When shopping on eBay and Craigslist
When shopping on eBay and Craigslist for a used car what are some precautions one can take to avoid getting ripped off?
Shopping eBay and Craigslist can be a great way to save money and buy a car for less than at a dealership, however, you must take precautions and do some extra digging. The most basic rule is to not buy a car sight unseen which means you should shop within a distance you will be able to travel to check out the vehicle. When shopping on eBay, look carefully at the seller's ratings and read the feedback left by buyers. Take the car to your mechanic, or if that is not possible, eBay recommends sgsauto.com which has a national staff of trained inspectors. Whether you're shopping eBay or Craigslist, do some consumer checking on the make and model you are considering. Perhaps 2004 was not a good year for the particular car you're considering, or maybe there is a history of electrical system problems with your intended model.
Do not pay cash for a car, but instead protect yourself and the buyer by using an escrow company as the go-between. If you don't want to do that, use Pay Pal or a credit card. While you may have heard that it's easiest to bargain with cash, it's also possible to be robbed while making the transaction. Decide on your top price before you begin negotiations and stop when you get there.
This site has a wealth of information about car buying. There are tips about how to buy a used car, buying from the classifieds, checking the history of a car, financing and buying extended warranties, what to avoid, and many other topics. While most of it is not specifically about eBay or Craigslist transactions, there are numerous tips and guidelines to help you shop.
This is a valuable site to look up prices for the cars you are considering. You enter the year, make, model, location of car, condition and it will give you the average value. Car histories are available, as well as reviews, services, and articles on various topics from Car Buying Tips to a Car Safety Guide to a Green Car Guide.
If you are not close to your mechanic, hire a mechanic to come to the car no matter where it is located. They do a quick 150-point inspection and the report is available online within 24 hours. If you are not able to see the car yourself, they also take interior and exterior pictures. This service is available for less than $100 for most cars.
This escrow company emphasizes protecting yourself against fraud by controlling the transfer of funds through a trusted third party who disburses money according to the terms of agreement between the buyer and seller. It requires that both parties register on the website, the funds are paid into the escrow account and verified, but the buyer has a chance to take delivery and inspect the purchase and accept it before the funds are released to the seller. If the purchase is unsatisfactory, the buyer has a set number of days to reject the purchase and cancel it.