This year has been very instructive in terms of ticket ethics for me (and others, I'm sure). I wanted to tell a quick story and let other Burners weigh in on the ethics of how I handled the situation.
So I was somebody who didn't get a ticket in the lottery and initially thought, "Okay, this year must be my year off." As the year wore on however I got a stronger and stronger urge to go, and when the BMORG announced another 1,000 tickets, I figured that was my signal that I should prepare, and so prepare I did.
I knew I was going to buy 3rd-party ticket because even as the 1,000 ticket sale was announced, I had connects who were offering me tickets at face. It was just a matter of who I got one from. I also wanted to wait to ensure prices came down (initially all that was being offered were $390 and $420 tickets)
So it gets down to 2 weeks out, everything else is ready but my ticket, and a friend-of-a-friend posts on her FB wall for a $330 ticket. Sounds good to me, so I message her and let her know I'll take her ticket.
Well, she's living at the beach (3 hour drive from my town) and has to send the ticket back to Portland with a guy friend of hers. She says he can meet me the following Monday and she'll call me that night to discuss (it's a Sunday).
Well, no call from her Sunday evening, and I text her guy friend Monday at 11am and don't hear anything from him all day.
I figure, she might be flaking, so I start looking on CL.
Now of course I see all these sub-$300 prices on CL and send out a few investigative emails. One guy gets back to me right away, and before I know it, I'm meeting up with him two blocks from my house and buying his ticket (a $420 for $300).
Now finally my original seller texts me asking for the $330 in cash instead of check. I let her know I've been looking at CL and checking out lower prices and suggest she look into other ticket buyers, and she pitches a fit, laying on heavy guilt, calling my 'shady' and a bunch of other names. Basically, she thought she had locked up my price at $330 and she seems unwilling to consider even lowering to $300.
Anyway, after a bunch of back and forth, I get her to back off and she admits she would come down to $300 or $280. She also says she's putting her ticket back up on CL and eBay.
So I feel like 25% of an asshole, only because she dropped the communication ball. Clearly we had a communication mismatch and I take responsibility for not telling her A) how price and convenience-sensitive I was and B) how urgent my buy was. The irony's on me here because if I had just asked her initially, I probably could have gotten her ticket for $280 instead of the $300 I paid (minor difference I know).
So because I feel kinda shitty about this, I offer her the following deal:
"If your last one does sell, I am willing to kick in the difference between the price I initially agreed to ($330) and whatever you can get for the ticket, up to $100 of my own money. So for instance:
- If you sell for $280 I send you $50 = $330
- If you sell for $250 I send you $80 = $330
- If you sell for $230 I send you $100 = $330"
My hope is this will allow her ticket to move faster at a lower price, thereby enabling somebody else to Burn, and also not totally screwing her in the $$ department.
This seemed like the decent thing to do and I think it should totally square us.
What do y'all think?