Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby wh..sh » Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:16 pm

stretch80 wrote:If one was to buy two tickets, the name and photograph of each person would need to be assigned at purchase. If one ticket turned out to not be needed, that ticket would be put into STEP to be bought by someone else. No transfers. No Favors. No alterations. Simple. That might put a stop to people trying to game the system. Probably reduce scalping as well. If your picture and official government ID do not match, no entry. No changing photographs either. Better hope that you look like your picture.

At this rate, buying burning man tickets will be more difficult than getting legal immigration status.
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby Rice » Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:30 pm

wh..sh wrote:
stretch80 wrote:If one was to buy two tickets, the name and photograph of each person would need to be assigned at purchase. If one ticket turned out to not be needed, that ticket would be put into STEP to be bought by someone else. No transfers. No Favors. No alterations. Simple. That might put a stop to people trying to game the system. Probably reduce scalping as well. If your picture and official government ID do not match, no entry. No changing photographs either. Better hope that you look like your picture.

At this rate, buying burning man tickets will be more difficult than getting legal immigration status.


I still do not believe that scalping is actually a major problem! A couple hundred tickets out of 50000 is not a serious quantity....
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby capjbadger » Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:32 pm

stretch80 wrote:I still do not believe that scalping is actually a major problem! A couple hundred tickets out of 50000 is not a serious quantity....

Then we're back to my question...

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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby kiss-o-matic » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:55 pm

stretch80 wrote:What others are saying "is that by nature, everyone will lie and cheat to get a ticket". Wow, I had hoped for more.


Again the programmer in me, but I've learned to respect Murphy's law. If it can happen, it's a matter of time until it does. I'd like to think most people have better principles, but in my extensive online experience as a seller and internet forum extraordinaire I know everyone doesn't.
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby BBadger » Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:09 pm

capjbadger wrote:Not sure what you mean by "directed buy-ups". I assume you mean a person getting a bunch of people to all enter the system and wait in line to scoop up more ticke... Oh wait... That isn't prevented by a lottery. If anything the 2 week signup window allows more of them to get in and gum up the system.


What I mean is being able to purchase things directly (first-come-first-served, etc.), rather than using an indirect system like the lottery. Say for example we do have first-come-first served like previous years. Most people will end up buying the number of tickets they need, so if they can buy 2 at a time, they'll buy for a friend and themselves. Great, worked well most of BM's history. Now enter a predicted ticket scarcity situation, and we have people doing the same thing: buying the tickets they need. However, you also have scalpers who want to profit, predicting a ticket scarcity situation, so they bring 5 credit cards to bear for purchasing tickets. If they get in early, they're guaranteed their 10 tickets or so.

What does the lottery do for all this? Well now people looking to profit can't guarantee they will profit, so they'll have to carpet bomb accounts at a much higher level to get the tickets with a lower chance of success. That really isn't the main benefit though. The main benefit is now you have regular ticket buyers also playing the game. They're bringing their resources to bear, having every single person signing up for 2x ticket, or even more. The effect is that rather than only having scalpers gaming the system for more tickets, you have everybody doing it, and a single purchaser (lottery entrant) has a far less pronounced effect. It's like diluting poison with a lot of water. In some ways I wonder if that was the real goal of the lottery and the overbuying was by design.

Of course drinking too much water can also be a poison. It can wipe out your electrolyte balance, and that's kind of what occurred in the aftermath of the lottery: tickets spread out too much.

The nature of the server line we had in previous years was still a lottery, just a slightly different one (Where will I get in line? vs. Will my name be drawn?). The main and in this year's case, critical difference was the number of people in the lottery.


There are other differences as well, the most important of which is: "will I get a ticket at all?" With the first-come-first-served system you had a pretty good idea of what tier you'd get, and if you'd get tickets at all.

Another factor was also in play, however: in previous years there were no ticket-sell-out scalpers, so there really was no incentive to hoard tickets of any tier just to sell them. So while in previous years there was always demand, and most people would just buy up to their demand, this year there were also agents seeking to hoard tickets to resell. Bear with me, I'm just describing some of the thinking behind the scalper conditions this year, not whether those really happened.

The current lottery took away the reward for being on the ball. THAT is why we're pissed.


