Craigslist rolls out local “Safe Zones”

By Oregon Better Business Bureau

Buying and selling secondhand goods on Craigslist can be a handy way to pick up some extra cash—or snag a great deal. If you’re not keen on having strangers meet you at your home, there’s a solution that’s been popping up all over the U.S.

While it’s always a good idea to meet in a public place when dealing with an anonymous online transaction, some communities have taken it a step further. Police departments have begun offering up their parking lots for Craigslist and other online transactions in the hopes of cutting down on crime.

Connecticut’s Hartford Police Department is the latest to invite Craigslisters to do business in its designated “Operation Safe Lot,” right outside HPD headquarters.

Want to find a safe location near you? You can check out Safe Trade Stations, a website that lists the designated zones. Here’s a map of all the areas so far:

If there isn’t such a location in your area, you can still meet in an open place with lots of people around—or even in your local police department lot.

If you’re not able to transport a large item like a couch or TV to another location, or meeting at someone else’s home, you can still take steps to help minimize the risk of theft or another crime. Make sure you’re not alone—and not outnumbered, says Safe Trade. The rest of the tips are here.

For more information, you can check out NPR’s article, Police Departments Open Up ‘Safe Lots’ For Craigslist Transactions, and BBB’s tips on safe Craigslist shopping.

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