Dynamic pricing comes to Major League Baseball

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 11:49 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

LostKause said:


I really don't understand why we (meaning some of you all) get so excited about a potential change in the way parks operate. They seem to be doing just fine as is. Why do we need to jump for joy at the notion that the regular price may be increased to $100, and the park would offer discounts for silly, unpredictable variants like the weather or how many employees called off work that day?

What lights me up about the idea is that the parks could use data and technology in a way that enables them to better understand the highs and lows of attendance in a more precise way. It's advancing their business and I think that's pretty cool.

Lost Kause said:


What's would stop the parks from abusing a complicated pricing system that the average person wouldn't care to understand?

If the average person doesn't care to understand the system, then the park can never "abuse" it. That people would be willing to pay whatever is asked of them without question is all the more reason the park should consider making changes. But it's not likely the average person is going to take a blind eye to the pricing structure.


Lost Kause said:


If it rained 2 hours instead of the predicted 1, would the park be permitted to charge your credit card the extra $4.93? If a performer got sick and couldn't perform the last show of the day, would you be entitled to a $6.31 back? X-inator was down for 3 hours. Should you request a $5.88 refund at the guest service window?

What about Season Passes? If it rained an average or 4 inches per month instead of the predicted 3 inches per month, would you be entitled to a $25 dollar refund?

I'm sure you are going for some kind of point in your exaggerations, but I think you demonstrate that you either don't really understand what is being proposed or you haven't read the thread or both.


The idea is to maximize attendance at the highest cost of admission the market will allow. Once the customer is in the door, the case is really closed.


Lost Kause said:


This is the silliest thing we have ever seriously discussed on CoasterBuzz in a very long time...lol

You are certainly entitled to your opinion. If you really think that, then I would encourage you to ignore the thread and the discussion.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:23 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:
Nope. Because it's advertised before hand that the price will be different during the slower season. When you look up the price online or call the park, you will be clearly notified how much the price is during certain days or the year.


Dude. Nice try, but have you even read any of the thread...or at the very least looked at how the Giants are doing it?

The price is very clearly stated. No different than Dorney, Hershey or HW's laundry list of days, months and corresponding discounts avilable.

Can you imagine the admission price list if Gonch ever got his way with this?

Yeah, it'd be a resounding success. :)

Either that or people would quit coming because I was out of line and I'd soon be out of business and forced to do things the old way. Problem solved either way.

I really don't understand why we (meaning some of you all) get so excited about a potential change in the way parks operate.

More importantly, what is your fear of free enterprise, change and potential innovation?

Stupid Holiday World and their 'free' drinks and sunscreen approach. Why'd they have to change? Hrmph!

If it rained 2 hours instead of the predicted 1, would the park be permitted to charge your credit card the extra $4.93? If a performer got sick and couldn't perform the last show of the day, would you be entitled to $6.31 cash back? X-inator was down for 3 hours. Should you request a $5.88 refund at the guest service window?

What about Season Passes? If it rained an average or 4 inches per month instead of the predicted 3 inches per month, would you be entitled to a $25 dollar refund?

At this point you're not even trying to have serious discussion. (or as I asked above, you haven't even looked at how the dynamic system works)

This is the silliest thing we have ever seriously discussed on CoasterBuzz in a very long time...lol

Only because you turned it into that with your last bit there. Up until that it was some pretty intelligent people debating the merits of a fluctuating pricing system in an amusement park setting.

And just because I can:

Nope. Q-Bot made waits longer for everyone (except for gold). The difference is that the people who rent a Q-Bot can ride more than one ride at a time.

As long as the inclusion of Q-bot hasn't doubled the wait times then technically their average wait per ride is shorter.

(Talk about silly discussion! Time to let it go. Q-bot is my sweet, sweet lover.)

EDIT - didn't realize there was a page 3. Carrie already said much of what I did...as usual.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:27 AM
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:29 AM
LostKause's avatar

...And miss out on the opportunity of getting some of you heated up? No chance...lol

I understand what the thread is about. My admittedly long winded point was that some factors of the day simply can not be accurately predicted. Lets say that you have to pay more because The Weather Channel said that it was going to be sunny, for example. Sometime in the afternoon, a freak thunderstorm passes through the area, closing some of the popular rides for an hour and a half. Wouldn't the park be responsible for paying you back some of the admission price?

