Car Seller Advertises a Car Online – You Buy – Your Money Disappears and You Get No Car
[ If you are selling a used car and suspect a scam by a potential buyer, see our article, Car Buyer Scam ]
How the car selling scam works
It’s a common scam. Here’s how it works.
You find a car being advertised online on Craigslist, Autotrader, or other online classified ad web site. You like the car. You want it. The picture of the car is beautiful, the description is wonderful, and the price is unbelievably low.
You contact the “seller” who emails you details about the car and why it’s being sold so cheap.
By the way, the “seller” often has a woman’s name, which is intended to make him seem more trustworthy.
The seller (scammer) goes to great length to tell the story of his/her personal situation, a spouse’s death, a military deployment, or other reason why he/she is selling. they explain how they are in a remote location (often military) with no phone, why the car is being sold at such a low price, how it will be “shipped” to you at no cost, and how your money will be “protected” by eBay, PayPal, or Amazon while you inspect the car, and that you can return it at no cost if you don’t like it.
Continue reading Car Seller Scam Explained
A Guide to Buying Cars — Tips, Tricks, & Expert Advice — For Smart Buyers
Buying a pre-owned used car can be tricky, especially if you are not a “car person” or don’t have a wealth of past experience.
It’s different from buying a brand new car from a new-car dealer in that used cars can come from individual sellers, small independent dealers, large national dealers, public auto auctions, government auctions, repossession sales, and even from scammers.
Since new cars depreciate in value so quickly, buying a used car will allow you to take the advantage and buy cheaper, after much of the depreciation has already taken place.
However, since used cars have been previously owned, there are potential problems and risks that depend on a vehicle’s age, mileage, condition, and accident history.
There are steps that should be taken to help avoid these kinds of problems when buying a used car.
- How and where to find reliable used cars
- How to know what to pay for a used car
- How to find and negotiate the best used car deals
- Warnings about used car scams
- Used cars to avoid
- How to finance and pay for a used car purchase
- How to trade a used car if you still have a loan
- What happens after a used car purchase
We answer all these questions and more on this website.
We’ll help you choose the right car, show you how to avoid problems, find and negotiate the best deals, steer clear of common car scams and dealer tricks. We’ll also tell you how to find cheap insurance, buy extended warranties, and the best way to finance your purchase. We also provide a handy easy-to-use online car loan calculator.
And much more ….
Public Car Auctions, Government Auctions, Police Auctions, Repo Auctions, and Salvage Auctions
Car buyers who are looking for cheap cars often overlook public car auctions, or dismiss them because they think the auctions are only for car dealers.
It’s true that there are dealer-only auctions, but there are also many car auctions open to the public that provide an opportunity to pick up good used cars for good prices — if you know where to look and know how the auction process works.
What kinds of car auctions are open to the public?
- Public wholesale car auctions
- Government surplus auctions
- Police and law enforcement seized car auctions
- Unclaimed and abandoned vehicle auctions
- Repossessed vehicle auctions
- Salvage vehicle auctions
- Public wholesale auctions
Continue reading Car Auctions for Good Cheap Cars
Question: Should I buy this car?
This is a common question and is often asked when inexperienced buyers are considering a used car they have found for sale either from a dealer or individual seller.
We see this question frequently on automotive question-and-answer web sites on which we participate.
However, when the question is presented, it typically doesn’t contain enough information to allow a knowledgeable answer, which indicates that the asker doesn’t have sufficient experience to evaluate a car purchase for themselves.
The person asking the question might simply provide the make, model, and year of the vehicle. — and maybe the mileage.
They leave out important factors such as asking price, market value of the vehicle (from kbb.com and nadaguides.com), Carfax report information (accident and repair reports, number of owners, mileage stages), title status (clean, lien, salvage, rebuilt), or condition.
Continue reading Should I Buy This Car?
Car Prices and Costs are Rising
It’s true, car prices are increasing at an alarming rate, often putting brand new vehicles and even relatively new used vehicles out of budget range for many automotive consumers.
When new car prices increase, so do used car prices.
So why are car prices and costs so high now?
