Re-Sale of Electronic/PDF Tickets for TBF

Based on a couple of recent experiences with folks selling extra tickets for the first time, I thought I’d put this post together, ask the community for thoughts and feedback and see if we could make it a “sticky” on the Ticket Exchange/Swap Board

So, you won tickets in a Planet Bluegrass lottery and months later you’ve found that you or your friend(s) can’t attend. What to do? Well, selling them on this Board is a pretty good bet, and your tickets will likely go to a very good home.

Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Festivarians expect that sellers aren’t going to profit from the re-sale of a Planet Bluegrass ticket. If you want to make money on your extra concert tickets, please don’t do it with Planet Bluegrass tickets.

  2. Selling your tickets for face value plus the minor, actual expenses of shipping (including priority mail, fedex, delivery confirmation, insurance) is generally acceptable, within limits. A flat fee of, say, $15 for “shipping and handling” will likely get frowned upon.

  3. Sometimes, you can expect an overwhelming response to your post if you have extra tickets, especially on-site camping tickets for any Planet Bluegrass event. If you post that you have tickets available, you could receive scores of email responses. If you post your phone number, expect calls, even in the middle of the work day. Once you’ve sold your tickets, you should post that they are “SOLD” to stop the emails or phone calls from folks who think that maybe, just maybe, those tickets are still available.

  4. Many Festivarians generally expect a Seller to honor the “first come, first served” approach, but not all Sellers have this expectation. If you post that you have tickets for sale, it is helpful to state specifically how you will prioritize amongst competing would-be purchasers. For example, you as the Seller might include in your post that the first person to respond to your post will have dibs. Or, you could say the first person to send you an email off list gets priority. Or whatever. To keep everyone on the same page, Sellers should state their expectations. For example, if you only want to sell your tickets in a local face-to-face transaction, you might want to state that in your post, and you get the added benefit of not getting nine hundred emails from out-of-town folks.

  5. Expect that if you have tickets for sale, complete strangers will offer to send you a personal check, PayPal funds, a money order or certified funds, sometimes for more than a thousand dollars. Do not let this freak you out!! Be prepared to accept a Festivarian’s word that they will mail you or PayPal the money, and then be prepared to ship the tickets once the funds have cleared. Seller’s should identify what form of payment they will accept, who pays the fees if PayPal is used and whether there will be a “hold” period to allow a personal check to clear if that’s how payment is made.

  6. For some events, Planet Bluegrass sends out “email tickets” in .pdf format which can be re-emailed by the original purchaser to the new buyer. In this case, the buyer is putting a ton of trust in the seller not to sell the ticket twice. This type of ticket exchange requires total honesty, since the original buyer could still print the ticket they received by email and either use it or try to re-sell it. Honor system, folks. Golden Rule and all that. The first copy of the email ticket to get scanned will be honored at the gate. DO NOT re-sell email tickets if you can’t abide by the honor system, because the entire system could break down as a result.

That’s all the pointers I can think of at the moment. Please feel free to chime in if you have other thoughts. This post is continually updated/edited to reflect feedback from the community

Well folks, it’s on, starting today, and the lottery results will be out in a few weeks. With tickets in hand or not we’ll be making plans just like we do every year.

This year for the first time Town Park/Warner Field tickets for Bluegrass Festival are being distributed only by email or at will call (just like Rocky Grass and Folks Fest). That should help with scalping. But if next summer is anything like last summer, we can expect that many Town Park tickets will change hands multiple times before being exchanged for a wristband in June.

The purchase and sale of emailed PDF tickets requires total integrity by the original purchaser/re-seller, who can print the ticket and sell the hard copy, or forward the email and attached PDF to their buyer. If there are multiple copies of a 2013 Town Park ticket, only the first one scanned at the box office will be honored. If you are buying a ticket, you need to know that your seller has only sold that ticket once – to you.

There are probably many ways to help ensure that emailed tickets are not sold more than once - or that you lose track of who got what tickets at the end of the day.

If you draw tickets in the lottery and are going to sell one or more of them, you could print the tickets and sell the hard copy only. The printed copy of the ticket will identify the original purchaser. But you could also keep a copy of the ticket and keep a copy of the email with a note to yourself about who bought that ticket or tickets, just in case - so long as you don’t re-sell the same ticket by accident to someone else. The extra copies noted with users or purchaser’s names could come in handy for a large camp that is using a small team to gather or consolidate tickets for their camp mates who are flaky, prone to deleting emails by accident, or just unsure if they can actually get there from Boston, or wherever.

A seller could also forward the original email and ticket to the buyer with a promise to delete the email and the attached PDF ticket from their inbox once the buyer confirms having received it. That way the buyer would have the only printable copy of the original ticket, but the buyer has to put trust in the seller to follow-up and delete the original email from Planet Bluegrass, and not re-print the same PDF ticket. Seller and buyer together might decide that the seller should retain the original email as a back-up, but not print the ticket. Honesty and transparency are going to be key here. Golden rule and all…

Having multiple copies of the same tickets in circulation would result in buyers not trusting sellers, and sellers getting stuck with tickets they couldn’t sell freely, so we need to be honest with our friends and family about how we will conduct any purchase and sale of electronic tickets.

Help us think of other or better ways to ensure that the purchase and sale of tickets is transparent and honest.

As always, do not buy electronic tickets from scalpers. If someone is trying to sell an electronic/PDF/email ticket for more than face value, they might also be the kind of person who would try to sell the same ticket more than once anyway.

Any other ideas out there?

Good luck in the lottery, everyone!

Thanks for the explanation …Bevin !