Online Automobile Auction Scams

from the buyer-beware dept

The latest internet scam story covered by MSNBC is all about online car auctions, where sleazy car dealers who get bad reputations in their hometowns turn to the web where they lie about their cars, fake good feedback, and then sell you a lemon. Unfortunately, there isn't much recourse. Many of them will fight any legal claims brought against them and make it prohibitively expensive to take them to court. Furthermore, eBay doesn't help things by only stepping in if the car is misrepresented in a way that would change the car's price by 50% (which would have to be quite a lot of misrepresentation). There's also no easy way to guarantee an inspection of the car, since eBay's rules say the winning bidder is required to buy the product - and often there's not enough time to get an inspection done (or knowing whether or not you can trust the inspector). While there probably are some great deals, and the number of frauds isn't huge, it still seems like a pretty big risk to spend so much money on something when you have no idea if it's legit.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    aNonMooseCowherd, Dec 3rd, 2003 @ 1:35pm

    escrow

    Sounds like an opportunity for a rival auction site that would provide an escrow service, where the buyer could put the money in an escrow account while having the car checked, and the money would be released to the seller only if the car was satisfactory.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Sarah Person, Dec 30th, 2003 @ 6:44am

    Re: escrow

    Great idea. I'm looking for a car for my son, but I'm really afraid to buy one online.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Rabid Chaotic, Jan 9th, 2004 @ 7:24am

    Re: escrow

    E-Bay does have it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Mike Johnson, Mar 3rd, 2004 @ 6:40pm

    Re: escrow

    My wife and I are very close to purchasing a car from an indivudual living overseas using a overseas escrow company as the third party (i.e. they will hold payment until car is received by me in the states and then release the funds to the seller upon my approval). I'm always very skeptical when purchasing over the internet, especially in this case where the dollar amount is quite large.

    Any suggestions?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Mike Johnson, Mar 3rd, 2004 @ 6:41pm

    Re: escrow

    My wife and I are very close to purchasing a car from an indivudual living overseas (not eBay)using a overseas escrow company as the third party (i.e. they will hold payment until car is received by me in the states and then release the funds to the seller upon my approval). I'm always very skeptical when purchasing over the internet, especially in this case where the dollar amount is quite large.

    Any suggestions?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    mike johnson, Mar 3rd, 2004 @ 6:43pm

    Re: escrow

    Just curiuos - did you purchase the car using an escrow company? I only ask because my wife and I are very close to purchasing a car from an indivudual living overseas using a overseas escrow company as the third party (i.e. they will hold payment until car is received by me in the states and then release the funds to the seller upon my approval). I'm always very skeptical when purchasing over the internet, especially in this case where the dollar amount is quite large.

    Any comments would be greatly appreciated?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Rob, Mar 16th, 2004 @ 12:59pm

    Re: escrow

    Yes there is such a site. And not only do we have our own ESCROW component but we have 3 categories of auctions - pre-inspected (where there is already an inspection report attached to the listing), conditional sale (where the sale is contingent upon an independent 3rd party inspection being done by Autocheck etc), and as-is final where the car is being sold as is. Check out our site as a competitor to ebay. BTW our site is 50% the fees of ebay.
    www.online-auto-auctions.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    M Pitino, Apr 1st, 2005 @ 9:00pm

    Re: escrow

    Any overseas purchase is almost always a scam. I hope you changed your mind. There is a person using the name Rosalinda Marini that has appeared on Autotrader and cars.com selling a 2004 Mazda from overseas, where the vehicle supposedly is. That person stole the VIN # and pictures from a local missouri dealer's website, and even added on a few options. The dealer even knows about this person, yet cars.com and auttrader.com has no way to rport the fraudulent ads.

    Remember, nobody (NOBODY) sells something for way less than its worth. If it sound too good to be true, it is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Manbss, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 4:26am

    Auction made simple

    A highly recommended site elfingo.com for online auctions. They are the new ebay. Many smaller sites like this offer buyers far better deals than ebay ever could. Buyer also save a ton because this site charges little or nothing depending on the day. One more reason I like elfingo.com is because they don't take a part of the sale at all. No commissions or final value fees. Please check www.elfingo.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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