No, we were pissed because the lottery fragmented our camps. If we had all gotten tickets we might've seen some complaints that we couldn't get cheaper tickets by waking up early (like myself!); however, it never would have equaled the panic the ensued when people discovered that their camps only had some 30% or so fulfillment.

Anyway, there really wasn't a need to be "on the ball" anyway, as there were always tickets available. Yeah, you might not get Tier 1 or Tier 2, but there was always Tier 3. Many people just wait and buy tickets for the Tier 3 price to avoid the stress of the early line.

All of this to bail out a shitty little ticketing company that has failed year after year. :?


I don't think that's the narrative that played out this year. In-ticketing has always had problems (database problems I believe, not hardware), but even last year it only affected the initial surge of people signing up. People promptly forgot about it after the first week, and it wasn't an issue after that. The lottery was specifically made to counter the perceived scalper threat, just as with the late release of tickets, STEP, etc. Everything this year has been to address that problem, not some ticketing program that has been tolerated for years anyway.

stretch80 wrote:I still do not believe that scalping is actually a major problem! A couple hundred tickets out of 50000 is not a serious quantity....


Is, or was a major problem? It's hard to gauge just how things would've panned out with a different system otherwise even with hindsight. Maybe scalpers aren't a big deal because of the measures taken? Who knows?
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Scalpers / Apple in Garden of Eden

Postby nocturnal_steve » Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:51 pm

For some of those who don't think many tickets are in the hands of scalpers, for this 15X ticketless burner seeing just one ticket scalped or being raffled for a good cause is a slap in the face. What about MY good cause; Esplanade camp member, Mutant Vehicle co-engineer , past volunteer etc.

Unfortunately I was traveling in eastern Europe when my camp div-ied up their awarded tickets and I fell through the cracks.

My guess is the scalpers, both professional and semi-professional are organized and had teams of dozens entering the lottery, more so then the average Burner who just had their grandmother, cousin and girlfriend enter to ensure they would get two tickets. Than there is the Apple in the Garden of Eden effect ... how many formally once semi-conscientious burners who wound up with extra tickets are now scalping, raffling etc. and convincing themselves it's OK cause it's just to fund their trip, or art, or buy more E.
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby catinthefunnyhat » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:11 pm

While I'm not delighted with the current system, it might be the best option given the circumstances (i.e. demand vastly outstripping supply).

I'm not at all comfortable with the idea of STEP as the only way to transfer ticckets. Why? Because it favours people who live close to the playa.

People who live further afield have to commit more, earlier. We have to book flights and/or hotels and/or rental cars, many of which are prepaid and non-refundable. We have to take more time off work -- precious holiday time which, for many of us, is the most precious cost of attending BM -- to account for the added travel time. Limited by airline baggage restrictions, we can't bring materials for shade structures, so we join theme camps and make commitments to them. None of this is bad or diminishes our experience in the least. However, it does mean that we need to commit early, either because we know we'll have tickets, or because we're willing to sacrifice a lot of money and hard-earned vacation time on the off chance that we'll get them. The whole, "those who plan, burn" rings kind of hollow if all you can do is hope your STEP number comes up before you have to cut your losses by bailing on your plans.

I am burning this year because a friend had to cancel and sold me her tickets. I live in Toronto.. I "lost" in the lottery, and my STEP timestamp is 12:21. Now, I don't want to discourage others with such a timestamp, but I couldn't have justified paying airfare, booking a hotel and a car, and scheduling time off in the faint hope that I'd get good news about tickets sometime in August. I'm over-the-moon excited to be coming to BM, and I'm planning like crazy. But I have to be honest: If I were relying on STEP, I'd have given up by now.
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby wraith » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:11 am

capjbadger wrote:Again, the mythical "Scalper".

Explain what was wrong with the old system other than inticketing failing over and over to have a stable server?

You want to stop scalpers? Don't buy from them. Simple.

Until someone can present some hard numbers showing that the "scalpers" are eating up all the tickets so the rest of us can't go, I'm not going to bend over backward to fix a problem that doesn't exist.
And neither is the ORG.

