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Auction Of Seized Luxury Cars By U.S. Marshals Nets $8.2 Million

seized collector cra auction

This U.S. Marshals auction of seized luxury cars netted $8.2 million-dollars. The large  collection of 148 classic, performance and luxury vehicles were seized during the investigation of a $1 billion Benicia solar energy scam that defrauded investors.

seized luxury cars
This Plymouth Superbird was one of the seized Benicia solar energy investment scam cars auctioned by the U.S. Marshals

A Marshals’ Service spokesperson said a 2018 Prevost Motor coach brought in the highest bid at more than $1 million with a 2015 Honda dirt bike garnering the lowest bid at $400. A 1978 Firebird Trans Am previously owned by Burt Reynolds and the replica of the car “Smokey and the Bandit” sold for $181,000. Full auction list of vehicles are here.

From cbs-kpix bay area: Two employees of a Benicia solar energy company pleaded guilty Tuesday to participating in what federal prosecutors say was a massive scheme that defrauded investors of $1 billion.

It’s the largest single-owner car collection of seized luxury cars ever auctioned by the U.S. Marshals Service. Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Lasha Boyden of the Sacramento office called it “a stunning collection of vehicles” that also includes classic 1960s Ford Mustangs, 1990s Humvees and a 1960 Austin-Healey.

Pleading guilty Tuesday were certified public accountant Ronald Roach, 53, and general contractor Joseph Bayliss, 44, both of the San Fran Sisco Bay Area.

Roach’s attorney, Christian Picone, declined comment. Bayliss’ attorney, Tom Johnson, did not return a telephone message seeking comment. Both men agreed to cooperate in the ongoing investigation. The two men admitted providing false reports that misled investors of DC Solar, owned by Jeffrey and Paulette Carpoff of Martinez.

It was the largest single-owner car collection ever auctioned by the Marshals Service. Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Lasha Boyden of the Sacramento office called it “a stunning collection of vehicles” that also includes classic 1960s Ford Mustangs, 1990s Humvees, a Plymouth Superbird, and a classic 1960 Austin-Healey roadster.

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eBay The Biggest Lemon On Wall Street Lost It’s Way

eBay Corporate HQ Draper

Whatever happened to the good old days when eBay was a trusted household brand name? Trust and community values were eBay Inc cornerstone. Today the once wunderkind of cyberspace plods ahead desperately trying to find it’s way.

eBay Corporate HQ Draper
A good analogy why eBay Inc has fell from grace, and how to fix it

Gary Alexander of Seeking Alpha published this article on 04/25/2019 laying eBay as an investment out in detail line by line and paragraph by paragraph.

I find investors’ enthusiasm on this decaying name quite confusing. eBay and its management team have a gift of making their no-growth situation appear attractive to investors, even as all of eBay’s core metrics appear to be in decline. This quarter, investors are particularly excited about eBay’s Q2 guidance, which beat Wall Street’s more dour expectations.

Revenue of $2.64-$2.69 billion (+1% y/y growth at the midpoint) came in higher than analysts’ consensus of $2.65 billion. But since when is zero growth something to celebrate? Recall that in FY18, eBay had clocked in 8% y/y revenue growth – not altogether impressive, but at least in the high single digits. Expectations for eBay have sunk so low that even meager 1% growth is enough to lift this dead stock.

Devin Wenig mentioned “steady sold item growth”, whereas the number of sold items was flat as it has been for the past four quarters. Essentially the decline in sold item ASPs was the driving contributor behind the decline in GMV. Second, Wenig also mentioned “positive buyer growth” but in reality, buyers were also approximately flat.

I remember first discovering eBay back in 1999 as a source to sell used cars. It takes an old-time seller and buyer to visualize how this wunderkind of eCommerce has fell from grace. Corporate greed and out of control scams took their toll on the marketplace built on trust and community values back in the mid 2000’s.

In my personal opinion the first step in restoring eBay’s former glory is a total management change. Get rid of Devin Wenig and his team. Brian Burke director of community development is another who is alleged to be hurting the brand name by attacking former sellers like myself who out eBay corporate wrongdoings.

These coding issues should be corrected immediately. Here’s a few examples!