I agree that the average person is going to want to understand the proposed pricing system. My question now is, why would a park want to make it easy to understand? A park could desire to make it difficult to understand, especially Gonch's park, in order to make sure that it could easily be abused. They could charge whatever they want to, whenever they want to, and give whatever reason they want to when the price skyrockets.

Can you imagine how may paragraphs the price list would need? People will not want to figure out how much the price of admission is on the day of their visit. People will not want to change their plans the day of or the day before they planned on going to the park, because of an update on the weather, for example.

Have you ever heard the weatherman say it's going to be a 50% chance of rain? That means he has no idea if it's going to rain or not. lol What then? Pay for a rainy day and get a sunny day, or vice wersa?

And you know what. This would never happen. Park operators are smart enough to figure out that it wouldn't work. I'm not at all responding because it could happen, and I need to have my say in order to try and keep things from changing. I am responding because I can't understand why some of you would be for a change that would negatively affect the customer.


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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:41 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Dude, you're so off the mark that I'm pretty sure you're high.

Here. Go look at Giants ticket prices. Take a second to look around, I'll still be here.

...

...

Back? Good.

They're running three tiers of pricing in addition to 'dynamic pricing' for some sections within all three of those tiers...but it's no harder than looking at a list of prices. Why on Earth would a park have to do it any differently than that?

You keep working on the assumption that the park lists all the variables and the corresponding price fluctuations like some bizarre a la carte menu and makes the customer stand there doing algebra to figure out how much a ticket costs. Of course it makes no sense to you if you think this is how it works. That's downright moronic.

True daily, fluctuating, dynamic pricing would be no more complicated than a calendar with a price on a date. (not unlike operating hours calendars already used) Just like if I go to buy tickets at Dorney's site right now they tell me the ticket price is only good until May 22nd.

Where's the mystery?


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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:43 AM
Jeff's avatar

Carrie M. said:
I'm not convinced that is much of an issue, though. Even if most people wait until the day of to purchase their tickets, which I'm not sure is the case where discounted prices are offered for pre-paid tickets, there are ways to cope with that. The parks could offer you the ability to lock in your price if you buy online by a specific date.

As someone engaged in a lot of Internet and consumer behavior research, I can tell you that this is so far from the actual state of the American consumer that it wouldn't work. Even the surveys we've conducted for this site (for the ad networks) show that a giant percentage of consumers won't even buy things online, even today, in 2009, because of trust issues. I mean, we had a rash of people on PointBuzz talking about how they only pay for things in cash. The public at large is not as sophisticated as we are.

So the angle that would defend your "could work" position is that you can shift the vast majority of consumers to buying tickets online, which I'm saying just isn't going to happen, based on behavioral research. I'm still blown away by the people who line up at Universal and Disney and buy tickets.

And again, this still assumes that amusement park visits are treated as specific events, like sports and concerts, and I don't believe anyone approaches local park visits that way.

Can parks get away with a specific pricing scheme tied to a calendar, and announced before the season? Absolutely, as expectations are readily set and available. Can they decide to jack up the pricing because the weather is awesome one day and the cars are lined up around the block? No way. People will flip out.

I think there's anecdotal evidence that consumers don't want to mess with dynamic pricing when scarcity and demand are not involved. The rise of "buy it now" on eBay is a perfect example of this. People want what they want, and don't want to guess how much it will cost.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:50 AM
Carrie M.'s avatar

LostKause said:
...And miss out on the opportunity of getting some of you heated up? No chance...lol

Don't flatter yourself. You aren't even presenting a strong enough challenge.

Lost Kause said:


I understand what the thread is about. My admittedly long winded point was that some factors of the day simply can not be accurately predicted. Lets say that you have to pay more because The Weather Channel said that it was going to be sunny, for example. Sometime in the afternoon, a freak thunderstorm passes through the area, closing some of the popular rides for an hour and a half. Wouldn't the park be responsible for paying you back some of the admission price?

Again, I think that demonstrates that you don't get it. The pricing decision tree would never be that granular. I think Gonch explained it earlier when he said they would be taking what they already predict in a broad sense (seasonal weather changes for example) and narrowing the brush a bit. No one said the structure would involve an hour-by-hour weather analysis.

Lost Kause said:


A park could desire to make it difficult to understand...in order to make sure that it could easily be abused. They could charge whatever they want to, whenever they want to, and give whatever reason they want to when the price skyrockets.

You know that's not true. People don't pay whatever the park chooses to charge. There is a price point. That's true even now. If the park misses the mark, then people don't buy tickets. It's as simple as that.


