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Re: Campsite scalpers...good news, maybe

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Campsite scalpers...good news, maybe
June 15, 2009 03:07PM
In the past, vultures have been reselling the high-demand season valley campsites for many times what they paid, on Ebay. This came up a few years ago, and many of us complained about it.

In making my reservation for my autumn visit this morning, I read the confirmation email, and was really happy to see this included in the message:
-----------------------------------
If arriving one or more days late, call (209)372-8502. Your reservation will be forfeited if we do not hear from you within 24hrs of your arrival date.

Entrance Fee to the park is $20 per private vehicle.

Resale, advertisement for sale, or auction of advance reservations made through the National Recreation Reservation Service, regardless of price, is prohibited.
---------------------------------------

While I don't know how easy it is to report or get action on such instances, at least this makes it legitimate that it's not allowed. I did notice something new, a check button asking if I (by name) or someone else would be occupying the site, and I imagine that's the purpose (I don't know what happens if you check the 'someone else' box, perhaps you have to list names??).

Anyway, I quit looking at ebay for these sites for sale, since it was downright maddening to see profiteering from a public resource like this, especially when so many have trouble getting reservations. Now, I don't mind watching for people selling these, and I'll be more than happy to report it.

When I found out about these sales a few years ago, I emailed the seller and asked how he could justify doing this with National Park reservations, for his own profit, and he basically told me to bug off, and if I contacted him again, he'd complain to ebay. Apparently he had already gotten some flak, to be that 'on edge' about it.

"Regardless of price" means that even well-intentioned people can't, say, pass the reservations along to a neighbor for the original cost, so I guess that's a negative result in some instances, but it's no big deal and costs little to cancel and make your reservation available to someone else.

Hopefully now, there will be an easy way to report violations, and it will be enforced. Thanks to whoever the folks were that paid attention to our gripes, and actually did something about it.



Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
Re: Campsite scalpers...good news, maybe
June 15, 2009 03:12PM
Quote
Sierrafan
While I don't know how easy it is to report or get action on such instances, at least this makes it legitimate that it's not allowed. I did notice something new, a check button asking if I (by name) or someone else would be occupying the site, and I imagine that's the purpose (I don't know what happens if you check the 'someone else' box, perhaps you have to list names??).

The person who booked our campsite had to put my name on the reservation before I checked in.
Re: Campsite scalpers...good news, maybe
June 15, 2009 03:21PM
Quote
michaelg

The person who booked our campsite had to put my name on the reservation before I checked in.

Yes, I think it's possible to transfer by calling them, which seems only reasonable. While I guess it could be abused by them lying about buying/selling, nothing will eliminate all possibilities of abuse. Just a transfer without making personal profit from it shouldn't be an issue.

The ones I'd seen on ebay were selling for $450 or more for 4 or 5 nights, which brought up visions of 'ambitious' ebayers buying all they could at 7AM on opening day, to resell later, and that's what made a lot of people mad.



Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/2009 03:32PM by Sierrafan.
avatar Re: Campsite scalpers...good news, maybe
June 15, 2009 03:27PM
Quote
Sierrafan
In the past, vultures have been reselling the high-demand season valley campsites for many times what they paid, on Ebay. This came up a few years ago, and many of us complained about it.

eBay claims that they restrict listings for any kind of travel services (including airline tickets, lodging, etc) primarily to those with professional credentials. Any kind of lodging has to be directly from someone in the travel industry. I believe this has been a policy for some time, since there are so many scams out there. They allow limited types of travel services to be sold by individuals, and they limit it to one listing per month. I don't believe an individual would be able to transfer a campsite reservation using eBay. It would be a violation of their terms, and they have people checking for certain types of listings all the time to have them removed.

eBay has been taking down reservation swaps rather quickly. I remember seeing a few listings for Yosemite campsite reservations which were gone by the time I checked again (long before the bidding closed).

http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/travel.html

Quote

Getting Verified by eBay TRAVEL

The travel business is highly regulated at both state and federal levels. Before you can list airline tickets, cruises, vacation packages, or lodging, you’ll need to be verified by eBay TRAVEL – a program that helps us verify and track seller-of-travel licensing. This is a free service.

If you’re interested in becoming eBay TRAVEL verified, get in touch with us at verified@ebay.com. Be sure to include your user ID and what you are interested in listing in your email.
avatar Re: Campsite scalpers...good news, maybe
June 15, 2009 03:37PM
Out of curiosity I checked Craigslist and found this. Yes, it's illegal.

Only time I turned down reservations was in 2002 I had an extra Mt Whitney permit and gave it back for someone else to use. Only fair.
Re: Campsite scalpers...good news, maybe
May 06, 2011 01:39PM
From a person in the know...

An investigation into the matter is being stifled by a Yosemite NP mid-level manager who wants nothing done about this situation. If you want this to be seriously addressed, send your complaints to the following people:

Don_Neubacher@nps.gov (Yosemite NP Superintendent)

Scott_Wanek@nps.gov (NPS Pacific West Regional Chief Ranger)

Lane_Baker@nps.gov (NPS Chief of Law Enforcement, Security, & Emergency Services)

Steve_Shackelton@nps.gov (NPS Associate Director, Visitor and Resource Protection)

Jon_Jarvis@nps.gov (Director, National Park Service)

Then write a complaint to the DOI's Inspector General's Office:

http://www.doioig.gov/hotline
avatar Re: Campsite scalpers...good news, maybe
May 07, 2011 03:15PM
Quote
Pika
From a person in the know...

An investigation into the matter is being stifled by a Yosemite NP mid-level manager who wants nothing done about this situation. If you want this to be seriously addressed, send your complaints to the following people:

Don_Neubacher@nps.gov (Yosemite NP Superintendent)

Scott_Wanek@nps.gov (NPS Pacific West Regional Chief Ranger)

Lane_Baker@nps.gov (NPS Chief of Law Enforcement, Security, & Emergency Services)

Steve_Shackelton@nps.gov (NPS Associate Director, Visitor and Resource Protection)

Jon_Jarvis@nps.gov (Director, National Park Service)

Then write a complaint to the DOI's Inspector General's Office:

http://www.doioig.gov/hotline

Add your Congress Person to the list too.
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