Purchasing cars (new or used) via Ebay

Considering buying a car through Ebay. Appreciate any insight on security, price checks, shipping/transportation, and any other pointers from any with experience on the subject. Thanks in advance.



How are you going to verify that the seller has the right to sell the car? You couldn’t give me car for free from Ebay but I’m notoriously conservatives on matters like this.

I’ve bought a car over ebay and wouldn’t do it again.

People lie like hell. And when they write stuff like “no warranty, car sold as defective”, you have to take the car because by bidding on it you agree to those terms.

So I bought a BMW with broken cylinder head and other faults that were not mentioned in the auction’s description. Before I saw the car, the seller was all “I know a lot about cars yadda yadda, this car is fine”, and when I told him that at least the head gasket was blown he suddenly changed to “oh, are you sure? I don’t know a lot about cars…” But I had to take it anway, because the description was “won’t take it back, the car has faults”.

Maybe I could have refused, but I needed a car quickly and didn’t have the nerves to be dealing with lawyers for this issue.

Since I fix my cars myself, I thought “hey, let’s change the gasket and that’s it”, but in the end, the head was cracked and I had to spend €500 to buy another car as donor.

Also, if you’re interested in a car and spend a lot of time and money to go and see it before you bid you can either lose that money because the car is crap, or you can end up wanting that car and losing the auction and end up dissapointed.

I recommend buying from a dealer, or check local newspapers or check non-auction ads on the internet.

Looking for rare/vintage cars that seem more easily findable than elsewhere.

Any suggestions on better places to look that are more reliable dealers of classic cars?

It’s a great way to spot cars you may want, but unless something was within visiting distance so that I could see it, and then offer a private price that wasn’t through eBay, forget it.

Are those sorts of cars not advertised on Autotrader? Ebay just seems like a really risky venue for a purchase this large.

Have checked Autotrader site. Searchable models appear to go back only to 1981. Now checking Autotrader classics site, thanks for lead.

All other input from any others also appreciated, thanks in advance.

I’ve bought a car over ebay and wouldn’t do it again.

Sold mine on ebay and wouldn’t do it again.

Was very honest about the condition of the car and the terms of payment and still ended up having to take the transaction outside of ebay to conclude the deal. Ebay was handy for finding a buyer, but the actual mechanism didn’t work for me at all.

As a seller I do think it would be easy to dick potential buyers, as appears to have been the case with Format, around. I put the car up for a good amount of time and invited potential buyers to inspect if they wanted but also made sure that all the salient points about the make and model where covered, photographed and included on ebay.

If you’re looking to buy a <insert make and model>. Research it, find out what the potential issues are. If the door seals leak or something’s prone to corrode, query it. I know this is pretty standard advice for buying a car anyway, but it counts double for buying on an ebay post imo.

Auto-trader classic is amazing… I so badly want to drop 2 grand on an old car…

We found our last car on Craigslist. Got a great deal. :-)

I bought a car at a lot that happened to be near my mechanic when my old car died.

Can’t you Carfax them, or is that service overrated (by ummm…the commercials!)?

Carfax won’t tell you when cousin Jeb takes a shot at over-hauling the engine before the seller was forced to get rid of it because of massive drunken screw-ups. It is handy for junkers and lemons that have been reported as such on the title report (stuff like Katrina/Flood cars, or rehabbed wrecked cars that were junked etc), but not so good for cars that aren’t repaired through the proper channels.

And they won’t warn you about stuff like “curry” Cars.

I bought a car on Ebay Motors, from a dealer in Arizona, and it went fine.

The difference might be that it was a relatively new car (a 2005 model, which I bought last November).