  • Non Existent Former Subdomains Hemorrhaging SEO Backlink Juice: Site changes have left these two subdomains unlinked from the sites DNS wasting oodles of previous back-links that could bring in sales. Even a hobbyist like Doc knows dead links are a no-no for serious webmasters.
  • Why Are eBay Stores Redirecting To Home Page: When browsing a webpage on my smartphone then clicking a link to view a sellers eBay store i was redirected to the home page. I’m wondering why this happened? The same link clicked on a desktop pc went to the store like it should.
  • Non Responsive eBay Site Pages Obsolete Hurt Sales: Recently when reading a blog post on my smartphone, I clicked to view a sellers eBay feedback and was shocked the page was not mobile friendly. The feedback page was nearly impossible to read unless flipping my phone sideways.

There’s 15 years of eBay observations published to date. eBay has literally screwed their golden goose to death. It started back in the early to mid 2000’s with European scammers selling non existent used cars at unbelievably low prices. When the trust and community values started to fade because of fraud, bad management and inept policies such as letting buyers screw sellers and other idiotic policies did eBay in! 😥

In this video I talk about some of my eBay experiences. The hacking and the still ongoing smear campaign where trolls were allegedly hired to smear my stellar eBay feedback into the ground. It’s the thanks i got for warning car buyers about fraud!

Have questions? Comment below or on my forum. 😉

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Doc’s Used Car Buying And Selling Internet Guide

doc's quality cars blog posts

There are indeed some great used car deals on the web. Unfortunately that good deal is usually several states away. If the cars price seems unrealistically low chances are there is a good reason for it. This car buying internet guide is the most informative in depth article ever published about motor vehicle buying and selling. Published by a retired used car dealer, Doc will guide you through the online car buying process for a smooth rewarding experience!

Internet Car Buying Selling Guide

Be sure to read this guide before buying or selling automobiles online! 😉

Table of contents: Avoiding Fraud | Private Party Purchases | Purchasing From Dealers | Buying From Wholesalers | eBay Motors Vehicle Purchase Protection Program (VPP) | Newbie Car Dealers | Rebuilt and Salvage Title Vehicles | Vehicle History Reports | Vehicle Warranty | Vehicle Inspection | Buying Older Automobiles | Odometer Fraud | Vehicle Sales Tax | Making Safe Vehicle Payment | Advice For Sellers.

Buying a car from a private seller: Beware of private sellers that buy and sell vehicles without being licensed. Flipping vehicles from one owner to another. This kind of seller is an unlicensed used car dealer AKA the Curbstoner.

Example of a curbstoner. Buyer A the curbstoner buys a car from a little old lady in a local newspaper. Instead of going to the DMV and transferring that title into his name the curbstoner resells the car to Buyer B.

Curbstoner (unlicensed car dealer) Selling Open Title Car
Unlicensed Dealer Selling Open Title Car

Buyer B prints his name in on the back of the title but does not go to the DVM and transfer the title into his name. Instead buyer B has done a few repairs and cleaned the car up. then decides to sell it.

In this situation buyer B becomes seller B and sells the car to Buyer C who is in another state. Seller B crosses his name out on the back of the title and writes Buyer C’s name over his crossed out name.

Seller B then hands the title to Buyer C who takes it to his tag office to transfer the title. The title clerk takes one look at that crossed out name and rejects the title for transfer.

Here is where the paperwork nightmare begins for used car buyer C. Buyer C’s motor vehicle bureau tells him to contact the previous owner who’s name is printed on the title. Buyer A would be required to transfer this title into his/her name, pay any taxes due, yada, yada, yada, then sign the new title they receive over to Buyer B who would repeat this process and sign the title over to Buyer C.

The problem is the little old lady that sold the car has no idea who she sold the car to. Buyer A paid her cash and had her sign off as the seller. By law this car is Legally Still Titled in Her Name. If that car is used in a crime or involved in an accident, the police will come to her. It’s an absolute paperwork nightmare. Often it’s easier to get the registered owner to file for a duplicate title. Then sign it over to the person trying to title it in their name. Though a motor vehicle bureau official will not tell anyone this because it’s considered illegal. Any way you look at it, it’s buyer C’s absolute nightmare getting a transferable title.

