The safest way to buy a third party ticket is to sign up to purchase tickets through the Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP). Another great option is to buy them directly from someone you know. Burners can now use the peer-to-peer STEP option to sell tickets directly to another burner which is a great way to securely buy and sell tickets with someone you don't personally know.
If you find a ticket for sale by an unknown third party, the best first step to take is to ask for their order confirmation number. Sharing this number will in no way compromise the seller's order and will allow you to check and make sure it is not listed as a ticket number that has been canceled or voided on our Voided Tickets & Vehicle Passes List. Please note that just because an order number or ticket number does not appear on this list does not guarantee its authenticity & validity.
If a seller is not willing to share their confirmation number with you then the sale is probably not legitimate and you should steer clear. We absolutely do not have "print at home" tickets, we see these spoofed every year.
WARNING: Do not use cash, a wire transfer, or other payment methods that have no recourse if you are scammed. A very common scam we see each year is a seller claiming they are a true Burner who can no longer attend the event; they ask for wire payment via Moneygram or another non-traceable method and will not accept Paypal. Don't fall victim to this scam!
Other tips to help you protect yourself when buying a third party ticket: don't be shy about asking the seller for proof of ownership. If they bought the ticket from Burning Man they should have a receipt, a Survival Guide, a purchase confirmation email, something demonstrating that they own the ticket. If you can, get a copy of their proof of ownership. Ask to see their ID to verify they are who they say they are. Be extra observant during your exchange with them in case you need to recount details later.
Please be safe!