Times are tough – and lots of car dealers are folding up left and right. It’s a very tough business and only the real strong will survive. If you buy your next vehicle on eBay Motors. It comes with their Vehicle Purchase Protection Program that covers up to $50K USD at no extra cost.
VPP is not intended to replace good old common sense. You should ask the seller any questions that you are concerned about, request more photos, purchase a CarFax report, and i strongly recommend scheduling an inspection of the vehicle, or have a third party inspect it for you.
Any vehicle 10 years old or older does not qualify for VPP coverage. Also VPP does not cover receiving a title but not being able to transfer it.
VPP is intended to cover a major discrepancy in a sellers description, or major component failure, etc, or buying a vehicle and not receiving it’s title. You must have legitimatelywon an Auction or BIN listing ON eBay Motors to qualify for VPP. There is NO COVERAGE for any off site transaction. (After auction closed without a winner, or a fraudster selling on Craigslist. Or elsewhere claiming the deal goes through eBay VPP escrow, yada, yada, yada). VPP covers Buyers & Sellers in the USA and Canada Only. Be sure to read this vpp info page thoroughly to see what is covered and what is not.
Doc’s advice is to request a copy of the cars title front and rear, and if the seller is a private individual be sure to ask for a copy of his photo id to verify that he is the registered owner of the vehicle he is selling. If the vehicle is not titled in the persons name selling it – it’s not his/her vehicle to sell.
If you have done your homework and are ready to purchase a vehicle Do NOT let the seller talk you into taking the transaction off of eBay. If a listing has has already ended, have the seller re-list it for you as a fixed priced format for the price you have agreed upon. Click it and close the listing out becoming the legitimate documented winner.
The first thing to do after winning an auction or clicking a buy now listing, is to print the whole listing out. Yea i know if its a long page with lots of photos etc, it will eat up a ton of ink. Print it out anyway! You can go to your printer properties and select gray scale and draft print setting to save on ink. It is most important to have a print copy of your won listing.
If you have already made contact with your seller and have not requested a title copy be sure to do it first. If the title copy you receive looks ok (any lien should have a paid stamp on the title). If the seller is a private individual be sure the registered name on the title matches the sellers drivers license, be sure to ask for a copy of that too. If the seller is a curbstoner and is passing an open title not in his name, and your DMV rejects it for whatever reason you will be stuck like chuck!The VPP program does not cover receiving a title and not being able to transfer it (The Motors Curbstoner Exclusion.)
Licensed dealers often buy late model vehicles at auctions that were just traded on a new car. Late model cars usually have liens that have to be paid off by the trading dealer, and a short title delay is normal in these situations (usually less than 30 days).
Lets take into example a recent listing on eBay Motors where the seller is suspended (NARU – Not A Registered User). The below feedback snippet is saying the buyer didn’t get a title, and eBay has removed the listing from their system.
This is where the VPP is worth it’s weight in gold! And this is also where the going can get really sticky for the inexperienced eBay user.
If you try to file a VPP Claim it might not process because the listing number has been removed from the system. (now you see why it is important to print it out right after winning the listing!). If you didn’t print it out try using www.bing.com to search for the item number. Google and Yahoo search do not appear to be cashing eBay Motors listings. You should have received an email from eBay when you won the listing with the item number. If your listing comes up in search link, look for the Cashed Link to bring up a snapshot of the page, bookmark and print it!
You need to take immediate action if the time period is nearing, or the seller is suspended (NARU).
If the seller is suspended file your claim ASAP, and do not let the seller stall you saying it’s in the mail, or some other story, you can cancel a claim if you do receive title, but can not file a claim past it’s deadline. You Have 30 DAYS to file your VPP claim – 60 DAYS for NO TITLE – or 365 DAYS if the vehicle turns out to be STOLEN.
Doc has seen multiple listings get zapped after eBay suspends (NARU) the seller. Buyers will get an email from eBay that the listing is void and not to send payment for it. The vehicle will most likely be removed from your “my eBay” items won section. If the eBay congratulations you just won this item email is still in your “my eBay” messages section print it out.
eBay is very good at sweeping dirt under the rug, and will try to remove all traces of a legitimate listing if they think it will cost them $$. Generic eBay email support will probably try to tell you that it is not a valid listing and not covered under the VPP Plan.
Don’t waste valuable time digging around eBay help pages, often being sent around in circles like a dog chasing his tail! If eBay can weasel out of a claim they will – especially a potentially large one like the above example.
Call eBay’s insurer directly: Auction Insurance Agency Of Birmingham Alabama. (205) 414-2600. I would also fax your printed out auction to them at (205) 414-2679. The AIA folks will probably give you a contact number to call at eBay to get the claim started.
By calling AIA and faxing that listing you have some form of proof of contact within the required time frame directly to the horses mouth so to say. Be sure to document everything, date and time you called, contact persons name and title, etc. Also print out any emails you receive and send.
If you do your homework and be a safe buyer, there are some very good deals to be found on the internet. So do not be afraid to buy a vehicle long distance – it is easier than going shopping locally!
While you’re here. Check out Doc’s popular article “Used Car Buying And Selling Internet Advice” Link above. It might just be your own butt you save.