All Black Tickets autumn international tickets from STIL not selling well

In previous years you had to know exactly when the All Black tickets from STIL were going on sale because you would be lucky to get onto the overloaded website and snag a few tickets before they all sold out.

This year however the tickets have been available for several days and only 3 of the available 18 packages have sold out. Possible reasons for this could include:

  • Credit crunch
  • Availability of tickets from the host nations like Italy and France
  • Packaging of tickets into bundles that fans didn’t want e.g. with the Barbarians ticket
  • STIL’s habit of whacking 50% onto ticket prices and the complete lack of transparency of where this money goes

Kiwis in Edinburgh

Last weekend Grant, Masha and I went up to Edinburgh for the wedding of Magnus and Katie. It was a fantastic Scottish and English styled wedding just north of the border with loads of bagpipes, kilts and whisky (we spoke English).

Mags and Katie cutting the cake at their wedding

On the Sunday we had some time to do so we went to the Royal Highland Show where we saw all manner of huge beasts ate great farm food and watched all manner of farming related food and events.

Wooly Bully at Royal Highland Fair

By pure coincidence Grant and I ran into a teacher from our high school who was teaching there while we were there. Miss (Carolyn) Aish runs a small business that sells Kiwi made products in the UK. In her own words:

KiwiKate brings to the UK possum, possum-merino, merino and sheepskin lovely, warm, practical wear from The Land of the Long White Cloud, Aoteoroa, NZ. Awesome.

If you are looking for great Kiwi gifts for people in the UK then you should visit

Amazon’s commission to sellers

I am currently reducing clutter around my flat by selling my old DVDs and books on Amazon’s marketplace. Today I sold ‘Die another Day’ for 13p. Normally this works out to be marginally profitable as Amazon give you more for postage that items cost to post. But on this particular item Amazon charged almost all of the sale price and the postage as commission. The breakdown is as follows:

Buyer’s Price: ?0.13
Shipping: ?1.21
Amazon Commission: ?-1.04
Your Earnings: ?0.30

Amazon states:

Individuals selling at Marketplace pay a GBP 0.86 per item completion fee, plus a closing fee of 17.25% of the sales price (11.5% for Electronics & Photo items) for each item sold.

Which seems steep and it makes it unprofitable to sell (or buy) really cheap DVDs or books on Amazon. This is a real shame because in the past I have bought a few 1p (plus postage) books from Amazon.

The postage for this DVD would cost 66p so I have cancelled the order and now the DVD is going to one of the charity shops on Finchley Road which is a much better idea. I guess in this way Amazon are doing a good thing. By making it unprofitable to sell the nickel and dime stuff they make it much more likely that old books etc end up in charity Shops.

Amazon have also built this excellent site for swapping books called ReadItSwapIt.

The New Zealand Herald ran a story about the All Black tickets markup scam

The original post is here

A friend helped me get my blog post brought to the attention of the New Zealand Herald. They ran this story titled Fans put hard word on NZRU over agent’s ticket charges on the day of the final autumn international against England.

The thing that got me about the article is that when Ms Faisandier from STIL was asked where all the money went she couldn’t say.

Ms Faisandier said she could not say what percentage of the money went to the rugby union.

She told me on email that it was “about 50/50”. Strange she wasn’t prepared to make the same claim to a national newspaper.

The other thing that struck me was that when NZRU were asked they didn’t have a clue either! I wish we could all run our businesses in such a haphazard manner where letting millions of dollars of potential revenue slip through our fingers wasn’t such a big issue.

NZRU commercial manager Paul Dalton said he could not say what percentage of the money gained by STIL came back to the rugby union.

This quote astounded me because the Herald also had this story where they indicate that the NZRU financial situation isn’t that strong at the moment.

The NZRU is on track to post a small profit this year, a much improved situation from the one predicted six months ago.

You’d think that if they were that broke they’d be wondering if they could have had some of the millions of dollars that have been added to All Black tickets in the UK over the last few years.

Oh yeah and we crushed England 32 points to 6 so it was an excellent day to be a Kiwi.

All Blacks 32 England 6 Twickenham 2008

My most popular photo ever (as of today)

I put all of my photos up on flickr for all the world to see. Most of my photos only get a couple of views (thanks mum and dad) from the general public. A lucky few that I took during the Rugby World Cup in 2007 (rip) had over 1000 people look at them in a matter of days. After the initial flurry most photos are rarely looked at again.

One photo that I took at Glastonbury in 2007 is different though. That photo gets a few people come and look at it every day. And slowly but surely it has steadily worked its way up through the ranks of my thousands of photos that I have taken over the years to become the most viewed photograph I have ever taken. Ladies and gentlemen with 1,559 views I give you, muddy girls.
Muddy girls (dirty girls) at Glastonbury 2007
Proving that the internet is home to people with some pretty weird tastes.

Brown’s cover-up has begun

This is so true. Gordon Brown got into government in 1997 on the promise that he would bring an end to destructive booms and busts in the property market.

Eleven years as Chancellor (the money guy) and Prime Minister later he has presided over the biggest boom of them all. And now the evidence of his initial bold claims is starting to disappear from government websites. Shameful.

I am reading this book that explains it all:

Boom Bust: House Prices, Banking and the Depression of 2010