Buying and selling a used car can be frightening, threatening and time-consuming. Pricing is not transparent, it’s tough to identify if you’re buying a value vehicle, and financing options are sometimes imperfect.
Common methods in the sale-by-owner market include putting a sign on your car’s windowpane, parking alongside a busy street, listing in the newspaper, or posting on online listing services. Then you wait, hoping and praying that you’ll quickly find a reasonable and friendly buyer who will offer you top cash for your car. Unfortunately, that is not usually how it goes.
We think the private car market is the way to go, as you can find great cars at great values. To help you avoid falling prey to these scams, we have developed the following list of tips for owners selling their cars privately:
- When registering a car, don't give your personal contact information until you are comfortable with the purchaser. Take benefit of the email anonymizers that let you stay anonymous until you are set to elevate your veil.
- Provide relevant information’s in your listing on how to respond, such as: "Anyone interested you can email me with their phone number and email address so we can connect."
- Normal online scams involve a quick email response asking effortless questions like "any accidents?" Their aim is just to find your email address.
- Instead, don’t reply to overly elaborate explanations like "Hi, I am stationed in Baghdad and like to buy your car for my dad in Cleveland who needs transportation to get his diabetes pills." It’s full of scam stories only.
- Verify the buyer’s email address; this could be an indicator of a scammer. Make sure the email equals the name of the person responding. Avoid responding to "John adams" when john’s email as "firstname.lastname@example.org." If there are random letters in an email, like "email@example.com," it’s possibly a scammer.
- When calling a possible buyer for the first time, contact them from your work number or a public phone as opposed to your home or cell number so the scammer can't trace your home or cell phone number through caller ID. If you get a voicemail that’s not the probable buyer’s voice and is just a programmed answering machine, call back a few periods until you find a person or just ignore it.
- If you are comfortable enough with the outlook to plan a test drive, plan to meet during the daytime in a most peopled spot that is convenient for you. You should be the home team; meet at a place that makes you easy.
- Once you consent on a deal rate, complete a simple form of sale signed by both buyer and seller. Models can be found online and have to show vehicle information (year, make, model, VIN), odometer, sales date, price and both buyer’s and seller’s names. To finish the sale, you will sign over the title to the buyer, including the sales price, date and odometer listing. Also, allow only cash, a cashier’s check or a bank loan check, then two of which you should authenticate by calling the issuing bank.
- Do not let the customer talk you into changing the pricing on the deal or on the label so that their taxes are decreased. Don't be a party to tax scam by serving a outsider save a some tax dollars.
- General intelligence is important to both buyer and seller to escape from scammer.