All one has to do is troll through the car auction listings on eBay and you will see hundreds if not thousands of fraudulent listings. They stand out when you see a deal that is just too good to be true. Right now, searching through the keyword Ferrari I find many in the normal range of $100,000 plus, but there is one 2006 that is selling for $30,000. Why is it selling for less than 1/3 of its value? There is no mention of a wreck or damage and it has low miles. This is because it is most likely a fraudulent listing. There are many listings like this and this is only the start.
Some you can quickly tell by the poor English in the listings description. Don't rely on the sellers feedback or country of origin as profiles have been bought and sold over the internet. Someone from Romania or Italy can easily use a bought or stolen eBay profile with great feedback to lure unsuspecting buyers. They copy some pictures from the internet or another sellers listing and put a great price on the listing so it will sell quickly. Some buyers get so caught up in the low price that they become blind to the signs of this car fraud:
1) Poor English throughout the listing description.
2) Fraudulent escrow services (look for contact information and contact them. Also look for poor English and bad phone numbers).
3) Emails that don't go through eBay or Yahoo Auctions (Many of these fraudulent transactions have occurred because someone emails a bidder that is not the winning bidder and tells them they are and to send them their last bid price - All eBay transactions will have winning bidder notifications from and through the eBay email system).
4) Also watch out for fraudulent promises. Car salespeople at car dealerships are notorious for this. Get any promises in writing. If the car has a warranty and what is actually covered can be quite different from what the salesperson says. Remember, the salesperson doesn't care about you and only wants a quick sale. You must make sure it has the warranty you desire. The salesperson at Farmerville Motors stated that the entire emissions system on the car I purchased was covered for one more year - upon taking the car.
5) Inspections and Emissions. Just as important as warranties is whether the car can even pass inspection in your state. I can not state this enough - every state has its own inspection and emission requirements. I recently bought a car through eBay from Farmerville Motors in Monroe, LA. I specifically asked if the car would pass inspection in my state, North Carolina. I was told it was in great condition and that it would pass in my state without any problems. I bought the car, drove it back, and later found it couldn't pass inspection because the OBD system had been tampered with and was inoperable. Don't rely on a sellers word.- get it in writing!
6) Undisclosed flood and frame damage. This is a big one. You will see thousands of articles, victims, etc...Be careful and do your homework. Don't send payment or sign any paperwork until you see and checkout the car. Don't become a victim like I did - the car Farmerville Motors in Monroe, LA sold me upon a thorough examination had been involved in a possible unreported flood - no wonder the OBD system didn't work.
Online car fraud is here to stay. Take a few minutes to dig deeper into the deal. See if it is or even seems fraudulent or fishy. If it is don't go through with it. As the old adage says, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." There are many good sellers and even car dealers out there, but there are just as many fraudulent sellers and dealers that you need to watch out for. Don't become a victim of online car fraud like I did.
With the advent of the internet it was only a matter of time before it became a booming marketplace for cars. Do your research and don't get clouded by an unbelievable deal. Do your homework. Odometers have been altered and even digital odometers can be tampered with. We asked a mechanic in Louisiana how this can be so easy. This is what he said: Its easy, you just pull out the odometer/speedometer unit out of the dash and send it to the manufacturer. Unbelievable, I wonder how many times this really occurs. Always get a Carfax. Be thorough. Read the entire listing. Is it full of grammatical errors? Lots of misspellings? Be careful and do your homework. Don't send payment or sign any paperwork especially as - is paperwork until you see and thoroughly checkout the car. Don't become a victim like I did - the car Farmerville Motors in Farmerville, Louisiana sold to me later revealed it had been involved in a possible unreported flood - no wonder the OBD system didn't work. Most online car sales go without a hitch.
How to Get Help With eBay
As I am sure you can imagine the question asked in the title could cover a vast range of topics, topics with questions asked from both sides of eBay, from both the sellers and the buyers, questions that come along every day and which we all get so frustrated and angry with, just maybe this might help a little bit.
Regarding Questions from Both Buyers and Sellers on eBay
I should just like to make this point: eBay in many peoples opinions does not give the best of responses when it come to giving speedy replies, and I do agree completely with them, but please bear in mind these couple of points; At any moment in time eBay has about 125 million items listed with them.
