Selling a used car in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, or Halifax is quick, easy, and convenient. But selling online is a different story, as online is where all the scammers are. The good news is that if you conduct proper research, you can avoid getting scammed when you sell your car online
These tips will help too:
1. Research the Buyer
Never sell to an anonymous buyer who offers to purchase your car right away without seeing it. A legitimate buyer will always check your vehicle in person and see if everything is in working order before purchasing. Here’s how you can find out more about a potential buyer:
- Speak with the buyer over the phone. Very often, scammers hide behind anonymous email accounts. Ask the buyer about their location, and if possible, meet them in person at a public place like a café.
- While most buyers communicate via text messages, push to set up a video call so you can verify their identity.
If you suspect something is off, or the buyer evades your calls, it’s best to wait for another buyer. If something in the conversation makes you uncomfortable, pay attention to your intuition and abandon the sale.
2. Don’t Let Emotions Cloud Your Decisions
Scammers often play on the emotions of unsuspecting buyers by sharing sob stories of how desperate they are for a car. Don’t be swayed by these stories. If a buyer is in an extreme hurry to close the transaction, it pays to wait. Keep the sale professional and transfer all the documentation to the buyer only after you have received the total amount in your bank account.
3. Scrutinize the Money
Nearly all major online scams involve the unsuspecting victim losing money. For example, one popular scam is where the buyer issues the seller a personal check with an additional amount to ship the car. The seller then pays out of pocket to ship the car, only to find that the check bounces and the buyer cannot be traced.
It’s a good idea to tell the buyer that you only accept cash or direct deposit in your bank account. If they insist on paying with a personal check, arrange to meet at your bank. Hand over the keys and documents only after the amount has been credited into your account.
4. Trust Your Intuition
If you come across a deal that is too good to be true, then it probably isn’t legit. For example, if a buyer is too eager to purchase your vehicle without inspecting it or negotiating the price, then it pays to be cautious. Legitimate buyers will probably check each and every part of your car, or even bring in a third-party inspector, to verify that it’s worth buying.
5. Always Meet in a Safe Zone
Once you have decided on the sale terms and conditions, you probably have to meet the buyer to hand over the car and complete the paperwork. Make sure you always meet during the day, and meet in a well-lit public space where there are plenty of people. As a seller, you need to assert that you will choose the meeting place. Do not agree to meet at the site recommended by the buyer. Also, it’s a good idea to bring along a trusted friend so you have backup.
Finally, make sure you read the terms and conditions of the sale carefully to avoid any nasty surprises later on. There you have it! Following these simple tips can help you avoid getting scammed when you’re selling your car online.
Get a no-obligation assessment of your trade-in value below, or fill out this form to talk with one of our agents about your financing options: