Friday, May 13, 2011

The Dangers of Craigslist

The following is an all-too-real account of what can go wrong in a Craigslist transaction at the time of the iPad2 launch. The item in question doesn't matter, it could be any hot in demand item, the principles remain the same:

Our local newspaper cited many of the things that the prospective buyer did right... daylight hours, deal arranged in a public place in an affluent neighborhood, person did not go alone... however, there are a few things that were seriously wrong:
  1. Never agree to meet somebody in a parking lot. No matter how busy the mall parking lot is, meet in a  busy place where there will be plenty of people who can see you, as well as the seller coming and going. Above all else, entry should be by foot. It would have been better in the above case to have met inside the mall in the food court or at one of the coffee shops. Bad guys will think twice about robbing somebody and then having to run through long corridors with plenty of witnesses and security cameras.
  2. Don't describe to the buyer what car you'll be driving up in. You don't want a bad guy to follow you back to the car after a transaction. Also, don't walk back to your car if there is no traffic in the vicinity.
  3. If it's too good to be true, it is. This is where the whole deal fundamentally went wrong. Yes, there are those out there who will have bought an iPad and then resold it because they were not happy with it... but seriously, how many such people exist? Let alone, how many people would be dissatisfied with two? There are a few sad sacks out there who hoarded the iPad2 and are now trying to unload them, but you have to wonder at the payoff verses finding one in-store.
Don't get me wrong, this is a terrible thing to have happened to these people, especially the innocent bystanders, but it illustrates the point that it's harder to deceive an honest person than it is to deceive a less honest person. Especially for new and hot items, you have to be on guard to not ignore the "It's too good to be true" messages that you're brain is sending you... because when it's too good to be true, a part of you will want to believe it.

For a brief guide for getting a good deal and for increasing your chances of safely completing a transaction, check out this post.

1 comment:

  1. mah boi.Safety is what all true warriors strive for.