Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

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some seeing eye
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Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby some seeing eye » Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:19 pm

(Mods can move as they like - not specific to 2017)

Tickets were more abundant in 2016 on the secondary market in my observation. It is possible the population cap will rise in 2017. There will always be a shortage

I proposed on another thread that buyers in the 900+ sales be technically prohibited from competing in the 390 sale. That is because we saw many 900+ resales "at face value."


Today tickets are tied to a burner profile, a credit card and a shipping address. There is a number that can be purchased in a batch, depending on sale. Directed group sale has a number per directee. Those are your control points.

As for PnP, and sound camps, the control points are placement, directed group sales, early admission, inspection, reports and control of the outside vendors.

Set a policy, then use the control points existing before adding complexity. What was that policy?


The other thing that happens in ticket purchases is risk management. We all do it. If I have a non-refundable plane reservation, or non-cancelable time off from work, or a personal schedule, I'm willing to expend X, X',.. in the staged sales. Then if I can resell on the secondary market I can cover my risk to extent A, A',.... Purchasing $900+ tickets which you decided was affordable to you, then competing in the $390 sale, transfers your economic risk of $510+, which is affordable to you, to someone who is risking not getting a ticket.

The org is a rational actor, they want the money sooner rather than later. They are customer oriented in planning the sale timing to encourage long term customer planning, while allowing a secondary market for flexible planning customers.
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Re: Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby maladroit » Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:17 pm

Making a large number of tickets available for $1000 after fees will artificially slant the population of Burning Man towards those who can afford it (or who are selling an "experience" for much more). It's not a level playing field.

I'd advocate getting rid of the high-income ticket program. Or making them fill out some kind of survey and provide a bunch of their financial data, just like the low-income ticket applicants have to do. Make sure they can afford it and then beg them for art donations nonstop.

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Re: Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby BBadger » Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:27 pm

I'd rather just have the "face value" of all presale/special tier tickets all be $390, and what premium is paid is specifically for the guaranteed access. Those tickets may have been allowed to be sold at premium "face value" in order to dis-incentivize purchases from scalpers for similar prices, but I think overall it allowed people with means to double-dip in the ticket pool.

It's also way too hard to prevent people buying one sale not buying in a different one. The incentive to buy premium tickets for any other reason than guaranteed access using those specific tickets should be removed by making the ticket value itself the same. After all, the secondary buyers aren't receiving that benefit (or maybe they did, since presale tickets were always available).

Maybe the whole thing is just a wash anyway.
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Re: Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby some seeing eye » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:42 am

I like Mr Badger's idea: the $990 & $1200 tickets marked face value $390. Elegant and simple solution. Throw in a framed certificate signed by Larry. The difference could be a donation to the non-profit for tax purposes.
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Re: Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby vargaso » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:19 pm

I like Badger's idea as well, because there's no way to prevent people from entering both pre- and main sale. It's as easy as creating two Burner Profiles and using different credit cards. Or, if you're a couple, one of you enters the pre-sale, the other the main sale.

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Re: Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby maladroit » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:15 pm

It's a good, incremental change that even requires the Org to do LESS work (print and manage different sets of tickets). It makes the ticket pool more fluid to react to changing needs across the various sales, too.

Another thought: if the face value is the same as main sale, and the rest is an arts donation, does that mean the NV entertainment tax will only apply to the face value?

I'd pile on that users of the high-income ticket program also need to pick them up from will-call, but that's far less likely to be implemented.

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Re: Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby danibel » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:51 pm

While it's true that it's hard to stop people from entering multiple sales, why not exclude the pre-sale from the main sale? I wonder how much the org really checks all those cards and profiles anyway. A PnP proponent told me he buys as many as he wants/needs without any trouble. :?

And why not enact both policies? Pre-sale purchasers are not "allowed" to buy in the main sale, and mark all the tickets the main sale price? I don't see any solution as the only solution.
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Re: Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby BBadger » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:01 pm

danibel wrote:While it's true that it's hard to stop people from entering multiple sales, why not exclude the pre-sale from the main sale? I wonder how much the org really checks all those cards and profiles anyway. A PnP proponent told me he buys as many as he wants/needs without any trouble. :?

And why not enact both policies? Pre-sale purchasers are not "allowed" to buy in the main sale, and mark all the tickets the main sale price? I don't see any solution as the only solution.


It's impossible to police that because any collusion on part of a group of people can easily undermine the system.

Say you have four friends who want to go and in the worst case have to pay $1000 per ticket for presale tickets. One person uses their account to buy the presale tickets -- buying FOUR of them to cover everyone -- and then 3-4 other friends use their accounts in the main sale to try to buy 6-8 main sale tickets. Hell, it could be any number of accounts, spouses, partners, kids, parents, etc. since selling extras is practically guaranteed. There is zero risk if you have the funds at hand.

