What's Wrong With Scalpers?

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What's Wrong With Scalpers?

Postby neverfallindown » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:43 am

Whats wrong with scalpers? They are smart if you ask me, they didn't cheat anyone. They used the system like everyone else, had the same chances to get tickets, got them and decided to sell them and make a profit. Supply and demand, there is no personal vendetta or something, it's simple capitalism.
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby piehole » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:44 am

neverfallindown wrote:Whats wrong with scalpers? They are smart if you ask me, they didn't cheat anyone. They used the system like everyone else, had the same chances to get tickets, got them and decided to sell them and make a profit. Supply and demand, there is no personal vendetta or something, it's simple capitalism.



this sounds awful scalpy
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby neverfallindown » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:47 am

Or maybe I'm just someone who got two tickets through the lotto and have no problem with people being entrepreneurial. This is my first burn, and I want to understand why people hate scalpers so much, half this thread is people complaining about scalpers or the tickets system. I don't get it. I'm used to baseball games or football games which have even less tickets than this and nobody complains about scalpers.
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby Manna » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:49 am

neverfallindown wrote:Or maybe I'm just someone who got two tickets through the lotto and have no problem with people being entrepreneurial. This is my first burn, and I want to understand why people hate scalpers so much, half this thread is people complaining about scalpers or the tickets system. I don't get it. I'm used to baseball games or football games which have even less tickets than this and nobody complains about scalpers.


Well, considering Burning Man is based on a gift economy, I could imagine that operating under the motive of one's own personal gain is kind of a slap in the face of everything Burning Man is supposed to stand for...
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby euf0risk » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:49 am

neverfallindown wrote:Or maybe I'm just someone who got two tickets through the lotto and have no problem with people being entrepreneurial. This is my first burn, and I want to understand why people hate scalpers so much, half this thread is people complaining about scalpers or the tickets system. I don't get it. I'm used to baseball games or football games which have even less tickets than this and nobody complains about scalpers.


Because of scalpers, there are less tickets in the pool for the rest of us who aren't trying to make money.
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby beer » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:50 am

piehole wrote:
neverfallindown wrote:Whats wrong with scalpers? They are smart if you ask me, they didn't cheat anyone. They used the system like everyone else, had the same chances to get tickets, got them and decided to sell them and make a profit. Supply and demand, there is no personal vendetta or something, it's simple capitalism.



this sounds awful scalpy



The capitalism remark sounds like the free market comment in the fleabay ad. :roll:



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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby neverfallindown » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:52 am

If it's based on a gift economy then why buy tickets in the first place? Shouldn't it be free...or pay what you think it is worth? You cannot charge for something and then get mad when people who also bought the tickets see that the demand is higher than the supply and decide to make a little money themselves.
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby Dewi » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:54 am

neverfallindown wrote:Or maybe I'm just someone who got two tickets through the lotto and have no problem with people being entrepreneurial. This is my first burn, and I want to understand why people hate scalpers so much, half this thread is people complaining about scalpers or the tickets system. I don't get it. I'm used to baseball games or football games which have even less tickets than this and nobody complains about scalpers.


Because this isn't a football/baseball game! This is SOOOOOO much more than that! So when people have to watch scalpers who don't care about the event or community buy a bunch of tickets (that they themselves could've had) and try to sell them for $1,500 each (as I saw last night on StubHub)...well...that's not entrepreneurial!!! THAT'S RAPE! They're fully taking advantage of people who want so bad to experience this, and they hike up the price WAY beyond what they paid! Well naturally...that's going to anger people!
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby piehole » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:56 am

neverfallindown wrote:If it's based on a gift economy then why buy tickets in the first place? Shouldn't it be free...or pay what you think it is worth? You cannot charge for something and then get mad when people who also bought the tickets see that the demand is higher than the supply and decide to make a little money themselves.



obvious troll is obvious
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby Manna » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:57 am

neverfallindown wrote:If it's based on a gift economy then why buy tickets in the first place? Shouldn't it be free...or pay what you think it is worth? You cannot charge for something and then get mad when people who also bought the tickets see that the demand is higher than the supply and decide to make a little money themselves.


