Do you regularly buy or sell items online where you meet up with people locally to make the exchange? Common places to find transactions are Craigslist, Letgo, etc. You can post items for sale or find items to buy and they generally are for local pickup and delivery. While most of these transactions present no problems at all, sadly, there have been some very serious crimes committed with some throughout the country. If you are like me, you like to think the best of everyone, but sometimes we all need to take some safety precautions.
Safety Tips for Buying or Selling Locally from Online Posts
- Meet in Very Public Place – Like the Local Police Station
This is my very best tip. Some local police stations around the country even have put up signs to designate trading areas. Even if your police station doesn’t have this they probably have no issue with you doing this. I called my local police and asked them and they have no problem with people trading on the lot, which is always on video tape, or if you have a more high value item they said to come inside to the entryway area even to complete the exchange.
- Don’t Go Alone
Whenever possible, take another person with you to make the exchange. We are always safer with a friend.
- Cash Only
Regardless if you are the buyer or seller, insist on cash only. Scammers can take your money as a buyer and run with it and if you are a seller they can produce fake cashiers’ checks, money orders, and the like. Again though, if a high value item see the first tip about meeting inside a police station.
- Don’t Pay Without Seeing
If you are the buyer, don’t send the money ahead of time via PayPal, wire, transfer, or anything. Wait until you actually meet up with the seller and make sure the goods are what you want before paying.
- Research When You Can
Take the time to do a few searches, at least, before meeting up with someone offline. Search the name, email address, phone number, etc. to see if you come up with any warning notices about that person.
There are great deals to be had and money to be made with these local deals and I’m not trying to scare anyone away from them. These tips are just to help you be safe while doing them. I have been doing these kinds of deals for several years now and really have run into zero problems using these tips.
Do you buy/sell in person from online services and apps? Any other tips you can share?