Lost Kause said:


And you know what. This would never happen. Park operators are smart enough to figure out that it wouldn't work.

Time will tell. But if you are right, then you have no need to worry about it.

Lost Kause said:


I am responding because I can't understand why some of you would be for a change that would negatively affect the customer.

The idea that the customer would be negatively impacted is a narrow one-sided view. What about the customers who will benefit by lower prices when the park has lower average attendance? What if that lower cost allows someone to attend who would not have been able to currently?


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:56 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:
And again, this still assumes that amusement park visits are treated as specific events, like sports and concerts, and I don't believe anyone approaches local park visits that way.

I do. I think the once or twice a year visitor treats it like an event.

People who visit more than that probably don't, but they're also the ones buying season passes and wouldn't be affected by any of this silliness in which we speculate.

Can parks get away with a specific pricing scheme tied to a calendar, and announced before the season? Absolutely, as expectations are readily set and available. Can they decide to jack up the pricing because the weather is awesome one day and the cars are lined up around the block? No way. People will flip out.

Well, I don't think they spring it on people like that. I don't think anyone really suggested anything that drastic. Hell, I don't think the Giants are even doing that. They already have a calendar listing the prices of 'dynamically priced' seats for every game this year. The equations have already been run and the prices set. Parks would do this the same way.

But that pricing calendar could certainly be changed in advance if something caused the park to believe demand would be unusually high or low. But how often will that really come up in a real world situation? Not enough to really be an issue.

I imagine that's how the Giants are handling it. For some reason ticket sales jump up, they bump that price. If a star pitcher gets hurt, they drop that price. Some team has an unexpected good season and those late-season games are now playoff deciders, the ticket calendar changes and the prices get maxed.

Parks could handle it the same way. Weatherman calling for a three day run of thunderstorms? Drop the next three days of prices. Selling an unusually high amount of advance tickets for some random weekday? Take notice and bump the price, something must be going on.

It's a far cry from telling people on the website in the morning that it's $40 and then having the gate say, no it's actually $50. That's not happening. (but they could bump the online purchase price :) )

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:59 AM
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1:02 AM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Jeff said:

So the angle that would defend your "could work" position is that you can shift the vast majority of consumers to buying tickets online, which I'm saying just isn't going to happen, based on behavioral research. I'm still blown away by the people who line up at Universal and Disney and buy tickets.

Actually, no, that's not the angle I was proposing. I was talking about prepaid purchases such as the tickets one can make in person at Giant stores for Hersheypark. It's already being done. You can't deny that.

Last edited by Carrie M., Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1:03 AM

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1:32 AM
LostKause's avatar

Carrie M. said:


Don't flatter yourself. You aren't even presenting a strong enough challenge.


You are really good at this...lol

Lord Gonchar said:
...The equations have already been run and the prices set. Parks would do this the same way....

...Weatherman calling for a three day run of thunderstorms? Drop the next three days of prices. Selling an unusually high amount of advance tickets for some random weekday? Take notice and bump the price, something must be going on.

It's a far cry from telling people on the website in the morning that it's $40 and then having the gate say, no it's actually$50. That's not happening. (but they could bump the online purchase price :) )

So if I checked the website three days in advance to see what I am supposed to pay for my admissions tickets, it very well could go up or down, depending on the weather?

Three days or the morning of, it all seems the same to me. Some people plan months ahead of time for a park visit. If the admission price could change because the park is noticing tickets are selling better than they expected for a certain day, then they very well could be charged a higher price than they originally expected.

I'll only agree that it is a great idea as far as weekdays and weekendsand seasonal. Anything more than that is going over the top, andmaking it more confusing for no reason.

If you are saying that it'll already be on the admission price calendar at the beginning of the season, than I see where you are coming from, but that doesn't seem to be what you are saying. Three days is not enough notice.


Edit - fixed quote boxes

Edit - fixed spacing issues

Last edited by LostKause, Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1:35 AM
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1:59 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:
So if I checked the website three days in advance to see what I am supposed to pay for my admissions tickets, it very well could go up or down, depending on the weather?

Technically, yes, I suppose. Two things though:

1. Realistically, when is the price going to adjust up because of the weather? Further proof that you're not really understanding the concept.

Weather would be more of an "on the fly" decision. The initial calendar would assume perfect weather with rates being adjusted down based on actual conditions. Stop and think about it - park calendars are made months and months in advance. No one is going to be pulling out the Old Farmer's Almanac and setting a low price on July 24th because someone is predicting rain 8 months out. Perhaps it's my fault for assuming things like this don't even have to said - that they're just understood?

