Avoid risk and stay safe when selling via classifieds in Nextdoor - a neighborhood app like Craigslist (but better). Read on to see how I vet potential buyers before making a transaction.
My parents just told us that they’d be coming for a visit over Spring Break. In anticipation, I thought I’d give the guest room a once-over and determine 1 small improvement to make their stay more enjoyable. For example, the last time they were here we installed a closet rod with hangers. This time, I decided to remove the pile of “storage” that was sitting at the bottom of the closet that included a stack of décor pillows, some luggage, and an old speaker/subwoofer set.
The next question was – what to do with all of this stuff in my little abode? To start, I permanently placed 2 of the pillows on the bed for dramatic effect and tossed the others in the play area for “fort-building”. I then lugged the luggage up to our newly built 8x10 attic platform – a 2015 Christmas present courtesy of my husband (aka "Moola Dad"). And, finally, I tested the speaker/subwoofer (they worked!) and then googled the model number for information on its value (they had some!).
I knew Nextdoor would be my best bet for selling this stuff since eBay shipping costs would be whack, I'm not into pawn stores, and it's not quite garage sale season. So, I used their app to make a classified posting at 10% (vs. 20% since I wanted it to move quickly) of its original value ($199). I didn’t have to wait long for bids to roll in. Within hours, I had 2 offers and was pleased with my progress. Just one more step and I’d be ready to offload the product.
I put on my imaginary PI hat and got to work. I first went to WhitePages.com to check if the inquiring guy actually lived in my neighborhood. After confirming he did (✓#1
), I also ran the free background check and learned he had 2 small criminal/traffic violations - which was no more than the free report suggested about myself (✓#2
). Then, I went to Facebook to see if he had a “normal” looking page/feed – yup, all clear (✓#3
). After that, I scanned LinkedIn and learned that we were 3 connections away (✓#4
). All of this intel raised my confidence in the fact that I wouldn’t be anyone’s next crime victim and so I gave him my number and asked him to call for the address.
After a friendly chat (all the while subconsciously judging his character (✓#5
)) and a reminder to him that I “did my homework”, I gave him the all clear to meet me at my curb the next morning for an exchange. Note - as added protection from the hypothetical wrongdoing, my hubs hadn't yet left for work and was lurking behind as I made the cash exchange (✓#6
). To some, this amount of due diligence might seem a little overzealous, but I promise you it took no more than 5min and gave me the added security I needed to make this transaction. After all, neighbors are really just strangers that live next door.
In the end, I was perfectly safe and sound, $20 richer, and had somewhat expanded my own social network because of my choices. Overall, my Nextdoor experience was next to perfect and yours can be too by following this advice. Moreso - after further checking into it, Nextdoor actually has a function called "Verify a Neighbor". Good thinking; this step is a preventative way to make your neighborhood safer and more legitimate!