My partner was is listing her car for sale (about $9-10K CAD). She got contacted by someone who wanted to pay with cash bills.
He was somewhat reassuring about the obvious risks of walking around with a lot of money, but it still felt offputting: if they agreed, he'd walk with her to her bank, hand her the money once there and she could deposit it herself.
So, she's not going to get robbed. But it still feels very odd. You can understand why a company would want to get paid in cash for services - to avoid reporting income to tax authorities. But for a buyer to go through the trouble of using cash seems weird - and not even very reassuring from their PoV if they got sold a lemon. So I am trying to understand possible motivations for wanting to use cash.
So what should one be on the lookout for in these circumstances?
Counterfeit? That seems unlikely since the bank ought to catch it. But she's the one holding the bag if the bills are found to be fakes.
Money laundering? Under $10K, she's not going to have to make any declarations about how she got the money when depositing. The buyer can then resell his car later on, looks like a perfectly legitimate transaction at that point.
Note: She did not pursue this sale with this person. However, I was curious if paying cash was common practice with car buyers and what the risks would have been. The accepted answer covered both sides: motivations and it being common practice or not, as well as risk mitigation.