buying How to Buy a Car on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed

22:50  17 february  2017
22:50  17 february  2017 Source:   Popular Mechanics

Bad Craigslist Motorcycle Deals and How To Avoid Them

  Bad Craigslist Motorcycle Deals and How To Avoid Them Bad Craigslist Motorcycle Deals and How To Avoid ThemIt was only recently that I was guiding a friend of mine through his first motorcycle purchase. He wasn’t working with a lot of money, and he made it clear to me that financing a new or used bike would unfortunately be out of the question. With that in mind, I turned him onto the wonders of craigslist, but after a short while browsing the classifieds, his blank stare solidified my perception that he had only become more perplexed. “How do I know what a good price is...for anything?” I pointed out a listing that I had noticed as he scrolled down the page.

My strategy for buying a used car on Craigslist (or from any private buyer) Con artists impersonating private sellers have been known to sell stolen vehicles with false paperwork, salvaged vehicles without disclosing damage, vehicles with tampered odometers, etc.

How to Buy a Car on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed . The seedy behavior you need to watch out for when buying a car online. Most Popular. Getty. Created with Sketch. By Ezra Dyer. Jan 24, 2017. It's a lot more fun to buy a car on Craigslist than it is to sell one.

How to Buy a Car on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed© Marcelo Horn / Getty How to Buy a Car on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed

It's a lot more fun to buy a car on Craigslist than it is to sell one. But buying comes with plenty of its own pitfalls-even if you avoid cashier's checks and bank wires to Nigeria. Fortunately, many brave auto-buying pioneers have forged a reliable path to success when looking for online auto wares.

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Here are some tips that keep your internet car-buying dreams from being run off the road.

Find Your Car

  How to Buy a Car on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed © Getty

The first step is starting with an aggregator like AutoTempest to search all Craigslist listings. This is much quicker than searching manually, even if there are lots of dead links. Just beware that AutoTempest makes it all too easy to talk yourself into ideas like, "yeah, maybe 800 miles isn't that far away."

Just Listed: 1979 Dodge Ram Star Wars Tribute Van

  Just Listed: 1979 Dodge Ram Star Wars Tribute Van If you are a big “Star Wars” fan, but don’t have enough Imperial credits to purchase a “Rogue One” Limited Edition Nissan, here’s a one-of-a-kind deal for you in the form of a 1979 Dodge Ram van. Research Research New Used New & Used Make (e.g. Mazda) Model (e.g. CX-5) "This van is perfect for someone either looking to completely restore it inside and out or a fun and relatively cheap vehicle for a high school/college kid," the Texas-based seller says on craigslist.

How to Sell a Car on Craigslist .org. Is your '94 Sentra ready for a new home? Maybe you've just gotten an opportunity to babysit a friend's Testarossa while they're How to Avoid Being Scammed When Selling a Car . How to Sell on Craigslist . How to Buy Cars on Craigslist .

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If you find a car online from a dealer, check to see if the dealer has a website (or, in the case of the really small operators, a Facebook page). Also check whether the website price matches the Craigslist listing. If not, negotiate from the lower number.

Beware: It's all too easy to talk yourself into ideas like, "yeah, maybe 800 miles isn't that far away."

Now to dispel a popular myth: The truth is, sometimes dealers can be cheaper because they simply don't know what they have. Perhaps they bought a car at an auction but are unaware that it has an ultra-rare option. Take the 1993-1997 Toyota Land Cruiser. Most private sellers will state up front whether their car has the coveted locking differentials. Dealers seldom care because they can't know every single detail of every car they sell. So if you're looking for a specific feature, a dealer could be the way to go.

Craigslist Find of the Week: Homebuilt Jeep

  Craigslist Find of the Week: Homebuilt Jeep Family Truckster Off-Road Edition This bizarre homebuilt Jeep concoction has shown up in my Craigslist searches before. While it does have a strange, bulbous grille shell and the right-hand drive aspect would be awkward, the overall idea is pretty damn cool. It’s based on a Jeep DJ, which explains part of the stretched grille shell, but it's now wider and much longer, as it uses a fullsize Grand Wagoneer chassis that's been stretched. The Wagoneer's 360ci AMC V8 drivetrain was also kept, a welcome upgrade from any of the anemic powertrains offered in the postal Jeep.

Other People Are Reading. How to Buy a Used Car From a Private Individual. Is There a Risk to Replying to a Craigslist Ad on Your Computer? How to sell a Car On Craigslist Without Getting Scammed .

Don’t scammed understand people work hard for their money? I am trying to sell our car on Craigslist . Someone from Maryland keeps texting me about how beautiful the car is. A few days ago they wanted to buy it for my asking price just going off the pictures I sent.

But if the listing includes in-the-know jargon like model codes ("E39" BMW 540i), that can be a bad sign-the dealer actually knows what they're talking about.

