The Internet is a wonderful resource for selling your car or truck, I’ve sold many vehicles there myself. For the inexperienced, however, there are a few dangers in selling your car online. I’d like to share a few of the dangers of doing business with strangers, online or off, and how you can avoid them…
Scammers are everywhere! Know how they operate and you can laugh at their attempts to part you and your property, money or both!
Don’t even consider shipping your car. Period.
A popular scam is for someone to pose as a buyer (usually from overseas) that wants you to ship your car to them. The usual bait is that they offer to pay you well above market value for your trouble. Next, they will send you a nice, big, bogus check, which supposedly includes the shipping costs. You cash the check (it will clear), ship them the vehicle, and go spend the extra couple thousand dollars or so they were so generous to give you…
… and then when you least expect it, about 3-6 weeks later, the payment on the check gets reversed and suddenly your bank sell my car for cash today account is in shambles, you have no car, and you don’t know what on earth just happened to you!
There’s an easy way to avoid this… simply do not, EVER, sell a car to someone that wants you to ship it to them, or who has offered to pay you much more than you know your car is worth.
Don’t let anyone test drive your car without you.
You would think that car thieves wouldn’t be so dumb as to come introduce themselves to you before they drive away with your car, but it happens. Yes, they might even show you their drivers license (you did check it right?) before they drive your car away. Good information for when you have to call the police, right? Not good.
False ID… Fake name… I doubt you got that good of a description of them either. Your car may very well be in pieces somewhere before you realize they aren’t coming back. Ouch.
I always insist on riding with whoever wants to buy my car, no exceptions, even if they seem really, really nice. The crooks you don’t expect are the most likely to get you.
If you’re at all nervous about riding with someone, have a big burly biker friend with you and you both go along together.
Don’t accept cash, checks or even cashiers checks as payment.
Until you verify them. Really, every form of payment has a risk, but these rank highest in my mind.
There is plenty of counterfeit cash out there. Just go to Staples or Office Depot and buy one of those highlighter looking counterfeit detection pens to verify the bills if your buyer is planning on paying with cash.
I am personally against taking personal checks; it’s just too easy for someone to bounce it or stop payment. You don’t need that mess, do you?
Cashiers checks are kind of tricky, they are easy enough to fake, and like I mentioned before, fake ones will usually clear when you deposit or cash them. Calling the bank it is drafted on and verifying the funds is the only way I would consider taking one. If the buyer can’t or won’t produce a phone number for you to call and verify, just hand them the check and move to the next buyer.