I just finished reading an article titled, “Why the Insane Danger of Posting on Craigslist Hit Way Too Close to Home for Me.” I could hardly get past the title without being compelled to respond. I’ve had thousands of transactions on Craigslist and I’ve learned a lot about both Craigslist, and the people that use it. My conclusion: Craigslist is not dangerous.
The article shared the story of a man that was selling some tickets on Craigslist and arranged to meet two young girls at a Starbucks, along with his girlfriend. They ended up luring him to their car where they asked to look at the tickets and proceeded to slam the door shut and drive off. In the ensuing moments as they were driving off, the man ended up being flung to the ground and got ran over by the vehicle, resulting in very serious injuries that will require months to recover from.
First of all, my heart goes out to the injured man and his family. It’s really sad to hear stories like this where people treat other people in such a way.
Second, this unfortunate incident has absolutely nothing to do with Craigslist. This could have happened to someone had they put a classified ad in the paper, an ad on a bulletin board at school or even if the person was attempting to sell the tickets in front of the venue. Craigslist is simply a marketplace that connects people. There will always be people in the world that will steal, murder and harm others in the pursuit of some sort of gain. If you want to avoid all dangerous situations in life, don’t avoid Craigslist, avoid being in contact with other human beings.
These types of things happen because there is something wrong with people, not Craigslist. I’ve had probably close to 5 thousand Craigslist transactions in the past 3 years, as I earn my living on Craigslist. Out of those thousands, I’ve only had one transaction where the lady gave my wife counterfeit money for some tools we were selling. I was out at the store at the time. We lost a few hundred bucks. Life goes on.
The lesson I learned: You can’t live in fear, or you will end up not really living. Don’t let criminals off the hook by blaming Craigslist for their actions. It distracts people from the real issue that needs to be addressed. People’s hearts.
The shifting of blame needs to stop. Schools are not bad because of school shootings. Malls are not bad because of mall shootings. Movie theaters are not bad because of movie theater shootings. Houses are not bad because people meet in them and occasionally get shot in them. Parks are not bad because people get robbed and assaulted in them. Professional ballparks are not bad because people get beat up in them. But for some reason Craigslist is bad.
The reality is that people are capable of doing horrible things, and those people can put a tarnish on an otherwise beautiful place. Craigslist has become the biggest and most used marketplace that has probably ever existed. It connects hundreds of millions of people to each other every year. People that would normally never meet or talk with one another. That is a beautiful thing. We must never allow the fear of a storm to prevent us from going back outside to enjoy the sunshine.
What’s your experience been like?
Note: I don’t recommend people meeting buyers or sellers in public parking lots. Thieves prefer public parking lots because they have an easy getaway and often can’t be traced back to a residence. It also gives them more control over the situation and environment. I recommend picking things up from people’s homes. If they don’t want you to meet them at their home, then pass on the item. The safest Craigslist transactions are carried out at the actual homes of the buyer or seller.