-Badger


Seriously, badger. How can you still be arguing that there aren't measurable numbers of scalpers involved, when there are several hundred tickets available publicly on scalper sites even as we speak, even beyond what has already sold to the desperate, and well-known theme camps have resorted to scalping their 'spare' tickets via raffle to fund their art? I'd agree that they likely aren't holding, say 20% of the ticket pool, but they are holding enough tickets to make a bad situation worse.
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby trilobyte » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:29 am

A few hundred out of over 50K is nothing, other events of similar size have several thousand tickes being scalped. There were more tickets being scalped for recent local Bassnectar shows at an under 20K seat venue than thereare for Burning Man. Yes, scalping is happening, but no they don't havea significant portion of theticket supply.
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby kiss-o-matic » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:53 am

I am burning this year because a friend had to cancel and sold me her tickets. I live in Toronto.. I "lost" in the lottery, and my STEP timestamp is 12:21. Now, I don't want to discourage others with such a timestamp, but I couldn't have justified paying airfare, booking a hotel and a car, and scheduling time off in the faint hope that I'd get good news about tickets sometime in August. I'm over-the-moon excited to be coming to BM, and I'm planning like crazy. But I have to be honest: If I were relying on STEP, I'd have given up by now.


I feel this. Truth is, I have a Plan B. It will suck to not fulfill Plan A as I have friends from all corners of the globe attending this year (not next... and not sure when the next one will be). But, I've got a lot of dough invested now (airfaire, car, tent... costumes). If it doesn't work out, me and my SO take our costumes to Yosemite or something like that... maybe make some outdoor pornography.

I am one of the few that is granted more vacation than I can take (yes, really). It only makes sense to make sure I can enjoy the time I am asking off... maybe not as much as if we're on the Playa, but there's a lot to do within a days drive that is on my bucket list. Shit... I'll bet there's SOMETHING going on in Gerlach, no?
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby Rice » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:25 pm

Now this is news that does increase tickets: http://blog.burningman.com/2012/07/news ... available/

(putting names on tickets will not increase quantity, it might reduce the minimal scalping, and probably will increase lineups into BRC)
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby Major Krash » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:59 pm

kiss-o-matic wrote:
Shit... I'll bet there's SOMETHING going on in Gerlach, no?


Gerlach is very small, and basically shuts down during the week of BM (except for the stands that pop up). The BLM sets up home at Bruno's, and everyone is on the look-out for strangers looking for something to do in Gerlach....how this ends depends on your attitude and who exactly you run into. But I do not recommend "looking for action" in Gerlach the week of BM.

Might be safer to search out and explore old abandoned mine shafts...
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:18 am

Or hot springs!
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby capjbadger » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:04 pm

wraith wrote:
capjbadger wrote:Again, the mythical "Scalper".

Explain what was wrong with the old system other than inticketing failing over and over to have a stable server?

You want to stop scalpers? Don't buy from them. Simple.

Until someone can present some hard numbers showing that the "scalpers" are eating up all the tickets so the rest of us can't go, I'm not going to bend over backward to fix a problem that doesn't exist.
And neither is the ORG.

-Badger


Seriously, badger. How can you still be arguing that there aren't measurable numbers of scalpers involved, when there are several hundred tickets available publicly on scalper sites even as we speak, even beyond what has already sold to the desperate, and well-known theme camps have resorted to scalping their 'spare' tickets via raffle to fund their art? I'd agree that they likely aren't holding, say 20% of the ticket pool, but they are holding enough tickets to make a bad situation worse.

We're arguing because not a shred of evidence has been given about how many tickets are in the hands of the big bad scalpers. The offers to sell tickets on websites mean nothing. We know that they place those up far in advance of anyone even having tickets, and most of the time they do not actually have the tickets they are offering.

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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby capjbadger » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:12 pm

BBadger wrote:I don't think that's the narrative that played out this year. In-ticketing has always had problems (database problems I believe, not hardware), but even last year it only affected the initial surge of people signing up. People promptly forgot about it after the first week, and it wasn't an issue after that. The lottery was specifically made to counter the perceived scalper threat, just as with the late release of tickets, STEP, etc. Everything this year has been to address that problem, not some ticketing program that has been tolerated for years anyway.

The lottery was not to counter a scalper threat. Scalpers can stuff the "ballot box" just as easily in a lottery system (if not more so). The lottery was to prevent the surge that always took down the servers (hardware was an issue too) on the day tickets went on sale.

