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Cheap Lift Tickets on Ebay

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
We recently found that lift tickets for many of the major ski areas can be had on ebay for MUCH less than window prices (or local prices).

This may be old news for many. But for us, it was an awakening - how to significantly cut costs at major resorts.

We just purchased 2 tickets for Whistler for $85. Normally, Whistler is $75 CDN per day ($150 for 2), although you can save a few bucks by going to 7-Eleven.

I suspect it's a violation of lift company policy to re-sell tickets - although I can't fathom why. If someone's already bought tickets, and can't use them, why should the lift company profit twice?

We may be visiting ticket windows less next year.
post #2 of 23
How does Atomic and Volkl feel about this? :

I am so sceptical with buying tickets on ebay just for fear of counterfeits. If I find them on locally on Craigslist, where i can pick them up and visually inspect them, I would feel better.
post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
How does Atomic and Volkl feel about this? :

I am so sceptical with buying tickets on ebay just for fear of counterfeits. If I find them on locally on Craigslist, where i can pick them up and visually inspect them, I would feel better.
yea if the resorts don't allow the tickets to be resold it would be tough to call visa and have fraud protection cover your loss from purchasing a counterfeit.

as an aside, some days when I am leaving the hill earlier around 2pm there will be people standing at the parking lot asking for tickets to use for the last 2 hours. Do any of you experience this? what do you do?
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey_10
as an aside, some days when I am leaving the hill earlier around 2pm there will be people standing at the parking lot asking for tickets to use for the last 2 hours. Do any of you experience this? what do you do?
In this case, the answer is simple, you refuse.

Skiing, like many other leisure activities, is expensive, both for the participant, and those providing the lifts. If you don't have a bottomless account, there are plenty of ways to join in if you are creative. Passing a "used" ticket to some parking lot grunge encourages such behavior and if caught, at most resorts, you will be asked to sit out the year, if not prosecuted.

Really, I'm not trying to be cranky...I don't make a lot of money, but realize I may not have a local hill if everyone started scamming the owners. In order to ski, I've had to par back on other activities, and that is a reasonable sacrifice. I can't have it all, but what I have is pretty good.
post #5 of 23
I've seen counterfeit lift tickets pulled from people at my local hill. A few of the ticket holders were upset because they really thought they had legitimate tickets. Sad, but it's out there.

There may be some legitimate ticket sales on ebay, but it's a crap shoot.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick
I've seen counterfeit lift tickets pulled from people at my local hill. A few of the ticket holders were upset because they really thought they had legitimate tickets. Sad, but it's out there.

There may be some legitimate ticket sales on ebay, but it's a crap shoot.
This was my first concern. However, the past is usually a good indicator of the future. If an ebay seller has 500 transactions in their history, with a 100% positive rating - how much risk are you really taking?

Also, you don't need recourse through your credit card, because both ebay and PayPal will protect you in the event of a fraudulant transaction.

Finally, what seller wants to risk exposure for fraud, and loss of ebay priviliges for an $85 sale?

I agree that it's not without risk. But, if you purchase 20 sets of discount tickets on ebay over a season at 25% to 50% discounts, and just one turns out to be bad - you're still ahead by 6 sets of "free" tickets.

After "doing the math", we concluded the risk/reward ratio was well worth it.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
How does Atomic and Volkl feel about this? :

Ahhh! Noooo! It never ends!

Please don't tell Mocny about this!
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
This was my first concern. However, the past is usually a good indicator of the future. If an ebay seller has 500 transactions in their history, with a 100% positive rating - how much risk are you really taking?

Also, you don't need recourse through your credit card, because both ebay and PayPal will protect you in the event of a fraudulant transaction.

Finally, what seller wants to risk exposure for fraud, and loss of ebay priviliges for an $85 sale?

I agree that it's not without risk. But, if you purchase 20 sets of discount tickets on ebay over a season at 25% to 50% discounts, and just one turns out to be bad - you're still ahead by 6 sets of "free" tickets.

After "doing the math", we concluded the risk/reward ratio was well worth it.
You got me on that one! I, too, watch the feedback ratings and that is a sure sign of a risk worth taking.

Have fun!
post #9 of 23
While the reselling of lift tiks are commonplace it is still illegal....considered theft of service. I think it is one of those things where if your the consumer you have one perspective but the business has a totally diferent perspective.

It should be explained on the back of the ticket...you know..the fine print that's near impossible to read.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_in_cinci
In this case, the answer is simple, you refuse.

