Buying items from eBay or Facebook Marketplace this holiday season? The Albany police department is offering safe transaction zones.

I have not been a fan of the term "new normal" but the reality is, due to the pandemic, things will not be exactly the same as they were before and in some cases we need to accept a "new normal". One of those adjustments could be shopping via social media as many people will not want to go to the mall and will stay away from stores.

Certainly social media shopping isn't new. Facebook for example introduced Marketplace in 2016 but not everyone is comfortable with this way of doing business. In the last year I have purchased a drum set from an Instagram post that I saw and I sold a car on Facebook Marketplace. The Instagram transaction was flawless and I was very happy with the kit. I actually got more of a deal than I imagined from the post.

Selling the car on Marketplace was another story. The offers flooded in, accepted one and the purchaser never showed up. I found myself with a car, no buyer and the other offers went away.

Beyond the frustration of the uncertainty, if you are dealing with a cash transaction, you have the issue of safety. Are you inviting a stranger to your home? Are you going to meet someone you don't know with a pocket full of cash?

There are a variety of ways to go about your transaction. Keep these thoughts in mind. PayPal and/or credit card options may be the most secure if offered. Try to keep it local. Check out the profile of the person you are considering doing business with and if it has to be a cash deal do it at a safe transaction zone.

The Albany police department are encouraging you to complete transactions at either South Station, 126 Arch Street or Center Station, 536 Western Avenue. Each are safe zones staffed 24/7.

Have a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.



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