TIP to avoid a non-transferable title situation: Vehicles are referred to as “Titled Property.” By law a motor vehicle can only be legally sold by it’s registered owner or a licensed dealer.

Doc advises anyone who is buying a used car long distance on the Internet from a private seller to request title documentation. Ask for a fax or email attach of “both sides of the title, along with a copy of the sellers drivers license or photo ID.” This is the best proof a long distance buyer can get proving the vehicle is titled in the sellers name. If the person selling the vehicle is not the registered owner – it’s not his car to sell!

If the buyer and seller are in the same state go with the seller to the motor vehicle bureau (DMV) to  transfer the title. And do not hand over the cash until the title clerk says the title is OK to transfer.

An audio clip from Doc explaining why buyer should ask seller for photo ID.

Curbstoning got so bad on eBay Motors the auction house modified their Vehicle Purchase Protection program (VPP) coverage to exclude curbstoners rather than set sale limits on private vehicle sellers. This means “buying a car and receiving title – but not being able to transfer it” (The Curbstoner Exclusion.) If you end up with a curbstoner car you might be stuck with an nontransferable title vehicle.

The only possible solution would be to locate the registered owner.  Have that person apply for a duplicate title and sign it over to you. Or file suit against the seller. Attorneys are not cheap, and even if you manage to get a judgment it may be impossible to collect it. Add attorneys fees and court costs and the cost could exceed the value of the vehicle. So Just Beware!

Old Collector Cars are common for having open titles. Lots of these cars are either for parts or non running. Or were a project someone started to restore but never completed. Others are restored but never titled in the owners name.  The cars buyer bought it as an investment and didn’t want to pay the taxes and registration fees. It’s not uncommon to see a collector car go through a half dozen owners without a title transfer. If a collector cars title has an error or gets lost it can be a nightmare getting a duplicate issued.

Buying a Car on eBay Motors: eBay offers up to $100,000 Vehicle Purchase Protection (VPP) on covered vehicles purchased from their Motors Venue. VPP is worth it’s weight in Gold for certain coverage’s such as. Buying a car that is stolen. Buying a car with an undisclosed lien. However It only covers vehicles up to 10 years old. Covers buyers in the U.S.A and Canada only. And has a ton of exclusions. Anyone that’s considering buying a car on eBay Motors should read the coverage and exclusions fine print. VPP is not a substitute for good old common sense. Buyers should contact sellers and ask whatever questions they have. Buyers should also have the vehicle inspected, before bidding or purchasing.

Buying a car from a licensed dealer: While a dealer most likely will want more for a car than a private seller. It’s a safe bet that the title will be proper and should be no problem to transfer. Dealers are licensed and also bonded in most states. But it’s still advisable to verify the dealer has a physical location. If so it’s a safe bet that you will not drive up to an abandoned building or vacant lot somewhere after sending payment for a car.

Buying cars from Wholesalers: It’s also common in the car business to have wholesalers working off another dealers license. The wholesaler usually pays a draft fee to use the dealers funding. And to gain auction access to source their cars. Lots of dealer cars are offered by wholesalers on the Internet. The wholesaler can issue temporary tags and deliver a car as a dealers agent. Plus the dealer is responsible for his agent’s actions. So buying from a wholesaler is a safe bet to deal with on a long distance transaction.

Licensed Used Car Dealers Bidding At Auto Auction
Licensed Car Dealers Bidding At Auction ~ Red Light = AS IS!

Independent Dealers buy most of their cars at Dealer Auctions. These days the greatest majority of Franchised Dealers send all their trade-ins to auction.

This accomplishes two things. It keeps their used car managers from taking money under the table selling trades to their friends at a reduced price. Auctions also ensures the dealership will get top dollar for a nice trade in unit. Vehicles are also sold as repossessions by banks and finance companies. Wholesalers selling made up cars. And non franchised dealers swapping the units they can’t sell among each other.

Older cars are mostly sold on the “red light” AS-IS with No Warranty. Dealers selling online list and sell them the same way they buy them – AS-IS! When the auctioneers gavel falls and he hollers SOLD! Someone is the proud owner of that unit with any and all faults it may have. If it don’t have a reverse that’s too bad. There is no crying to the office about it. Lots of these kind of vehicles end up for sale on the Internet! This is where a vehicle Inspection can be worth it’s weight in gold!

