With Christmas right around the corner, we are all thinking of last minute ways to earn extra money and find inexpensive gifts. One idea is to buy and sell using eBay or Craigslist. Most of us are familiar with eBay, and it is the safest way to sell your belongings. But Craiglist is an alternative that has a lot of benefits.
When buying on Craigslist, you can get your purchased items faster since the exchange is done in person rather than through the mail. The price is also cheaper since you won’t have shipping costs included. The main drawback however is Craigslist does not have a feedback system like eBay. You really don’t know anything about the person you will be doing business with other than what they communicate through their posted ad or email correspondence. For that reason, we have to take precautions when using Craigslist. The following are 5 tips for staying safe when using Craigslist.
How to stay safe using Craig’s List:
1. Don’t Share Personal Information. There is no need to tell your buyer you live alone, or you have children at home. Keep those details to yourself.
2. Take a Friend. When you are meeting your Craigslist buyer, don’t go alone. Bring a friend or spouse with you.
3. Pay with Cash. If you are buying something, use cash. Using a check will give the seller access to your life. He or she will know where you live, can find your phone number, and will have your bank account number. To protect yourself from identity theft, your best defense is to pay with cash.
4. Use a Dedicated Email Address. Rather than using your work email address, or your personal email address, get a free one from places such as Yahoo.com. When you set up your email address, only use a first name. Do all of your Craigslist business through this new email address. You’ll stay more organized, and it will keep anyone from knowing your full name.
5. Meet in a Public Location. Rather than inviting your Craigslist contact to your home, plan on meeting in a public location where there will be other people around. You will be much safer than meeting in your home or their home.