Craigslist, and other sites like it, are great for buying used items at a good price. Who doesn’t like to haggle a with a seller, sending emails back and forth until a price is settled on for the desired item? Then a time and place is arranged for the buyer and seller to meet and exchange money for goods.
Do you take your safety into consideration when arranging the meet? I do. Always a public place, and if at all possible I don’t go alone. It doesn’t matter if I’m buying or selling.
Sadly, as with most things in life, we can count on criminal types to find a way to take advantage of what should be a simple, safe situation and turn it into a opportunity to steal goods and/or money, or worse – do bodily harm to some innocent, unsuspecting person. Criminals will pose as both buyers and sellers, so don’t allow yourself to feel secure.
We, as traders of goods and services, don’t have to make it easy. Here are some tips:
- Never choose your home as the meeting place. NEVER!
- Never agree to meet at the other person’s home.
- Arrange to meet in a public place.
- Some local Police stations serve as a safe place to meet. Ask your local PD if they offer that service.
- Apartment club houses, busy fast food restaurants and anywhere with a camera are also good.
- Don’t meet up alone, even in a public place – this is especially important for Women.
- Meet in the building, not in the parking lot.
- Meet during day light hours.
- Abandon the trade if they won’t agree to meet in a safe place.
An honest buyer or seller will agree to meet under these circumstances. A dishonest one won’t. If the buyer/seller insists on meeting at a location you don’t feel comfortable with – abandon the trade! No item is worth the risk. You could lose your money, or the item. If your lucky, that’s the worst that will happen. Homes have been robbed when used as the point of trade. People have been killed when meeting up to make a trade. Women have been lured by a trade and raped and/or killed.
Don’t be another victim. Take control of the situation and insist on meeting at a time and in a place that provides you with the greatest chance of safety. By doing so you will present yourself as a person who is not willing to be a victim.
Stay Alert. Be Safe. Always meet in public.