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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby junglesmacks » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:17 pm

Never mind that the total number of tickets up for sale between FleaBay and ScrubHub is less than one half of one percent of the total tickets.

0.44% does not equal a big bad scalper problem.
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:17 pm

Badger v Badger Smackdown, now on Eplaya!
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby Rice » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:15 pm

Just a sec!!

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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby capjbadger » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:36 am

theCryptofishist wrote:Badger v Badger Smackdown, now on Eplaya!

"The Fur Will FLY! SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!! :lol:

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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby lemur » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:42 am

i wouldnt mess with a badger..
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby capjbadger » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:52 am

I'll light your shit up! :lol:

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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby wraith » Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:40 am

junglesmacks wrote:Never mind that the total number of tickets up for sale between FleaBay and ScrubHub is less than one half of one percent of the total tickets.


Of course it is, smacks. Don't be an idiot, and try to pretend that the last several months of having tickets for sale up there haven't moved any of their stock.

The only thing that's going to 'prove' a scalper issue is the number of tickets that don't get redeemed, or get tossed back into STEP at literally the last possible minute as scalpers try to clear any outstanding inventory before they become useless.
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby junglesmacks » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:02 am

wraith wrote:
junglesmacks wrote:Never mind that the total number of tickets up for sale between FleaBay and ScrubHub is less than one half of one percent of the total tickets.


Of course it is, smacks. Don't be an idiot, and try to pretend that the last several months of having tickets for sale up there haven't moved any of their stock.

The only thing that's going to 'prove' a scalper issue is the number of tickets that don't get redeemed, or get tossed back into STEP at literally the last possible minute as scalpers try to clear any outstanding inventory before they become useless.


Of course that won't, wraith. Don't be an idiot.

If you had actually been paying attention to things instead of blathering on, you would have noticed that for the few months that only a fraction of the listings on ebay have actually closed due to exorbitant starting prices. This also doesn't include the listings that were "won" by people artificially increasing the sales price with zero intention of actually buying.

Regarding SH, those prices have been very large from the outset.. so I seriously doubt that many of those have been completed as well.

Again.. your big bad scalper theory holds weight like a wet tissue.
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:25 am

Since the STEP tickets are will call, no, they won't be turned into STEP tickets...
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby catinthefunnyhat » Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:44 pm

What if your name is really, really long? Will they increase your ticket in order to fit it?
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby SnowBlind » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:34 pm

catinthefunnyhat wrote:What if your name is really, really long? Will they increase your ticket in order to fit it?


Or will it be like airlines, who make overweight people buy two tickets?
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Re: Names on tickets will not magically increase tickets!

Postby BBadger » Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:26 am

capjbadger wrote:The lottery was not to counter a scalper threat. Scalpers can stuff the "ballot box" just as easily in a lottery system (if not more so). The lottery was to prevent the surge that always took down the servers (hardware was an issue too) on the day tickets went on sale.


No, you can't "stuff the ballot box" in the same manner with the first-come-first-served (FCFS) system versus the lottery. In the former case, you're using net resources, which are essentially free, easy to scale, and mechanizable (think auction sniping); you just allocate your limited number of CCs to whichever browser windows are closest to the front of the line. In the latter case, you're limited by the number of credit cards you have (will you buy 100 pre-paid CCs for $39,000?), and even then cannot count on any guaranteed return. These are orders-of-magnitude differences in ability to leverage resources.

Server problems? Meh, since when has BMOrg really cared about that, and what would bring that to a head this year? Just issue an apology, off some blame on InTicketing/demand, and it's over in a day or two. Years upon years of the same thing. It's not like the server load really hurts anything either, even the crashing.

Sticking with the old system would've saved a lot of work too: no need to sift through lottery entries to find dupes, no comparing against known scalping numbers and names, no need to change the code in the system. To combat the database hammering, they could've just taken CC# info at initial FCFS signup and processed the entries at their leisure like they did in the lottery. A one-time hit instead of the continuously growing number of database hits from updating people of their position in line (dumb idea). Sure, a big initial surge, but quite doable. It sure didn't stop them from using FCFS in STEP.
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