Becoming a new used car dealer: This is an experience some newbie car dealers may want to forget about. There is nothing like the experience the newbie dealer will gain by going to the “Unofficial Car Dealer School – The Dealer Auction.” Here they will learn all about bidding against the coke machine. Among other things that are unofficial trade secrets of the used car business.

Newbie car dealers also learn the hard way about buying a set up car at auction. They usually pay every nickel for that (set up to sell) unit. Next day the air is hot. A week later that nice shiny finish fades away to reveal the painted panels and other things that were not noticed when the car ran through the auction. It sits around for a couple of months and does not sell. Newbie dealer takes it back to the auction to try and dump it. Unfortunately the regular sellers get the good early run numbers. Newbie used car dealer ends up running at the end of the sale when most everyone has went home. The only way to get rid of a turd like this is to put it on the Internet and hope someone from another state buys it sight unseen without an inspection!

Rebuilt and Salvage Title Vehicles: Most car buyers have no idea what the word “Rebuilt Title” or “Salvage Title” means. When a car is severely damaged by an “Accident, Flood, Fire, or other damage which exceeds 2/3 of it’s book value an insurer may declare it a total loss. Soon afterward a total loss vehicle’s title is cancelled by it’s issuing state.

Someone buys that total loss vehicle at auction or elsewhere. At that time the vehicle could be used for parts. Or it’s prior damage is repaired to become street legal again. Most states require that repaired vehicle to be inspected by the State Division Of Motor Vehicles (DMV.) When the car passes inspection it is issued a Rebuilt Title. Different states have similar wording for rebuilt title, we are using Doc’s state of Florida as our example.

Certificate Of Destruction means just what it says. Vehicles with certificate of destruction labeling can never be issued a rebuilt title. Certificate of destruction vehicles may only be used for parts. This kind of vehicle will never be street legal again, though another state may issue title for it.

Rebuilt title used car’s should be bought for around 30% of book value. Vehicles with rebuilt titles also may not be insurable. If considering purchasing a rebuilt title automobile contact your insurance company.

Rebuilt title older automobiles can be reliable cheap transportation. As an example. An older vehicle is involved in a minor front end collision that deploys it’s air bags (SRS) and is declared a total loss. Acquiring used air bags, control module etc from a salvage yard and repairing would make a good daily driver if it’s bought cheap enough. Inspect rebuilt title vehicles yourself or hire someone that can before purchasing.

Factory warranty remaining vehicles: Lots of late model used cars have an advertised “Factory Warranty” Or the balance of a factory warranty remaining. It is advisable to check to be sure that advertised warranty is correct yourself. Don’t just assume the seller is telling the truth. Get the vehicles Identification Number (VIN) and call your local dealer and inquire what warranty is remaining on that vehicle. Many situations will void a factory warranty. Accidents, Modifications, Abuse, Commercial Usage, Etc. Remember it’s your obligation to verify every detail about a vehicle you are interested in purchasing.

TIP: Once again Trust Nobody! Can you imagine being stuck making payments for several years on some falsely advertised late model used car? The more money you are investing the greater the chance of getting taken advantage of by a bad seller in another state or country. Do your homework folks!

Vehicle History Reports: A CarFax report can be worth it’s weight in gold if you find out that car you are planning on buying has undisclosed problems. Major accidents or salvage history, flood damage, odometer discrepancy, etc.

CarFax is without a doubt the leading authority in vehicle history reports. Vehicle history reports are only available for 1981 and newer passenger vehicles with the standard 17 Character VIN Number.

CarFax often includes major service history on vehicles that others do not. So if your looking at a car online and have serious thoughts about buying it. We a wise buyer and purchase a CarFax report on it. Remember these history reports are only displaying the data their companies purchase. They should only be considered a GUIDE to a motor vehicles history.

National Insurance Crime Bureau VIN Check
National Insurance Crime Bureau VIN Check

Another Good Vehicle VIN Check is the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). This database is FREE and a must check to lookup insurance payoffs or other major vehicle damage.

Doc once read a forum discussion where a buyer had won an auction for a late model Mazda Rx8. Experian Auto Check didn’t show any discrepancies. Even the cars carfax report was clean. But the NICB Database showed a total loss. Further investigation revealed that the cars owner was paid an insurance settlement and kept the car so that settlement was never reported to the history report companies.

