Tips on Buying an Auto Through Ebay
Sounds scary, huh? Who would ever even think of buying a vehicle over the computer from Joe Schmoe who lives a thousand miles away in Timbuktu? Well......I did! Twice! Today when people ask me where I bought my Volvos and I tell them Ebay, they look as though I just morphed into some kind of alien or large green fuzzy things just crawled out of my ears! And when it's time for my next vehicle I will search Ebay first! So let me share some of what I know and experienced when I bought my cars. I have been a buyer and seller on Ebay since September of 2001. I have never sold an auto on Ebay though. So this guide is not from an auto seller. I am an auto buyer. First things first, know what you want to search for. I wanted a Volvo, any style. Know the auto that you want. I know Volvo is one of the safest vehicles there is, they are good for 300,000 or 400,000 miles. Knowing they are reliable I then set my search options which were:
**vehicle make, max price, max milage
You may have a certain year, model, color, etc.... That is fine as long as you know what it is before you search. It makes it much more simple. Now, you have entered you search criteria and you have 15 to 249 pages of vehicles at your fingertips that match. Now what do you do? You take your time for one thing! Self will buys us the $5000 car that is only worth $50 that you bought from the guy who is no longer a registered user or something like that. It also buys you what you really did not want. We are all born with that "we want what we want and we want it right now" thing that causes us regret on our actions and lots of money with the mechanic. So please, be patient! You know, "good things come to those who wait" has truth to it. So, where were we?....Oh yeah....now we search some more. Easy if you have only 15 pages to go through. I went through all of my search pages and the ones that I was interested in I checked the little "compare" box on the left. I used other criteria for this round of elimination. First, if the car was interesting I always check out the seller. This is the most important thing to do!!!!! I look for good feedback and a high rating. Then I check out the feedback left from others who purchased vehicles from the seller. This was so important to me and should be to you to. This is why Ebay has this for each buyer and seller. So we can see their reputation from the getgo! Now, what I want to see is happy buyers! Occasionally you will see a seller with one or two negatives, not to worry though. Make sure you check out the buyer who left the negative and what it concerns. Usually it is minor. Sometimes you will find that the buyer who left the negative has a feedback score less than 25 with more than two negatives that they have left for others. Usually they did not read the fine print or the fact that it would take up to two weeks to ship out. Beware the auto seller with a lot of negative feedback. Trust your instincts. They are usually right on the money!
Ok, so now after searching and searching again and maybe one more time, you have narrowed it down to let's say two pages of autos that you are interested in. Time to search some more. At this point I would go through these selections and choose the best of the best until I can get my selections down to one page of selections or less. Now. It's getting close to choosing an auto to bid on. In my experience with my cars I have found that reputable sellers of autos on Ebay are pretty much on the nose with accurate descriptions of autos that they sell. This is a good thing! Ebay offers lots of help for the buyer such as Vehicle Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty, Condition Guarantee by Seller. This info can be found on Ebay Motors home page. Read it! Know what is available to you. These are some great things that Ebay has to offer. They also offer a Vehicle History report where you can find out if the car has been in an accident or not.
Ok, so now I am down to four or five cars. They all check out. They all are within my criteria. What do I do now? I either narrow down to who is closest to me geographically and place my bid or place my bid on my favorite out of those four or five if distance is not a problem. We caught a bus to Mass. and Wash.DC on both our cars and drove them home to the Blue Ridge mountains of western NC.
Now that you have won the vehicle of your choice it's time to comply with the sellers terms. Make sure that you print out a copy of the auction showing all of the details of the auction... pics, VID, seller's name, etc...and take a copy with you to keep in the car on your way home. Just a good practice in case you don't have a tag, and you get pulled, it will help to have this info along with the title or paperwork from the seller. This has always been my motto...."It's better to have and not need than to need and not have". My daughter has been able to recite this about me since she was 6! Don't forget to call your insurance company and add your car to your policy. They can usually do this with the vehicle ID number. Pack lots of snacks and a good book if you ride a bus to pick up your car. I chose this because it was the cheapest route. You know, I just spent alot of money on my car, Ha! Ha! Ha! Please check out the Ebay Motors home page and check out the services they offer. They are there for you to use so USE them! I wish everyone a safe and happy auto buying experience! I hope that my experience help's ease your mind. Good luck and happy bidding!