Craigslist. We've all bought or sold something using this great service. The typical transaction usually goes well and you walk away knowing that you got a great deal regardless of which side you were on.
Great deals, some risk
We recently purchased another kid item using Craigslist. Great deal, a little leg work and all went well.
The problem is that there are people out there who use Craigslist to sell stolen property, or to get you in to a position to take your property or money.
Face it, you have a couple hundred bucks cash in your pocket, drive to an unknown neighborhood or the parking lot of the Walmart and things can go south.
14 ways to Decrease your Risk Buying & Selling off Craigslist
- Speak to the person on the phone - don't just use text or email, actually hear a voice. You may pick up on something that doesn't seem right. If it doesn't seem right, it isn't right. Trust your intuition!
- Coordinate the time and location - No one is coming to my house. Ever. A public parking lot can be good, but you still need to be careful as an accomplice can easily be nearby. If you choose to go to their house here are some tips-
- Tell your spouse, partner or a friend the address, phone number and time of the meeting. Give them an approximate time frame for the transaction to occur (15 minutes, or so) and arrange for a message stating that you are good or need help.
- I use "here" when I arrive, "clear" when I'm leaving and all is well, "I'll be late" if things go south.
- Don't bring any more cash than the transaction requires.
- Ask if a cashier's check is good for large transactions.
- Have the cash or cashier's check ready to go. Don't stuff it away in your wallet or purse.
- Drive past the location prior to stopping to scout it out.
- Don't park in a driveway, use the street and face your exit, if able, for easier egress.
- Text the seller/buyer to let them know that you have arrived. This will get them to do the door and speed up the transaction. It will also ensure that you are at the right place.
- Try not to go in to the house. Sometimes it is unavoidable, so if you do, make sure that someone is with you.
- If you have a friend joining you, have them wait in the car, in the driver's seat or outside with a specified waiting time.
- If you are a concealed weapon permit holder, or can legally carry, make sure that you are carrying.
- If things seem strange, they are. Trust your intuition! It is
Trust Your Intuition!
“intuition is always right in at least two important ways;
It is always in response to something.
it always has your best interest at heart” - Gavin de Becker.
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