal. But it's totally allowed.

Now "right" and "allowed" may be very different things... But I guess I'll keep further comment there to myself.

And of course when the contrast between "Right" and "Allowed" becomes blatantly obvious a moral person is obliged to take the right action. I'm sorry if you (WWV) feel that you have to keep you opinions to your self. because you might have a valid and or better solution that you've been bullied into suppressing.

Perhaps a course of action that would have some Merit is to Petition the .ORG to take action on BRC citizen's behalf and flag those CL postings that are profiteering as offensive. and or As independent Burners complain about them Loudly and Often until other ticket buyers that would feel obliged to be exploited Say "No Skank You" and move on to a correct seller.

trilobyte wrote:If you have a problem with the rule, you are more than welcome to leave ePlaya and look for tickets elsewhere.

And We are also Free to Voice our opinion of Current policy and Propose policy changes, and judge/critique them with no fear of reprisal
And If that includes Burners exercising these rights often and loudly enough perhaps those that feel muted will also move forward and begin demanding changes.

BBadger wrote:...
This, coming from someone calling those who thinks a certain way "douches."

argumentum ad hominem.

And You will notice it is not people who think a certain way, it was directed at People who engage in actions, or verbally support those actions. I have absolutely no idea how others think, if I had to speculate I would say "poorly or seldom".

BBadger wrote:Yeah, thanks for the dictionary definition. Still, I've been attacking your ideas from the start, and calling you out on your claims. When I label your ideas as naive it's because it only reflects how you think the world should be, rather than what would actually be effective. Thinking that saying (loudly) "no it's not" puts the matter to rest is ridiculous at best, and yes, it reflects upon the speaker (you).

with that you are attempting to create the illusion of having refuted My proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet nonequivalent proposition (Straw Man). What I think or how I do it can in no way be derived from my stance in an argument (see above).

So far other than attacking me and my Ideas as if they are one and the same, how about defending your own unsubstantiated claims and reasoning?


BBadger wrote:Being what? My claims are already substantiated by the evidence that already exists,...

consensus gentium

My question exactly. let's start with the Claims, what were they exactly?
Correct me if I am wrong, is your argument (paraphrased, and in my own words):?
There is no problem.
Tickets are sold out.
The market dictates the price as a reflection of buyers demand.

And I answer.
There is a problem. As is the current system of ticketing fails to reflect the ethos of the Burner community in the fact that it allows for profiteering, as I (and others) have proposed Changing the Ticket policy to better reflect the Values of our community and prevent profiteering.
The reason tickets sold out may have been inevitable, and they may have been avoidable, and remains to be determined.
The Market only works out there where there is a Free market, what we are striving after is what we already have; a Market Free zone.

A Wise Eplayan said something that helped me deal with the us/them attitude, I'd like to share it with you so you might better help me help us:
"Don't worry about the world trying to come to the playa, Start worrying about how to bring the playa to the world" ~S.O.P.
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Re: OFFERED: BURNING MAN TICKETS

Postby AntiM » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:27 am

knowmad wrote:
The problem is that there are actualy thousands of people who buy and resale, not just one small group of "brokers" that buy a bunch and resale. >snip<


There is no way to prove this, and it has never been an issue in the years the tickets did not sell out. Fools may have fallen prey to the brokers, but that makes them fools, not babies to be coddled. There are now more burners than there is capacity. I cannot logically believe it was ALL scalpers. "Go ahead, buy your ticket even if you aren't sure you can go" has been standard advice, knowing one could turn over a ticket fairly easily. Most years it might mean taking a few dollars loss on shipping. This year it means some people are going to try to take advantage.

Have some burners turned scalper? Yes. They suck. Many people will drop the Ten Principles in the default world when quick cash is involved. Personally, I do NOT think it is the business of the BMORG to dictate our morals, and most especially, not off the playa. The "values" are subjective, because those Ten Principles have changed and shifted over the years if you've been paying attention (I wish I had made an early copy, I might have one).