Skiing, like many other leisure activities, is expensive, both for the participant, and those providing the lifts. If you don't have a bottomless account, there are plenty of ways to join in if you are creative. Passing a "used" ticket to some parking lot grunge encourages such behavior and if caught, at most resorts, you will be asked to sit out the year, if not prosecuted.
Hah! I would love to see someone try to ban me or have me arrested for giving someone my garbage used ticket. You can give your used ticket to whomever you want, you're not allowed to sell it and they're not allowed to use it but you can give it to someone just as well as you can give it to a trashcan. I also definitely don't follow the 'you cannot re-sell an unused ticket' bullshit, it's unused, if I can't use it, I'm selling it, it's my ticket I'll do whatever I damn well please. I've never heard of any mountain going after someone re-selling an un-used ticket.. even they know it would be retarded to do so. I've sold lots of tickets right in front of the ticket booth, in front of mountain hosts.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHrefugee
While the reselling of lift tiks are commonplace it is still illegal....considered theft of service. I think it is one of those things where if your the consumer you have one perspective but the business has a totally diferent perspective.

It should be explained on the back of the ticket...you know..the fine print that's near impossible to read.
How is it theft of service if I buy a ticket, don't use it, sell it to someone else and they use it instead? One ticket, one skiier. By that logic it should also be illegal for me to give that other person my unused lift ticket.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHrefugee
While the reselling of lift tiks are commonplace it is still illegal....considered theft of service. I think it is one of those things where if your the consumer you have one perspective but the business has a totally diferent perspective.

It should be explained on the back of the ticket...you know..the fine print that's near impossible to read.
I'd never buy a used ticket. I don't feel it's right to do it.

BUT, an unused ticket - absolutely! Why should a lift company sell two tickets for one body on the hill?

I suspect all the "non-transferable" mumbo jumbo on the back of the ticket is intended to discourage transfer of used tickets. That's fair.

But, if the ticket is new, I doubt even the lift company would worry about it. Such a transfer is not devious - as I'm sure the courts would agree, if it ever came to that.
post #13 of 23
My comments were strictly in regards to passing a "used" ticket. I have no problems whatsoever with passing or even selling a legit "unused" ticket. It still may be smart not to do so right in front of the ticket window.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
I'd never buy a used ticket. I don't feel it's right to do it.

BUT, an unused ticket - absolutely! Why should a lift company sell two tickets for one body on the hill?

I suspect all the "non-transferable" mumbo jumbo on the back of the ticket is intended to discourage transfer of used tickets. That's fair.

But, if the ticket is new, I doubt even the lift company would worry about it. Such a transfer is not devious - as I'm sure the courts would agree, if it ever came to that.
I agree with everything you say, coming from the customers perspective. Unfortunately the resorts or the courts would not agree with us.

About a month ago someone put up a post on another ski forum selling some discounted tickets he had purchases but would not be able to use. It did not take long for someone from the resort to post that while they could not stop him it is illegal and considered theft of service.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
I suspect it's a violation of lift company policy to re-sell tickets - although I can't fathom why. If someone's already bought tickets, and can't use them, why should the lift company profit twice?
Because a lot of tickets aren't purchased!

I get 14 comps a year. Figuring a reduced rate price of $60 per ticket, I get a potential $840 worth of tickets a year. Their use is simply so that my friends and family can ski with me - it's not so I can sell them on eBay. I shouldn't have the right as an employee to not only make money off a gift, but take money from the company. (Jeez... don't I sound like the corporate kiss ass.. yikes.)

Similarly, I get an almost unlimited amount of tickets at around $20-$35 /day. Several years ago a friend of mine worked part-time at a rental shop and he'd go to the ticket window and buy 4 of those a day. Then he'd go to the parking lot and sell them for about $50 each. He made more money doing that than with his real job. Of course he got fired and rightly so. eBay is just an extension of that.

Finally, there was a warning in the Summit Daily that people are purchasing 4Pass products, using up all the days, and then selling the worthless 4Passes on eBay. Never underestimate the amount of time and effort a ski bum kid in Breck would go through to scam $100 from you; including faking 30 - 40 purchases on an eBay acct.
post #16 of 23
Now now people aren't we all jumping to conclusions here? There are many legitimate discount resale outlets. Places such as lodging companies and Ski shops and even Super Markets. They buy a large stock of passes at the beginning of the season at a greatly reduced rate. They then resell those passes at a discount. Who is to say that someone hasn't just simply taken this a step further and making those passes available on eBay.
On the other hand Vinn makes a good point about those pesky cleaver kids who forge passes on the computer get a few marketing coupons and resell them. Bar codes and electronic scanning have cut down on some of the scams out there. Like Vinn said never underestimate a scumbag looking to make a $100.00
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utah49
On the other hand Vinn makes a good point about those pesky cleaver kids who forge passes on the computer get a few marketing coupons and resell them. Bar codes and electronic scanning have cut down on some of the scams out there. Like Vinn said never underestimate a scumbag looking to make a $100.00
I agree emphatically. However, how many of those kids are registared ebay sellers with a long, postive track record?

ebay has become sophisticated in working with authorities to track and prosecute fraudulant postings. They've got to be good at stemming it, as their business model depends upon it.

