Is It Still Safe to Sell on Craigslist in 2020?

Web use on a laptop
Web use on a laptop

You’ve heard the horror stories, but there’s no reason why you can’t still sell goods on Craigslist. With more than 25 million classified ads and 1.5 million job postings at any given time, this is one of the most popular online communities. 

Is it safe to sell on Craiglist? Yes! However, just like you would when selling on other online marketplaces, you should exercise caution.

Here are a few Craigslist safety tips

  1. Keep to Local Listings
    There are Craigslist communities for cities around the world, not just here in Ohio. However, it’s a good idea to sell goods on local pages as it could be easier to get your money back if something goes wrong (although this is rare).

    Remember, there’s a dedicated page for the state of Ohio, as well as Craiglist Ohio pages for major local cities such as Columbus. 
  2. Don’t Use Your Real Email Address
    You might not want to use your real email address when selling goods online. This is perfectly legal and will provide you with some extra protection when using the platform. Unfortunately, someone could use your real email address to send you unsolicited messages or use phishing attempts to gain sensitive data. Using a “throwaway” email account could reduce the chances of this happening.
  3. Be Careful When Meeting in Public
    Once you have agreed on a price for an item, you can ship it to the buyer or arrange to meet the buyer and give it to them. If you choose the latter, stay safe. It’s always a good idea to bring a friend or family member with you. Also, arrange to meet in a public place in the daytime.

    If something doesn’t feel right before your meeting, use your intuition and cancel the transaction. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 
  4. Receive Payment in Cash
    Receiving payments in cash can have several drawbacks. You won’t have a paper trail if you need to return the payment or prove that you have received money from a buyer on the platform. You also won’t be able to receive benefits from your credit card company or bank for using a card.

    On the flip side, receiving cash gives you additional anonymity when dealing with someone from the platform. This is the safest way to receive payment on Craiglist. If you use a proxy email address and cash, the buyer will never know your name or address details, and they won’t be able to contact you once the transaction is over. This is great for internet safety!
  5. Ask for the Buyer’s Phone Number If They Come to Your House
    Sometimes, it’s just not practical to meet a buyer in a public place. (For example, you lack transport and won’t be able to transport a large item, such as a piece of furniture.) In these instances, you might want to arrange a house visit where you exchange your goods for cash.

Again, you should exercise caution and stay safe. Ask a friend or family member to attend your home visit, and always ask the buyer for a phone number so you can contact them if there is a problem.

If you have been scammed on Craiglist, or someone has jeopardized your online safety, you could be entitled to compensation. Seeking legal advice in Ohio could help you recover any money you have lost online or file a claim for damages. 

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