Worth, price, and scalping

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Re: Worth, price, and scalping

Postby BBadger » Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:55 pm

graidawg wrote:So scalpers and individuals seeing BM as way to make money fucks it all up, will you give your time so somebody else can make $700 or more i bet the answer is no, but you will work for a decent wage, which will push the ticket price up to what it actually costs, someone do the math of what BM would cost if all the volounteers where paid for their time, even at minimum wage. I reckon what we would see would be BYE BYE BURNING MAN YOU HAD A GOOD RUN.
so in my opinion every one of the wankers thats pays over $360 (+shipping) is helping to destroy the very thing that they need to go to, because many of the people that go won't if they have to pay an extra $700 for a ticket because BMorg has to pay the volounteers next year or put up Tshirt stalls or just let people sell stuff (mcdonalds on the playa anyone?)


I'm sorry, but that is fundamentally incorrect, and you're jumping to speculative and unsubstantiated conclusions about how the future of BM will be. How or why are you trying to make a connection that scalping is going to lead to a change in how BM is operated? There is no connection. At all. The event retains its purity regardless if someone resells the tickets. BMorg isn't scalping the tickets, and the event is well funded and soaked with volunteers regardless of what public tickets are being sold in the market. If the event were suffering a shortage of volunteers, they could just reduce the bar that volunteers need to meet to get a ticket, or reduced price. If there were less demand on tickets, scalped tickets (should there even be a sell-out) would go down in price. It's self-regulating.

Furthermore, why the concentration on scalping? Are you equally outraged that stores in Reno bump up their prices in anticipation of the event? They're making extra profits because the event takes place. Are prices going up for BM because a supermarket in Reno bumps the prices on bottled water? Is BM tarnished? What exactly makes it any different with reselling at ticket? Because the cost premium just happens to be tied to a BM ticket rather than some other associated product?

Scalping is not going to do jack shit to the structure of BM. Scalping is entirely external to the organization and event. Nor does the argument hold that this is all going to lead to only an elite class of "rich" people going to BM, and that it will soon need to be sponsored so that people can pay for it. Nothing is going to prompt BMorg to set up a bazaar in center camp to help burners pay for their ticket. The fact of the matter is that even a scalped ticket is often the least expensive part of the entire trip. It's why scalped tickets sell at all.

It's going to be great next year. New permit, 6% annual growth to 70,000 people in 2016, more people actually buying their tickets early in anticipation of this phantom scalping menace, and this whole shit will play out again. Maybe there won't even be a sell-out and we'll only get to see free ticket stories and excuses.

But the sky won't be falling.
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Re: Worth, price, and scalping

Postby graidawg » Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:08 am

ok lets make a few points here, first the stores in reno arent selling bottled water that can only be used at BM, nor are the airlines offering flights just to go to BM, so there prices while influenced by BM arent exclusive. Tickets however can only be used for BM.
the reason they are so cheap (and they are very cheap) is because people volounteer, not for a free or reduced ticket but because they want to go. Now if it costs you $1000 to volounteer you just arent going to go. How many people do you think who managed to sell a ticket at 300% mark up are going to do the same next year? we saw more than half the tickets for this year sell in the first day, so next year i suspect it's going to be even more extreme, the people that missed out this year not wanting to wait and those that want to save on expenses by getting extra tickets to sell at a profit.
now if the hundreds of volounteers cant get a ticket who is going to do the work of building black Rock city? or run center camp or any of the other vital services they provide? sure some people will volounteer at the event itself but i bet we wont get as many pre volounteering, so will Bmorg need to get paid contractors which will mean we will need to pay more for the ticket.
Of course i could be wrong this is all theoretical and we dont get peole buying tickets to resell and Bmorg makes sure the volounteers get tickets in advance and nothing bad happens
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Re: Worth, price, and scalping

Postby BBadger » Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:49 am

graidawg wrote:ok lets make a few points here, first the stores in reno arent selling bottled water that can only be used at BM, nor are the airlines offering flights just to go to BM, so there prices while influenced by BM arent exclusive. Tickets however can only be used for BM.


Why should that matter? By fact of the presence of BM the prices are jacked up. In fact, we could say that BM actually induces higher prices for everyone, attending or not. At least the tickets only affect late-comer burners.

the reason they are so cheap (and they are very cheap) is because people volounteer, not for a free or reduced ticket but because they want to go. Now if it costs you $1000 to volounteer you just arent going to go.


