From Information Times:
In the movie 2012, Dec 21st is the end of the world. On this special day, mountains fall down, earth crack, landslides and tsunamis are everywhere. In the movie, Chinese people made a Noah’s Ark in Tibet and only government officials and rich people in the world can afford the tickets. But in Taobao(www.taobao.com), a Chinese online shopping web, you can buy a Noah’s Ark ticket of 1 billion Euros with only 3 RMB (less than $0.5). It also became the most popular and creative New Year’s gift.
A billion face value tickets sold for less than $0.5
Although there is a year to the prophecy of the end of the world by Maya people, but it cannot stop people’s passion of buying a ticket to escape from the earth. In Taobao, thousands of online stores have sold more than a thousand tickets for only a month.
In a store located in Jiangsu, a bundle sale of train and ark tickets for 3 RMB has sold out 2,500 in 30 days. And another 2 RMB Chinese Noah’s Ark envelope has sold for 1,700 in a month.
All the tickets sold on internet, although different in format and design, have two pieces of information in common. That is, boarding time, which is midnight on Dec 21st 2012 and boarding place, located in Zhuo Ming Gu dock. Both are from the movie 2012.
Anti-counterfeiting code makes it like real
To make the ticket seem like true, many stores have named ticketing system that allows customers to put their names, nationalities, identity numbers and other personal information on their tickets. Besides, the tickets also include cabin seats and ticket numbers.
Some tickets have more specialty, for instance, they have anti-fake labels including calibration area and bar code, even with stamps from the United Nation and signature of Secretary Ban Ki-moon. You can’t imaging when you use 2D barcode recognition software to scan the ticket, it will appear the information of the tickets.
Tickets like shopping card
Apart from the paper ticket, some stores also have the upgraded version boarding cards just like shopping cards. It is obviously much advanced than paper tickets because it has some categories like golden card, silver card, and green card. This kind of boarding card always sells for more than 20 RMB ($3.15), which is much more expensive. It also notes that golden card is for government leaders and officials, silver card is for talented people, and green card is just for raising funds.
There are also virtual tickets which sell for only 1 cent. The owner of the store said frankly that it is for people to realize that our planet’s environment is deteriorating, to raise the consciousness of environmental protection and to inform people not to be scared by the movie.
12 skills help you escape
Some stores also made some hilarious jokes on tickets. They write in the tickets must-read information section that to book a ticket, customers have to give bank asset proof, the money must be paid by their own instead of appropriation, and greedy officials must not buy any ticket.
The stores also rules that a person can buy no more than 7 tickets which include only wife/husband, one child, parents and parents in law. No secretary or mistresses.
There are also some tips for customers like 12 must-know skills including driving a car, driving a plane and knowing Tibetan. All of the skills are from 2012.
It’s popular to buy tickets as presents
“Many people buy it as a present to give to their friends, since it’s cheap and special. Some people will show off to their friends.” An online store owner said that her store was selling accessories, and started to sell tickets when 2012 was on show. “But at first I was selling virtual tickets and there were not many people. Now 2012 is approaching, suddenly people come to buy these tickets like hell.” The sales surged in recent two months, and became the most popular New Year gifts among young people.
Customers: buying as a souvenir
Among the comments of the tickets by customers who have bought, most of them are marked as “fun” and “cheap and creative”. Many people said they bought it as a New Year’s present or birthday present. “Actually, people don’t really care about the end of the world, it’s just for fun! Taking these tickets as souvenir, I will remember today as a happy memory when I talk to friends in the future.”
“This is really a funny story. Actually life is kind of like that, you have to find some fun. Buying some tickets won’t cost you much money, but it will bring you lots of fun!” in micro blog, a netizen posted his ticket with pride, and he got envy from his followers.
First aid kit and rescue rope are also hot sales
Besides the tickets for Noah’s Ark, what else do you need? The answer is all kinds of survival items. In Taobao, shrewd sellers marked their items as “2012 must have” and “goods for 2012 survivals” and so on. These stores often sell earthquake first aid kit, rescue rope, emergency medicine package and Swiss Army Knife. And they often get popular after disasters like earthquake and fire.