Used good sales is a huge market. Most people have at one time or another been a buyer, seller, or both. And why wouldn’t they? Buyers get a deal on their purchase, and sellers get money back on items they no longer use. It truly is a win win.... until it’s not.
Through our numerous interviews over the past few months, we have heard so many stories of sales gone wrong.
Some were annoyances like wasted time from buyers or sellers not showing up, tire kickers, low ballers, etc. Others were more serious, such as home break-ins conveniently happening shortly after a sale, robberies, and counterfeit money being used. And then more extreme, there were physical altercations, and even deaths.
Many people have turned to Facebook marketplace as it makes them feel safer to see the picture and profile of the person they are dealing with, however some instances have shown the opposite to be true. Predators will use Facebook to study and lure their prey, and this can make it even more unsafe than the alternatives.
So how do you keep safe?
1. Meet somewhere public.
Choose a well lit place with plenty of traffic. While the police station is probably the safest place,
at the very least, a local coffee shop or McDonald’s will do the trick.
While this may seem obvious to some, many people choose to show up to a stranger’s home with a pocket full of cash, which brings us to number 2.
2. When meeting up with the seller, don’t use too much cash.
A buyer with a pocket full of cash is a great big target to some. Accepting the cash and walking away with it in your pocket is an equal target.
The bank is a great place to meet for your transactions. The buyer can take the cash out of the machine, and the seller can deposit it right away. Alternatively you can use e-transfer in front of the seller.
3. Bring backup.
Buy your friend(s) a coffee and have them tag along. There is safety in numbers.
4. Fully inspect the item before leaving.
This is especially true with electronic devices. Many feel awkward doing this in front of the seller, however you need to protect yourself and be sure what you are buying is not broken
5. Make sure you are not being followed.
A great way to do this is to let the other party leave before you do. Otherwise, just keep an eye out until you reach a safe distance.
6. If something feels off, walk away.
If the buyer or seller is hesitant to meet up in a public place, is asking strange questions, or something just feels “off”, trust your instincts and back away from the sale.
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