New cars, like most other goods, are more expensive to build now than ever before. Materials, labor, distribution, marketing, and sales costs increase every year.
Contrary to popular belief, car dealers actually don’t have much built-in profit margin between invoice price and MSRP sticker price. As a result, dealers are forced to try to find other ways to make a profit to stay in business.
How dealers generate profit
One of the ways dealers generate additional profit is through what is called a “doc” fee, which is added to the cost of a car. It is made to sound like an official fee but is not. It’s typically in the range of $499-$699 for an average vehicle. It can sometimes be negotiated lower, or even out of a deal completely.
Continue reading Why Are Cars So Expensive Lately?
Shop around for the cheapest auto insurance
Car insurance rates vary widely from company to company, as much as $1000 difference or more a year — for the same coverage, same car, and same person.
The single best way to get the lowest car insurance rates is to request online rate quotes from multiple providers who are competing for your business. Using a broker site such as Esurance.com lets you fill out one form and automatically get multiple quotes.
Even if your current company had competitive rates a year ago, their rates may have changed. So it pays to shop around and get free quotes from a number of insurance companies. Even if you are happy with your insurance company, you should check for better rates at least once a year.
It costs you nothing to switch to a different car insurance company that better meets your needs. If you switch, be sure to ask for a refund of any prepayment from your current company. There is no penalty for switching companies.
Continue reading Where can I find cheap car insurance?
What car is ideal for teen drivers?
Ask a teenager what car they want and then ask their parents what car they prefer for their child. You can get some pretty different answers. However, you just might get some surprising agreements too.
We hear teens asking the same questions over and over again. “Which is the best car for me?”, “What car should I get?”, “What is the best car for a first-time buyer?”, and “Which car has the best reliability-safety-style-performance-gas mileage-cost?”
We will try to help answer those questions here in this article.
Continue reading Best Car for Teenagers? Explained
Cheap Cars – Where to Find and How to Buy
To some people, a good cheap car is one that costs less than $10,000.
To others, an inexpensive used car may be one that costs $2000 or less.
We’ll tell you how and where to find the car you need, at the price you want, regardless of your price objective or budget.
Cheap car tips
Usually, but not always, buying a cheap car means finding an older used car– a second hand car – possibly with high mileage. Unfortunately, the older a car, the greater the possibility for serious problems and expenses that were not anticipated. Exceptions can be found of course and, with a little effort, good “oldies” can be found at bargain prices.
Most used cars are sold “as is” and come with no warranties or guarantees. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly inspect any car you intend to buy, and not take the word of the seller about the car’s condition. Also get a Carfax® or AutoCheck® vehicle history report. If problems are found after the sale, you will not be able to return the car and get your money back, even if the seller deceived you.
Continue reading Where to Find Cheap Used Cars?
How to Find Used Car Prices and Negotiate Best Deals
Buyers and sellers of used cars often wonder how prices and values are determined. How are values of used cars set? Who sets values? Are the values reliable?
If you are a buyer, is the seller’s asking price being fair? Are you paying too much? Can you talk the seller down on his price? What price should you offer without being unreasonable? What if the seller doesn’t accept your price?
If you are a seller, how much should you ask for your car? How do you determine used car values? What is a fair price to ask? Should you set a higher asking price to allow room for negotiation?
These are all common questions. Let’s try to answer them here.
Used car prices are not an exact science
We all know that a brand new car’s value begins to depreciate as soon as it’s driven off the dealer’s lot, often as much as 20% of MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price – sticker price).
Continue reading Used Car Prices – Pricing and Negotiating
Best Places to Find Used Cars Online
One of the best — and easiest — places to find cars for sale is online — on web sites that specialize in listing pre-owned vehicles.
Online used car web sites fall into three categories: 1) Non-dealer sites that sell cars listed by private sellers, 2) sites that only sell dealer cars, or 3) those that sell cars listed by both.
Actually, many of the so-called non-dealer sites actually have dealer cars, thinly disguised as private-seller cars.
Web sites with Cars from Private-Party Individual Sellers
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of classified-ad web sites that advertise used cars for sale by individuals. Here are reviews of some of the most popular sites:
Continue reading Best Used Car Web Sites – Recommendations