I buy a lot of furniture to makeover for the Nest. One of my primary sources of beautiful furniture pieces is Craigslist…especially in the colder months. I CANNOT wait until yard sales begin, but until then, Craigslist is my most frequented source. I would like to talk a little tonight about being safe when it comes to purchasing pieces off of Craigslist. First of all, Craigslist is an AWESOME on-line way of both buying and selling furniture. With that being said, it is VERY important to be safe when using this site. Just this year, a man was attacked and beaten while making a transaction that occurred over Craigslist. In another story, a man was beaten and then killed while on his way to pick up a TV he bought over Craigslist. It has been my resolution this year to be more safe when making interactions and transactions over Craigslist.
First, let’s bear in mind that you don’t know a thing about the person who you are interacting with on Craigslist.
They could be perfectly legit, but they could be off their rocker. You just don’t know.
Tonight, my husband and I picked up a dresser and nightstand to makeover. My Jeep’s hatch has broken and I can’t haul anything right now inside the car.It is seriously cramping my style let me tell you.
So because of this, I have to haul items on my roof rack that we have secured with bungee cords.
I need my husband to assist as a result.
While picking up the dresser, I noticed the owner of the house has an outstanding collection of very sharp and very scary looking knives and swords displayed above the fireplace. Shiny, sharp and dangerous knives. And it totally freaked me out. It reminded me of just how important it is to use extreme caution when making these transactions. I don’t mean to scare you, but it is critical y’all!
I remember early on when I started to use the site to find great furniture pieces…I sent my husband Chris to pick up a dining room table for our home. When he arrived, the seller invited him in to pick up the table and what Chris remembers best was what appeared to be a sniper rifle propped up along the wall. Scary stuff. The guy was fine, but Chris learned very quickly the seriousness of being safe when using Craigslist as a result of that transaction.
Lastly during another pick up, my good friend Megan and I met someone in another town to pick up a sweet dresser. The man met us in a parking lot and proceeded to say “Follow me.” He led us down winding, wooded roads and I was pretty sure he was going to kill us. He led us to a cabin in the middle of nowhere. My heart was pumping hard at that point. I considered if the dresser was worth that much. I even went so far as to text his license plate number and generally directions to our location to my husband in case anything happened. It was a bit freaky. I remember grabbing my phone and asking him to turn on an outside light as it was pitch black out. Yikes. Turns out he was nice and perfectly normal, but my oh my, it is a memory I continue to keep. Be safe and if something feels bad, go with your gut. Always.
I think I drove the point home, right?
Here are some tips I use when dealing with Craigslist:
1. When interacting with someone from Craigslist, I try to respond without indicating too much about myself including my gender. Best to not indicate I am a woman..I keep things neutral and right to the point.
2. Only once I get to know them a bit better do I leave my name. Never my last name. That is not at all necessary. I would also recommend using the generic Craigslist email rather than a personal one. Think anonymity.
3. Always, always take a friend when you can. Safety in numbers. If you absolutely can’t take anyone with you, only pick up during day light hours and/or in a public place. With furniture pieces, meeting in a public place isn’t always possible, but if you can, definitely do that. If I can’t take my husband, I will always tell him where I am going and the address. I call him at work on the way and have him jot down all the info just in case. God forbid anything would happen. I feel better knowing he is aware of where I am.
4. If you can ask the seller to have the piece of furniture outside and ready for you, that is a good move. Being outside keeps you in the view of the public and thus safer. It may seem a weird request at the time, but it is worth it. I figure the seller may be nervous anyway about an unknown person coming into their home as well so it may be a move that is of benefit to both parties.
5. Always have your exact amount of money ready when you go in. Don’t pull out a wad of bills. Don’t fiddle with your expensive electronics. Just give them the cash. I always lock all my valuable in the car or glovebox when picking things up and I try very hard to avoid bring my purse if at all possible
6. Interacting via text and email is fine, but speaking to them over the phone is very helpful is establishing rapport and helping you to get a better sense about the person. I always feel more at ease if I have spoken to the seller over the phone. Always.
7. Always follow your gut. If you have a bad feeling about something, don’t ignore it…listen to it. If something feels wrong or weird or sketchy, it probably is. Intuition is a wonderful thing.
So this year I vow to be more caution while shopping off Craigslist.
I would love to hear your stories about this resource or other tips you may have that may benefit all those reading this post!
Let’s be smart.