Buying a used car online is an option for people who does not have the time to go car lot hopping and an alternative for those who got tired of dealing with the traditional salesman.
Some find it more convenient since you can easily narrow your search down according to your targeted model and allotted budget while others are hesitant to go this route since they are afraid of the risks involved.
Buying a car online can work for you. Below are some of the things that you should check out to be successful in getting this task done.
Set Your Limit
Set the amount that you are willing to spend. Make sure that it is within your range.
- Consider the type of car that you need, your income and your financial accountabilities. Once you have established your limit, it will be easier for you to filter through online shops and auction sites.
- It will help you stay grounded and keep you from buying on impulse. It will reduce the risk of straining your family’s budget and help you focus in getting the right one that will suit your daily needs.
Do Your Research
There are lots of rumors and horror stories about buying a used car online. Most of the time they’re from people who have had bad experiences because they were not able to take the time to educate themselves.
- You should create a list of trusted used car listing and auction sites. Check out online forums for reviews. Keep your list, you will need it to compare prices. Find out how much control they have over the transaction. Find out if they have buyer protection and learn about how much you are covered when you buy from their website. Check for common problems like scams and buyer complaints. Use it to weigh where you feel the safest.
- When you find a car that catches your attention. Check out the car’s history. Get a vehicle history report. You can use it as a reference to check for potential problems. Check the seller’s history. Use the internet to locate their shop and look for reviews to learn about their reputation. If they’re a private seller get to know them more. Be polite and establish good rapport. It will work to your advantage, private seller’s are more likely to entertain haggling if they are comfortable with the person that they’re dealing with.
- Create a list of the documents involved. Learn about the documents that you should see before and after purchasing the car. Get in touch with an expert if you do not understand something. Do not hesitate to ask the seller to provide you the car’s paperworks. Make sure that they’re legit . You can check out this blog to find out more about the relevant documents: Buying A Used Car: The Relevant Documents.
Take time to educate yourself and learn the process. It will help you feel confident and it will help you making the correct decision.
Inspect The Car
One disadvantage of finding a car online is that you will not get to see it immediately you will rely on pictures and the description that’s being presented by the seller.
- I strongly suggest that you find time to meet the seller and inspect the vehicle. However if it is not possible there are other ways for you to be able to get the feel and experience of being able to check it firsthand.
- You can find lots of information about the car online, check the manufacturer’s page, download the manual and check forums for user’s feedback. Jot down the car’s strengths and common issues.
- If the seller is in a faraway state, hire a mechanic who can come and inspect it for you. There are lots of websites who offer this service nowadays. They will send you the result and make sure that you carefully review everything before committing to buy. Go over the mechanic’s feedback and ask questions if you find anything that you are not clear with.
Completing The Transaction
One advantage of buying online is that the prices are already bottomed down. Sellers do that to attract more buyers. It means less time is spent haggling so you are likely to close a deal faster than the traditional way.
- There are several ways to pay for your purchased vehicle. The seller may include his preferred terms on the listing and some auction sites also have their own payment processing solution. You will also find auto financing sites that can provide immediate approval. However it will still depend on where you feel most comfortable.
- The seller may ask for a certain amount to serve as your initial deposit and then he will provide a deadline for the rest of the payment. Make sure that you understand his terms since most sellers do not return down payments in case their customer decides to back out of the transaction.
- Make sure that you keep a copy of the receipt of all the payments that you have already made. Those will be your proof that you have already done your part of the deal.
Transporting The Car
One of the things that most people are worried about is how the car gets delivered. They are worried about the safety of the vehicle and sometimes it is one of the factors that can be most stressful.
Deciding what car transport to use is a matter of your time line, budget and concern over your vehicle being exposed to the elements. Here are the common types of transport method available in the market right now.
Truck auto transport is a direct and quick way to ship your car. You have probably seen auto transport trucks on the highway carrying loads of new and used cars. Tractor-trailer car haulers typically transport up to 9-10 vehicles at a time, depending on the vehicle size and types.
