On the topic of Selling/Buying Race Bibs ...

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La
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Re: On the topic of Selling/Buying Race Bibs ...

Postby La » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:49 am

turd ferguson wrote:
Jwolf wrote:
dgrant wrote:
turd ferguson wrote:
dgrant wrote:
La wrote:Yes, that would have the effect of having people sign up well in advance, but that's actually better for the RDs. It sucks for people who want to secure their spot, though.


Do we know that to be true, or might it have the opposite effect? If people know there are later (and official) opportunities to acquire an entry, wouldn't that help cool off the frenzy for early entries?


Melissa's sells out in a morning. Everybody knows that there's a healthy market for bibs on various websites as well as at the start line, but it still sells out in a morning.


Fair enough, good example. I see from their website that they only charge $5 to transfer a bib as well. Seems very fair. (Apart from having to register so early, everything about that event seems like a shining example for others...)


[b]Except it just encourages the frenzy of registrations on the first day[/b] (filling within hours of registration opening). We have a race like this (First Half Half-Marathon in February) which fills within hours and allows transfers closer to the event. Many people register even if they are unsure they can run, knowing it will fill and that they can always sell their entry. That was me this year... yes, I could wait to buy an entry, but it tends to be easier as a seller.

I'm not sure I'd want every race to end up like this....


Are you suggesting that the fact that entries are transferrable encourages the frenzy? That if entries weren't transferrable, they wouldn't fill up as fast?

Interesting theory. I'm not sure I buy it for the popular races where demand is greater than supply - I imagine they would sell out no matter the transfer rules.

I think for popular events (like Melissa's) we'd just see "unauthorized" bib transfers like we do with other races that sell out!

The STWM Half sells out every year, but not until closer to race day (and they allow transfers). Ottawa seems to sell out earlier than it ever has before, and they've offered transfers for a few years now (ever since it started selling out).
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Re: On the topic of Selling/Buying Race Bibs ...

Postby Irongirl » Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:31 am

I know many people that buy a marathon and a half bib, knowing they could sell.
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Re: On the topic of Selling/Buying Race Bibs ...

Postby Jwolf » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:39 am

La wrote:
turd ferguson wrote:
Jwolf wrote:
dgrant wrote:
turd ferguson wrote:
dgrant wrote:
La wrote:Yes, that would have the effect of having people sign up well in advance, but that's actually better for the RDs. It sucks for people who want to secure their spot, though.


Do we know that to be true, or might it have the opposite effect? If people know there are later (and official) opportunities to acquire an entry, wouldn't that help cool off the frenzy for early entries?


Melissa's sells out in a morning. Everybody knows that there's a healthy market for bibs on various websites as well as at the start line, but it still sells out in a morning.


Fair enough, good example. I see from their website that they only charge $5 to transfer a bib as well. Seems very fair. (Apart from having to register so early, everything about that event seems like a shining example for others...)


[b]Except it just encourages the frenzy of registrations on the first day[/b] (filling within hours of registration opening). We have a race like this (First Half Half-Marathon in February) which fills within hours and allows transfers closer to the event. Many people register even if they are unsure they can run, knowing it will fill and that they can always sell their entry. That was me this year... yes, I could wait to buy an entry, but it tends to be easier as a seller.

I'm not sure I'd want every race to end up like this....


Are you suggesting that the fact that entries are transferrable encourages the frenzy? That if entries weren't transferrable, they wouldn't fill up as fast?

Interesting theory. I'm not sure I buy it for the popular races where demand is greater than supply - I imagine they would sell out no matter the transfer rules.

I think for popular events (like Melissa's) we'd just see "unauthorized" bib transfers like we do with other races that sell out!

The STWM Half sells out every year, but not until closer to race day (and they allow transfers). Ottawa seems to sell out earlier than it ever has before, and they've offered transfers for a few years now (ever since it started selling out).


And I think part of the reason Ottawa half is selling out so early now (despite complaints about increased costs) is that people know they can sell their bibs later.

So yes I think the authorized transfer system partially fuels the early registration frenzy. It is definitely a factor here.
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Re: On the topic of Selling/Buying Race Bibs ...

Postby ian » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:01 am

So how much longer until the "secondary market" for some of these races is controlled by opportunistic scalpers? (Specifically, buying one or more bibs with no intent to run and then reselling above purchase price.)