The more likely place to watch for these kids is the parking lot of Copper or Breck, looking for cash-only transactions. That's real risk.
post #18 of 23
Capt, Track records on eBay can be faked. Two years ago I had a transaction on eBay with a seller who had listed 98% satisfaction rating. I bought a pair of North Face Goretex pants that were counterfeits. Guess what so was the sellers 98% rating somehow they rigged the eBay system. There is still a lot of fake North Face and Spyder gear being sold on eBay.
A smart kid with with some skills, a commuter and an idea for a scam is a something to behold.
I do know that eBay does try to keep things on the up and up. Like the cold war arms race someone is always upping the stakes in the game. I personally think the tickets are on the level. If the tickets are bad then contact eBay. The seller will be gone pretty fast.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utah49
Capt, Track records on eBay can be faked. Two years ago I had a transaction on eBay with a seller who had listed 98% satisfaction rating. I bought a pair of North Face Goretex pants that were counterfeits. Guess what so was the sellers 98% rating somehow they rigged the eBay system. There is still a lot of fake North Face and Spyder gear being sold on eBay.
A smart kid with with some skills, a commuter and an idea for a scam is a something to behold.
I do know that eBay does try to keep things on the up and up. Like the cold war arms race someone is always upping the stakes in the game. I personally think the tickets are on the level. If the tickets are bad then contact eBay. The seller will be gone pretty fast.
I agree there's no secure system. I'm prepared to accept that 10% of the tickets purchased will be frauds (hopefully, it won't be that high).

However, even at that level of fraud, overall savings should still be about 25%. If you can avoid fraud, your average savings increase to about 35%, based upon the numbers we surveyed.

To play this game, some measure of risk is inherent.
post #20 of 23
could you provide a link to the ebay site? It would be good to have for next season
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
I agree there's no secure system. I'm prepared to accept that 10% of the tickets purchased will be frauds (hopefully, it won't be that high).
When you say 10% are frauds, I don't know if you mean that 10% are tickets you buy that prove to be unusable in practice, or 10% are frauds, period. Assume the former (perhaps inaccurately). Why there's a difference: a goodly number of counterfeits, if they're made with care, will pass.

Two sort of devil's (or someone's) advocate positions:

Say 2/3rds of the fakes pass. So, if you're caught 10% of the time, you're successfuly participating (perhaps unknowingly, sort of) in defrauding the ski area 20% of the time. Which is not A Good Thing To Do. Plus, throw in the non-counterfeit tickets which were employee (or volunteer, or whatever) comps, as mentioned above. Not only are you participating in a not-good thing from the abstract moral standpoint, but your participation in the abuse helps to make it more likely the area will stop issuing comp tickets to the non-abusive users.

If you're caught with a counterfeit ticket 10% of the time, the net cost is potentially a lot more than just the loss of 10% of what you paid. If you're caught twice, and they recognize or remember you, you're likely to be in hot water, no matter how innocently (and even truthfully) you tell your "but I didn't know!" story.
post #22 of 23
This is a topic of interest to me since I am always looking to save money on lift tickets. I've purchased tickets on Ebay along with a few "buy one - get one" coupons.

Personally, I think it absurd that resorts attempt to restrict the sale of unused tickets on the secondary market. To me, this makes as much sense as Ford saying that a buyer of one of their cars can't resell it.

I will say that an employer is well within their rights to terminate an employee for selling tickets as long as the employee was informed of the policy.
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utah49
could you provide a link to the ebay site? It would be good to have for next season
They're generally under 2 categories (evenly split):

a) Sporting Goods > Skiing & Snowboarding > Other Skiing & Snowboarding

b) Tickets > Experiences

If you do a search from the front page under (in my case):

"whistler lift"

all listings in both categories emerge. In your case, just substitute "Whistler lift" for "Alta lift" or "Park City lift", and you should get similar results.

Honestly, I don't expect a lot of fraud. If someone wants to forge tickets, you'd make a LOT more money forging Rolling Stones or AC/DC tickets than you would ski resort tickets (which always sold for less than face value).

I suspect on-line sales of fake ski tickets is a marginal business, given the risk/reward ratio.
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