T Nation

Buying a Car Over the Net


I have come to the collective knowledge of T-Nations members for some advice. It would be greatly appreciated if someone with some know how in this area could help me out.


I live in Vancouver B.C, I'm looking for a car. I found one on the Buysell. I email the guy and he informs me that he lives in Las Vegas and has just moved there from Ontario. He says that he brought the car with him but because of import duties/ registration fees/emissions testing that he now wants to sell it in Canada because it is registered here. He says that he wants to use Ebay motors as a third party to hold the money. He told me that once the car is delivered I will have 7 days to inspect/test drive it before the transaction is finalized. The Car is a 2001
Honda Civic with 88000k and he wants 5700$ He has sent me many pictures and everything seems ok. I got the VIN number and ran a Carfax report on it and everything seems good. I'm not very familiar with Ebay or Ebay motors. Keep in mind this is not a car that has been bought on ebay motors. I'm not even sure Ebay will do this sort of thing and I have tried to contact them but the only way is through email and the answer they send are computer generated and useless.

Does this sound ligit to you guys?
What should I watch out for?

If this deal is ligit I would really like to go ahead with it, I'm just really leary about being scammed.

We have sent many emails back and forth and and right now we at at the point were he has said that if I want to continue I need to send him my name and address, then he will set up the transaction with Ebay. He said that a deposit will need to be sent, and I have just sent an email to him asking who this deposit is sent to and in what amount it will be. That's where it is right now, and I will add more info as it comes along. Thanks for any help, I just don't know anyone that knows anything in this area.

Help please?


You could ask him to use an Escrow service which is a reliable 3rd party that will hold the money (with proof) until the deal is finalised - it sounds like eBay motors would be offering that same kind of service.

I'd go with my gut - I bought a car from Japan going just by the website and a couple phone calls and it all worked out great. Just be careful.


What method are you using to pay for the car (Paypal, Escrow)?


Unless it's actually listed on ebay and you buy it from them, 1. this sounds like a scam 2. that is the only way you'll be protected.

Ask him to list the car on ebay with a buy it now price that you 2 agree on, soon as it's listed have him email you the link and you buy it right then.

for some reason, maybe it's just your wording, but it sounds like a scam.


On ebay you'll pay a deposit amount that he lists in the auction. from there you pay the remaining balance how you 2 agree on.

I'm selling my car on ebay right now, and I bought it on ebay back in sept.


I would recommend using an auto inspection service like the one ebay offers:


It's $100 dollars well spent. They do things like check paint thickness for evidence of paint job (accident), photograph all major scratches, odometer reading, tire tread depth, etc.

They also let you know the seller is a real person, not some asshat in Nigeria. What happens is you let the seller know you want the vehicle inspected, you buy the inspection, and the company sets up an appointment (the mechanic goes to the car). If the seller wants to avoid it for any reason, you should be suspicious.


This a common scam. I was looking for a tractor this summer and they wanted to do the very same thing. Funny thing is, I found the pic of "their tractor" on a legitimate ad. The reality is that you will provide them the money and then never see the car. I would suggest that you simply ask this person if they would agree to using an escrow service to ensure that the car is delivered and that they get their money. My cash is on their never agreeing to it.

If you still want to take the chance, tell him that you will provide him a nominal deposit - say $200 and provide the balance either upon delivery or after the seven day inspection period. If he balks at that, I would tell him to lick balls.


I noticed that the majority of people who purchase an automobile over the internet end up being the plaintiff on the "People's Court".


Are there no real cars in BC for $5,700? Is it really necessary to buy a car in Vegas?