The more I talk to people the more I realize how “surprising” it was that I’ve purchased two vehicles on Ebay and thought that the perfunctory discussion of my Ebay car buying experience wasn’t thorough enough. In the coming days and weeks, I’ll write in detail about the second of my two purchases which was a 2003 Toyota Celica in Nov/Dec of 2004.
Right off the bat, I want to warn you that buying anything, especially high-dollar items like cars, on Ebay is risky. The feedback system is weaker for low volume items like cars because unless the seller is a representative of a dealer, you won’t find many sellers with 100+ feedback who just sells cars. The time frames for cars, shipment and such, is much longer and thus the 35-day fraud protection window is that much smaller. If you’re not buying local you can’t see the car (you rely on photos) and you depend on the Carfax report to be accurate which may or may not be the case. There are significant risks to buying a car on Ebay but the rewards may outweigh them.
Currently Published Parts:
- Part 1: Vehicle Choice & Research – This part isn’t strictly Ebay related and should be a part of every car search, it gives you a good idea of how much you should be paying for the vehicle you want.
- Part 2: Dissecting An Auction Listing – There are distinct pieces of information and characteristics about an auction that you must look for. The auction listing should give you warning signs if there are any with a particular auction.
- Part 3: Feedback & Contacting The Seller – I don’t trust Ebay’s feedback system when it comes to auto auctions, before you bid you must talk to the seller and get a feel for what kind of person he or she is. I call it the pre-Ebay feedback system, use it.
- Part 4: Hidden Costs – I discuss the multitude of hidden costs that might not come to mind and will greatly increase the price of your vehicle, such as shipping.
- Part 5: Understanding Buy It Now & Reserve Prices – The relationship between the publicly known Buy It Now price and the hidden Reserve Price is pretty easy to figure out…
- Part 6: eBay Protection Policies – The protection policy is nice but don’t buy a car you wouldn’t buy without the polic.
- More to come…