2. Three days would certainly be plenty of lead for a price-down adjustment, right? How much of a lead is appropriate for a price-up adjustment?

Three days or the morning of, it all seems the same to me. Some people plan months ahead of time for a park visit. If the admission price could change because the park is noticing tickets are selling better than they expected for a certain day, then they very well could be charged a higher price than they originally expected.

So you think that it's impossible to explain the concept of dynamic pricing to customers? The idea that you can buy not at the listed price or wait with the condition that the price might change - for better or worse?

I guess I give people too much credit. Weren't you the one who took offense to calling people stupid? I have to go back to the Giants. If they can make people understand with a simple paragraph describing the idea, then so could anyone.

I'll only agree that it is a great idea as far as weekdays and weekendsand seasonal. Anything more than that is going over the top, andmaking it more confusing for no reason.

I don't see it as any more confusing than understanding the different (and changing) prices of airline tickets or hotel rooms and stuff like that. Who doesn't know it's cheaper to fly at certain times or on certain days? That's controlling your customer base through pricing. Dynamic pricing, if you will.


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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 7:23 AM

Back to this year's CP ad: I didn't realize that Sam Brown was this year's spokesperson. How long before we we see her next Travel Channel show: "Sam's Thrills?" Better yet, "Sam does Sandusky?"


Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:45 AM
Jeff's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
Well, I don't think they spring it on people like that.

But Gonch, that's what dynamic pricing is. It's adjusting the price on the fly.

Carrie: Pre-sale tickets for Hershey at the grocery store isn't dynamic pricing. Discount pre-sale is different, and I'd wager that most major parks have been doing it for decades.

I think the problem is that you guys are looking at something different than I am.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1:39 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:
But Gonch, that's what dynamic pricing is. It's adjusting the price on the fly.

It's adjusting price in advance. The article mentions the Giants making changes even on the day of a game, but I think they're working with more fluid variables than the parks would be. An amusement park would have pretty much no "day of" adjustments to make.

A park could easily set a pricing schedule and adjust during the season with what I feel is plenty of notice.

Plus, I think an added benefit is that once the system becomes understood by people that it would encourage more pre-purchasing of tickets. (if for nothing more than the 'lock in the price" mentality)

That, in turn, would give the parks more attendance data to work with in adjusting prices dynamically.

Like the article says, it's really no different than what airlines, hotels, car rentals and places like that do. They set pricing in advance and as things play out they adjust their prices accordingly.

I think the only disagreement here is how far in advance a final price needs to be set.


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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 2:04 PM

There are some differences between a baseball game and theme parks that would prevent parks from implementing a dynamic pricing system exactly as the Giants have.

First, a baseball game is a 3 hour event. Theme parks are open 10-12 hours, generally. A 2-hour "weather event" basically screws the whole game, while it's a mere inconvenience for part of the day at a theme park. Even if I don't get to ride coasters during those garden variety showers, the park will tell me there are tons of other things I could do in the meantime (eat, take in a show, etc.).

With few exceptions, baseball games are scheduled on weekday evenings and weekends, when people aren't working. Nearly half of the hours a park is open in a week fall within traditional working hours. There's a reason why most people hit the parks on Saturdays. Granted, between Memorial Day and Labor Day you can argue that 8-10% of your workforce is on vacation any of those weeks. But for the most part, it isn't feasible for most people to say "let's go to the park on Tuesday instead" even if admission is $20 less. Even among people here, few of us can say the majority of our park visits are during the week (put your hand down, Gonch). I'm not sure how many of the GP would change-- maybe the question should be what incentive would it take to get people to change their behavior?

Finally, the article mentions that the seats the Giants have worked with are seats that were usually the last to sell and didn't include any season ticket holders' seats. Obviously, a theme park can't be segregated that way. Also, a theme park season pass is different from a sports team's. With a sports team, you purchase a package for a certain number of games. With a park, you pay a given price and get to come as many times as you want. The concern with the Giants was that people buying dynamically priced tickets would get better deals that STHs, causing ill will. That shouldn't matter to a park passholder, but you never know. Maybe somebody would decide to skip buying a pass because going 2 Tuesdays, 1 Thursday and a Saturday would be cheaper.

I do agree with Carrie and Gonch (I think) in that the price point would be your basic gate admission, and that prices would only go down for traditionally light days. That is, if the intention is to being in more people on days that typically have light traffic. There's always somebody out there who doesn't know enough to come in out of the rain. May as well let them pay (a reduced price) for the privilege.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 2:49 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

RatherGoodBear said:
Even among people here, few of us can say the majority of our park visits are during the week (put your hand down, Gonch).

Really?

I was under the impression that the first rule of Park Club was, "Don't visit on the weekend"

(well, the first rule of Park Club is, "Never talk about Park Club" but you know what I mean ;) )

Seriously though, I was under the impression that we don't visit on weekends - especially those among our ranks around here.


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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:03 PM

Eh, that will all change when the GP stops going on Saturdays and starts going on Bargain Tuesday with a 30 percent chance of Rain instead.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 12:45 AM
LostKause's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

Realistically, when is the price going to adjust up because of the weather?

Weather is usually given two weeks in advance, and predictions usually change from day to day. "The weather man" is not reliable. If he tell us it's going to rain next Friday, the day we are going to the park, and we pay the rainy day price, what happens when "the weather man" changes his mind on Wednesday? What if he tells us that it's going to be sunny instead? Would the park raise the price? Would I have to change my mind about going because now tickets are $90 instead of $35?


2. Three days would certainly be plenty of lead for a price-down adjustment, right? How much of a lead is appropriate for a price-up adjustment?

One year, for me. The price printed on the calendar at the beginning of the season should be the price, unless I can find a discount or coupon somewhere. I shouldn't be penalized because more people decided to attend the day I planned weeks ahead of time to attend.

So you think that it's impossible to explain the concept of dynamic pricing to customers? The idea that you can buy not at the listed price or wait with the condition that the price might change - for better or worse?

Admission - $35 - $90 depending on many complicated factors that a park will determine. As a business, isn't the park looking to be as profitable as possible? This is a great way to keep paying customers uniformed of the actual price of an admission ticket. It's like playing the stock market; you could win or lose. Either way, I'd still prefer to know what I am paying months before I decide to go.



I guess I give people too much credit. Weren't you the one who took offense to calling people stupid? I have to go back to the Giants. If they can make people understand with a simple paragraph describing the idea, then so could anyone.

The price tag for milk at the grocery store doesn't say "somewhere between $3 and $7, depending minute-to-minute factors like stock prices, gas prices, and how much milk we have sold in the past 4 hours, determined by our software. Please see associate for actual price."

It's not that people would be to "stupid" to understand a complicated pricing system, it's just that people don't have the time or patients to want to understand. If it aint broke...

I don't see it as any more confusing than understanding the different (and changing) prices of airline tickets or hotel rooms and stuff like that. Who doesn't know it's cheaper to fly at certain times or on certain days? That's controlling your customer base through pricing. Dynamic pricing, if you will.

Even more reason not to implement it. It's challenging enough trying to figure out how much a trip would cost when you factor in a flight, hotel stay, and then fluctuating park ticket prices.

I really "get" the argument. I just don't believe we'll ever see it. Why would a park want to lower admission for any reason? They would love to raise it though. People are so "un-stupid" that they'd complain this right out of existence.


Edit - made "the weather man" a character...lol

Last edited by LostKause, Thursday, May 21, 2009 12:50 AM
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Thursday, May 21, 2009 1:29 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I guess I just don't find such a simple concept all that confusing or difficult. Your arguments are ridiculous in their ability to make it all so much more confusing than it needs to be.

LostKause said:
Weather is usually given two weeks in advance, and predictions usually change from day to day. The weatherman is not reliable. If he tell us it's going to rain next Friday, the day we are going to the park, and we pay the rainy day price, what happens when the weatherman changes his mind on Wednesday? What if he tells us that it's going to be sunny instead? Would the park raise the price? Would I have to change my mind about going because now tickets are $90 instead of $35?

How about this?

The Friday price is listed as $50. A week out, it looks like rain on Friday. The price holds. 5 days out it doesn't look like rain. The price holds. 3 days out it looks might rain for a little bit. The night before, radar shows:

A. A storm going to soak the area for most of the day. The price drops to $35

or

B. The storm takes a more southern track and will miss the park entirely. The price holds.

Really, it's would never get more complicated that. You're hung up on the weather thing. The way something like this would work in a real-world situation, the weather would never make the price rise because the price always assumes the best weather until the bad weather is inevitable.