Enclosed Auto Transport where the cars are being transported in a fully enclosed trailer with either flexible or solid sides, roof and doors. This is the most expensive type of auto transport because fewer cars can be loaded at one time but you are guaranteed that it will be kept safe from being exposed.
Open Auto Transport cars are transported on a truck that is open to the elements.
Rail transport picks up the vehicle at the origin location and brings it to the appropriate rail terminal, where the vehicle is loaded onto fully enclosed rail equipment. Then you can pick it up on the designated drop off station.
- Make sure that you are fully covered and also secure a copy of all the paper works. Transporting a car nowadays is ten times better than it was in the past because of modern equipment, online tracking tools and better safety regulations. As a result, cars that are bought online are delivered smoothly and in a timely manner.
Buying a car online has grown to be the popular choice of many over the past few years. There were successful transactions and there were bad ones. Plan everything carefully and back it up with research.
The time will come when you will want to sell your car. You can be starting a family and require a new vehicle with more room or just want to treat yourself to a brand new model with modern up to date features. For whatever reason, selling the car yourself is the best way to make the most money out of it. The following are practical tips on how to sell your car.
Clean Your Car
The appearance of your car will help sell it. You will attract more buyers when it is clean and shiny. Start by knocking dust and mud off with running water and a dependable detergent. Start from the shell, go under the hood and down to the tires.
Vacuum the seats and the floor mats. Make sure that you replace the air freshener to get rid of any unpleasant smell that may turn off potential buyers when they come to inspect it. After that, polish and wax the car to have that showroom shine.
A clean car is a reflection of how well the car was treated. It will help you sell it fast at your desired price.
Price It Right
Picking the right asking price is very important. It will determine if you will get multiple inquiries or none at all. If you price it too high potential buyers will be turned off. If it is too low, they may get suspicious.
You can find some helpful pricing structure from the Internet. You can visit reliable sites such as Yahoo! Autos or Kelley Blue Book for the correct market value. Check the classifieds to know how similar cars are priced.
Consider the car’s condition, mileage, cosmetics and upgrades if there are any. It is wise to determine the amount that you are willing to accept to close the deal so you can have your asking price a little bit above that to save some room for haggling.
Advertise The Car
Create a banner and put on the windshield then, on the other windows, write the basic details about the car, like the asking price, mileage, year and model. Include your mobile number in a large print size so that the people who pass by the car won’t miss it.
Use the internet. Utilize social networking sites. Take plenty of pictures and create an advertisement on your wall. It will allow you to spread the news not only to your friends and relatives but to their network as well.
Create a listing on classified advertising sites like eBay Motors, Auto Trader, Kelly Blue Book and also Craigslist. Be honest and detailed with your description. Include photos of spots that has dents or scratches. Though most of these sites charge for advertising, it’s worth it for the number of buyers you can reach.
Let us not forget about the local magazines and newspapers. They have special sections for used car advertising. It may not be as visible as the other options but it is low-cost and most of the time those who look at those sections are the people who are really in the hunt to buy a car.
Meet With Potential Buyers
Before setting an appointment to show your car, it is important that you screen your potential buyers. This is to avoid wasting your time on someone who is not really interested in buying or on someone who you’d rather not deal with. It is also a precaution to keep you safe from those who have bad intentions. You should ask for the person’s full name and be willing to answer all their questions. Tell them your preferred payment method and set your conditions clearly.
Meet in a public place and do not come alone. Bring all the documents and papers. Expect that they will inspect that before they physically inspect the car.
Make sure that you check his driver’s license before the test drive and make sure that he agrees with your time limit before driving. Ride along with him and use it as an opportunity to talk about your car’s strengths. Be willing to share why you bought that particular car and why you’re selling it now.
Negotiate The Price
After having the car inspected and tested by the potential buyer. They may still want to try their luck to get you to lower the down the price.
If your car have issues they may use it to have you bring down the price, tell them you already factored that into your price. Sometimes they will pretend that they do not like it for some reason then they would tell you that they were able talk to another seller who is offering the same car at a lower price. They will tell you that they would get yours if you can beat the other person’s price.