Volunteer more? You get free tickets if you reach a certain bar. Also, as stated, BMorg could easily just reduce that bar as needed to attract volunteers. They could even just guarantee that a ticket will be sold to the volunteer at cost. Honestly, if you're not even on the ball enough to handle getting a ticket early and on-time what kind of responsible volunteer will you be?

The prices won't go up on BM's end at all. There is never a lack of volunteers, and never will be because it's easy to attract volunteers and keep them.

How many people do you think who managed to sell a ticket at 300% mark up are going to do the same next year? we saw more than half the tickets for this year sell in the first day, so next year i suspect it's going to be even more extreme, the people that missed out this year not wanting to wait and those that want to save on expenses by getting extra tickets to sell at a profit.


They sold that many the first day because they were below regular prices. It's by design that half the tickets get sold at that time to create cash flow. I wouldn't put any stock into what they sell the first few days because they're supposed to sell that many. The rest of the tickets? The scalpers will not buy until it's certain there will even be a sell-out. This year they only bought them up near the end when the prices jumped to $360 or so; when it was certain that they could get a return. This event hasn't really been tested, and this year was probably a fluke--probably capped to 50,000 without the extra 6% growth. No scalper is going to "invest" in an assload of tickets before there is some certainty it is going to sell out, only to need to offload them below cost because people would rather just buy from the site. That means that the majority of tickets will be purchased by people wanting the ticket to attend.

now if the hundreds of volounteers cant get a ticket who is going to do the work of building black Rock city? or run center camp or any of the other vital services they provide? sure some people will volounteer at the event itself but i bet we wont get as many pre volounteering, so will Bmorg need to get paid contractors which will mean we will need to pay more for the ticket.


You're jumping to unfounded conclusions, for a problem that could be easily remedied in the unlikely chance that it occurred. Of all the problems, a lack of volunteers is the least of my worries. Even with scalping, as the controller of the tickets, BM can easily keep itself operating as it has always done. I would concentrate on what it means for other people who want to buy a ticket, if that's even a problem.
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Re: Worth, price, and scalping

Postby jag8 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:13 pm

went to a camp site a few weeks ago in the Tahoe region.

We paid 47 dollars per car per night to camp.

47 x 7 = 329.

burning man tickets are extremely affordable in my opinion.

I'm not rich by any means. I just have priorities.
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Re: Worth, price, and scalping

Postby euthlogo » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:23 am

I experienced something like this with Coachella this year.

Tickets selling out so quickly made it so a higher percentage of the crowd were the die hard fans that really wanted to be there, which I think created a better vibe.

Maybe I just projected that vibe onto the crowd because I knew how quickly tickets sold out though. Who knows.

It would be interesting if they somehow tied the ticket directly to the purchaser and you had to apply to transfer the ticket to another person, giving reasons etc.

That would likely cut down on scalping, (if that is something that we want)

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Re: Worth, price, and scalping

Postby JonHsiung » Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:39 pm

I agree with Tim. It definitely won't be a comprehensive solution, but maybe some kind of invite-only program would help dissuade scalpers and keep consistency in quality.
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Re: Worth, price, and scalping

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:38 pm

JonHsiung wrote:...and keep consistency in quality.

Always, always, always--who gets to choose? I know self-selection isn't perfect, but at least it's not as oppressive in its imperfections as any other method I can think of.
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Re: Worth, price, and scalping

Postby BBadger » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:05 pm

Invite only... that would be the end of BM. You know, in Japan many events are "invite only" because they allow only "fan clubs" to acquire the tickets. Often what ends up happening is that the events go half-full because people simply can't get tickets, and there is favortism, and elitism, in the whole "fan club scene." I like the open nature of BM, and the fact that anyone, new or old, if sufficiently prepared can enjoy the event.

I also don't desire consistency. Consistency meaning what? The same ol' people? The same way of thinking? Participation in only certain manners? People like to label the heathens they don't want to attend the event: "the cargo pants wearing douchebags", "more RVs", "Segway driving assholes." What the hell? It's like people being afraid of black people and immigrants moving into the neighborhood. The same kind of thing with "participation". People act like it's some "good works" quota in the same manner as religious nuts think they need to have "good works" to demonstrate their piety. You know what? If they pay and attend, so be it as long as they're not vandals. I can make friends with someone who has a single costume as much as some guy who goes all out and makes a MV.

For scalpers... we can't be sure this wasn't a fluke year. Wait until next year to see if scalpers are a problem. Why throw the baby out with the bath water, or at least right now?
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