I thought we covered this somewhere already...oh we did, that was the part of the my thought you didn't quote.

I shouldn't be penalized because More people decided to attend the day I planned weeks ahead of time to attend.

Nope, you shouldn't. And you aren't.

1. You could have pre-purchased your ticket the day you looked at the price and gotten it for the listed price at the time.

2. In the meantime, if demand goes up so does the price...just like hotels, airlines, rental cars...and well, just about everything.

Secondly, the whole system is based on this very concept - jack up the price when the product is in demand. Even if we went with a non-dynamic calendar with variable pricing, the high demand days (weekends, holidays, traditionally busy days) will cost more. So I guess if you consider that being penalized, then the whole system is based on penalizing people like you who choose to visit on high-demand days.

It's like playing the stock market; you could win or lose. Either way, I'd still prefer to know what I am paying months before I decide to go.

Yeah, a little bit. But so is anything in life.

You can know months in advance and you can lock in that price by purchasing a ticket now instead of seeing if the market changes. Odds are it won't.

Again, it's clear you don't quite get the idea of what the Giants are doing. Prices don't appear to be changing hourly or daily or hardly at all - but they can change if the situation changes. It's not like watching the market where we need a ticker running along the bottom of our monitor telling us the latest amusement park prices.

I hate to keep going back to the well, but it is a lot like hotel rooms or airline tickets or rental cars and such. People don't seem to be too challenged by the concept. In fact, it's quite simple for most of us.

Even more reason not to implement it. It's challenging enough trying to figure out how much a trip would coast when you factor in a flight, hotel stay, and then fluctuating park ticket prices.

Thinking is hard sometimes. I find squinting at whatever I'm looking at or working on helps. And so does doing that weird thing where your tongue kind of sticks out of the corner of your mouth when you concentrate on something really intensely.

The price tag for milk at the grocery store doesn't say "somewhere between $3 and $7, depending minute-to-minute factors like stock prices, gas prices, and how much milk we have sold in the past 4 hours, determined by our software. Please see associate for actual price."

Sigh. Milk and amusement park tickets? That's a valid comparison?

How about this if you want a food example:

A restaurant with fresh food. Fresh seafood. Ever see something on the menu listed at "market value" - guess what that means? It means the price changes depending on what they have and when you visit and order it.

Why would a park want to lower admission for any reason?

For real? Reeeeaaaalllly? You're really asking that in all seriousness? You're not trolling for a reaction? You really don't understand why parks offer discounted admissions?

Aww, I hate to admit it but you got me. I really thought you were serious and some of these ideas and examples were honest thoughts. Man, you pushed it too far at the end there. I was even willing to work with the milk thing thinking, "Maybe he really just isn't grasping it."

I hate when I'm the last to realize someone is dicking with me. :(


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Thursday, May 21, 2009 1:43 AM
rollergator's avatar

Much like the stock market, this is all just another form of legalized gambling. Now I'm off to play Bingo... ;)

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 7:26 AM

At the risk of adding something simplistic and perhaps obvious to what is obviously a very... umm, dynamic and interesting conversation...

When talking about demand forcing ticket prices up, I see an opportunity for people to be really disappointed with the end product. When you visit a park on a busy day (at a static ticket price), you're already effectively paying a higher price per unit of entertainment. You're going to encounter longer lines for every attraction in the park, which means you're going to get to do fewer things at the same ticket price - an experience dilution, if you will. If demand caused ticket prices to go up, that dilution is exaggerated. Does this have the potential to negatively impact the experience? I'm sort of thinking out loud here...

With a ball game, you pay for a seat, and you get that seat. You don't have to take turns sitting in that seat. You don't have to wait for a better time during the day to sit in that seat. Basically, the size of the crowd has no impact on your game-watching experience (well, the lines for concessions and so forth would be longer, but so would they at a park, so they cancel one another out). At an amusement park, the crowd size has a very real impact on your experience.

Now, the contention could be made that because people are already willing to "roll the dice" with regard to crowd size when purchasing statically-priced tickets, they would similarly do so with dynamic pricing, but if that's the case, that would seem to indicate that the static/base ticket price is too low, would it not? And if that's the case, and you jack up said base price, then you've just nudged your high-demand price up so that you're met with the aforementioned potential of pissing off customers due to their diluted experience.

I'm not saying I don't like the idea of dynamic pricing, but I think the only viable opportunity would be to lower prices on low-demand days, and not the other way around.


Brandon | Facebook

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