In the worst case, they group is stuck paying $1000 each for four tickets. However, any ticket obtained from the main sale will be money saved on what was spend for presale tickets, including if the presale ticket is sold at a loss. Ex: obtain a main sale ticket for $390, sell a presale ticket for $600 (what a deal!) instead of $1000, and you're still only effectively playing (-$1000 - $390 + 600) = -$790 for a single ticket which is still much better than $1000 for a presale ticket. Sell at the original price and you've lost no money versus buying a main sale ticket. Selling at $900 and you've essentially bought a presale ticket for 50% off! Even at $700 you're selling for the same price that you paid for your own ticket. At worst, you can sell your presale (or the main sale) ticket for $390 and it's as if you just stuck with the presale ticket. (okay, at very worst you're greedy and don't sell below "face value" until the very end and are stuck holding the bag).

The economics of BM tickets changes the risks involved and favors people who can game the system to their advantage. The only way to avoid all this is to depreciate the value of presale tickets so that when it is "driven off the lot" it is essentially the same as any other ticket and the premium price is for is guaranteed access -- the original intent of presale tickets.
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Re: Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby WileE13 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:06 am

The face value of the ticket means nothing. You could put $1 on there and as long as it still got you through the gate, it'd sell for whatever people are willing to pay.

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Re: Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby JesseBC » Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:21 pm

some seeing eye wrote:Today tickets are tied to a burner profile, a credit card and a shipping address.


Could anybody clarify the "tied to a credit card" part for me? I've heard conflicting things about this:
(a) That you're only allowed to buy x-number of tickets per credit card (the number depending on type of tickets purchased); or
(b) That the name on your credit card must match the name on your burner profile (which, of course, would also encompass (a), but adds to it).

There are all kinds of reasons the name on one's burner profile might not match the name on the credit card. For example, (although I never tested this because I wound up buying my ticket in a private sale), I went to Burning Man last year and my husband did not. His name appears on our credit card (I'm authorized on the account, but my name doesn't appear on the card). I could, of course, make a burner profile in his name and then all three would match, which is what I would do this year if (b) is the way of things and I'm fortunate enough to go again.

Still, this seems kind of implausible in terms of policy. The name as it appears on your credit card or your burner profile could be a nickname or variant of your real name. You could be borrowing a friend's credit card and then paying them back for your ticket. You might have recently changed your name, for reasons such as marriage, divorce, etc. You get the idea. At the very least, if this were true, I should think it would be explicitly noted when you fill out your burner profile, but a lot of people swear up and down that the two names must match.

So, tell me, O wisdom of Eplaya, is it true that the name on the credit card must match the name on your burner profile?

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Re: Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby Eric » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:01 pm

WileE13 wrote:The face value of the ticket means nothing. You could put $1 on there and as long as it still got you through the gate, it'd sell for whatever people are willing to pay.


The face value does have meaning: when the Bmorg encourages selling tickets at face value, there's got to be a way to know what "face value" is/was. When tickets sold for over face value can be (and are) cancelled due to the contract you enter when purchasing them*, there needs to legally be a way to prove how much that ticket was purchased for.


*read the fine print on the back
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Re: Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby FoolsGold » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:52 pm

Not that I think it’s great there’s no mechanism in place to prevent people from buying tickets in both the pre-sale and main sale, but ultimately the cost of the pre-sale tickets ostensibly keep the cost of the main sale tickets stagnate (pre-tax). If people want to go badly enough and can afford it, they will pay the cost of the pre-sale tickets. It doesn’t matter if they’re purchased from the actual pre-sale; from pre-sale ticket buyers who dumped them after buying main sale tickets; from pre-sale ticket buyers who decided not to go; from pre-sale ticket buyers who were prevented from going for whatever reason; etc. The point being the demand is there. Furthermore, the purchase of that ticket helped keep the cost of the main sale tickets what they are.

To me, the only way to make it “fair” for everyone is to have one ticket sale at one price point (the exception being the low income tickets). This would mean raising the cost of the main sale ticket prices, of course.

Assuming the current system doesn’t drastically change, I do think it’s worth having a “face value” added to all tickets for the reason Eric mentioned. Incidentally, has there been an issue with people buying a pre-sale ticket under the guise they’re getting something more than what a main sale ticket offers?

