The intention of this topic is to help new buyers and sellers in the BitCoin community who are looking to meet up and trade locally. I've done a lot of local trades and sales over the years, so I'm hoping that my experiences can help beginners by giving them ideas on how to trade safely. For this purpose I've separated my advice into three sections: meeting for trades, advice for buying, and advice for selling.
I've tried to format everything in a clear and concise manner to make this topic more readable. I'm open to suggestions for edits and additions to help make this guide as useful as possible.
Hope this guide helps anyone looking to start trading locally!
Note: Some names/locations I mention are US based, so I apologize if they're irrelevant for your location. The theories behind this topic should be fine regardless of country.
There are three main things I look for in meeting places:
Public Location - Are there plenty of people around?
WiFi Access - Is there free or cheap public WiFi access in the area?
Security - Are there security cameras or security guards in the area?
Public locations are like Local Trading 101: it is always better to meet in a public place. Scammers and muggers are a lot less likely to try anything with witnesses around. You can usually find these people early on by simply requesting a public meeting place: they want to meet their victims alone.
Places like McDonalds, Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and many local coffee shops offer free WiFi access. A lot of hotels offer WiFi as well, but usually not for free or to non-customers. Bring a laptop or tablet with you if you have one so you can check transaction details and confirmations. Depending on what you're buying/selling/trading, having a computer to do some last second research on item values can never hurt if you're worried about getting the short end of the stick.