Stay safe when meeting in person
When selling through Craigslist, be careful whom you invite to your home, says McGrath. While the risk of assault or injury is small, women especially need to be careful when meeting Craigslist buyers, and McGrath doesn't recommend meeting them at your home. If you must, women should have another adult, preferably a male, there.
"It's easier to overpower women and take the goods or money," he says. "If you have kids at home, do you want to expose them to that danger?"
Instead, insist on meeting at a public place to avoid being robbed, says McGrath. Supermarket parking lots can be good because they have video monitors, and criminals know that, he says.
Your local police station parking lot is also a good meeting spot, says Chris Hsiung, captain at the Mountain View Police Department in California. "If they're legitimate, they're not going to hesitate to do that. They may have the same apprehension you have," he says.
When you have the cash in hand, whether you're the buyer or the seller, be careful where you go with that money, says Hsiung, especially if it's more than a few hundred dollars. "If you just sold something and the guy gives you a huge chunk of money, you could get robbed right after," he says. Most importantly, if you're not comfortable with the person you're selling to, don't go through with the transaction.