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Re: On the topic of Selling/Buying Race Bibs ...

Postby turd ferguson » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:58 am

ian wrote:So how much longer until the "secondary market" for some of these races is controlled by opportunistic scalpers? (Specifically, buying one or more bibs with no intent to run and then reselling above purchase price.)


Its a good question.

I'd suggest that the secondary market in (say) concert tickets works because everybody plays along - the private sellers on ebay are selling for above face value as well.

As long as other racers are willing to sell race entries at face value, a secondary market can't be profitable.

If everyone starts scalping, then I can see such a thing happening.
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Re: On the topic of Selling/Buying Race Bibs ...

Postby HCcD » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:08 pm

ian wrote:So how much longer until the "secondary market" for some of these races is controlled by opportunistic scalpers? (Specifically, buying one or more bibs with no intent to run and then reselling above purchase price.)


It depends ....

In the Ottawa area for ORW and Army Run, for example ... once the race is sold out, certain Forums and Kijiji, for example, may have some people offering premium, as this missed the sell-out/deadline ... though, transfer period isn't till end of April for example for ORW and end of August for Army Run ... but, usually, the movement is the week or two prior to the transfer period ... then it becomes a a sellers market, and if they ask too much, then may not get any bites ... then usually after the transfer period closes, is where it becomes interesting, becoming more of a buyers market, for those who just want to run/race it, but unable to change the name/registration, etc., and prices drop, as a result ....

Some races DO NOT allow race kit pick up, other than the participant ... while most would allow pickup if proper ID, registration form, signed letter with photo ID authorizing someone else to pick up on their behalf (i.e. WDW events) to the other extreme where they do not verify, as the names/bib numbers are listed on a board when you go to pick up the race kit ...
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Re: On the topic of Selling/Buying Race Bibs ...

Postby La » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:33 pm

turd ferguson wrote:
ian wrote:So how much longer until the "secondary market" for some of these races is controlled by opportunistic scalpers? (Specifically, buying one or more bibs with no intent to run and then reselling above purchase price.)


Its a good question.

I'd suggest that the secondary market in (say) concert tickets works because everybody plays along - the private sellers on ebay are selling for above face value as well.

As long as other racers are willing to sell race entries at face value, a secondary market can't be profitable.

If everyone starts scalping, then I can see such a thing happening.

It's also supply vs. demand. Even though races sell out, I wouldn't say that the demand seriously outweighs the supply, except in the major races.

It would be an interesting experiment if NYM were to remove the cap on race entries for a few years to see what the demand actually is! Though I would think it would take a few years to normalize to the point where people weren't signing up just because they "could" as opposed to those who really wanted.

I still think that NYM's "3-strikes-you're-in" policy is what caused the lottery to get so big in the first place. People only entered in multiple years because they wanted to hold their spot. Now that this policy is gone, it will be interesting to see what effect this has on the number of people who enter the lottery!

ETA: I also think that "herd" mentality plays into why some races sell out and why others don't.
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Re: On the topic of Selling/Buying Race Bibs ...

Postby dgrant » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:14 pm

ian wrote:So how much longer until the "secondary market" for some of these races is controlled by opportunistic scalpers? (Specifically, buying one or more bibs with no intent to run and then reselling above purchase price.)


I don't know anything about concert ticket scalping, but in sports the whole scalping market is driven by the existence of season tickets. Season ticket holders sell their unwanted tickets for pennies on the dollar to scalpers/brokers... who can then "retail" those tickets at 75% of face value and still make a big profit. I'd be interested to see a study of what percentage of all scalped ticket sales are made above face value. I'd wager it's a tiny percentage.

I wonder if any of the mega-race property owners will ever follow a format similar to the pro sports season ticket model. For instance, the NYRR opens registration for the NYC Marathon but for the first two weeks you can only register if you also buy entry to all 5 of their half marathons. Or you can only register for the Toronto Waterfront half if you also buy into Harry's Spring Run Off and the Yonge St 10K...

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Re: On the topic of Selling/Buying Race Bibs ...

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:02 pm

Some mega races would be worth it to some people. Not to me.
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Re: On the topic of Selling/Buying Race Bibs ...

Postby pts » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:20 pm

dgrant wrote:
ian wrote:So how much longer until the "secondary market" for some of these races is controlled by opportunistic scalpers? (Specifically, buying one or more bibs with no intent to run and then reselling above purchase price.)


