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Author Topic: Tools you use for In-Person BTC Buying  (Read 247 times)
bitterloa
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May 28, 2017, 01:27:07 AM
 #1

Hi I'm looking to make my first in-person purchase of bitcoin from a local seller (via localbitcoins.com most likely). I did read through the complete (and good) post here about Tips for local transactions. Lots of good tips but I'd like to refine my pre-purchase 'to do' list so my first purchase is secure and efficient.

In addition to being my first in-person purchase this is my first purchase of bitcoin in general which is why I'd like to have all my tools installed and setup beforehand. My to-do list is below, I'd love to hear comments on what software/hardware you use for in-person purchases as well:

Purchasing Bitcoins (I'm in the US) and tools used:
  • Buy with cash? I can see some sellers accept other payment methods but this would mean I'd need to open an account somewhere else as well. Also I'm aware that sellers are wary of using Paypal so I most likely wouldn't use this to purchase. If you bought in person, how did you pay or what do you recommend? I'd be willing to open an account somewhere if it's better/safer than using cash. (I'm only going to purchase a few hundred dollars for my first trade but plan on purchasing more later).
  • Use the localbitcoins.com escrow service--I'm aware that I may not be required to do this for in-person trades but I'm thinking of playing it safe the first time I trade. Thoughts? Should I have a laptop present to monitor the escrow-exchange part of the deal?
  • Have my public bitcoin wallet address ready to give to the seller--I'm thinking best way to do this is to have a mobile wallet app where I setup an empty wallet ready for the transaction beforehand? I'm thinking of going with Mycelium but open to your recommendations
  • After(?) I pay, the seller will make the transfer to my wallet. Then I should wait (about how long?) and check the blockchain somehow until the transaction shows up. For example I would search https://blockchain.info/ or https://tradeblock.com and ensure the transfer went through to confirm the purchase. Is this normal and what you would do? Do sellers expect this and will they wait for the transaction to confirm? Any sites you recommend to check?
  • Soon after the sale and receiving funds in my mobile wallet, I should transfer the funds to a more secure wallet. I'm thinking about purchasing a hardware wallet for this a la Ledger Nano S or the Trezor. I could do this transfer after the seller has left but I'm just wondering what you guys do in practice. Alternatively I suppose I could transfer the coins directly to a wallet hosted at an exchange like Kraken or Coinbase if I plan on doing any trades.

General Things to do:
  • Meet in a public place, preferably in the daytime. Make sure to hash out the full agreement beforehand with the seller regarding amounts and method of payment. Don't give out phone number or other info if possible. Maybe bring a friend along. For the first time use a seller with a long history and positive reputation.
  • Don't use wifi if you can avoid it. Best to turn off wifi on all devices and use a cellular network to do the transfer. Probably the best way to do this is with a mobile wallet on your phone, or to tether a laptop to your phone for internet access.

A lot of purchasing in person just seems to be using common sense and safety precautions. And building a positive trust relationship with a good seller. I just want to go in knowing what to do so that I don't waste the seller's time and also that I'm confident I know when the transfer goes through. Thanks!

p.s. This is my first post but I've tried to do as much research as possible before posting. Thank you for reading!
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marlo1001
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May 11, 2018, 12:12:42 PM
 #2

I am still the beginner in this bitcoin community and I am actually working on coming up with the right way to make transactions etc. so trying to get as much experince as possible.

eternalgloom
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May 11, 2018, 02:23:14 PM
 #3

Aside from just meeting in a public place, make sure you go somewhere where there are cameras.
If something does happen, you can always ask for the footage to be used as evidence.

I would also wait for one or two confirmations, but it could end up taking a pretty long time if you're unlucky.


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