I write a lot about thrifting and Craigslist, and so I need to address safety when dealing with strangers and strange places.
Craigslist and facebook transactions:
Always meet in a public place. Starbucks are great. Facebook shows public meeting places nearby. Libraries are good when they’re open.
Tell someone where you’re going, and why, and for what.
Take someone with you, preferably an able-bodied, young male. Sons are great for this task, especially if fast food rewards are involved. You’re carrying cash and meeting a stranger, so use extreme caution.
Thrift, second-hand stores, and flea markets:
Most are large and brightly lit, but always be aware of your surroundings and who is nearby.
Wear disposable gloves or carry hand sanitizer.
Garage and estate sales:
Tell someone where you’re going.
Take someone with you to a strange part of town. If it gets too strange, like filthy and isolated with no customers, turn around. This isn’t American Pickers and you don’t have a camera crew. No deal is worth your safety.
There are good deals to be had on E-Bay, which is a safe way to thrift.