However, these recent news stories prove just how dangerous meeting strangers in person can be if you don’t choose a safe meet-up location.
Most people are savvy enough to avoid meeting a potential buyer or seller in a back alley or some place out in the boondocks, but in today’s world even meeting in a public place can be risky.
Luckily, there’s at least one place in most every city, town and county where you’re virtually guaranteed to have a safe and legitimate transaction: your local police station or sheriff’s office.
Most every law enforcement center in the U.S. now allows citizens to meet in their parking lots to complete their marketplace transactions. What’s more, many of these venues allow transactions to take place right in their lobbies. It’s hard to get any safer than that.
These super-safe meeting places are referred to as SafeTrade Stations and they are freely available to all. Of course they usually have a few rules you must obey (no weapons or illegal items, for example), but their rules tend to be quite reasonable.
Why are these SafeTrade Stations so safe? Well, the answers are fairly obvious:
1 – Everyone knows the parking lots and lobbies of police stations and sheriff’s offices are under constant video surveillance (and the cameras are actually monitored).
2 – Armed law enforcement personnel are literally just a few feet away at all times.
3 – If your potential trading partner is actually a robber or fraudster the chances of him/her even showing up to meet you at a SafeTrade Station are pretty close to nil.
In the unlikely event that you live in a place where meeting at a police station or sheriff’s department is impractical for you, the next best option is a heavily trafficked parking lot that is known to be under constant video surveillance.
If you end up meeting in a parking lot somewhere, don’t meet up with the other party way out in the nether regions of the lot. Instead, get as close to the building AND a surveillance camera as possible (and preferably close to the entrance).
And finally, if at all possible, take another person (or two) along with you. There really is safety in numbers.