Craigslist Safety Tips for Buyers

14 Nov

My wife and I have used Craigslist to purchase and sell things for almost 5 years.  We tend to be more protective than overly trusting, so for new users of this wonderful free website, here’s some safety tips for buyers.

  1. When you contact a seller for an item you’re interested in buying, try to schedule a meeting in a public place (mall parking lot, library, etc) during day light.  When my wife bought a Nintendo Wii via Craigslist for my birthday present a couple of years ago, she scheduled to meet the seller at the mall parking lot during the day time.
  2. If you have to purchase or go see the item inside the seller’s home, don’t go alone.  Bring your spouse/neighbor/friend/adult family member.  I never had my wife or wife and daughter go to purchase an item, we’d always schedule it when I was available.
  3. Knowing what the selling or pre-negotiated price is that you will be paying, bring exact cash – NOT large bills expecting the seller to have change for you.
  4. Dress down for the sale – keep your designer purse and bling bling at home.
  5. Be sure to get exact address of meeting place and google map it to know where you’re going.  Always good to know if it’s a home, condo/apartment building and what the parking situation is like.
  6. Exchange cell phone numbers in case one of your schedules change or a traffic jam delays you and you can contact each other so no one is waiting or making a trip for nothing.
  7. Lastly, I would NOT recommend buying real jewelry or valuable/collectibles on Craigslist.  It just doesn’t seem safe to have, say $500 in cash on you when you go to meet the seller to look at a watch or other piece of jewelry.  They know you have the cash on hand as a potential buyer.  Also, how do you know if the item is real??? 

Be safe and happy Craigslist shopping!

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