Invoking the term “Craigslist Killer” is a simple way to illustrate the creepy nature of peer-to-peer purchase meetings. When you buy something off of Craigslist or LetGo or other marketplace, there are several factors at play to complete the transaction. Will the buyer show up? Will the buyer try to renegotiate the price? Is the neighborhood a little sketchy? Do I bring cash? It’s a problem that local buyers and sellers have to work around.

Take a Deposit

From the seller’s side, how many times has someone called you to say they’ll be there to pick up their purchase in an hour, and then they never show up? If they put down a deposit, that’s now held by a trusted 3rd party, they’d be far more likely to show up, especially if that deposit is for the full agreed upon amount of the purchase.

Put Down a Deposit

From the buyer’s side, how many times have you called and asked a seller to hold an item until you got there, and when you show up they’ve sold the item? If they had full knowledge that you had put down a full price deposit with a trusted 3rd party, then it’s a guaranteed hold. Both parties win.  A huge time-sucking problem gets solved. The buyer puts down a deposit and the seller has confidence that the item is actually sold.

Make Craigslist Great Again

Craigslist is a great resource for buying and selling just about anything. They’ve made it really easy to sell a wheelbarrow or a camera or a car to anyone anywhere. But that freedom and simplicity has created new opportunities for scammers as well as just plain old undependable people. Also, life happens. If you’re in a car wreck on your way to buy a lamp, calling the seller is not high on the priority list.

Lockbox Local is just getting started here in Atlanta. Do you buy and sell stuff at garage sales or through Craigslist or LetGo? Maybe give it a try.

What do you think about that?