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Re: Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby Ratty » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:49 pm

JesseBC go to this link and read all about it. It is the info on how to purchase tickets for the 2016 event. No guarantee that it will be identical next year. I think it answers your questions.

http://tickets.burningman.org/

Also go to your Burner Profile and look it over. There is a lot more info on your profile than just your playa name. There's plenty of time to meld your multiple personalty's together. I hope this helps.
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Re: Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby JesseBC » Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:41 am

Thanks, Ratty! I just looked through the Tickets page again, as well as my Burner profile, and I'm afraid I can't find the answer to my question anywhere on either. I found one bit that was close, but not quite: "The name on the credit card used to purchase is the name on the ticket order." Then the Ticket Support page includes information on Ticket Transfer and the purchaser's ability to change the name on the order. But we'd have no need to do that. The envelope can arrive with my husband's name on it. I take the physical ticket and go skipping off to Black Rock City, while he looks forward to a week on the beach with his friends. We wouldn't bother transferring the ticket or changing the order information. (For that matter, the ticket I finally wound up buying from another Burner was never formally transferred to me. We just exchanged cash for ticket.)

But would I have been precluded from buying (or had my order canceled) because my burner profile has my name on it while our credit card has my husband's name on it? I feel like a dimwit, but I don't see an answer to that anywhere in the Burner Profile or Tickets FAQs. (Although it is news to me that the ticket team prefers to be bribed with gluten-free cookies 8)

The night before the Main Sale last year, the question about profile-vs.-CC name came up on (I think) Reddit, which caused me to do some panicked Googling and searching through the Burning Man site. I emailed Ticket Support with the question, but never received a reply, and finally figured it would have to be good enough that hubby and I share a (very long and unusual) last name, a home address (which is also the billing address on the credit card), and there would be only one ticket associated with my profile, our CC, and our address.

But, of course, I was unsuccessful in the Main Sale and never actually found out one way or the other.

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Re: Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby WileE13 » Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:46 am

Eric, I was commenting on the resale of tickets via "scalping." Those who buy "face value tickets" for $1000 dollars don't care that the ticket says $390 on it, they know they are paying over face value. If face value was $1 it wouldn't mean anything to them because they paid $1000 for it. As long as it gains them entrance, the printed value doesn't mean anything. The "value" of the ticket is it's ability to gain access, not some arbitrary price printed on the ticket. A half price low income ticket has almost as much value as a 1000 dollar pre-sale ticket, the only difference it you have to wait an extra day or two before entering BM with the former.

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Re: Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby Eric » Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:06 pm

WileE13 wrote:Eric, I was commenting on the resale of tickets via "scalping."


You have missed the point: that printed price gives the BMorg a **legal mechanism** to void tickets they discover have been scalped. Every year there is a list of voided tickets, and not every voided ticket makes it on that list, since Ticketing gets very busy. A lot of tickets end up voided for being scalped, even if it's a small amount compared to the total tickets sold.

If there's no printed price, there's no way they can *legally* show that the purchaser knew they were paying more than the face value - the purchaser can just claim that "they had no idea they were all one price now, since they weren't in the past" (and even if all the *sold* tickets are priced at "$x.xx", there will still be gift tickets which some long-term volunteers and workers receive. Without a printed price, even those could be sold).

That printed price is useful to the BMorg, even if it is useless to you.
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Re: Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby Meat Hunter » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:23 pm

WileE13,

Listen to what Eric & Ratty are saying -- because your dog don't hunt.....

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Re: Discuss Philosophical Ticketing Policy - Was Lone Ticketing Genius

Postby BBadger » Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:46 pm

FoolsGold wrote:Not that I think it’s great there’s no mechanism in place to prevent people from buying tickets in both the pre-sale and main sale, but ultimately the cost of the pre-sale tickets ostensibly keep the cost of the main sale tickets stagnate (pre-tax). If people want to go badly enough and can afford it, they will pay the cost of the pre-sale tickets. It doesn’t matter if they’re purchased from the actual pre-sale; from pre-sale ticket buyers who dumped them after buying main sale tickets; from pre-sale ticket buyers who decided not to go; from pre-sale ticket buyers who were prevented from going for whatever reason; etc. The point being the demand is there. Furthermore, the purchase of that ticket helped keep the cost of the main sale tickets what they are.


The demand might be there, but this gives people with greater cash flexibility the ability to game the system. Furthermore, the "face value" of the ticket should reflect the value of the ticket itself, not the privilege of being able to buy tickets early. After the presale, main sale and presale tickets are exactly the same in terms of utility, and should therefore have the exact same price.

If there is still demand for presale-price tickets, BMOrg can keep those "presale"-like tickets for sale (like those Da Vinci ones) at the same premium prices late into the season so that anyone who is willing to pony up for guaranteed access to a ticket can buy it at any time. Maybe they can be called guaranteed access tickets.

The tickets themselves should still reflect the main sale ticket price. After all, you're paying extra for access to a ticket, not for the same scrap of paper that gets you through the gate that you get in the main sale.
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