artefaqs - 8:45 pm on Mar 12, 2010 (gmt 0)
If that's the case (full of cash?!) I'm going to start hanging out at the airport more, looking for errantly misplaced briefcases or duffel bags with green paper hanging out of them.
Contrary to what the American Express commercials want you to believe, chances are that shiny new stove at that hip new bistro down the street was very likely paid for in cash. When you get to a certain level in certain businesses, there are substantial incentives for using cash.
forget about the suitcases and cash idea, there are important limitations to the cash you are allowed to travel with international. Ask the Swiss !
That may be your gut feeling, but it's far from the truth. Many people travel internationally every day with cases full of cash. It's so common that there are forms and procedures for handling just this sort of thing.
As a US citizen, I can't speak to the OP's situation since he's in the UK. But here's a link to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection flyer about transporting large sums of money overseas [cbp.gov]. Its very first line states:
It is legal to transport any amount of currency or other monetary instruments into or out of the United States.
All you have to do is complete this form [fincen.gov] and go about your business.
If, as you stipulate, there is some restriction on moving money from country to country in the E.U., well that's a discussion that's beyond the scope of this thread.
I still say deal in cash in a public place. Lowest possible risk for all parties involved.
Even if you don't go the cash route, I don't like the idea of meeting the buyer at some relative's house. It's too easy for it to be a set-up. Meet someplace public and neutral.
Maybe show the buyer the web site on a laptop in a coffee shop, then accompany him to his bank and stand with him while he withdraws the cash or has a certified check made out to you, then give him the disc or computer or flash drive or whatever.