You should be ready for those scenarios, keep your cool and be polite in declining their request. Be firm with how much you’re willing to get and they will get the message. They’ll feel that you’re not desperate and the chances of closing the deal in your favor will more likely be accomplished.
Keep in mind that they have already invested a lot of time and gas in coming over to see it so even if you don’t lower your price, 90% of the time they will still buy it.
After receiving confirmation that the person would buy it. Gather all the relevant paperwork for your car and prepare the bill of sale, it’s the proof that the purchase has indeed taken place. Include receipts for work done on your car. It’ll show that you’ve attended to all problems and will avoid future disputes.
Buying a new car should be a pleasant experience for both the customer and the seller. However, many used car purchasers fall prey to the scams of unscrupulous dealers.
This article will introduce you to some of the common tactics used by bad car dealers. Once you are already familiar with how they’re played, you will be able avoid it and save yourself from being scammed.
Multiple Buyers Bluff
When a salesman notice that you are interested in one of his cars, he will tell you that there are multiple intrested parties who may come back to buy the car. He will do this to pressure you to buy the car on the spot. He will make you feel that if you do not take it now, somebody else will.
If you sense that the negotiation is headed this way, take it easy. Do not show that you are worried because you already know at the back of your head that it’s just a tactic. Take your time, do your research and make sure that you do a thorough inspection. He may be hiding something that’s why he’s rushing you to get it on the spot.
Bad dealers hide the history of a vehicle that’s been salvaged. Salvage titles are assigned to cars that are deemed total loss by insurance companies. This is also referred to as “branding” a vehicle. Vehicles with branded titles have lower market value and difficult to sell. Title washing washes away the brand. Once the brand has been eliminated, the car’s value goes up and it’s a lot easier to sell.
Titles are washed by transfering a salvaged vehicle to a state that doesn’t recognize the brand. When the state issues a new title, it may no longer show that it had been salvaged. If not, the seller will move it from state to state until the branding is gone. When it is, the vehicle’s history will have been “washed” clean.
Make sure that you get the VIN and get a vehicle history report. This will help you check if the car has a clean title.
Fake Escrow Service Scam
The target of this scam are online used car buyers. The scammer will use stolen images and post bogus vehicle listings online. The scammer will pretend to be the owner of the car being sold. The selling price is much lower than other listings for the same car, to lure you into contacting the seller.
The seller will refuse to meet up since he’s overseas and he can only do the transaction using the “fake escrow service”. After you register you will get a bogus email, telling you to deposit the payment through cash wiring services like Western Union, Moneygram etc.. After the payment has been sent, the seller will no longer respond and your hard earned money is gone.
Be careful when buying online. If the price is too good to be true do a background check. If you find the seller shady, walk away from the deal. Look for established sellers with sufficient feedback to back up their credibility.
Curbstoners are people who actively and regularly buy and sell vehicles without a license, proper permit or a legally established place of business and pretends to be private sellers in order to attract buyers.
You can easily become a victim of fraud involving issues like Odometer Tampering, Undisclosed Frame Damage or Salvage Rebuilt Vehicles, Faulty Safety Devices, Mechanics or Promissory Liens and other problems that may not be truthfully disclosed at the time of sale.
When a car is bought from him, he will leave the title blank or “open.” Without his name on the document to avoid paying Sales Tax, Federal Income Tax and any other declarations that are legally required.
You will find them along the highway and on free advertising sites, like Craigslist. Be sure to check the contact number, if it appears on various private-party listings. If it does, then you know that the seller is one of them. Verify the name on the Certificate of Ownership (title) matches the seller’s name. Avoid sellers who only accepts cash and refuses checks or money orders.
In this situation, the dealer allows you to leave with the car before the financing have been finalized. You will later receive a call informing you that the deal cannot be made as agreed. So you would have to come back and they will pressure you to accept new, more expensive terms using a variety of tactics.
To avoid this, make sure that the financing is final before you leave with the car. Do not forget to ask for a copy of confirmation, signed by the lender.
These are some of the dirty tactics used by bad dealers. Make sure that you remember them when you go out there to begin your search. If you sense that the negotiation is headed towards any of these, then it’s time to walk away and find a better deal somewhere else.