I don't know anything about concert ticket scalping, but in sports the whole scalping market is driven by the existence of season tickets. Season ticket holders sell their unwanted tickets for pennies on the dollar to scalpers/brokers... who can then "retail" those tickets at 75% of face value and still make a big profit. I'd be interested to see a study of what percentage of all scalped ticket sales are made above face value. I'd wager it's a tiny percentage.

I wonder if any of the mega-race property owners will ever follow a format similar to the pro sports season ticket model. For instance, the NYRR opens registration for the NYC Marathon but for the first two weeks you can only register if you also buy entry to all 5 of their half marathons. Or you can only register for the Toronto Waterfront half if you also buy into Harry's Spring Run Off and the Yonge St 10K...


What season ticket holders sell to scalpers? I totally didn't know this happened and we have had season tickets for 60 years or so. As a season ticket holding family (to a hard to get team), we sell to friends and co-workers who attend the games themselves, never to scalpers!
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Re: On the topic of Selling/Buying Race Bibs ...

Postby deerdree » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:42 pm

To me, part of it depends on the uniqueness of the race (and various factors might contribute to that for different people). I guess I don't really see the comparison to concert scalping because in the case of most concerts, you only have one shot to see that artist in your city and you can't replace one artist with another if you miss out. But half-marathons for me? Meh. Ottawa sold out before I wanted to commit so I guess I'll do Mississauga instead. Or Toronto Goodlife. Or the Niagara Falls Women's half. Or...

So, I could see it for the majors, "there's nothing like the NYC marathon", etc. But I can't imagine paying exorbitant scalper fees for a 'regular' race when we have so many options within driving distance in the GTA.

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Re: On the topic of Selling/Buying Race Bibs ...

Postby dgrant » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:54 pm

pts wrote:
dgrant wrote:
ian wrote:So how much longer until the "secondary market" for some of these races is controlled by opportunistic scalpers? (Specifically, buying one or more bibs with no intent to run and then reselling above purchase price.)


I don't know anything about concert ticket scalping, but in sports the whole scalping market is driven by the existence of season tickets. Season ticket holders sell their unwanted tickets for pennies on the dollar to scalpers/brokers... who can then "retail" those tickets at 75% of face value and still make a big profit. I'd be interested to see a study of what percentage of all scalped ticket sales are made above face value. I'd wager it's a tiny percentage.

I wonder if any of the mega-race property owners will ever follow a format similar to the pro sports season ticket model. For instance, the NYRR opens registration for the NYC Marathon but for the first two weeks you can only register if you also buy entry to all 5 of their half marathons. Or you can only register for the Toronto Waterfront half if you also buy into Harry's Spring Run Off and the Yonge St 10K...


What season ticket holders sell to scalpers? I totally didn't know this happened and we have had season tickets for 60 years or so. As a season ticket holding family (to a hard to get team), we sell to friends and co-workers who attend the games themselves, never to scalpers!


You know when you walk past SkyDome before a game against the Kansas City Royals or Minnesota Twins and there are a dozen guys selling tickets at a fraction of face value? They got those from season ticket holders (directly or via brokers). Everybody wins... Season ticket holders recoup some of their investment in tickets they never really wanted, teams already got the initial money and now get concession/parking money they wouldn't have if the tickets went unused, scalpers get their markup, and somebody gets cheap tickets.

It's always been that way, to the point where many pro teams have jumped into the game with their own websites to broker below-face-value sales between season ticket holders and buyers.

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Re: On the topic of Selling/Buying Race Bibs ...

Postby turd ferguson » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:12 pm

deerdree wrote:To me, part of it depends on the uniqueness of the race (and various factors might contribute to that for different people). I guess I don't really see the comparison to concert scalping because in the case of most concerts, you only have one shot to see that artist in your city and you can't replace one artist with another if you miss out. But half-marathons for me? Meh. Ottawa sold out before I wanted to commit so I guess I'll do Mississauga instead. Or Toronto Goodlife. Or the Niagara Falls Women's half. Or...

So, I could see it for the majors, "there's nothing like the NYC marathon", etc. But I can't imagine paying exorbitant scalper fees for a 'regular' race when we have so many options within driving distance in the GTA.


I'm the one who brought it up, because the analogy is to another market where the original promoters have tried to prevent a secondary market from developing (or in some cases tried to run that secondary market themselves).
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