So you need an Apple Watch. Okay, no one really needs one, but let’s say you want one. I’ll save you the trouble of looking it up — $595 — at the Apple Store. That’s before tax. Yeah.
But you’re not daunted. You go to Kijiji. Here we go, Apple watch series 5, 40 mm, GPS, brand new, $500. Here’s another, $499, $480. And those prices are without taxes. Craigslist? Nope, just ads for prostitution services populating entire sections of craigslist not intended for those types of ads. Facebook marketplace? $500, $650 (really????), $480.
So, wise shoppers, if your’e gonna go out and get something, it’s significantly cheaper to buy it gently used from someone else. Capitalism is great, but landfills aren’t. Buying stuff used is a bargain hunter’s paradise. But that leads to the most challenging part of online purchases. Trust.
You’re supposed to show up to some location with money and make an exchange.
So some people try to make this less stressful in all sorts of ways. They meet only when someone is around. They bring others with them. They meet in a public location. They meet at a workplace, a coffeeshop, the public library. It’s all… well… still a little creepy.
Montreal Police have stepped in to establish Montreal’s First Safe Trading Zone. The chosen location is 1432 St Catherine West, at the Neighbourhood Police Station 20. The Station is open 24-7, and there are pretty much always people in the area. The zone is under video surveillance. Several other trading zones will be created in 2020.
The Montreal Police say in their press release that the zone is intended “to help prevent fraud.” Are the police going to study the footage and figure out who sold you those fake ear buds that came from Ali Express? Okay, you can hope being caught on video might dissuade the fakeos. The zone seems much better as just a safe space in which to conduct a transaction between two parties. One thing that the zone might do is discourage the selling of stolen goods (or the purchase of them). Someone with stolen property is less likely to do the exchange knowing there’s a surveillance camera pointed at them.
Buying and selling on line is a great way to get things on the cheap, as well as offload the things you don’t want while picking up a few extra bucks. Montreal’s Safe Trading Zones will hopefully make that even easier.
A few tips for buying and selling:
- Only pay for the goods after you’ve seen them in person. Don’t pre-pay by your phone to reserve something
- Avoid bringing large sums of cash. If there are large sums, do the transaction at a bank
- Meet in a public location
- Tell someone you are meeting a stranger
- Meet during the day
- Disable your caller ID (*67) when calling the buyer, and don’t use your personal email
- Keep your cell phone with you
- Do not reveal personal information
- If someone is selling a bulldog puppy or a blue macaw for a very low price, you should immediately think, “Scam.”