DelphiFAQ Home Search:

Buying a car on eBay - a good idea?


commentsThis article has not been rated yet. After reading, feel free to leave comments and rate it.

You may have seen web pages or printed articles that suggest that buying a car on eBay is a great idea. I think it is not quite that straightforward. Of course you will make yourself familiar with the reliability / safety etc ratings of the year/ model that you are going to bid on (check consumer reports!) and you should pull the CarFAX report for the VIN provided.

If you don't want to pay the CarFAX fee, you can ask among your friends if they have a current CarFAX access. On CarFAX you can either purchase one report or buy access for a period of one month and during this one month you can run unlimited reports. If one of your friends bought the second type, then you get your CarFAX report for free. You can also post in an automotive forum a request like 'can anyone run a carfax on this VIN..?' and you're very likely to save yourself $15 there.

Anyway, getting back to eBay. So you did your homework, you know the car's year/ model and are sure this is what you want. You ran the CarFAX report and it came out clean or at least no surprises. (Keep in mind that minor accidents will not get reported, so just because CarFAX knows of no major accidents, that doesn't mean there haven't been any. All you know is the car has not been declared totaled / has a clean title (no junk title).

Now comes the problem. With the wide selection that buying on eBay offers, and this is particularly an advantage if you want to buy a rare car like say a 1967 Firebird , V8 engine in black - you are not very likely going to find this gem at your local dealer, even if you live in a huge metropolitan area.

The downside is that a lot of bidders from all over the world can bring up the price.

I have seen many times cars sell on ebay for prices almost twice as much as they would sell in my home area by owner. (This home area is the San Francisco Bay area, one of the 2 or 3 wealthiest parts of the United States. So cars aren't selling cheap here because people have no money.) In general, people believe that they get a great deal since they often buy directly from the owner but in reality, it's just an OK deal, they could've gotten a similar price from a local dealer or even better.

Ebay is a great source for used parts that you cannot order any more. Someone 2000 miles away may be parting out an old car and you can get a great deal for that pump. Or not, if it is a hot item.

Some more advice:
  1. check the seller's history. Even if the seller has a clean record of hundred percent positive feedback after 100 sales, are those sales cars? Or did he use to buy doll houses and sell old comics and now he offers a car?
  2. To build trust, does the seller offer an appointment to inspect the car? Has the car been inspected by an independent mechanic?

I once bought a car on eBay and right after the sale closed, the seller requested that I pay $500 deposit. His auction stated that I have to pay the $500 within 72 hours so I offered I would come by next day and pay it then which clearly would be within the 72 hours. He did not like that and I should have recognized this as a red flag. He wanted me to pay $500 before I saw the car because he was not so confident I would pay him anything once I would see it but I was stupid.

So I drove in a rental car the 400 miles to Los Angeles to pick up the car. It was not in as good shape as I had hoped. The auction had said 'inspected by a mechanic' and he stated then this was a mistake there had been no inspection. I also noticed a noise from the rear axle which he had not disclosed.
However, I had already put in the effort of driving there, and it was a beautiful car (a classic 1974 Mercedes) in its own way, I drove it safely those 400 miles back home. The noise turned out to be a bad axle - $600 to be replaced. Also I could not help but conclude that in the recent years the car was not taken care well off. There were quite a few things that did not work on the dashboard.

Here's the trick. I had not left feedback yet for this seller. I liked the car so-so, but I was angry that he had not disclosed the noise and not-functioning controls. I fixed a few things but then returned the car to the seller. Since he wanted to keep a perfectly clean track record on eBay, he actually refunded me the full price, so all I had lost was the money for the trips. On top of that I learned something.

I certainly would not buy a car unseen. Photos can be misleading. The airfare may be a few hundred dollars and cost you time, but it's well invested.

If you want to buy a car really cheap, I would suggest Craig's list at
That site has a section 'Cars and Trucks' and you can find cars my keyword/ price limit in your neighborhood.

Content-type: text/html


2009-02-19, 02:39:37   (updated: 2009-02-19, 02:42:28)
anonymous from India  
I've gone and spent some time making a Cops and Robbers script...

