Not too long ago, we explained the precautions that should be taken when you attempt to make a purchase on Craigslist. This site and others like it don’t have the same safeguards against harm that other websites do, as you’re basically dealing with private citizens that you’ll more likely than not have to meet in person. Those previous tips we provided focused on staying safe when making a purchase, but the tips included in a new report detail what to do if you’re the seller.
You’ll want to limit your identifying information in any ad you take out, and when someone gets in touch with you, you should make sure that you get their name, phone number, and maybe even an address or driver’s license number if they’re purchasing a car. Once you know who the person is, do a Google search and see if you can find them and confirm that they are who they say they are.
Setting up a meet in the appropriate place is critical. The Milwaukee PD has taken to advising citizens to meet buyers in the parking lot of a local police department. Whether you meet at such a place or elsewhere, make sure that the venue is public, in sight of a bunch of people, and that you’re meeting during normal business hours. Make sure that you take an acquaintance with you to the meet and that you’ve informed others of where you’re going to be.
Every once in awhile, though, this kind of public meet isn’t going to be possible. For instance, you might be trying to get rid of something like an entertainment center that isn’t easily moved. Thus, if you have your heart set on selling your hefty item on a site like Craigslist, you’ll have to run the risk of letting someone into your home.
You must take extreme precautions during these times. If possible, bring the object outside onto your driveway so the buyer can’t get a look at the inside of your home. But if moving it is out of the question, partition the room the item is in from the rest of your residence. Just like at the public meet, you absolutely must have someone or even a group of people with you who can act immediately should someone try something dangerous.
Exercise your rights to protection. Take a photo of the buyer and the vehicle they drive up in. Even ask them for their driver’s license so that you have a point of reference for the cops. An unsavory character will be loathe to hand over this information, but anyone else should oblige. If the buyer shows up with someone, that’s fine, but make sure they stay together. Don’t let one person out of your sight.
Finally, if something seems awry, call the authorities. Take no chances with your personal safety.