Proposal for ticketing system 2013

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Proposal for ticketing system 2013

Postby SunshinePixie » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:38 pm

Suggested ticket scheme for Burning Man Organization’s (BORG) ticket sales in 2013
(Annual % increase is assumed but not included in this proposal)

Current system breakdown
3000 presale tickets at $420 each
3000x $420=$1,260,000.00

40,000 tickets sold in random selections
10,000 at $240=$2,400,000.00
10,000x$240

15,000 at $320
15,000x$320=4,800,000.00

15,000 at $390
15,000x$390=5,850,000.00

10,000 tickets sold in secondary open sale
10,000 at $390
10,000x$390=3,900,000

>3500 low income tickets
>3500 at
>3500x(aprx)$200=>700,000

Total tickets projected to be sold=56,500
Total amount Burning Man Organization will receive from ticket sales to fund event
(not including handling expenses)=$18,910,000

If we subtract the low income tickets from the equation
56,500->3500=53,000 Tickets to be sold
$18,910,000-(apx)>$700,000=$18,210,000

That leaves 53,000 tickets with Borg’s a desired ticket sales revenue of $18,210,000

Proposal for new system
$18,210,000÷53,000 participants=One ticket price for all participants
$343.58 make it an even number $344.00 which could account for shipping costs

Price per ticket, a solid $344.00 plus handling costs

Limit to 2 per person

1. Reduces likelihood of scalping
2. Creates balance of opportunity
3. Eliminates hierarchical system of “luck” based on individual funds
4. Provides a definitive $ amount clarifying what one will need to pay should they decide to attend
5. Allows for more efficient planning of event
6. BORG maintains the same $ amount earned for ticket sales
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Dutch auction ticketing

Postby bradtem » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:01 pm

Here's another option, though Burners may or may not comprehend it enough to make it work.

a) 40,000 "market" tickets sold by dutch auction
b) 10,000 "lower income" tickets, price based on surplus from dutch auction, allocated by lottery.

How does a true dutch auction work? It takes some time. It would start, for example, at some high price like $1,000 per ticket. On the first day everybody who was willing to pay $1,000 would sign up for a ticket. Willing to pay means willing -- they are not actually going to pay $1,000 per ticket, as you will see.

Every day, the price drops $20, until in a month it is $300, if it gets that far. But it won't, because as soon as the 40,000th bidder orders a ticket, the price at that moment becomes the price that all 40,000 people pay. Even the people who bid $1,000 pay this lower price.

You don't have to watch the auction live in real time -- you can enter your price in advance. But then you won't see the total number of tickets sold, which is available. As it gets closer to 40,000, people will suddenly change their minds probably and bid higher than they planned. This is foolish, but it is what some people do.

This works if people truly bid the price in their hearts. People have trouble doing this though fortunately eBay has given people a lot of experience with forms of auction related to this. You truly have to bid the price. You are supposed to bid the price at which you would be neutral about winning. That means that if it sells for less than that (which it almost always does) you are happy as in "Well, that was a lot but it's worth it," and if it sells for more than that, you are also happy, as in you say, "I am content not going rather than paying that much." If it sells at exactly your price you are OK but balanced.

Anyway, the point is that auction theorists like the Dutch Auction approach (which I did not invent, it's ancient) because it is both fair (everybody pays the same price,) almost all buyers paid less than their true value and are happy, and revenue is maximized for the seller at the same time. Win-win-win.

If it maximizes revenue, most companies are happy, but Burning Man's goal is not to do that, but rather to make enough to put on the event. That's where the 2nd set of 10,000 tickets comes in. Say the Dutch Auction came to $400, and so $16 million was raised. Say the event needs $18 million to operate, or $2m more. That means the remaining 10,000 tickets are going to be $200 each. So these tickets are then allocated by lottery to the people who did not get in the Dutch auction. This is also where scalpers will go, as there is minimal reason for the scalpers to go in the Dutch Auction (that, in fact, is one of its selling points.) As such, one might make the 10K lottery drawn tickets non-transferable if scalping is a big problem, but otherwise they can be same as ever.

The auction system is time-tested and works. What runs into problems is people who don't understand how to bid their true heart and so don't use it properly, and then have a tantrum when the auction closes at $360 after they entered $300, saying, "Now that I think about it, I would have bid $360 if I had known, it is only $60 more." If they enter a bid early, they need to be told, "Ok, you bid $300. That means that if the auction closes at $320 you will be relieved that you lost and won't spend that much, not upset at yourself for not bidding more." If people understand that the auction works for them.

Of course you can tweak the numbers in various directions, but this system attains several goals. The event is fully funded at a market price by those who can afford it. Those who can't afford it still get to go if they are lucky, though they can't depend on it. On the other hand, only people who truly can't afford the market price (plus, alas, scalpers) go for a low price ticket, not people who think, "hell, if it's all the same, I would rather pay less than more" which is who you had buying low price tickets before.
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Re: Proposal for ticketing system 2013

Postby pyrocat » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:45 pm

The system they have now is just a money grab. It does not stop the professional scalpers that have the resources to game the system. This lottery has been sold to us as a way to combat scalpers and it does not ultimately do that. It just narrows it to a few well established scalpers. Why not initiate a system that does not allow your burners to fall victim to a scalper? They could do this with a token redemption system for anyone that previously attended a BM. This would guarantee their loyal base a ticket at whatever tiers and price(they could even do a guaranteed lottery for tier placement).

