Buying a car on eBay, before you’ve even seen it or taken it for a test drive, may seem like a crazy idea, but this way of purchasing a vehicle is becoming more and more popular in the UK. In fact, up to 2015 more than 5 million cars had been sold on eBay. Many people value their time these days. With a busy work life and other commitments, the idea of buying their next car online can seem like the ideal solution. In this simple guide, we’ll take a look at a few simple tips to help you find your next car on eBay!
Purchasing a car on eBay can be easy and hassle-free, with no hovering sales assistants, and hours of walking around a showroom. Instead, eBay offers a virtual showroom that users can browse from the comfort of their own homes. Let’s take a look at how to score a great deal.
Finding the perfect car on eBay (and for the right price) can take time, so we’d advise anyone looking, particularly for the first time, to exercise patience when they’re shopping and refrain from making a ‘panic bid’.
Using some of eBay’s insightful features, such as, seller feedback ratings and their ‘ask a question’ mailing system can help uncover a potentially hazardous sale. This can be particularly useful if the seller is falsely advertising the car for any reason.
Once you’ve decided on a make and model it is also recommended that you shop around. Put the reg into our online valuation tool and check sites like Parkers to see how much the same vehicle at the same age is worth. If their valuation of the car is massively different to what the seller has put it up for on eBay, then approach with caution.
Being fully informed about the car’s history is crucial before any vehicle purchase. To find this out there are certain criteria a buyer needs to check to ensure the seller is trustworthy, and they aren’t making a mistake and being lured into a dodgy deal.
Once all the information has been obtained, the next stage is to ask to see the car in person before making a final decision. By doing this the quality of the car can really be checked and the seller can be quizzed some more until the sale has deemed itself to be satisfactory and honest.
There are a few signs to look out for that should be a deterrent when buying a car on eBay. If not all the information is provided in the description then the ‘ask a question’ system should be used to its full advantage to seek more information. Be polite, but ask as many questions as is needed. If the seller does not respond, or they do not know the answers, don’t make a bid on the car. They might be trying to hide something.
If any bad feedback has been left and the seller has not responded then this doesn’t look good either. The seller needs to be trustworthy and transparent with their service.
The final stage is visiting the car to make sure it is exactly as the seller described it. Meet the seller at their home address and be wary of lay-by deals. Also, if the seller is waiting in the driveway and they haven’t been seen to enter the house, this could also be a possible scam. They may be using the driveway of a household they know is empty as the occupants are at work to sell a stolen car. Feel free to challenge them on this, or any other query, for further clarification and proof that the deal is legit.
If there’s ever any doubt, walk away.
Buying a car on eBay is quick, easy and hassle-free. However, if a thorough check hasn’t been done then there is a chance of the deal being a scam, and it is no longer hassle free to sort out. Also, eBay doesn’t offer ‘buyer protection’ when purchasing vehicles, so we’d advice buyers to take extra care before making a bid. If anything goes wrong, eBay won’t be able to help to sort it out, the seller can be quizzed some more until the sale has deemed itself to be satisfactory and honest. This can also give you the opportunity to haggle and get yourself an even better deal.