The values must come from within to make one a burner. The BMORG is big brother enough, the ticketing process is expensive and a hassle already, putting restrictive controls in place would complicate matters much more. And raise ticket prices. If this is as much of a community as we like to think, then the solution is community oriented. Refuse to buy from the scalpers, attend the orphan burns if you couldn't get a ticket in time.
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Re: Another Scalper Discussion

Postby AntiM » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:35 am

BTW, the moderators are not the ones who made the final decision about scalperesque posts. That came down to us. We're low level volunteers, and eplaya is a balancing act. If the mods are told don't pull the posts for above face, and to not allow the posting of personal information of others, then that's what happens. It is a stop gap measure this close to the Burn. Most of the staff is already out of the office. If there are to be changes, they'll happen later, of course.

This is a frustrating experience. Everyone needs patience and an eye to the bigger picture.
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Re: Another Scalper Discussion

Postby trilobyte » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:18 am

Yes, you're free to voice your opinion in the appropriate place on these boards. And you can suggest or propose what you like in those appropriate places, assuming you're able to do so without resorting to insults, personal attacks, violating the law (or advocating criminal behavior), and that sort of thing. And yes, trying to get people to 'go after' scalpers falls under advocating criminal behavior (harassment). Our jobs as moderators are largely that of trash collectors and cleanup crew, but we're also responsible for stepping in when lines get crossed. This year's ticket situation has given us a range of challenges, though the overwhelming majority of people have been incredibly understanding when things have been explained.

While ePlaya's a pretty open place to discuss things, do not make the mistake of assuming that all (or any) policies that govern the site are up for debate. Particularly when it comes to issues that run up against laws in the state that governs our event.

What might be a better approach to the problem (than complaining about site moderation or the BMOrg) would be to think about or suggest ways to lobby for a change to the laws in the state of Nevada. Because that's what it's going to take in order for us to be able to stop people from listing tickets at prices above face value on this site. Will you be able to affect a change in policy for this year's event? Absolutely not. Will there be a change for next year's event? Quite possibly. The legal department has been looking into options for months - and you never know, the laws in the state of Nevada could change.
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Re: Another Scalper Discussion

Postby AntiM » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:44 am

I know someone will point out we do not allow sales here as a private decision ... but yes, we do. Ticket sales. Which is why there is an issue at all.

So, under the current set of parameters, would you prefer a handful of scalpers, or no ticket sales whatsoever?
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Re: OFFERED: BURNING MAN TICKETS

Postby A Jester » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:32 am

knowmad wrote:Extrapolation, I am in contact with about 300 burners on a daylie basis, and a significant portion of those people have admited/braged about buying twice as manny tickets as they need then selling them in the weeks before the burn.
thus 15-20% of 300 = 45-50 ppl X 167 = 7 515 ppl and factoring for compassion at a generous 50% we come up to, 3 757
Thus thousands.



Dude, you got some douchey friends. (or a high percentage of douchey friends?)

Assuming they are bragging because they're making a profit. Maybe I'm missing some of your point.



Also, this is off topic and all, but brings you in contact with so many burners on a daily basis? Do you sell goggles or something? Drugs? Work for the .org?
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The difference between buying a ticket from a scalper and prostituting yourself for one is, if you suck dick for a ticket and brag about it, burners will still respect you.
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Re: OFFERED: BURNING MAN TICKETS

Postby knowmad » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:52 am

A Jester wrote:
knowmad wrote:Extrapolation, I am in contact with about 300 burners on a daylie basis, and a significant portion of those people have admit ed/bragged about buying twice as many tickets as they need then selling them in the weeks before the burn.
thus 15-20% of 300 = 45-50 ppl X 167 = 7 515 ppl and factoring for compassion at a generous 50% we come up to, 3 757
Thus thousands.



Dude, you got some douchey friends. (or a high percentage of douchey friends?)

Assuming they are bragging because they're making a profit. Maybe I'm missing some of your point.


Also, this is off topic and all, but brings you in contact with so many burners on a daily basis? Do you sell goggles or something? Drugs? Work for the .org?

300 "Friends" and of that 45(Aprox) are pretty candid,or as you pointed out, perhaps a tad douchy. I Am a Pretty regular visitor to this site and on Tribe, FB, Well, CDC, CCC, And twitter, I Have allot friends in the art and technology crowd. I have friends that have been with DPW for some time, and others with various regional affiliations. This extrapolation I made is pretty sound in the area of Statistics in that it allows for a 50% low/high tolerance, to account for assumption errors.

Another statistically viable way to derive a trend would be to look at other similar events, compare their initial sales and their secondary sales and create a ratio of scales that brings us to a percentile. That percentile will actually be much higher. Not because Burners are not Reselling tickets, and other festies are but because they all (Different Festivals, events) have about the same ratio of primary sales to Secondary sales.
The following is from a ticket reselling industry publication
[quote=www.betterticketing.com]
There exists within the entertainment industry a customary practice of withholding a percentage of tickets from public sale. Commonly known as „holds‟, these tickets are reserved for persons and groups such as event promoters, performers, entertainment critics, celebrities and local dignitaries. The number of tickets withheld from general sale varies greatly. It has been reported that at least one-fourth, and perhaps up to three quarters of all tickets are withheld from general sale.12 For example, it was been reported that for the December 3, 2007 Hannah Montana concert in Kansas City, Missouri, out of 11,000 available seats, only 4,000 were released to the general public. In November 2009, a news report found that out of 13,000 seats to a Taylor Swift concert in Nashville, Tennessee, only 1,600 were set aside for sale to the general public.13 In another example, for the 2005 World Series, the White Sox baseball team publically stated that “several thousands” of tickets would be made available to the public, but never confirmed the exact number of tickets being released or that “the vast majority of seats were reserved for season ticket holders, Major League Baseball affiliates and others.” The limited tickets released for the four home games went on sale to the public at noon through Ticketmaster on October 18, 2005, and sold out within eighteen minutes.14
12 Scott D. Simon, If You Can‟t Beat „em, Join „em: Implications for New York‟s Scalping Law in Light of Recent Developments in the Ticket Business, 72 Fordham L. Rev. 1171, 1176 (2004).
13 Scalpers, Wealthy Get Great Seats for Taylor Swift, newschannel5.com.
14 Jonathan Bell, Ticket Scalping: Same Old Problem With a Brand New Twist, 18 Loy. Consumer L. Rev, 435, 2
[/quote]

In BM case our "Holds are for different Conclaves, Staff, Scholarship, low income, ect. but the concept is the same. I have spent many hours looking through back logged conversations here on eplaya, and scoured But I could not find of posted policy or disclosure about the exact number of "holds" That are made each year,(not that they are not posted just couldn't find) So again I begin with a conservative assumption of 20%

20% of 50,000 is 10,000
50,000 - 10,000 = 40,000 <- Number of tickets sold to the General public. in primary sales

So if I am following trends and see one that deviates greatly from what is expected it tells me one of two things, My Calculations are hosed, or a factor has changed significantly.

I am going to leave this for a bit while others that would wish to weigh in can and critique these calculations.

I Think an important part of the Ticket Discussion happened here in the OFFICIAL Ticket Launch Day thread and latter I will be refering to complaints and Sugested Policy changes mentioned there.
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Re: OFFERED: BURNING MAN TICKETS

Postby The CO » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:23 pm

knowmad wrote:There exists within the entertainment industry a customary practice of withholding a percentage of tickets from public sale. Commonly known as „holds‟, these tickets are reserved for persons and groups such as event promoters, performers, entertainment critics, celebrities and local dignitaries. The number of tickets withheld from general sale varies greatly. It has been reported that at least one-fourth, and perhaps up to three quarters of all tickets are withheld from general sale.


