- Bargaineering - http://www.bargaineering.com/articles -

Buying Cars on Ebay: eBay Protection Policies

Do not depend on the eBay Buyer Vehicle Protection Program. It’s not that I don’t believe eBay will protect you, they have a vested financial interest in doing so, it’s that there are a lot of variables and a lot of things that can go wrong. In fact, whenever you buy anything, the protection policies should never come into play because you should only enter into a transaction that you are 100% confident in. If there is a inkling of foul play, don’t buy the car. If the guy sounds funny or is not entirely forthcoming when you ask a question, don’t buy the car. If you’re on the fence about the vehicle, for whatever reason, do not buy the car.

Vehicle Purchase Protection
Ensures that you receive the vehicle you paid for, with coverage up to $20,000 against fraud or material misrepresentation.

That’s the guarantee that eBay provides, with a $100 deductible. But if you look closely, it only protects you if the seller commits fraud or misrepresents the vehicle. A lot of times, the listing will state “As-Is” and so that absolves the seller of any problems that he or she didn’t know about beforehand.

Let’s say you purchase a car and it has a huge scratch that the seller didn’t mention. Well, that’s something that the seller can’t pretend to not have known about. But what if the problem is a small leak in the coolant line that ruptures, causes your car to overheat, and you blow a head gasket? Well, that small leak isn’t something that the seller would necessarily know about, especially if the leak was small and grew over time. The repairs to your car would be in the thousands of dollars but you can’t hold the seller liable because he or she didn’t know.

So, bottom line, if you would buy the car without the protection program, buy the car. If you see a car that you would only buy if you had eBay’s protection program, skip it. Do yourself a favor and skip it. No money is worth the headaches that a potential “mysterious” problem would bring.