I get the impression that the cost of tickets doesn't go to personal gain... it goes to the cost of the construction of BRC, the art grants, the cleanup, etc. etc. Perhaps that's optimistic of me. But, operating under the assumption that this is true, then most of the money goes back to the community-- unlike a scalper's profit.
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby Shadowcasting » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:59 am

[quote="neverfallindown"]Or maybe I'm just someone who got two tickets through the lotto and have no problem with people being entrepreneurial. This is my first burn, and I want to understand why people hate scalpers so much, half this thread is people complaining about scalpers or the tickets system. I don't get it. I'm used to baseball games or football games which have even less tickets than this and nobody complains about scalpers.[/quote]

... Because its in direct opposition to the principles upon which Burning Man is based and which the community holds sacred, that's why. If you truly are planning on your first Burn, please, please find out what you're actually attending. It is not a huge rave. Its not a naked drug party. It is a community gathering. If you're just an opportune capitalist, then you suck and please use STEP to redistribute your tickets to people, like me, who actually CARE but haven't gotten drawn.
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby neverfallindown » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:01 am

piehole wrote:
neverfallindown wrote:If it's based on a gift economy then why buy tickets in the first place? Shouldn't it be free...or pay what you think it is worth? You cannot charge for something and then get mad when people who also bought the tickets see that the demand is higher than the supply and decide to make a little money themselves.



obvious troll is obvious



I'm a troll because I am trying to understand something about burning man? Everywhere I look there is hate for scalpers and such and I just wanted to understand it. The guy said something about burning man being a gift based economy and that selling tickets was a big slap in the face to the whole idea, so I replied logically saying that I think selling tickets in general makes it much less a "gift economy"

Trolling would be me saying "Hey GUYZ I got teh Ticketz... U MAD BRO?!"

Instead I came in here wondering why there was all the hate and wanting to discuss it. Yet all I get is a lot of rudeness like I'm on the dark side or something.
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby Dewi » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:03 am

Shadowcasting wrote:
neverfallindown wrote:Or maybe I'm just someone who got two tickets through the lotto and have no problem with people being entrepreneurial. This is my first burn, and I want to understand why people hate scalpers so much, half this thread is people complaining about scalpers or the tickets system. I don't get it. I'm used to baseball games or football games which have even less tickets than this and nobody complains about scalpers.


... Because its in direct opposition to the principles upon which Burning Man is based and which the community holds sacred, that's why. If you truly are planning on your first Burn, please, please find out what you're actually attending. It is not a huge rave. Its not a naked drug party. It is a community gathering. If you're just an opportune capitalist, then you suck and please use STEP to redistribute your tickets to people, like me, who actually CARE but haven't gotten drawn.



...what he said!!!!!
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby Manna » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:04 am

neverfallindown wrote:I'm a troll because I am trying to understand something about burning man? Everywhere I look there is hate for scalpers and such and I just wanted to understand it. The guy said something about burning man being a gift based economy and that selling tickets was a big slap in the face to the whole idea, so I replied logically saying that I think selling tickets in general makes it much less a "gift economy"

Trolling would be me saying "Hey GUYZ I got teh Ticketz... U MAD BRO?!"

Instead I came in here wondering why there was all the hate and wanting to discuss it. Yet all I get is a lot of rudeness like I'm on the dark side or something.


Sorry if I came off as rude... really didn't mean to!

But... on more important things...
...Do I really look like a guy? :shock:
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby neverfallindown » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:06 am

Manna wrote:
neverfallindown wrote:I'm a troll because I am trying to understand something about burning man? Everywhere I look there is hate for scalpers and such and I just wanted to understand it. The guy said something about burning man being a gift based economy and that selling tickets was a big slap in the face to the whole idea, so I replied logically saying that I think selling tickets in general makes it much less a "gift economy"

Trolling would be me saying "Hey GUYZ I got teh Ticketz... U MAD BRO?!"

Instead I came in here wondering why there was all the hate and wanting to discuss it. Yet all I get is a lot of rudeness like I'm on the dark side or something.


Sorry if I came off as rude... really didn't mean to!

But... on more important things...
...Do I really look like a guy? :shock:


Haha no sorry! I didn't stop to look at the picture! :oops:
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby Raymaker » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:08 am

What if actually there aren't any tickets for STEP?
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby randomgirl7 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:08 am

Burning man isn't free because they need to pay others to make the event work (bathrooms, clean up, machine equipment)
Scalpers are disliked because they turn buying a ticket into a business. I have two friends who apply to win tickets and then sell them (discounted) to make money... it's a win-win. Scalpers buy tickets, feel they are entitled to money with little hard work and sell tickets at a greater cost so they can make money. The people who have earned money by working hard then give scalpers the money they worked hard for. And that's why people hate scalpers.
Last edited by randomgirl7 on Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby piehole » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:08 am

neverfallindown wrote:I'm a troll because I am trying to understand something about burning man? Everywhere I look there is hate for scalpers and such and I just wanted to understand it. The guy said something about burning man being a gift based economy and that selling tickets was a big slap in the face to the whole idea, so I replied logically saying that I think selling tickets in general makes it much less a "gift economy"

Trolling would be me saying "Hey GUYZ I got teh Ticketz... U MAD BRO?!"

Instead I came in here wondering why there was all the hate and wanting to discuss it. Yet all I get is a lot of rudeness like I'm on the dark side or something.



Well logically speaking, can I say that I feel that you in particular aren't seeing the problem with scalping tickets to this particular event? Because that's the impression I'm getting. The lottery was meant to minimize scalping in all ways shapes and forms because it hinders the overall experience to those who truly cannot afford paying a ridiculously marked up amount. It is simply not what this event stands for.

I'm a virgin like you and yeah, scalping is legal, I get that, and while you see it from your perspective, please see it from other perspectives as well.
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby alt12 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:13 am

neverfallindown wrote:
I'm a troll because I am trying to understand something about burning man? Everywhere I look there is hate for scalpers and such and I just wanted to understand it. The guy said something about burning man being a gift based economy and that selling tickets was a big slap in the face to the whole idea, so I replied logically saying that I think selling tickets in general makes it much less a "gift economy"

Trolling would be me saying "Hey GUYZ I got teh Ticketz... U MAD BRO?!"

Instead I came in here wondering why there was all the hate and wanting to discuss it. Yet all I get is a lot of rudeness like I'm on the dark side or something.


Everyone hates scalpers for the obvious reason that they are driving up the price of bm tickets. In addition, the event itself has a loooonggggg history of people reselling their burning man tickets that for whatever reason they can't use/don't need at face value. That means up until last year, you could buy a first tier ticket from someone on craigslist or a buddy right up through August frequently. It was a nice thing and reflected the fact that the burning man participants were upholding a community principle as regards to the event off-playa and that they respected their experiences of burning man enough that they didn't want to profit off their fellow burners. It makes sense given that the entire event runs on people not only not-profiting from each other but giving quite freely of themselves at great self-expense. That is what a gift economy means and that is a fundamental difference of bunringman versus a music festival or whatever. A lot of the magic has to do with interactions with others that are not based on profit/comidification/buy-sell relationship, etc. As a result burners generally vigorously resent those trying to profit off an event that is fundamentally run on a basis that is the opposite of profiting off others. You will find that a lot of the bm principles apply to bm off-playa (i.e. someone trying to sell package tours to the event, etc. or profit in some way frequently are scorned.... Even Prepare for the Playa, run by burners, gets its fair share of shit).

Is that clear and unsnarky enough for you?
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Re: Official "Awarded Tickets" Thread

Postby laffingblonde » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:29 am

neverfallindown wrote:
piehole wrote:
neverfallindown wrote:If it's based on a gift economy then why buy tickets in the first place? Shouldn't it be free...or pay what you think it is worth? You cannot charge for something and then get mad when people who also bought the tickets see that the demand is higher than the supply and decide to make a little money themselves.



obvious troll is obvious



I'm a troll because I am trying to understand something about burning man? Everywhere I look there is hate for scalpers and such and I just wanted to understand it. The guy said something about burning man being a gift based economy and that selling tickets was a big slap in the face to the whole idea, so I replied logically saying that I think selling tickets in general makes it much less a "gift economy"

Trolling would be me saying "Hey GUYZ I got teh Ticketz... U MAD BRO?!"

Instead I came in here wondering why there was all the hate and wanting to discuss it. Yet all I get is a lot of rudeness like I'm on the dark side or something.


You simply don't belong. Sell you tickets and do everyone else a favor. You won't get it once you're there either. You'll just be hot and dusty
believe it or not every burner from new york doesn't reside in the chity. there's all this green space up north you may've heard about

the burn didn't blow my mind. it reinforced the way i've always lived my life
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Re: What's Wrong With Scalpers?

Postby 5280MeV » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:30 am

neverfallindown wrote: it's simple capitalism.


First, scalping in general isn't just simple capitalism, it is shit capitalism.

Good capitalism, the kind worth defending, is any free exchange between informed parties that is mutually beneficial. Lets say that you can make really amazing custom cabinets, then you may charge what people are willing to pay. Everybody wins. They could not have made the cabinets themselves, or gotten the quality at any cheaper source, and you have profited.

Unless you are providing some additional convenience by reselling tickets, you are really just another vulture. You don't provide any incentive for the artists who provide an event to do any better, you don't produce anything of value for anyone. You are no better than payroll advance lenders who dot mini-malls in impoverished areas and take advantage of other people's desperation.

If you want to be a productive member of a free market, learn to produce, perform, or provide something of value to another human being. You can be a vulture if you want, but please don't expect anyone to actually like you.

Second, scalping burning man tickets is especially sick if you are actually planning on attending. The people who you just squeezed an extra $200 dollars from will literally be providing you entertainment, giving you free food, free drinks, making your event amazing, and they will have already spent potentially thousands of dollars on gifts FOR YOU.
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Re: What's Wrong With Scalpers?

Postby alt12 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:40 am

5280MeV wrote:
neverfallindown wrote: it's simple capitalism.


First, scalping in general isn't just simple capitalism, it is shit capitalism.