Seven million new listings go online every day, of course not much consolation to you if you have a problem at the time I appreciate that, but they all get sorted out in the end.
The correct procedure when trying to resolve a problem with eBay is to go to the eBay's Home page at eBay.com and click on the link at the top right hand side of the page that says customer support (you do not have to be logged in to do this but it is better if you are) and then a drop down box will drop down (maybe that's why they call it a dropdown box?) and inside there are four choices:
Each of those four sites opens up into much broader question resolving sites. If your question does not get answered there then maybe another option which may just resolve your issue (but you will need to log in to your eBay account for this) just log in and scroll down to the bottom of the eBay page there are links there to policies and procedures and loads of stuff like that.
Just an afterthought:
We all get angry at times, buyers do, sellers do, I guess that the eBay staff do as well, we are all only human. But please bear this thought in mind;
If you placed an advertisement in your local newspaper and then you came up against a problem would you phone the newspaper up and complain about the other person's behavior? and of course the same would apply if you bought a car from an advertisement in your local paper would you phone the newspaper up about it and expect them to solve the problem? I doubt it.
But that is all that eBay is, a website that accepts advertisements. That is all. Trading under any circumstances can be frustrating online, and very lonely, there are chat shows on the radio every week where questions and answers about eBay take place, there are groups on eBay that tesla car cover just about any category that are completely free to join, and there is an organization called meetup.com who have meetings of all descriptions all around the world, nearly every town has eBay meetings.
Get Your Slice Of The Pie In The eBay License Plate Market
If you think the only people buying license plates on eBay are collectors, think again. License plates are the ultimate crossover item, and in addition to their tremendous profit margin, that's why they are such a great item to sell. You generally find five types of individuals purchasing this highly-sought-after automobile collectible. The buying groups include:
- Classic Car Owners
- Interior Designers or Decorators
- Individuals Seeking Nostalgic Pieces.
Choose your slice of the pie for some easy profits
Collectors make up the largest percentage of auto tag buyers, and they are often willing to spend big bucks for even rusty old bent up license plates if that particular plate helps them complete their collection. Collectors tend to specialize in a particular type of plate or seek to fulfill a complete set of plates from a particular year. Their collections can be anything from wacky vanity plates to certain number and letter sequences like "666" or "XXX". Hang around the license plate hobby long enough and you'll come across all the variations.
Another group of potential customers willing to spend lots of money are owners of restored classic cars. Did you know that there are some states who allow owners of classic cars to register old license plates for use on their classic vehicles as long as the year on the plate matches the year in which the vehicle was built? The states allow classic car owners to do this are referred to as Y.O.M. (Year of Manufacture) states. Now, can you imagine how much the owner of a restored 1957 Chevy would pay to get a 1957 tag for his prized vehicle? I think you get picture - $$$. Three figures is not out of the question.
Next up in the list of buyers are interior designers and decorators. Have you ever been in a restaurant or bar that had license plates covering the walls? Chances are those little pieces of metal were purchased on eBay or from someone like me who sells on eBay. I personally have supplied the license plates that hang on the walls of a number of restaurants, including one inside a major casino in Reno, Nevada. These types of clients are great because it takes a lot of plates to cover an entire wall, and quite often decorators are not as concerned about condition or price.
Artists are one of my favorite groups of buyers because they are readily willing to buy all of my virtually unsellable stock. When you purchase bulk lots, like I often do, there are always a number of scratched and bent up plates that most people would deem unacceptable. I'm happy to get those plates because I know I can always sell them to an artist for a buck or two. In fact, artists seek out inexpensive damaged license plates for the purpose of cutting them up and bending them into all sorts of artwork items such as maps, lamps, signs, weather vanes and anything else imaginable. So this is why I never throw out my damaged plates.
Finally, amongst the universe that makes up license plate buyers, we have the person who is simply buying the plate for nostalgic reasons. Hard to believe, but a lot of people do this. We have the woman who buys a common Hawaii Rainbow tag as a memory of her Hawaiian honeymoon vacation. There's the successful businessman who purchased from me an Iowa mobile home plate to remind himself of his humble beginnings. And there's the man who had to have a 1951 Indiana plate issued in Sullivan County because that's place and year he was born. There are a million reasons why people buy license plates. I sell them on eBay and in my online store for one main reason - they provide a great source of easy profits.