I want to sell a high value cell phone but I also want to stay safe.

Are there any issues with me choosing a local grocery store or restaurant to conduct the transaction (goods for money)? Does it matter if it is in the parking lot vs inside? Should I choose a shopping mall instead so that I am not physically inside a store?

I know this is kind of vague but I was just wondering if the store could pursue legal action against me or anything if they notice the activity.


  • Legal action for what? – Putvi Apr 2 '19 at 18:35
  • @Putvi I'm not sure. You're asking me my own question. If you need a re-phrasal then: Would they have an issue with me performing a transaction on their property without their consent? – MonkeyZeus Apr 2 '19 at 19:09
  • I don't think anyone cares if you exchange something you sold on Facebook. – Putvi Apr 2 '19 at 19:11
  • @Putvi Thank you for the opinion but I am trying to see if there is any legal reason for me to not perform a transaction at a business location. – MonkeyZeus Apr 2 '19 at 19:25
  • Theres not some law about selling Facebook stuff at a local business. I don't mean this in a mean way, but I doubt the business would know you were there. – Putvi Apr 2 '19 at 19:26

Are there any issues with me choosing a local grocery store or restaurant to conduct the transaction?

Yes. Strictly speaking, the interesting scenario you outline in the latter portion of this comment might render both parties liable to the store owner and/or others present (collectively, "the store") even if only one party causes harm. I will focus on this scenario. As for the store claiming ownership of the proceeds, I deem it unlikely to succeed.

Regardless of whether or not the transaction (and subsequent disturbance) can be considered a form of loitering, the store could prevail under principles of equity and hold both parties jointly and severally liable. That is because both parties deliberately arranged to utilize the store for an external transaction without the store's permission and which does not benefit the store.

Furthermore, the evident failure to notify the store in advance about the parties' plans implies that the store was deprived of the opportunity to assess the need for special arrangements, such as (1) ensuring that security personnel supervises the store during the meetup, or (2) conditioning that the transaction be performed at a more convenient time (or not at all).

To address the risk associated to sales through Craigslist/Facebook, Law Enforcement incentivates that these transactions be performed at police station parking lots and other places classified as "safe zones". This initiative makes sense because officers would be nearby and the place is videotaped in case a situation degenerates.

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  • The store isn't responsible for hiring security or any of that. If you destroy stuff they would call the police. – Putvi Apr 2 '19 at 20:49
  • @Putvi I did not say or insinuate that the store is "responsible for hiring security or any of that". I said that the mere act of keeping the store out of the loop deprives it of the opportunity to assess and/or take whatever precautions it deems fit. – Iñaki Viggers Apr 2 '19 at 20:53
  • I understand that, but even if you did put the store in the loop they are gonna do the same thing. – Putvi Apr 2 '19 at 20:54
  • @Putvi "even if you did put the store in the loop they are gonna do the same thing" ... with the difference that losses can be greater for the reason that it would take longer for the police or security to reach the place if they are not proactively given a headsup. – Iñaki Viggers Apr 2 '19 at 20:59
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    @Putvi The important take-away from this is that a business would rather you not perform transactions on their property because they are not in the business of protecting random buyers and sellers. Just because they don't notice does not mean they are okay with you being there. It's akin to saying that drug deals often go unnoticed so the store is fine with the transaction taking place on their property. This answer adequately addresses the basis of my question. – MonkeyZeus Apr 3 '19 at 12:20

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