The Vanderbilt University Police Department has set up an exchange area for items bought and sold online.
Now signs reserve two parking spots in the parking lot for the “Exchange Area.” Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff can meet at the department lobby to exchange items bought or sold on sites like eBay, Craigslist, Letgo or OfferUp. It is the first time something like this has been offered on campus.
Police said the entire area is monitored by security cameras and is well-lit.
Either the buyer or seller must be affiliated with Vanderbilt University to use the Exchange Area.
Police said all exchanges must be registered in advance on the police department website. Participants will be asked to provide their name, contact information, a date and time of the transaction, and the items being sold. Police will monitor the log of scheduled trades. There is also an Exchange Zone sign-in log in the police department’s lobby where the seller and buyer are required to sign in when they arrive.
Police believe by requiring the additional information, possible thefts and robberies can be prevented.
“In my mind, if one of our students, staff or faculty are asking for information, and someone doesn’t want to provide it, it’s a red flag to do business with someone else,” said Rick Burr, Assistant Police Chief at the Vanderbilt University Police Department.
Burr said he hasn’t seen issues with crimes being committed during these transactions on campus, but police want to keep it that way.
Burr recommended people find a designated safe zone to complete online sales. He also said it is a good idea to alert family or friends of where you are meeting for the exchange, and to make sure your cell phone is charged in case you need to call police.
The Vanderbilt University Police Department is located at 2800 Vanderbilt Place. The Exchange Area is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.