It's (not) a conspiracy! Tickets are harder to find this year! Be vigilant!

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trilobyte
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It's (not) a conspiracy! Tickets are harder to find this year! Be vigilant!

Post by trilobyte » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:11 pm

It's really unfortunate and just plain sucks that everyone who is interested and able to go to the event is not able to. For those who are unable to make it, or who are still struggling to find the tickets and vehicle passes they need... good luck in your quest!

This year has so far been harder than ever for people to secure the tickets they need in the aftermarket, and I've seen and heard a few conspiracy theories surrounding that. Rather than giving those any additional air, allow me to explain what has been and is currently happening. Let's go back to the beginning.

In the beginning, there was dust, and lots of it

Okay, maybe not that far. Let's go back to July 27th, 2011. Roughly 57,000 site users (and who knows how many lurkers) ago. That's the day when Burning Man tickets sold out for the very first time. There was panic and mayhem, and people scrambled to find the tickets they needed. The following year (known by some as The Great Kerfuffle) got weirder. Right from the gates there was far more demand for tickets than there was supply. Fortunately what's become the OMG sale helped relieve some of that pressure, and between that and people who may or may not have been hoarding tickets from the start, late season tickets were strangely easy to come by.

Since then, things have been different but the underlying story is the same. Scarcity. Demand is greater than supply, and there isn't enough to go around. It has been getting harder and harder to find tickets because the event is at capacity and there has been no growth, but each year more people want to participate in Burning Man than wanted to participate the year before.

There are some other factors that complicate things, for better or for worse. In an effort to help camps, vehicles, and art projects (as well as reward groups for great participation) a portion that is larger now than it was years ago is allocated to a directed group sale. That means fewer tickets available in the main sale (but it also means fewer people are vying for tickets in the main sale).

The biggest kicker this year seems to be a change to what had been known as the pre-sale. In years past, those who had the means were able to buy higher priced pre-sale and artist tickets and then still participate in the other ticket sales. That unfortunately led some participants who had the means to load up on the more expensive tickets, and then as they landed regular priced tickets they sold on their more expensive tickets. They hoarded pricey tickets, then unloaded when they no longer needed them.

This year, the pre-sale got overhauled. Aside from getting renamed to the FOMO sale, it now started after the Directed Group Sale, had the same quantity limits as the main sale, and if you participated in the FOMO sale you were disqualified from participating in the other sales. Those changes essentially shut down the hoarding of more expensive tickets. On one hand, hooray for shutting down premium-priced ticket hoarding! On the other, you're seeing fewer ticket listings because that got shut down. The tickets were still all sold, but most likely went to people who planned and wanted to use them for themselves from the onset.

Be Vigilant, Not A Vigilante

As tickets have been getting harder to come by, we've seen a rise in ticket vigilantes. These people almost always mean well (but sometimes are interested in scaring other buyers off to increase their chances), and they play ticket police in online forums and social media sites to put out the word on people that they believe are up to no good. While they may mean well, posting warnings and accusations on a public forum is against our site's rules and considered libel in many places. We also do not allow public posting of another user's personal info or private messages without their prior consent (and many places also have privacy laws).

See our Regarding Scalpers and Scammers post. Use your head. Do not send money to another individual via any method that does not afford buyer protections. If they try to tell you a story about someone filing a false claim, it's either a scam or the potential seller is just really unaware of how to conduct the transaction (it's pretty easy to provide documentation with photos, receipts, and signature required on shipments).

If you get evidence of a scam or are the victim of a crime, file a police report. Even if you don't think your situation is big enough to matter, a lot of ticket scammers are running multiple scams and those dollars add up really quickly and most police departments love being a part of high profile big dollar busts like that. Making it harder for scammers to operate and more likely that law enforcement will come after them is a great deterrent, and a lot better than potentially libelous posts or falsely accusing someone of a serious crime. Often times there are reasonable explanations for what seem like suspicious behavior.

Take a few deep breaths, be safe, and GOOD LUCK!

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Re: It's (not) a conspiracy! Tickets are harder to find this year! Be vigilant!

Post by zorro sings » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:13 am

Well said. I agree 100% that tickets this year are harder than ever.

Another factor has to be the fact that some 33,000 tickets went to camps,projects etc through DGS. I am willing to bet that half of the main sale went to the same people as few camps got as many DGS tickets as they hoped. As was pointed out these are committed people who are not going to relinquish their tickets at almost any price. Next year should be interesting with the DGS changes.
Be careful. You can spend all your money in there..............................Oriental Visitor

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Re: It's (not) a conspiracy! Tickets are harder to find this year! Be vigilant!

Post by some seeing eye » Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:04 pm

Thanks Trilo for summarizing this year's ticket changes.

That includes the "buy-high, then buy-low, and subsequently sell-high" barrier many have suggested.

And, of course, in 2020, the DGS will be evolved.

It is hard to estimate the oversubscription ratio in the main sale and the BMORG has never published their proprietary estimate.

To secondary market buyers of physical tickets, there seem to be more than usual reports of mail theft. So use the usual precautions to minimize the probability of arriving at the gate with a stolen ticket and having to go back home.
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Re: It's (not) a conspiracy! Tickets are harder to find this year! Be vigilant!

Post by pdxvintagette » Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:59 pm

I feel fairly certain that another factor is the very late arrival of physical tickets. As we were still trying for tickets in the last few days leading up to the Burn (and got both of ours on Saturday on the way to and in Reno) I'm pretty familiar with the how many were coming up on eplaya at the very last minute, and I'm interested to keep an eye on it. We were lucky to find one of our two tickets this year just a couple days ago via our new camp, and are very hopeful we don't have to trust to luck and dust to find the second one on our way.

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Re: It's (not) a conspiracy! Tickets are harder to find this year! Be vigilant!

Post by Eric » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:03 pm

pdxvintagette wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:59 pm
I feel fairly certain that another factor is the very late arrival of physical tickets.
Tickets arrive when they do as a security feature.
If they're not out in the wild until mid-July, it makes it harder for scammers to make versions of them to sell to desperate Burners. Even with that and all the other security build into the tickets themselves (high-quality printing, fine-line holograms, embossing, bar-codes, etc) people still buy shitty photocopies, because they want to *believe* it's real. I'm sure hundreds of people are scammed every year, if not more (though there's no way to know, I'm just going by the number of people I see posting here & on fb) - last thing BMan needs to do is make it easier.
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Re: It's (not) a conspiracy! Tickets are harder to find this year! Be vigilant!

Post by pdxvintagette » Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:57 am

Errr.... that wasn't a judgement in any way. I actually think it's fairly smart. But as physical tickets are arriving later than normal, it is a contributing factor in the difficulty of finding third market tickets. When tickets arrive earlier, more of them come to market more quickly, it was nothing more complicated than that.

We sifted through approximately 18,000 absurd scams last year to get our actual, real, face value tickets and I am 100% for anything that lowers the number of successful scammers. I am in the camp that believes every purchased ticket should be attached to a specific name and ID, and only able to be resold through STEP to change the name.

So you've made some giant assumptions there. I was only contributing to the basic discussion of availability.
Eric wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:03 pm
pdxvintagette wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:59 pm
I feel fairly certain that another factor is the very late arrival of physical tickets.
Tickets arrive when they do as a security feature.
If they're not out in the wild until mid-July, it makes it harder for scammers to make versions of them to sell to desperate Burners. Even with that and all the other security build into the tickets themselves (high-quality printing, fine-line holograms, embossing, bar-codes, etc) people still buy shitty photocopies, because they want to *believe* it's real. I'm sure hundreds of people are scammed every year, if not more (though there's no way to know, I'm just going by the number of people I see posting here & on fb) - last thing BMan needs to do is make it easier.

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Re: It's (not) a conspiracy! Tickets are harder to find this year! Be vigilant!

Post by zorro sings » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:16 pm

Eric wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:03 pm


[/q security feature.
You know I clicked on the bold "security feature" thinking it was a link to official policy on this latest ticket stress test. If anti-counterfeit measures is the reason for the glacial pace of tickets it certainly has not been well publicized by BMORG. It could very well be true but small consolation to those who are literally days away from leaving for the event without tickets in their possession.
Be careful. You can spend all your money in there..............................Oriental Visitor

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Re: It's (not) a conspiracy! Tickets are harder to find this year! Be vigilant!

Post by Eric » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:43 pm

It's not a new occurrence though - BMorg switched to the later shipping dates around 2014/15 (I believe), at the time there was more on why they did it. While there might be issues with a subset of orders, everyone I know who ordered tickets in the Main Sale or DGS has theirs now, including me, and mine arrived about the same time they do every year (early July).
If you're still waiting, contact ticketing. See if you can track your order.
It's a camping trip in the desert, not the redemption of the fallen world - Cryptofishist

Regarding Scammers & Scalpers
Please read above link for all official information.

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