The private seller was deceitful and the buyer walked away. Once again it was a “Bargain Buggy” that turned out to not be not such a bargain after all. This buyer was SMART and did his homework before paying for the car.

The old saying is often true. You get what you pay for! If you are looking into buying at a used car in another state. Chances are it’s the low price that got your attention. Especially on auctions where the bidding can be at half of book value or less in the beginning.

Buying older vehicles: Doc’s example of older means the used car is usually 8-10 years old or older. And has an odometer reading well over 100k miles. Don’t expect a perfect showroom condition car regardless what the advertisement claims. An old car can run perfect today and puke an engine or transmission the next day. It’s just the nature of old used car’s.

While technology has improved the modern automobile. All this high tech stuff is very expensive to fix when the vehicle gets old or out of factory warranty. An engine or a transmission can easily exceed the value of a older vehicle.

Some sellers advertise vehicles as being perfect but are far from it. The seller is banking on someone far away who will buy the car and have it shipped home without an inspection. Don’t get taken by a sleazy seller and buy without an inspection!

Vehicle Inspection
When buying a used car suv van truck etc online, having it inspected is a must have service.

Don’t fall for a car that has been “set up for photos.” The car might look good online but has hidden mechanical problems. This includes undisclosed frame damage or undercarriage rust. And many other undisclosed problems.

Certain cars when they get old have their own faults and failures. For instance older Cadillac’s with the early NorthStar V8 are prone to head gasket failures. Repairs such as this example can exceed the value of the car. It’s the buyers responsibility to either check the vehicle out in person. Or if that’s not possible have an inspection company check it out. There are many Mobile Inspection Services that will inspect a car in another state. If you buy a car sight unseen and it’s not as described you will be stuck like Chuck!

Odometer Tampering Fraud
Odometer Tampering Fraud – Including Exempt

Odometer Tampering Fraud: This is another situation anyone buying a car should be aware of. The LAW says that a vehicles odometer will not be tampered with. It’s very clear on the subject of rolling back an odometer. Or replacing an odometer with another showing lower mileage. This includes exempt status vehicles. The law makes no exception to altering an exempt vehicles odometer. Any vehicle 10 years old or older is exempt from odometer recording.

If a vehicles odometer has been replaced or repaired it must be disclosed when the vehicle is sold. Franchised dealerships repair techs that replace an odometer as a rule put a notification sticker in a cars door jamb showing the date and mileage (if known) that an odometer was replaced at. New odometers from the dealer usually start off at 0 mileage (analog).

Shady used car dealers and scamming private individuals may alter (roll back) an analog odometer to deceive a buyer. Often a CarFax Report will show a vehicles mileage history. It’s a good investment to purchase a CarFax Report on any vehicle 1981 or newer to check the mileage readings. Also state DMV records, inspection stations, etc, record a vehicles mileage in the state database. If you suspect a vehicle you are considering buying is displaying wrong mileage. Check the registered state DMV to see what their recorded mileage is on that vehicle. That information should be public record, but you might have to pay them to get a printout.

A vehicle may have been into a franchised dealer for warranty service. Calling any franchised dealer and giving the service manager the last 8 of the VIN could reveal any odometer discrepancies. It’s also advisable to do a visual inspection. Check for wear on the brake pedal. Steering wheel. Check how easily the drivers door opens and closes. Look for any visible signs that the mileage might be higher than the vehicle odometer is showing. Also there is software on the market that will alter a digital odometers mileage reading. So if the odometer is digital, don’t rely on it being accurate. Do your homework and investigate for possible odometer fraud. It’s better to find out before purchasing a car that has been clocked than after the fact.

Odometer Exempt Vehicles: Any vehicle that is 10 years old or older is considered Exempt on Odometer Recording by Federal Law. Most dealer auctions will sell these age vehicles as “Odometer Exempt”. Chances are if a title transfer was done on an older car it will probably say Exempt on the title where the mileage would normally appear. Once a vehicle has been exempted it will stay that way.

An exempt qualifying older vehicle may possibly be registered as “Actual Miles” in most states as long as it’s supporting title and odometer reading/statement reflect this actual miles. Buying a 10 year plus automobile with an actual mile title? Get an actual miles odometer statement from the seller. Odometer statements can be downloaded on the net.

