Getting scammed does not only relate to buyers, but also sellers. Many times naïve sellers fail to notice operating scammers while putting their car on sale. That’s dangerous!
If you are selling your car online, say Craigslist, you will need to be aware of scammers and learn how to stay away from them.
In fact, Craigslist is a convenient example since many people rely on this peer-to-peer website to find the best car bargains.
For that reason, here are 5 tips to avoid online scammers when selling a car online.
One major problem to selling a car online is that you don’t know who you are planning on selling the vehicle to unless you meet the buyer in person.
Handling documents, money, and vehicle testing with strangers is not easy when the other party is a complete stranger.
Get a profile of the buyer
How can you make sure your buyer is legit? The basic rule is to establish interaction. Talk to that person on the phone and not just through e-mail.
Shady scammers tend to use e-mail as a main source of interaction and disappear once you ask them for their contact details.
It’s a matter of intuition. So try to have a phone chat and pick any signals that could help you profile that person.
Pay attention to the payment methods
It’s a common procedure for unscrupulous scammers to set financing requests online. They commonly send you a check with an additional amount of money to pay for the shipping.
The naïve seller proceeds to send the vehicle but fails to cash the check, resulting in a total loss. So, watch out and quickly spot these types of requests.
The safest path to take is to accept only cash for your own security. If the potential seller insists on paying buy check, take the person to the bank and have him handle the check with the teller.
Don’t wrap up things right away
Most victims try to close the deal right away without making sure the transaction follows a common path. The regular car buyer will have a lot of questions in mind, and will even try to set a final price.
If closing the deal seems to be so good to be true, start looking at things all over again with a clear mind.
Buyers take their time and purchasing a car is a big decision. Genuine buyers will ask for car inspections and other revisions before making any commitment to purchase your vehicle.
Find a safe meeting point
Don’t put yourself in a risky situation. Law enforcement officers always advise people to meet at safe zones with video surveillance.
This perfectly applies to initial online interactions that leads to physical meetings. Sadly, eager sellers omit that little aspect and run to random locations putting themselves at risk.
Another good advice is to bring a relative, friend or any other companion with you. Never give reasons to other scammers to place you in their radar.
Screen out buyers with crazy stories
Typically, scammers comes with extraordinary stories about their lives. They used these stories to trick you and request you to send your vehicle to another country.
A good example is when a buyer talks about his military credentials to play with your intuition and feel more vulnerable to his overly-patriotic story.
When it comes to closing a deal, you must put your emotions aside. Ask as many questions and feel free to set some rules for your own security