You are falling prey to media hype there. Holds are standard, but not at the % you're quoting. You can't sell only one quarter of your tickets and expect to make a profit on a regular basis. In a 10,000 seat venue, you will see about 400-800 holds on the high side.

Now, as far as ticketing companies working out agreements with larger brokers for blocks of tickets that are purchased by the brokers, that is very common, but it is not a "hold" in the sense you are using it.

knowmad wrote:In BM case our "Holds are for different Conclaves, Staff, Scholarship, low income, ect. but the concept is the same. I have spent many hours looking through back logged conversations here on eplaya, and scoured But I could not find of posted policy or disclosure about the exact number of "holds" That are made each year,(not that they are not posted just couldn't find) So again I begin with a conservative assumption of 20%


Staff, conclave, honorarium artists & a few other categories are not considered "ticket holding participants" for the numbers, they are considered staff. The 50k (approx) tickets refer to ticket purchasers from sales. (IIRC)
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Re: OFFERED: BURNING MAN TICKETS

Postby BBadger » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:58 pm

knowmad wrote:argumentum ad hominem.

And You will notice it is not people who think a certain way, it was directed at People who engage in actions, or verbally support those actions. I have absolutely no idea how others think, if I had to speculate I would say "poorly or seldom".


So then you are admitting that what someone says or verbally supports does indeed reflect upon the speaker, even to the point that labels can be attached ("douches").

with that you are attempting to create the illusion of having refuted My proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet nonequivalent proposition (Straw Man). What I think or how I do it can in no way be derived from my stance in an argument (see above).


I think you're confusing that part of the discussion with the previous part. No, they're not related. Yes, I am taking exception to being called a "douche" for accepting free market applications to BM tickets. Yes, I will extend such statements to a reflection of the speaker in the same manner as you described (see above). However, this does not have to do with the original claims, nor a refutation of them.

consensus gentium


You could hope. But no. This is not a consensus, this is citing evidence. The "that already exists" is actually superfluous, as it should be implied by "evidence." This is to draw the distinction between future speculation and the facts already on the ground. So let's see the claims:

My question exactly. let's start with the Claims, what were they exactly?
Correct me if I am wrong, is your argument (paraphrased, and in my own words):?
There is no problem.
Tickets are sold out.
The market dictates the price as a reflection of buyers demand.


Those cover some of them, but not many of the important points, namely:
- There are no problems requiring regulations, not yet.
- This is the first year of a sell-out, in sale/permit conditions that are not yet established.
- Speculating, let alone jumping to conclusions about the future of BM, the effect of scalpers, the quality of people who will attend in the future, and solutions to mitigate these as-of-yet unestablished and poorly characterized problems is premature and may lead to overregulation and waste.
- Hence we should avoid hasty solutions, and see what exactly are problems.

And I answer.
There is a problem. As is the current system of ticketing fails to reflect the ethos of the Burner community in the fact that it allows for profiteering, as I (and others) have proposed Changing the Ticket policy to better reflect the Values of our community and prevent profiteering.


To which I believe is too low-level an issue to be worth the additional overhead.

The reason tickets sold out may have been inevitable, and they may have been avoidable, and remains to be determined.


I'd like to hear a reason how it could have been avoided other than more tickets. I still suspect some permit problems limited the total number, which still does not implicate scalpers.

The Market only works out there where there is a Free market, what we are striving after is what we already have; a Market Free zone.


Which is simply not true, as is directly evidenced by the fact that ticket are already being sold, and have already been sold in the past, in market conditions. If this were not true, then no changes would be proposed.

A Wise Eplayan said something that helped me deal with the us/them attitude, I'd like to share it with you so you might better help me help us:
"Don't worry about the world trying to come to the playa, Start worrying about how to bring the playa to the world" ~S.O.P.


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