Old 5 Digit Odometers. Doc has seen many older cars with 5 digit analog odometers for sale. The cars seller is advertising the car as actual mileage. This is mostly observed on old collector cars from the 50’s 60’s 70’s. The odometer (clock) has probably rolled over at least twice. On older cars the condition of the vehicle is more important than low mileage.

There are no history reports on any car older than 1981 when the current 17 character VIN became standard. So the only sure way to document the mileage on a collector or antique car is with service receipts. An old log book that reflects dates and mileage reading of service work and oil changes etc. A log book would have to look old to convince me it is legit. Don’t fall for a printed out document with dates and mileage.

If you buy an older car and the title states “Actual Mileage” be sure to get the seller to sign an odometer statement that the mileage IS ACTUAL. When registering the vehicle be sure to request the DMV record the mileage as actual. You have to request this as they will record it Exempt if you don’t request it! This is real important to keep the market value up on an older car with actual miles. Transferring the title as Except might effect the cars market value!

Vehicle Sales Taxes Effecting Out Of State Car Sales: Most states are reciprocal as far as collecting their taxes goes. It’s best to check with the dealer you are buying from about any tax liability. It is also recommended to call your states DMV to find out if any taxes are due when you register the vehicle. Every state is different. Also be advised not all dealers follow the law and collect the proper taxes. If the dealer does not collect tax, you can usually pay it at your DMV when transferring the title. Be prepared to produce a Bill Of Sale to prove what you paid for the vehicle.

Making Safe Vehicle Payment: If you have done your homework and are ready to purchase your internet car use a safe payment method. NEVER Use Western Union or any other Cash Transfer Service. Beware of Fake Escrow Services that will steal your money! WU is the Scammers Choice for receiving payments because a payment can be picked up in any country. All the fraudster needs is the money transfer number.

Beware of sellers that request payment by gift or prepaid debit cards. This type of fraud often uses PayPal and Amazon gift cards. The fraudster will request the cards redemption codes by email. Beware of smartphone apps such as OfferUp and Letgo that are being used to defraud buyers and sellers.

Doc’s payment choice for doing an internet vehicle transaction online would be to send it by a bank wire transfer. If buying from a licensed dealer the dealer could provide you with the company’s bank wire transfer instructions via email or by fax. This is especially good if you will be getting the vehicle shipped home and want to be sure the dealer receives your payment. Another option is to pay by a Cashiers Check and mail it using USPS Priority or Express Mail with Signature Conformation. This is important so you know they signed for it.

When Doc was selling cars on the Internet he would send the title and paperwork requiring a signature. Good insurance for making sure the title didn’t get lost in the mail. If a cashiers check is lost in the mail, the issuing bank most likely would require you to put up a bond before replacing it. Don’t take the risk of getting stuck like Chuck because you were too cheap to properly mail the check!!

If you are picking the vehicle up in person paying cash on delivery is OK too. I would be sure the seller had the title and would be handing it over to the buyer on delivery. Be sure to have followed my advise earlier in this article and did your title ownership homework. Along with any vehicle inspection etc. There’s nothing worse than flying long distance with a ONE WAY TICKET and find out the vehicle was a POS because you didn’t have it inspected.

Avoiding Internet Vehicle Fraud and Phishing Brand Scams: The Net IS INFESTED with Fraudsters who offer a vehicle for sale at an incredibly low price.

If a vehicles price seems “unrealistically low” STOP and ask yourself. Is this a scam listing? Whats wrong with this car? Has it been in an accident? Was this car in a flood? Does this car have a rebuilt or salvage title? Don’t be defrauded!

Sellers Agent Vehicle Brand Fraud got it’s start on eBay Motors well over a decade ago. We honestly believe eBay could have put a stop to fraud by educating their community. But obviously corporate profits were more important than their members security. Many fell victim to car scams on fraudulent listings, while eBay either claimed fraud was minuscule, or denied it’s existence.

FBI Investigates Vehicle Purchase Protection Fraud
FBI Investigates vpp scams on consumers.

eBay Vehicle Purchase Protection (VPP) Brand Fraud was claiming so many victims in 2011, the FBI launched an investigation into brand fraud.

The Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) filed this report on August 15 2011, advising consumers not to fall for vehicle scam advertisements.

Many fraudulent advertisements are found on Autotrader.com, Cars.com, Craigslist, eBay Motors, and many other online publications and smartphone apps.

Fraudsters are also advertising in conventional print publications like newspapers and magazines. Don’t lose your money to internet fraud!

Those ads you see are phishing sucker bait! And are intended to lure a prospective buyer to email the fraudster. The fraudster is most likely in Europe or other country operating out of an internet cafe or wireless broadband connection.

Fraudulent Invoice For Internet Vehicle Purchase. Watch this video as Doc show you how vehicle bank wire deposit phishing scam is operated in great detail. Don’t swallow the Sucker Bait and be a Victim of Internet Fraud!

Internet fraudsters are pros at what they do! Steal money from gullible people thinking such an unrealistically low price is legit! Don’t Be a Victim of Internet Fraud!

Scammers are using Amazon’s Brand Name to defraud consumers. This counterfeit Amazon.com website is registered in Beijing China. It’s used as part of a confidence scam setting up non-existent used car shipping. Don’t be a schmuck and lose your money to brand fraud!

Counterfeit Brands Website Domain Name
Counterfeit website used in vehicle shipping confidence scam. Registered in Beijing China.

Folks if you are online used car shopping and plan to meet someone to buy a car (or other item.) It’s best to meet in a public place during daylight hours only. A busy mall parking lot, at a local police station parking lot, etc.

This retirees were murdered and robbed when meeting a stranger to purchase a 1966 Mustang. Criminals answering ads on local smartphone apps such as OfferUp and Letgo. Then make arrangements to meet and do business, but instead sellers are killed and their merchandise stolen.

Do not take unnecessary risks your life may depend on it!

fraudulent vehicle invoice
Confidence scam that will steal your money and identity

If you fall for one of these used car phishing scams your money will be gone in the blink of an eye. Sorry to be blunt, but it’s like taking your money and throwing it in the trash!

Also be aware of MONEY MULES that get suckered into taking payment for a VEHICLE as a SELLERS AGENT. Fraudsters contact people searching for jobs online and offer them a job as an agent. The scammer has his victim wire the money to the agent who takes 10-20% of the sale proceeds as their commission. The agent (money mule) then wires the balance on to someone else.

Scammers will often “RINSE” their dirty money several times in an attempt to hide their tracks. If a person falls for a work at home scam they could wind up in prison for “money laundering or grand theft.” The so called agent will be up the creek without a paddle when the feds come knocking! So if someone contacts you about working for them as a sellers agent collecting payments RUN!

Also of major importance. If you have emailed a scammer, there is a good chance they could have slipped a key logger or some other virus onto your computer. Be sure to do a full virus scan of your computer or smartphone. Then go online and change any banking or other online accounts passwords. Internet scammers are pros at doing what they do best steal suckers money!

If you need a good free antivirus program try Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows. It works excellent and auto updates it’s definitions just like Norton or other paid software.

Doc’s Best Advice For Internet Vehicle Sellers:

If you are selling your used car it’s best to put your terms of sale in your ad. Be sure to specify how you want to be paid. Cash on delivery is OK. If doing an internet transaction insist the buyer use a bank wire transfer to send your payment.

Also it’s always best to tell prospective buyers in writing that your used car is sold AS-IS with no warranty. Doc used to say “if this car breaks in half you own both halves” which pretty much sums it up. Put this verbiage in writing. Even if your car has a the balance of it’s factory warranty remaining, It should still be sold AS-IS but worded that it does have it’s remaining balance of factory warranty that follows the vehicle, not the owner. An example is here.

Here is a short audio snippet explaining why used car AS-IS Sale is best!

NEVER Accept PayPal for a used car full purchase price. PayPal is good if you are looking for a quick way to collect a vehicle deposit. Doc suggests no more than $200-300. Be aware a credit card funded chargeback could cost you that deposit money as a seller. Chargebacks are the number one reason not to accept full payment for an automobile by PayPal.

