Economists know lots about perception and scarcity and desire as applied to a specific commodity. The current ticket situation is a classic opportunity for graduate student research.
Here's what I think is the case (it would be fascinating to see if some one could pry real numbers out the BMorg):
- In 2011 BM sold out. Some people were not able to obtain tickets. While the numbers were likely small, the agrieved were very vocal (as you would expect of burners).
- This in turn resulted in inflated expectations in the resale market (scalping), and an example of how inflated expectations can affect reality (some tickets sold for silly high prices).
- This in turn caused the BMorg to tinker with the sale system (primary gaol to inhibit scalping, control resale market).
- Unintended consequence of changes (lottery) is an increase in perceived uncertainty among buyers.
Note that the number of failed purchases in 2011 was likely small and that the increase in available tickets for 2012 is significant. BMorg is able to predict demand fairly accurately (if not shame on them) so they know how many tickets they are likely to sell to a fair level of accuracy (noting permit limits as well).
So this year:
- Heightened uncertainty results in an unexpected amount of hedging. Burners find ways to register for more tickets than necessary in hopes of reducing uncertainty.
- Lots of burners are capitalists. Once the physical tickets go out the BMorg has little control over the fate of the commodity.
- Scalping will occur.
- Confusion will occur.
- Future feeling of uncertainty will be increased.
- BMorg will 'rethink' the current ticket system and implement different changes for 2013.
The truely interesting element is that there are probably enough tickets to go around this year. All of the above is driven by the false perception of scarcity.
Basic b/e analysis:
That’s $6.8M that thousands of volunteers deserve to know about. Capitalism is alive at BM. Tickets are the commodity. Others have estimated higher profits.