Saturday, January 9, 2016

Personal safety for garage sales and buy and swap sites

I love the good energy of a Feng Shui clean out.   I prefer it online - through Gum Tree or good ole Facebook.  Because no one should see me at 5am pre-coffee for a garage sale.  Nothing good is going to come of that.

I particularly love meeting the shiny smiles of new creators setting up their new shop or gym and snapping up my pre-loved business or gym fit-outs.  It's good karma.  It's better karma when I connect to their hope and aspirations and give them even more money off their purchase, just because....

But there is a darker side.  There are people who text you in strange hours of the night, ask you what you are wearing - 'what else' you are selling, and, God forbid, start to ask me questions about my children.

So here are my personal safety tips for things that should be common knowledge:

1.  Do not post your full home address.  Business - maybe, but only if you are happy with your security and don't have obvious opening and closing times.

2.  Post your suburb only with "address on application".

3.  Text your address (text, do not email) when you have made a deal, have settled on an approximate pick up date and time, and they have given you their phone number.

Their phone number is a safety precaution in the worst case scenario.

So, email something like this.

"OK. I'll take $10 for my ..........   Pick up at 10ish on Saturday is good.  What's your phone number and I will text you the address?"

4.  If they have your address and they keep changing times and dates, and your gut is telling you that something is not right, pull out of the deal.

Text something like this, "My other half and I don't feel good about this anymore.  We are not going ahead with this.  Thank you for your time."

Did you see what I did there?  Implied that I have other big, important, adult person in my life that is aware of the buyers phone number, the deal, and have my back in case they try something nasty.

5.  Use very plain, very direct language in your text messages and emails.  If they do not do the same, pull out.  Mental health deterioration is easier to see in written communication, rather then phone conversations.

6.  If at any stage, the buyer asks personal questions and your hackles go up (or if your friends have ever suggested to you that you are a bad judge of character, and your hackles never go up) PULL OUT.  Your gut is King.  Your head is often wrong and misleading, but your gut is King.  And if anyone gets personal about your children and your daily activities GET OUT OF THAT CONVERSATION.

7.  If a buyer has your address and is not leaving you alone and is getting threatening, consider notifying your local police station or Police Link (not 000, most people know how I feel about that).

8.  If your 'big, important person' (real, or imagined) is not home during buyer pick-up, consider just letting your neighbour know that the transaction is about to take place and keep an eye out over the fence.  Consider even setting up a code system with neighbours, something like "We have to organise how we are getting to the game on Friday night..." means, this person is a psychopath, please call the police and check on the children.   This code system is also excellent during domestic estrangement, so neighbours have your code for when child visitations may be going pear shaped.

9.  Never tell people that you are going to be at work, holidaying, or are away from your home for extended periods: this is an invitation for criminal open house.  It is perfectly polite to say, "This time doesn't work for me.... these times do.....".

10.  Remember.  It is JUST money.  JUST.  In realty the exchange of money is just the exchange of energy - go in with positive energy and hope that you get delivered the same.  Ten fold.  But if the energy doesn't feel good, then you must look after yourself - and, most definitely, your children.

So go make somebody's dreams come true by cleaning out the clutter of a dream you once lived, and moved on from.

Just remember some of my cool tips and personal safety tricks... cause hey, that's my job...

For Erin's personal safety background please click here.

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