Filter Out Scams

  How to Buy a Car on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed © Provided by Popular Mechanics

The first thing to look for is a location. If there isn't one specified in the ad, send an email to see whether the seller will disclose the location. If they respond with a story, but still don't offer up a location, it's a scam.

Here are some more hints that you maybe have just entered the scam zone:

  • A price that's way too low
  • A photo that clearly doesn't match supposed location (mountains in Miami?)
  • A price that's bizarre ($1,523)
  • Grammar mangled beyond even the typical Craiglist norm
  • A personal e-mail address pasted into the main photo-nobody does that
  • A listing that's been active for only a few minutes. The scammiest listings tend to be the newest because they haven't been flagged yet.

Here's an example: This 2006 Jetta GLI has been popping up on Craiglist in Charlotte, NC (pictured above). The ad meets most of the above criteria, with a $1,500 asking price that's about a third of what the car actually should cost. A Google Image search turns up the same Jetta on a site called Autozin-everyone sells their car on Autozin, right?-with a location listed as "Echo Lake Road, Alaska." The listing is also five months old. This guy must be having quite a tough time selling this Jetta.

Craigslist find of the Week: Ford Fairlane/Torino

  Craigslist find of the Week: Ford Fairlane/Torino I have always been drawn to odd cars, ones that are just a bit less common. I came across this seemingly fair-priced Ford and despite the ever-nagging suspicion that there's something hiding under the primer, $6,500 for a running, driving muscle-era Ford seems like a good deal considering most cool pre-smog cars we come across are at least $5,000 regardless of condition. The 351 could soldier on or be the basis for a solid 400 stroker, there's no shortage of Cleveland cylinder heads that can make tremendous power.

How to Buy a Car on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed . The seedy behavior you need to watch out for when buying a car online.

It's a lot more fun to buy a car on Craigslist than it is to sell one. But buying comes with plenty of its own

How to Buy Cars on Craigslist . How to sell a Car On Craigslist Without Getting Scammed .

  How to Buy a Car on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed © Provided by Popular Mechanics

Close the Deal

It's best to start the conversation over e-mail, but switch to phone calls once you're serious about buying. Asking questions in real time will help you get a sense of the seller's motivation (and possibly veracity). Picking up the phone also helps to establish you as a serious buyer rather than a time-wasting texter.

I once had a seller proactively drop the price $350 once he realized he was talking to someone who would actually come buy his truck. That doesn't happen over text or e-mail. In another case, a phone call revealed that an almost-too-good deal was probably actually for real, which brings us to our next point.

I once had a seller proactively drop the price $350 once he realized he was talking to someone who would actually come buy his truck.

If you're convinced you've found a car that you want, go get it. Don't wait. For example, I once found a 1970 Chevelle SS396 4-speed, seen here, for $9,900. The seller wasn't sure if it ran, and the owner passed away with no family and his brother-in-law was flying in to sell it. It all sounded legit, but if you waver on something like that, you inevitably regret it.

What to Do If Someone Threatens to Sue You Over a Used Car

  What to Do If Someone Threatens to Sue You Over a Used Car Threats like that can be scary, but they probably don't have a case.According to consumer protection attorney and R&T contributor Steve Lehto, you shouldn't let a threat bother you. In his experience, the vast majority of people never actually file a lawsuit. And even if you actually do get sued, the odds are strongly in your favor.

More Car - Buying Intel. The 7 Best Sites to Buy and Sell Your Car Online. The Best and Worst Times to Buy a Used Car . 11 Confessions of a Car Dealer. How to Buy a Car on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed .

The seedy behavior you need to watch out for when buying a car online. It's a lot more fun to buy a car on Craigslist than it is to sell one.

Once you've decided to commit, you now have to worry about the pick-up, so make sure you work out the conditions of the sale before you meet. Not just price, but whether the seller is keeping any accessories. I once bought a truck with a front bumper made out of a guardrail, and the seller wanted to keep that. Well, OK.

Always pay in cash. Unless you're doing big money and a bank wire, that's still how a transaction goes down. You'll probably need to notarize the title anyway, so go with the seller to a bank and hand over the cash at the same time you get the title.

Remember, public places are good places, and bringing along a friend is even better. Also some police departments offer safe zones for conducting online transactions, that can also work in a pinch. Here are two scenarios to avoid: Once, when selling a car, I found myself with the buyer (whom I'd just met), riding through a sketchy neighborhood with $14,000 cash in my pocket. I also once accepted a personal check for my 1979 BMW in a McDonald's parking lot. Don't be me.

After all that, try to enjoy your new ride-until you have to start this process all over again.

Can Facebook Compete with Craigslist for Used-Car Listings? .
<p>Facebook is wading in and trying to take some of this business.</p>But unlike the old Sunday classifieds, which relied on three lines of text and creative abbreviations to entice buyers, Craigslist offers up to 24 pictures, as much text as you care to write, and a price to advertise that can’t ever be beat: Nothing. Free. Gratis.

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