Many people are doing a lot of business on sites such as Craigslist and Freecycle, myself included. This is a great way to get or give items and meet new people, but it has also been used by the wrong people as a means to rob or attack others.
As a self defense instructor, I would advise that you not invite strangers into your home. Meet them on the porch, and have a friend with you. If the item is in the house have a friend or friends there. The bad guys of the world don't like witnesses.
Hope this helps keep you safe.
Source: I have been teaching karate and self defense for over 30 years.
By shotowolf from Columbus, OH
I always meet up with someone at a McDonalds or Burger King or Coffee Shop. That way if either of you comes a bit early you are inside and safe from the elements and can have a coke or coffee while waiting. Safer then letting someone come to your house. Bigger items can be left in your car/ truck for transfer.
For really large items, make sure to never be home alone, or tell anyone that you work or what your work hours are! To much information for a burglar! They might rob you while you are at work! Also IF you do work or go to school.. never tell them that no one is home. Always insinuate that someone is always home during the day and night! As far as them calling you.
Always put in the ad to return an e-mail with their phone number included. You call them, and then *67 (?) your number, and use your cell # if possible. Remember someone can find out where you live through google with your home telephone number. I'm sure I can offer more, this is just my basics ;) Most times everything is OK with craigslist or ebay sales, but an ounce of prevention can prevent a ton of problems :)
Regarding your home phone: Google your number to see if it shows up. If it does, you can click on the name and address; it should take you to a link that will let you remove your number from Google. I did this years ago. It pays to be cautious.
Good idea about the McDonalds or BK. I would advise that a shopping centre or postal office would be good, too.Park where there are other cars, and not too far from a store's entrance. I'd also suggest to bring a friend. Most people are good people, but it only takes one bad one to do harm. Not to mention, you don't know how many of the receiving party is coming.
I live in an apartment and it is a security building, but that doesn't always mean a lot because sometimes a resident will prop the door open for one reason or another. However, people never get into my apartment itself, I always meet the person at the door with whatever I am giving away. Being I don't have a car, I can't get things from these places, but at least I can get rid of stuff, when things start to overflow. lol. I always used to toss things in a box until I had a couple boxe and then call a thrift store, but anymore they don't want to pick stuff up unless it is large items, so it is their loss. I have heard on local news that places like freecycle has cut down on donations to thrift stores.
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