Whether you’re selling a new car or an old one, it has a place online where you can sell it. Selling online at the comfort of your home feels good. However, you need to be aware of scammers in the online space.
You may choose to sell your car online through Etsy, eBay, or Poshmark, or you can meet your potential buyers face-to-face through Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for dealers. In each case, it’s critical to understand how you can protect yourself. To be on the safe side, this article gives ways you can protect yourself while selling your car online.
Ways To Protect Yourself When Selling Your Car Online
1. Protect Your Personal Information
When interacting with strangers online, hide your personal information from potential buyers. Never give out your bank account details. If you advertise the sale of your car through a website ad or billboard ad, don’t include personal information except the most basic ones.
You may give the phone contact that you only use online for a service, like Google voice instead of a personal number. Also, use a special email dedicated to that purpose only, and avoid using personal email. When communicating with your prospects, you can use a nickname or made-up name. However, when the deal is about to be sealed, use your actual name on the documents.
2. Accept Payment Through Approved Methods
Many sites have certain payment methods that they recommend to protect you and your buyers. In case you’re selling your car through Amazon, Craigslist, or eBay, ask your customer to make payments through the recommended channel on the website.
3. Make Use Of Seller Guidelines And Protections
If the site you’re using has seller protections, be wise to use them. Strictly follow the site’s payment process. This will ensure that in case of a dispute, the site can give you the necessary help. You can agree with your buyer to use a vehicle escrow account, which you have to confirm is safe. Some online scammers run fraudulent vehicle escrow accounts to con people’s funds.
You can avoid this by conducting thorough research on the escrow company. Alternatively, call the company directly to ask. Evaluate the website’s worth for carrying out an online business through them.
4. Take Caution During Shipping
You need to put in place a great measure of extra caution. While you’re shipping the car, don’t ship to an address that isn’t in the buyer’s profile. By doing that, your buyer may later claim that they didn’t receive the car, which might be difficult to trace.
Whenever you want to ship a car to your customer, take advantage of tracked shipping methods. Keep your tracking number in your records in case of any dispute in the future. In case your buyer claims that they never received the car, confirm the tracking status or reach out to the carrier directly.
5. Keep Copies Of The Sale
To protect yourself from any liability, have a paper trail reflecting the entire sale from the beginning to the end. Emphasize the end of the sale, which shows the sale is complete. Once the paperwork is finished, get your name off from any remote dealings connected to the car, including insurance.
Where you can meet with the client to complete the process physically, you can plan a meeting at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to finalize the paperwork. Your country or state might be having more requirements that you need to confirm with the DMV.
6. Ensure Your Safety During The Test Drive
You might be dealing with a local buyer who requires you to deliver the car to them. Meet your buyer in a public space, such as in the company of a friend or family member. Ensure the following safety measures, too.
- First, have insurance that covers the driver doing the test drive. You may call your insurance company to tell them of the matter and ask them to cover you.
- Before letting the buyer into the vehicle, ask for a copy of their driver’s license. Alternatively, you can make a copy by taking a photo of the front and back of the license with your phone. You may also ask for another form of identification, like a national ID, to verify who they claim to be.
- Your friend or family member should stay with you in the car during the test drive. Something else you can do is to agree on a test drive route beforehand.
Selling cars online can be a very lucrative business. However, you have to be on your guard to avoid falling victim to scammers. If you’re new in the business, have someone who’s been doing it to help you in learning the market. You can as well do your study to gather a wealth of information. Once you learn the ins and outs of the market, you’ll enjoy doing business.