How to Sell Your Car Online Without Getting Ripped Off

Scammers are everywhere! Know how they operate and you can laugh at their attempts to part you and your property, money or both!

Don’t accept cash, checks, or even cashier’s checks as payment.

Until you verify them. Really, every form of payment has a risk, but these rank highest in my mind.

There is plenty of counterfeit cash out there. Just go to Staples or Office Depot and buy one of those highlighter looking counterfeit detection pens to verify the bills if your buyer is planning on paying with cash.

Cashier’s checks are kind of tricky, they are easy enough to fake, and, like I mentioned before, fake ones will usually clear when you deposit or cash them. Calling the bank, it is drafted on and verifying the funds is the only way I would consider taking one. If the buyer who is buying a new vehicle can’t or won’t produce a phone number for you to call and verify, just hand them the check and move to the next buyer.

Don’t even consider shipping your car. Period.

A popular scam is for someone to pose on a vehicle advertising site as a buyer (usually from overseas) that wants you to ship your car to them. The usual bait is that they offer to pay you well above market value for your trouble. Next, they will send you a nice, big, bogus check, which supposedly includes the shipping costs. You cash the check (it will clear), ship them the vehicle, and go spend the extra couple thousand dollars or so they were so generous to give you.

There’s an easy way to avoid this… simply do not, EVER, sell a car to someone that wants you to ship it to them or who has offered to pay you much more than you know your car is worth.

Don’t let anyone test drive your car without you.

You would think that car thieves wouldn’t be so dumb as to come introduce themselves to you before they drive away with your car, but it happens. Yes, they might even show you their driver’s license (you did check it right?) before they drive your car away. Good information for when you have to call the police, right? Not good.

False ID… fake name… I doubt you got that good of a description of them either. Your car may very well be in pieces somewhere before you realize they aren’t coming back. Ouch.

Don’t sell your car from your home.

Crimes of opportunity can only happen when there’s an opportunity.

Sometimes, people of the more crooked sort will not be targeting your car. What better way to set up a burglary than to drive your car, talk with you for a while, find out if you’re an easy target or not, maybe even come inside and pretend to negotiate just so they can see if you have valuable stuff? Oh, yes, they know you have a high chance of having a fat wallet in the next few days also! Yes, it happens, but it doesn’t have to happen to you.

Be cautious, be aware of your surroundings, and follow your instincts. If you don’t feel comfortable with the situation or the person buying pre-owned vehicle, just don’t sell it.

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About the author : Michael Lehman