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Selling Things SAFELY on Craigslist

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Lori Getz: It has happened again: A Craigslist posting has led to a violent death. This isn't the first time, and I'm afraid it won't be the last if we continue to let our guard down on the Internet. In the physical world, we don't invite total strangers we've known for 20 seconds into our homes where our children are playing -- yet we allow common sense to fly out the window when we meet people in the cyber world.

woman using laptop computer

As momlogic has previously reported, a terrible crime occurred on April 28, 2010, in Edgewood, Washington, when three men and a woman came to James Sanders' family home in answer to an ad he'd placed on Craigslist (he was selling a diamond ring). The intruders shot and killed Sanders in front of his wife and two sons. It's heartbreaking.

It's VITAL that we begin to implement the same common-sense rules in the cyber world that we use in the physical world. Exchanging goods online can be a perfectly safe experience if you just follow two simple rules:

1) Create a pseudo-identity.Anytime you use a website wherein you interact with strangers online, you need to set up a safe account. Never include personal information (such as your address or home phone number)in the ad.Set up an e-mail account that does not identify you by name. If you are going to invite people to call you, you may want to think about creating a Google Voice number. It's easy and free, and can be done without revealing who you really are and where you live.

2) Create a safe environment.It is NEVER a great idea to invite a total stranger into your home. Whenever possible, meet the buyer in a public place and bring a friend! The public place should be a highly populated location or even a police-station parking lot. Also, make sure someone other than the person you are with knows where you are going and who you are meeting.If you are selling something big, like a couch, that's a tough one .... My gut reaction is to tell you that it's better to be safe than sorry. Craigslist may not be the place to sell an item like this if you can't move it to a public location.

There are plenty of good, honest people in this world; obviously, not everyone on Craigslist is dangerous. In fact, thousands of items are safely bought and sold online every year. But when it comes to the safety of you and your family, you'll have to decide how much risk you're willing to take!


28 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anon May 14, 2010, 5:01 PM

he screwed up and paid the price

Devan Hamlin Crow May 15, 2010, 7:48 AM

http://craigslistemailadextractor.com/ Craigslist Email Ad Extractor is an marketing tool software that allows you to select any combination of ALL categories and ALL cities and counties on Craigslist.com and extracts all data and get emails from the postings. The search results are saved in an excel format, which can be used to filter, sort and save to files as CSV or tab delimited for easy uploading to MySql and MS Access databases. If you are looking for a software to help with your online marketing needs by replying to craigslist ad postings, this is it.

mercaties May 15, 2010, 11:13 PM

I live in EdgeWood where this happened and it is very very sad. These people lived in a very nice upscale neighborhood. People have to be so careful. We use Craigslist all the time, my husband and I never ever meet anybody at our home or theirs. Always, in a public place and we always go together. You have to be so careful.

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