* 4 Different Levels Of Law Enforcement
* Regular Players Club - Nothing to do there at the moment
* Bank which you can now actually store your money in
* Cops can be arrested if they commit murder
* Arrest and ticket suspects
* CIA agents show up as civilians on mini-map, and on /info
* Rob players with /rob
* Rob stores with /robstore, casinos with /robcasino, and the bank with /robbank
* Automatic gates at LVPD to keep civilians out
* Elevator/lift for Law Enforcement at LVPD
* Character saving, with login and register commands
* Medics can heal people, cost/profit depends on how much health the target has
* Penalty for vehicle kills
* Bus driving job
* Taxi driving job
* Truck driving job
* Courier job
* Hitman job
* Fuel syste
<a href=' http://used.freecar..m'>used cars</a>-used cars
2009-02-19, 02:45:35
anonymous from India  
To buy a car is a tricky process. First of all, it's not so easy to choose between a new and used car - for some. For others, buying a new car is the only option - less headache. Others claim that buying used cars is a much wiser decision. And you can't blame them, for generally speaking, a new car loses as much as 20% of its value after one year. Buying new car or used car all boils down to a person's comfort level. Or the size of his wallet.

But to buy a car entails more decision-making than whether it would be a new or used car. Buying a car is one of the most important and costly purchases one may make. We have to consider a few things and doing some research is a must. You need to ask yourself what car you need, want or can afford.

Do you need a family vehicle for a family of five? Then a van is something that you need for a more comfortable ride for the kids. Your kids will really love the comfortable space that a roomy van provides. Or you need a car for a long commute. Then with the price of gas continually going up, a gas-saving compact will be ideal.

You need to check on a few models, choose which one provides the most gas saving. Only you can know what car you need.

Would you like to buy a car that you had always wanted to own. Is it a sports car? Or a muscle car ? Again, you need to think it over? You're single and can afford the monthly payment for a sports sedan. Fine. But you have been driving for only a year. You are pretty sure that the insurance companies will charge you a sizable premium.

You just started a family and your wife has to stay at home to take care of the young ones. You know pretty much that you need to stretch your budget and so you need to shop for a car that you can afford. Maybe a used car will do for now. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, the average price of a new car sold in the United States is $28,400. That's a lot of dough.

Once you decide on the type of car you need, it is time to do your research to narrow down the choices. A number of publications and other resources can provide comparison information rating the vehicles within specific categories. You can also find up-to-date car buying guide at your local library. Or you can ask a few friends what they like and dislike about their cars so that the information that you need to buy a car comes from people that you know.
mukesh11 - used cars
2009-02-19, 02:47:45
anonymous from India  
Consider the safety features offered in a car. More and more automakers are offering air bags on the front passenger's side, in addition to the driver's side. Air bags automatically inflate on impact to provide a cushion and it's a factor to consider if you want to buy a car.

Other optional safety features include built-in child safety seats, anti-lock brakes, and traction control. Anti-lock brakes keep the wheels from locking up and skidding out of control when the driver slams on the brakes suddenly, or hits a slick spot in the road. Also, consider whether the car has good outward visibility, and whether or not the gauges on the instrument panel are easy to read.

The U.S. Department of Transportation runs a crash test program, comparing how well each vehicle protects the driver and front-seat passenger in a frontal crash, at a speed of 35 mph. The results of these tests can be used to compare cars within weight classes. Very useful in helping you buy a car that gives a certain peace of mind.

You can find out about a car's accident history using data collected by the Highway Loss Data Institute in Arlington, Virginia. The ratings are based on the frequency of medical claims filed for specific car models and makes. It gives the latest Top Safety Pick award winners.

The statistics are very helpful in making choices to buy a car that you feel is safe to drive.
[quote=]used cars
-used cars



NEW: Optional: Register   Login
Email address (not necessary):

Rate as
Hide my email when showing my comment.
Please notify me once a day about new comments on this topic.
Please provide a valid email address if you select this option, or post under a registered account.

Show city and country
Show country only
Hide my location
You can mark text as 'quoted' by putting [quote] .. [/quote] around it.
Please type in the code:

Please do not post inappropriate pictures. Inappropriate pictures include pictures of minors and nudity.
The owner of this web site reserves the right to delete such material.

photo Add a picture: