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Why trading your car in to a dealer is safer than selling privately

Why trading your car in to a dealer is safer than selling privately

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You don’t need me to tell you how difficult it can be to sell a car privately. It includes a lot of research to find a price, advertising and then dealing with test drives and buyers. Some people are very comfortable with the process, many are not. There are also some scams around that seek to part you with your car.

In order to make the process safer for all, here are five popular scams currently doing the rounds. If you don’t want to sell your car to Car Nation Canada, watch out for these.

The middleman scam
The middleman scam usually begins with a call from an agency or reseller telling you they have a buyer for your car. They will ask for an administration or finder’s fee in order to provide the buyers details. Some ask for as much as $500, while others can be cheaper.

Ignore all calls or messages from middlemen. The vast majority of them will be scams. If a buyer exists, they will find you through the larger auto sales websites, not through middlemen.

The offshore worker scam
This car buying scam is called many things but mainly involves a message from someone who says they are working abroad or offshore and wants to buy your car. They will offer to buy sight unseen and also add a little for shipping the car. They will also want to pay by PayPal. You receive an email from PayPal telling you that the cash has been deposited in your account and will be released when you send the money to the shipping company for transport.

The email is fake and not from PayPal at all. The money transfer service doesn’t work like that. Once you pay the shipping company everything will go very quiet because it’s a complete scam.

The certified cheque scam
You would think that a certified cheque from a well-known bank would be safe right? Wrong. There are some seriously good fakes out there that are often used to buy cars from unwary sellers. By the time your bank discovers the cheque is fake, your car is in a shipping container somewhere and you are out of pocket.

Not all certified cheques are fake. If a buyer wants to pay by cheque, go to the bank with them and confirm it is real before handing anything over.

The trade-up scam
If you’re selling your 25 year old junker with 350,000km on the clock and someone offers to trade it in for something newer and higher up the food chain, you would automatically become suspicious right?

Lots of people don’t. The buyer says they have been looking for your car for years and want it so bad that they will offer their own better car as a trade. Except that car is either a write-off that has been repaired, is on its last legs or has outstanding finance.

Unless you can verify the identity of the swap car, don’t do it. Just wait for a legitimate cash buyer.

The data harvester
Some scammers use car buying as a way to collect information about you and your vehicle. The car’s VIN number tells anyone that cares to look the history, service background, insurance history and other tracked data. VIN details can then be used to create clone cars from salvage. Service records often have your full address and occasionally, credit card details on them which can also be copied.

Keep all your data private and only release it when you’re sure the buyer is legitimate. Even then, blank out any personal information not pertinent to the sale.

If you want to get a fair price for your car, visit your local Car Nation Canada location. Sell to us and avoid any of these scams. We are always on the lookout for good cars and will pay good prices in return.

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