Anyway, there are a myriad of solutions, some more administratively intensive than others that directly eliminate scalping for the majority of ticket sales. Instead they have chosen to embrace a system of equal punishment. Kinda fucked if you ask me.
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Re: Proposal for ticketing system 2013

Postby bradtem » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:15 pm

Where did they say this lottery was an anti-scalper technique? I've seen other people also claim it so I am curious where you read it, since I didn't read it. And it certainly isn't an anti-scalper system so if somebody wrote that they may have been in error.

Understand there has been little scalping of BM tickets in the past, because never have scalpers known the event would sell out. Scalpers are not that interested in events that don't sell out because they need scarcity to get their profits. At best in the past scalpers could get as many low priced tickets and know they could sell them at a bit below the August or gate price.

There is much speculation that this will change because now it is expected the event will sell out. But nobody yet knows what the result of that will be or how active the scalpers will be. If I were a scalper, I think I would try to have as many of my shill accounts enter the $240 lottery round as possible, for maximum profits. I would not enter the $420 round. Since the sellout will not be a big surprise, I don't expect we'll see the big peak after sell-out that was seen last year when people paid almost $1,000 per ticket. If I were a scalper I would also be very aggressive about purchasing any ticket offered on eplaya or craigslist at face value after a sell-out. I recommend to all people who are selling at face value that they take steps to confirm the buyer is a burner. (Skype them and ask for photo of them on playa -- sorry virgins.)
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Re: Proposal for ticketing system 2013

Postby pyrocat » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:28 pm

bradtem wrote:Where did they say this lottery was an anti-scalper technique? I've seen other people also claim it so I am curious where you read it, since I didn't read it. And it certainly isn't an anti-scalper system so if somebody wrote that they may have been in error.


BMORG recently called it 'Balance of opportunity'. From what I can tell. Balance of Opportunity = more equitable distribution. This should be self explanatory.
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Re: Proposal for ticketing system 2013

Postby Lord Of Ruin » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:28 pm

pyrocat wrote:The system they have now is just a money grab. It does not stop the professional scalpers that have the resources to game the system. This lottery has been sold to us as a way to combat scalpers and it does not ultimately do that. It just narrows it to a few well established scalpers. Why not initiate a system that does not allow your burners to fall victim to a scalper? They could do this with a token redemption system for anyone that previously attended a BM. This would guarantee their loyal base a ticket at whatever tiers and price(they could even do a guaranteed lottery for tier placement).

Anyway, there are a myriad of solutions, some more administratively intensive than others that directly eliminate scalping for the majority of ticket sales. Instead they have chosen to embrace a system of equal punishment. Kinda fucked if you ask me.


Ahem...

Lottery combined with ticket limits will combat scalpers to some degree. Why do people that attended BM before get to lay claim to being "preferred" this year? That's not radically inclusive.

And finally....reading fail, as they've said they're creating a secure, online market for ticket exchanges/sellbacks. Once that's in place, it will be the preferred place to sell/exchange tix for people with the Burner spirit or whatever. This will drag DOWN scalper's prices, as they won't be able to command as much. This year, even people who were not scalpers were dragged into doing it.

End of the story is: Most people will get their tix with no problems at all. Most will pay only a slight increase over last year. Those that do need to buy from a secondary market will have more faith that the price will be fair, and the ticket valid. So...lots of things got improved.
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Re: Proposal for ticketing system 2013

Postby jkisha » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:35 am

Any "method" to sell tickets to any event that takes more than one short sentence to explain is a bad system.

Here's an idea: First come, first served; just go online and buy a ticket, when they're gone, they're gone.

End of discussion.
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Re: Proposal for ticketing system 2013

Postby ygmir » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:52 am

jkisha wrote:Any "method" to sell tickets to any event that takes more than one short sentence to explain is a bad system.

Here's an idea: First come, first served; just go online and buy a ticket, when they're gone, they're gone.

End of discussion.


brilliant! again.
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Re: Proposal for ticketing system 2013

Postby Sham » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:26 pm

ygmir wrote:
jkisha wrote:Any "method" to sell tickets to any event that takes more than one short sentence to explain is a bad system.

Here's an idea: First come, first served; just go online and buy a ticket, when they're gone, they're gone.

End of discussion.


brilliant! again.

Well, that would be so painfully simple and it would actually work. JKisha for President 2012.
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Re: Proposal for ticketing system 2013

Postby Dr. Pyro » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:38 pm

Clearly a sign of the End Times: JKisha, Ygmir, and I all agree.
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Re: Proposal for ticketing system 2013

Postby AntiM » Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:36 am

Will there be champagne?
These are not my fuckos.
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Re: Proposal for ticketing system 2013

Postby Eric » Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:00 pm

bradtem wrote:Where did they say this lottery was an anti-scalper technique? I've seen other people also claim it so I am curious where you read it, since I didn't read it. And it certainly isn't an anti-scalper system so if somebody wrote that they may have been in error.


Burning Man Ticket FAQ wrote:Q: But this system doesn't really prevent scalpers! They'll just register multiple names and decrease my chances of winning!
A: Actually, it does help prevent scalpers from purchasing tickets. Our ticket vendor has advanced filtering techniques to flag duplicates and prevent multiple entries from entering the system. However, the random-selection system is more about distributing opportunity for tickets than preventing speculation. If we sold tickets with a traditional first-come first-served online process, it would be susceptible to the ever-evolving automated scalper systems that currently purchase a lot of tickets to high profile events.


Down near the bottom of the FAQ, under "General"

Seems to be clearly stated that part of the reason for the lottery is as an anti-scalping technique. That's also part of the reason there is a break between when the registration ends & the drawing occurs- it gives InTicket a chance to pull known scalpers & their proxies.
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