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Cecropia

When you sell stuff through local Facebook/Craigslist...

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...do you let people come to your home, or do you always meet in a public place?

I'm gearing up to sell through Facebook for the first time.  Trying to weigh the safety risks in having strangers come to the door vs. the time and gas-wastage of meeting elsewhere.  It's 4 miles (one-way) to the closest meeting spot I would call open, public, and safe.

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Usually DH is doing the selling and he is fine with people coming to the house.   If I were arranging the sale, I would only have them come to the house when DH, DS24 and our two big dogs were all home because I’m a chicken.

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I usually have them come here.   someone else is almost always home, and we have other people on our street who are also usually home.

I've never sold jewelry or new electronics.  while I've sold tvs/equipment - it's been much older and practically giving it away already.

but I do pay attention to the responses I receive.  if they dont' give me a phone number - I delete it as "not serious".  (scammers and thieves won't give you a phone number either.)  

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If the person isn't comfortable coming to our house, I don't have a problem meeting them somewhere.  And 4 miles away wouldn't bother me in the least.  

But I don't generally have a problem with them coming to my house either.  The risk is really really low.

There are a couple of categories where the risk is increased a little bit.  Things like electronics or cell phones, those can targets for violence.  Vehicles can be big targets for scammers, but not usually violence.  But, really, the risk of violence if I am having someone come to pick up a bolt of fabric, or a used bread machine is extremely low.  

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I nearly always meet in a public place with a few exceptions. It's easy for me to do that and is about the same distance as the OP.

When we were getting our other house ready for sale, I was a little more loose about that because some of the things were way too big/heavy for me to move.  I also had a trash can that was a giveaway, and I just put it on the street about an hour before they were going to come by. I didn't consider it worth my time to meet them in town.

I'm getting ready to sell some things now that will go for less than $50 each. I will meet them in a public place.

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5 hours ago, Cecropia said:

...do you let people come to your home, or do you always meet in a public place?

I'm gearing up to sell through Facebook for the first time.  Trying to weigh the safety risks in having strangers come to the door vs. the time and gas-wastage of meeting elsewhere.  It's 4 miles (one-way) to the closest meeting spot I would call open, public, and safe.

 

Most of the time I meet in a public place

We were friends with Ruth Ann Kirtland & family when I was in HS, who had just lost her step-daughter to, it was thought, someone who came by in response to ad selling things.

ETA: Link and correct spelling of name. http://www.txexecutions.org/reports/184.asp

I don't know why they say Pat and her.. the only name we knew her by was Ruth ann. We met her the September after this. Maybe she changed the name she went by? I don't know and I don't remember the husband's name. My dad was taking classes at Texas A&M with her and they studied together, and brought me along as a sort of chaperone. (She also had a much younger son who was sometimes there. But I was a freshman in high school. More of a babysitter than a friend)

Edited by vonfirmath
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I let people come to my house. I fail to see how having somebody picking up a box of used books at my door is dangerous. And I am certainly not lugging a 20 year old sofa to a public location to give it away. A person could easily walk up to my house *without* me selling something. Or break in when I'm not home.

Edited by regentrude

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Over the last year, we've bought 5 large-ish pieces of furniture. (Plus a patio set that was already outside.) Of the five pieces, only one was waiting at the bottom of the driveway. The other four pieces dh and I carried out to his truck.

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1 hour ago, regentrude said:

I let people come to my house. I fail to see how having somebody picking up a box of used books at my door is dangerous. And I am certainly not lugging a 20 year old sofa to a public location to give it away. A person could easily walk up to my house *without* me selling something. Or break in when I'm not home.

People have been attacked when selling some highly desirable items.  Usually it will be something like a new-ish cell phone.  The person coming to buy it wants the phone, but doesn't want to pay for it, so they attack the seller and steal the phone.  This has happened when people meet someplace not their home as well.  But yes, in terms of something like used books, or a 20 yr old sofa, it's incredibly unlikely that someone is using that sort of stuff to target violence.

 

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I haven't sold that much through FB, but when I do, it's usually baby stuff, toys or furniture. The baby stuff I met them in a parking lot. The furniture and kids playhouse, I had them come here when dh was home for safety and to help move it out. It was either in my garage or in the backyard (kids playhouse). But I'm not selling a car or an Xbox or something people would think is worth stealing or robbing me of. 

I prefer NextDoor because it's only local and you can see other people's addresses in case something happens. 

The thing about meeting someone is that people can be no-shows and I'd rather they no-show while I'm home than while I'm waiting around in a busy parking lot while running my car because it's hot outside.

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I meet in the Fred Meyer parking lot or if it is something a little worrisome, in front of our bank.  With their security cameras.  The bank people told me that this is often the case, and that people who take cash-only, often do the deal IN the bank, so they can have the money checked to make sure it is not counterfeit.  

We had one item we had to sell out of the house, and I vetted the purchasers pretty well, and dh was the one who met them here.  I don't let that happen very often though because he ALWAYS lets people talk him out of at least 10% of the sales price.  LOL 

 

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Smaller items I meet somewhere public. Our police station has spots outside specifically for this, or I meet outside the library, store, whatever. Big stuff like furniture they come here. 

Funniest thing was when i sold a bunk bed - we made all the arrangements and then at the end I gave them my address. Turns out they were moving into the house directly behind me!!!! Instead of renting a truck to get it like he expected my husband helped him carry it to his house, lol. 

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Most recently, I've had people come to the house.  We were in the middle of moving, and I didn't want the added hassle of arranging meetings away from home.  Otherwise it depends on the item, how badly I want it gone, how difficult it might be to otherwise sell, and if I'm going to be home with my kids alone or not.

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