A Guide To Not Getting Stabbed By Someone From Craigslist
Craigslist is a wonderful 21st century version of the flea market or garage sale so often fondly remembered in American folklore. In its most basic form if you have a bunch of stuff you don’t want anymore, throw that stuff up on Craigslist. Bought some new furniture? Put that old couch on the Craigslist and make a few dollars. Too many shoes? Call up Craigslist. I recently sold some items on Craigslist as I complete my move to Canada. As a well versed Craigslist user I have written the following simple guide to avoiding the worst of Craigslist commerce. No, not getting ripped off, but getting stabbed.
1. Be as specific as possible in your description.
The first step in not getting stabbed by someone from Craigslist (well besides never going to Craigslist) is to be as clear as possible with your product description. While thoroughness is not an indicated deterrent to stabbage, it will increase the number of legitimate customers. I have a theory that if someone really wants what you are selling they will be less likely to stab you. (Or actually more likely to stab, its a fine calculation.) If you are selling a computer, include how much memory, how big the hard drive is, and what operating system is installed. Maybe someone will really want your old Compaq with 1gig of RAM and pirated copy of Windows ME.
2. Answers Questions Through Email and Text
Another key step in not getting stabbed by someone from Craigslist is keeping your interaction to a minimum and not revealing information like real phone numbers or email addresses. Clearly someone could use your real phone number to find your address and then show up on your doorstep to stab you. Start a burner email address not associated to any identifiable information. Also, don’t be so eager to return messages. Let the potential buyer sweat a little bit. Stabbing is generally impulsive. Taking a few hours to respond to whether or not your naked body had touched whatever you’re selling might weed out those impulsive stabbers.
3. Meet In A Public Place
To be honest, this one should be a no brainer. I think its universally accepted at this point that stabbings, much like the best kind of dancing, are more likely to occur when no one is watching. So meeting in public place, like a Quiktrip, or a church parking lot during Founders Weekend, or better yet at a police station. All of these places minimize your exposure to stabbings. Well, unfortunately the latter location might increase your chance of being shot in the back. (Politics!)
These are a just a few tips to avoid getting stabbed when selling items on Craigslist.