It’s crazy to think how far online shopping has come. Would you be surprised if I told you eBay sells 1000’s of cars every week online? It’s probably not the first place you’d think of to buy a car, but buying a car on eBay is more common than you think.
Buying cars on eBay has grown in popularity so much with both buyers and sellers. eBay motors allow eBayers to buy and sell pretty much any motor vehicle, from cars, motorbikes, trucks, RV’s, even boats.
Is Buying A Car On eBay Safe?
Yes. Buying a car on eBay is safe. It’s a lot safer than you think. eBay offers buyers lots of protection to make sure their purchase is protected.
How Does eBay Protect Me Buying A Car?
When you buy a car on eBay, you will automatically be added to the eBay Vehicle Purchase Protection Program. eBay set up this program to protect buyers against fraud.
- Non receipt of the vehicle
- Reported stolen
- Undisclosed issues with the car – dents, scratches, etc
- Incorrect vehicle info i.e wrong model, year, mileage, etc.
- Missing Documentation
How Does eBay’s Vehicle Protection Program Work?
You are entered into the program once you win a vehicle using an eBay auction or Buy It Now.
This gives you 30 days from the day of purchase with complete VPP protection up to $50K.
Tips For Buying a Car on eBay
OK, eBay offers buyers some excellent buyer protection, but this doesn’t mean you can exploit it. When buying a car on eBay, you need to read the product description clearly and understand what you are reading.
It’s the buyer’s responsibility to understand the type of vehicle they are buying and its condition.
The VPP will only protect you if you have been given misleading information on the listing or it wasn’t what you thought it would be.
1. Check Feedback Score
Even though they have a 100% feedback score, you should check that that feedback was for high ticket items and not small low value sales.
For example a seller who typically sells USB cables with a high feedback score selling a vehicle. This will require some time to maybe contact the seller.
If you find that the seller has sold a number of cars in the past with no issues then this should be a green light for you.
2. Look For Car Dealers
Car dealers are starting to use eBay more and more. I personally prefer to buy from car dealers. Car dealers understand the business more.
They will know if the car has any issues whereas an ordinary seller might not know if there’s an issue with the car.
I also like to work with car dealers because a lot of them offer a warranty. A warranty on any car is a massive plus. It lets you feel a little more at ease when buying the car on eBay.
If a car dealer is selling a car on eBay with a warranty then they are standing behind the quality of the car; and are confident it should not have any issues.
3. Check The Vehicle History
Auto Check is one of the most respected and popular vehicle checks available. It checks key information that will help you make the correct decision whether or not to buy the car on eBay.
Auto Check gives buyers access to key information that might not be listed by the eBay seller or information that they do not know.
What Will AutoCheck Show You:
- Salvaged or Rebuilt
- Turned in under ‘Lemon Law’
- Odometer Roll back
- Used as a rental, police car or taxi
The AutoCheck also shows past ownership transfers. I personally like to know how many previous owners the a car has. You wont get their personal info like names and addresses.
A cool feature the AutoCheck Score. This compares the vehicle you plan on buying against other cars of the same make and model. The AutoCheck score looks at information such as:
- Car Age
- Mileage – the more miles it has, the lower the score compared the similar vehicles.
- Number of owners – More owners leads to a lower score. This is more relevant to newer cars as older cars 10+ years will change hands more often
- Vehicle use – for example was it used as a taxi
You can get a full AutoCheck Here
How Do You Buy A Car On eBay?
If you find a car you like it’s time to try and try and buy the vehicle. There are 3 options available to buy a car on eBay:
- eBay Auction
- Buy It Now
- Buy It Now or Make An Offer
Personally I prefer Buy It Now or Make an Offer. I don’t like getting into auctions. The reason being is that I am extremely competitive and always want to win.
If you get into a bidding war, things can sometimes get out of control towards the closing time of the auction. The whole objective to buying a car on eBay is to get a good deal.
Buying A Car On eBay Auction
If you plan to buy a car on eBay auction you need to follow some key guidelines.
- Do your homework – Make you research the market value for the car you are looking to bid. For example the market value of the car with the same model, year and engine (petrol or Diesel) type of that car.
- Set your budget – Set your max buy price you are willing to go and do not surpass it.
- Stay calm and try not to engage in a bidding war
Using ‘Make An Offer’
This is my favourite way to buy a on eBay. This is like your standard buying a car tactics. The seller has an initial asking price and you try and knock a little off it. But eBay makes this a little easier, and better.
If a listing has a ‘Make An Offer’ tab. This means the seller is willing to negotiate. When you make an offer you can go as low as you like but I prefer to remain professional and realistic.
A good thing to note is that when sellers set ‘Make An Offer’ options they often have it automatically set to accept or reject offers below it’s minimum sell price.
So what I suggest is make a bid about about 10-15% below the asking. If you get an automatic response, the eBay seller likely has automatic acceptance set up. Keep increasing your bid until you finally get your bid accepted.
If you do not get a response immediately, it’s most likely that the seller will check each offer manually. This also opens up some opportunities as you will get to speak the buyer directly and try and haggle them down to your desired price.
If the price seems too good to be true it probably is. This can be said for any car you buy, be it from a friend, a dealer or on eBay.
Do your research. There’s bargains to be found on eBay. By bargains I mean realistic price savings. Not a 2010 Porsche for $5,000.
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