Buying a Car on eBay: 5 Helpful Tips

There are many benefits to buying a car online, and eBay Motors allows prospective buyers to save on shipping, find the specific vehicles they may be looking for, and ensure their purchase is secure. Site users can find their dream vehicle by filtering their search by the type, year, transmission method, color, price range, and location of the cars they are interested in.

With more than five million vehicles successfully purchased on eBay, the website provides prospective customers with secure payment options, free vehicle history reports, Vehicle Purchase Protection, and reliable seller reviews. Keep reading to learn how to buy a car on eBay with five helpful tips for car buyers.

How To Buy a Car on eBay

When buying a car on eBay, it is a good idea to determine the type of vehicle you want, your budget, and safety requirements in your area. The site will allow you to search for categories such as classic cars, SUVs, trucks, minivans, hybrids, and exotics and enter your desired price range for each vehicle option.

Site users can sharpen their search to being within a specific radius of their zip code, and descriptions of each vehicle will include the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), a vehicle history report, shipping and payment information, and either an option to purchase the vehicle now or bid on it.

Keep reading to learn how to ensure you are getting the best deal, have determined your vehicle is safe, and are maintaining secure payment for vehicles you may wish to purchase on eBay.

5 Tips for Buying a Car on eBay

Once you have found a vehicle you may be interested in purchasing, conduct background research on the car ] to ensure you make a mutually beneficial purchase. Asking for pictures, researching the car history and seller, using a secure payment method, arranging for an inspection, and setting an intended budget are all tips to aid in purchasing a vehicle on eBay.

1. Ask for Additional Pictures

For each listing on eBay, sellers will likely include photos of the vehicle. However, requesting additional photos of the vehicle from the seller is a good idea. This can prevent you from being scammed or misled to believe the car is in better condition than it is in.

Scammers may use car stock photos or avoid including photos of the car that show damage. By receiving additional pictures of various areas of the car, you can ensure that you are aware of the car’s current condition and determine the reliability of the seller.

2. Research the Car History and Seller

On each listing, sellers must provide site users with the vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This number is an identifying code that can be used to trace the car’s history, including when it was built, the make, model, year, manufacturer, any special features, recalls, insurance coverage, accidents that have occurred, warranties, and registrations. Not only is it a good idea to research the car’s history, but it is also important to look into the seller’s history.

The site includes buyer reviews, a listing of items that have sold, current listings, and the length of time each listing has been up. Prospective buyers should be wary of seller listings that have been up for a very short time, extremely discounted items, and sellers that ask for your personal contact information instead of messaging through the eBay site.

3. Use a Secure Payment Method

Before buying a car on eBay, it is important to check with the seller about their payment options. It is never a good idea to pay for a car on eBay by sending cash by mail, check, or wire transfer. Unless you would like to pay with cash in person, the most secure payment method options are to pay via the eBay site with a debit or credit card or by using PayPal.

Buyers that pay for a vehicle through the eBay site are provided with up to $100,000 in Vehicle Purchase Protection or reimbursement equal to the price they paid if a buyer scams them. eBay’s Vehicle Purchase Protection covers cases where a vehicle is paid for but not received, a buyer unintentionally purchases a stolen vehicle, or a purchased vehicle has major issues with its engine or transmission.

It should be noted that protection can only be received if buyers pay via eBay’s financial site or through PayPal, making these payment methods the most reliable and secure.

4. Arrange for an Inspection

Although pictures, seller reviews, and looking up the car’s VIN can all help to ensure you are getting the best possible deal and highest quality vehicle possible, arranging for an inspection is the only way to fully ensure you are aware of the condition the vehicle is currently in.

If you are purchasing a car out-of-state or in another location, you can either hire an independent vehicle inspector or have the seller take the car to a local dealership for inspection.

It is a good idea to have the inspector take detailed photos of the car and check various features, including the engine, transmission, tires, brakes, lights, windshield, mirrors, seatbelts, steering, and shock absorbers.

The inspector should also compare the VIN on the vehicle to the one that was provided on eBay and look at important certification documents such as a warranty, any certified pre-owned documents, and the vehicle’s registration.

5. Set a Budget Beforehand

Setting a budget before you begin your search can help you weed out options out of your desired price range. Particularly if you are interested in a specific make or model, you may want to check what others have paid for similar Kelley Blue Book (KBB) listings.

The site allows buyers to search for a specific vehicle, its condition, and if it is from a seller or dealership and receives a price range of what they should expect to pay. Doing so can help ensure you get the best possible deal for vehicles you may be interested in buying.

What Are the Benefits of Buying a Car on eBay?

Instead of going through a dealership or via a private seller, choosing eBay as your car-buying destination can save you money, protect your purchase, help you find the vehicle you have your eye on, and eliminate buying pressure.

Finding Unique Vehicles

eBay provides buyers with unique, fine-tuned options when searching for their dream car. Vehicles from specific manufacturers or particular makes and models can easily be found by filtering your search.

For instance, if you are looking for a green Audi, you can search directly for that vehicle in the eBay search bar.

Potential for Great Deals

Unlike at the dealership, where there is one price option for each type of vehicle, if a buyer is unhappy with a listed price, they can search for other cars with the same make and model that are listed lower. By filtering their search to their unique price range, buyers can ensure they receive the best price for the vehicle they want.

Less Sales Pressure than a Dealership

Because dealerships make a commission on the vehicles that they sell, it is common for customers to be faced with additional pressure to buy. If a car seller finds a prospective buyer, there is no need to pressure them into making the sale because another buyer may show interest that same day.

Buyers will feel less pressure to purchase, and sellers may have more incentive to give car buyers the best possible deal to avoid losing their interest.

How To Ship a Car You Bought Online

Once you have purchased a car on eBay from another location, it is time to transport it to you. By hiring a car-hauling service, you can protect the quality of your newly-purchased vehicle and ensure it makes it to you safely and efficiently.

Shipping your car can save you countless hours on the road, reduce your likelihood of getting in an accident, and provide additional services such as open, enclosed, or expedited car hauling.

Bottom Line

Buying a car on eBay can be easy and simple, staying on top of safety assurance, conducting background research, and finding the right help. When it comes time to transport your new vehicle to you, enlisting the help of a vehicle transportation provider, such as RPM, can help get your car from point A to point B with trustworthy, reliable service.

Interested in shipping a car you bought online? Visit our website today.

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