Good capitalism, the kind worth defending, is any free exchange between informed parties that is mutually beneficial. Lets say that you can make really amazing custom cabinets, then you may charge what people are willing to pay. Everybody wins. They could not have made the cabinets themselves, or gotten the quality at any cheaper source, and you have profited.

Unless you are providing some additional convenience by reselling tickets, you are really just another vulture. You don't provide any incentive for the artists who provide an event to do any better, you don't produce anything of value for anyone. You are no better than payroll advance lenders who dot mini-malls in impoverished areas and take advantage of other people's desperation.

If you want to be a productive member of a free market, learn to produce, perform, or provide something of value to another human being. You can be a vulture if you want, but please don't expect anyone to actually like you.

Second, scalping burning man tickets is especially sick if you are actually planning on attending. The people who you just squeezed an extra $200 dollars from will literally be providing you entertainment, giving you free food, free drinks, making your event amazing, and they will have already spent potentially thousands of dollars on gifts FOR YOU.




Not to get into a discussion about capitalism here but I could not agree less. 90% of our economy consist of intermediaries and middle-men to some degree or other (ok I made that percentage up but you get the point). Buying something and reselling at it a profit IS capitalism. It is probably the primary principle of free-market exchange. Do you think Safeway is growing their own lettuce? No, they are a reseller. Ditto for most retail outlets. Very few product when they sell. The only difference here is that that tickets to an event are a scarce commodity with tremendously more demand than supply. As such the demand is fairly inelastic and anyone resourceful enough to get their hands on it can charge what they want. The only added value that scalpers bring to the market is the ability to purchase a ticket after it has sold out. That value is by definition reduced if the scalping is the very reason that tickets have sold out in the first place. This is why no one complains about scalpers at a baseball game that has 10,000 tickets still available for sale but get irate when they perceive that the scalpers are part of the reason they can't get a ticket to an event at the original ticket price.....
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Re: What's Wrong With Scalpers?

Postby Jared » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:12 pm

Scalpers are engaged in luck arbitrage. A scalper has more luck than you, so they sell that luck for a profit. That is not creating value, it's deadweight loss from market failure.

The economically rational way to deal with scalpers is to sell the tickets on an open market in the first place so that their price can rise until demand decreases. Then the event organizers receive the revenue for putting on such an awesome event that there is excess demand.

However, BMORG is not trying to maximize revenue and would like to maintain economic diversity at Burning Man. Therefore, selling the tickets on an open market doesn't make sense. Some sort of lottery system is the right solution. You can complain about the details of how this lottery was implemented, but I think a lottery was the least-worst way to do it in general.
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Re: What's Wrong With Scalpers?

Postby 5280MeV » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:21 pm

alt12 wrote:Not to get into a discussion about capitalism here but I could not agree less. 90% of our economy consist of intermediaries and middle-men to some degree or other (ok I made that percentage up but you get the point). Buying something and reselling at it a profit IS capitalism. It is probably the primary principle of free-market exchange. Do you think Safeway is growing their own lettuce? No, they are a reseller. Ditto for most retail outlets. Very few product when they sell.


You are misreading my point as being against intermediaries in general - I come from a family of intermediaries and used to work in that capacity. However, an intermediary either provides some level of improvement, service, or convenience or does not need to exist.

A 20 oz cola is $1.50 at the Vending Machine, a 3L cola is $1.50 at the grocery store. The vending machine operator has provided me a service by transporting cola to a more convenient location. The vending machine operator provides value to society.

I also believe that Stubhub provides value to society, particularly for pro-sporting events, as the exchange adds a level of guarantee and protection. It is a very good way for season ticket holders to sell off tickets that they themselves cannot use. The pro-sporting organization also benefits, as the ticket recipient is likely to spend money in the stadium seat that would otherwise be empty. This will also serve as advertising for future events.

If you want to stretch the argument to its limits, perhaps scalpers allow artists to better gauge demand for future events by indicating that the price is not what the market will bear. I find this value to be quite questionable.

As the BMorg is presumably not trying to maximize profit, there is absolutely no value gained by slurping up tickets early and then immediately reselling them at twice the cost. It just needlessly extracts money from participants.

I am not convinced that anti-scalping laws work, but that does not mean that I need to condone the activity as providing any value to anyone. It is just an unfortunate side effect of the market.
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Re: What's Wrong With Scalpers?

Postby gyre » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:39 pm

What planet are you on where scalping any tickets is approved of?

It has destroyed the concert market for most people I know.
Scalpers often end up eating tickets around here, there is so much hatred of them.

The scalping model is a great example of why unregulated 'capitalism' doesn't work.

B man is different in that most scalping is based on buying all the choice seating, and that doesn't apply here.

Who and how distribution of goods is controlled is another discussion that you may want to be very careful investigating.
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