While we frown upon the practice of selling above face value (and selling tickets above face value violates the Burning Man terms & conditions), it is important to note that scalping is legal in the state of Nevada (whose laws govern the event). ePlaya may not be used to coordinate attacks or harassment of ticket scalpers. Threads about or linking to ticket sales or auctions on third party sites are not allowed, even if it's just to express your shock and outrage. We don't want to give those sites any additional page views. As long as people are willing to buy tickets at exorbitant prices (we wish they wouldn’t, but some apparently do), there will be a market for predatory resellers. It’s antithetical to our community’s ethos, but it’s also the reality of supply and demand (and technically legal). When we're able to find out the serial numbers of these tickets (see below for how to report them), we void the sale and feed the tickets into STEP.
- eBay - If you see a marked-up listing on eBay, please see this post for instructions on reporting it.
- StubHub - Send an email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org containing the name of the event (2015 Burning Man Festival and 2015 Burning Man Festival Vehicle Pass), the dates of the event, and if you want to get super detailed you can also list exact URLs for each ticket you want to report. IMPORTANT: Include your contact number so they can reach you if they have further questions — they’re far more likely to take the complaint seriously if they can actually reach someone to respond. They want to help, so don’t abuse the StubHub folks, they’re not the ones who listed the tickets.
- CraigsList - Offer the buyer face value plus fees. If that doesn’t work, flag the post and it’ll be taken down … do it often enough and maybe the seller will be more willing to listen to reasonable offers.
- Anywhere Else - If you see marked-up tickets being offered anywhere else, contact email@example.com so we can pursue it (and yes we really do). The more information you can provide us, the better, including screenshots since people often pull down posts if they think they are being flagged.
IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION REGARDING A POSSIBLE TICKET SCAM
Please contact your local authorities first and foremost, and fill out a mail fraud report! Since it's a third party transaction, Burning Man has no legal recourse, it's up to you to report it so the bad guys can get caught and prosecuted. Then please send an email with the relevant details to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that the Burning Man ticket team is not able to provide ticket verification services for after-market ticket sales. Please do not send in requests to confirm tickets.
DO NOT POST your own scam warnings on ePlaya or another person's personal data on a public board (especially ePlaya). People in the US are innocent until proven guilty, and while you may have good intentions it could get you into some sticky situations with regards to privacy laws, harassment, and so on. You're good people, we don't want you getting into that kind of trouble.
If you purchase tickets through a third party we highly suggest you meet in person (and take reasonable precautions) for the tickets and not risk buying through the mail. The ePlaya is a good place to post buying or selling tickets (once our ticket boards have opened up for the season). Remember - nobody will have physical tickets to sell before ticket fulfillment starts in mid-June. Anyone claiming otherwise is a scammer.
Here are scams to look out for that have happened in the past:
- Seller requires that electronic payment be made using a payment method that has no buyer protection - Bitcoin, Western Union, etc. Recourse: none
- Seller gives ticket details from another person's tickets and may even produce copy of confirmation email. Doesn't actually have the tickets though, then collects money via mail or Paypal and cuts off contact with buyer. Recourse: possible chargeback through Paypal, no recourse if money order or cash
- Seller gives their ticket details out, collects money and mails an empty envelope or nothing at all. Recourse: possible chargeback through Paypal, no recourse if money order or cash
- Seller claims tickets can be printed out at home using a special link they will give out. Collects money and sends bogus email, then cuts off contact. NOTE: BURNING MAN TICKETS CANNOT BE PRINTED AT HOME. Recourse: possible chargeback through Paypal, no recourse if money order or cash
[Updated February 2015]