Tips for Buying and Selling Vehicles Online
The World Wide Web is an amazing tool for buying and selling vehicles, but it can also introduce buyers and sellers to significant risks. While it is impossible to prevent every single online scam from happening, this page offers some precautionary tips for both buyers and sellers.
- Never wire money without verifying the authenticity of the seller. If you find a vehicle that you really like and it is listed at a low price, it is extremely important to speak to the seller via telephone or contact us. Online scammers sometimes purchase fraudulent listings online, claim to be in remote areas without telephone access, and ask the buyer to wire money to them via Western Union or PayPal.
- Check the true value of the vehicle. Online scammers often list fraudulent vehicles at extremely low prices, which can be very tempting for most people. We recommend that you look up the true retail value for each vehicle you are interested in via Kelley Blue Book and NADA Guides. If the asking price is too good to be true, it probably is and you should contact us to verify the listing.
- Be wary of text messages. Given the high value of European luxury vehicles, it is highly unusual that someone would want to buy your vehicle via a text message. Most buyers will want to speak to you via telephone and will attempt to negotiate the asking price. If the interested buyer immediately agrees to pay the asking price and offers to pay $500 extra to cover the shipping cost, you should proceed with caution and contact us.
- Do not visit PayPal links sent to you via e-mail. If an interested buyer offers to purchase your vehicle and sends you an e-mail messages that looks like it is from PayPal, do not click any of the links in the e-mail or provide your PayPal account information. This is a common phishing e-mail message, which allows the sender to capture your login information and unlawfully access your PayPal account. Always access your PayPal account by going directly to PayPal.com.
- Meet in a public place when buying/selling a vehicle online. While most people have good intentions, it is still a good idea not to disclose your home address and find a safe public location to buy or sell a big ticket item.
- Purchase a VIN report to confirm the vehicle’s history. If you decide to purchase a vehicle you found on our website, it is always a good idea to ask the seller for the vehicle identification number (VIN) and purchase a vehicle history report from CarFax or AutoCheck. Vehicles with unusually low mileage relative to their age may have been rebuilt or illegally tampered with.
- Require adequate identification for vehicle test drives. A valid driver’s license and proof of insurance should be required to test drive the vehicle. It is not a wise idea to allow the potential buyer to test drive the vehicle alone.It is okay to cancel a test drive if something does not feel right. It is always better to be safe than sorry.