Monday, December 4, 2017

Buyer Beware...

Many new ways have popped up recently for purchasing big ticket items.  You no longer have to go to Best Buy to buy that camera, or a car dealer to buy a car.  You can find great deals on Craigslist, NextDoor, Ebay and the myriad other apps and websites that handle such things.

Then you contact the seller, set up a time and location to meet, and take a large amount of (usually) cash with you to an area you are not familiar with, to meet up with a stranger.  What's wrong with that?

If you find yourself in the position of the buyer in such a transaction, there are some things you should keep in mind.  Never meet the seller in an alley or on a dead end street.  Never meet behind a business.  Never meet in the middle of nowhere.  And if possible, don't carry the cash with you.  Stash it in your trunk, or better yet, go to the bank AFTER you're sure you want to buy.

Many local police agencies have even created "safe transaction areas" or "safe exchange zones" at or near the police department. These areas are populated, well lit, frequented by cops and recorded with cameras.  There really is no safer place to make a large dollar Craigslist transaction, and if the seller won't agree to it, then you probably didn't want to do business with them in the first place.

They're also great for other contentious matters like child custody exchanges or civil processes that you want to have in a safe location.

If you have to make a purchase through an online peer to peer system like Craigslist, do me a favor and protect yourself.  I have taken too many robbery and assault reports from people who trust too much.

Be safe...

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