PayPal Buyer Protection does not cover “Vehicles or Vehicle Deposits.” Doc has read horror stories online where some PayPal customer support reps did not know Vehicle specific rules, and let a buyer reverse a vehicle purchase. If you have sold your car truck boat or whatever is considered a vehicle you could wind up stuck like chuck.

Also it is possible to chargeback a credit card funded used car purchase. However, a motor vehicle is considered titled property. Usually credit card companies will not chargeback on titled property. BUT buyers have been known to lie to their credit card provider saying something other than a vehicle was purchased.

If PayPal gets notification of a chargeback they take the money back from your account. If your account is empty they give you a minus balance and take anything that is received from that point on. PayPal will eventually turn the uncollected balance over to collections. And will surely file suit if the balance owed is large enough. If you have something to attach and good credit you will be stuck paying them. Here is a Good Example why PayPal should not be accepted for a motor vehicle.

Have questions? Comment below or post your question in our support forum.

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Scary Statistics eBay Motors Car Sales Way Down

eBay Motors Loosing Traction

Do you sell used cars on eBay Motors? If so how are your sales doing?Scary Statistics eBay Motors Vehicle Sales Down
What is the average year of the cars you sell? Have you had problems with deadbeat bidders? Had buyers threaten to leave negative feedback unless you gave them back $$ after the sale?”

I’m wondering how many small to medium sized dealers gave up on eBay Motors as a sales channel? At $50 per car for a 7 day listing, plus any listing upgrades, reserve, featured, etc, is the return on the investment worth it?

From this eBay Motors forum post:

I just looked at 200 randomly selected completed vehicle listings and found 36 sales.  That’s an 18% sales ratio.

The other thing that this says is that you’d have to list a vehicle five times to sell it.  At $50/pop, that’s $250 on average.

eBay really screwed up this site to the point that it doesn’t even pay to list anymore.

By the number of responders to this topic that sell cars, 3 total including the OP. It looks like eBay has ran most of the good guys off the site.

The majority of the small sellers, myself included before they gave me the boot,  have been saying for many years that eBay Motors Vehicle Sales needs it’s own specific vehicles policy. Trying to use a policy that was designed for a pez dispenser shipped in a box, does not work for auto sales sales.

But eBay CEO John Donahoe, is hell bent on succeeding in ramming a round peg in a square hole!

How much further down the tubes does this place have to go before they wake up and smell the stink it’s producing? Hijacked accounts listing dealers stolen car photos, and eBay does not have the staff to remove one. Automation is cool but some things need a humans intervention to correct.

I was an eBay Motors seller for many years. When i started back in 1999 there was no eBay Motors. Just 3 categories on the main site, cars import and cars domestic, and auto parts and accessories.

What this once great auto selling venue has turned into makes me want to cry. The money was more important than the principals Pierre Omidyar founded eBay on.

I could go on and on about what *I believe* they are doing wrong! But I’m sure they don’t really care. 🙄

It’s sad that a site that worked so well for a number of years has turned to crap!

Automotive News published this grim looking report recently.

What are your thoughts on this situation??

While you’re here check out the page Doc published called “Used Car Buying And Selling Internet Advice” Link above. The butt you save just might wind up being your own. 😉

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It’s A Double Whammy Bad Day For eBay and PayPal

eBay pirated software
HMS eBay Sinking And The Rats Can Swim!
HMS eBay Sinking And The Rats Can Indeed  Swim!

eBay could have become the largest worldwide verified buyers / sellers membership club, where anyone could buy whatever they needed with confidence.

Along the line of what Angie’s List is doing today with services. But CEO John Donahoe went in and chopped eBay to pieces.

Donahoe’s destructive innovation did just what it was intended to do, disrupt everything that once made eBay great. He has ran off the greatest majority of eBay’s old school sellers that believed in the principals that Pierre Omidyar founded eBay on that made it great.

Donahoe hated that flea market image that eBay had built itself into and has effectively disrupted that image into extinction.  He replaced the greatest majority of his sellers with big diamond power sellers who could care less about eBay or it’s reputation.  And even worse has catered to China sellers who have flooded his marketplace with cheap junk.

First it was MSNBC blasting eBay for selling ad apace to Counterfeiters selling knock off copies of Rosetta Stone software, and who knows what else on their website.

Now Fortune Magazine Blasts PayPal for holding sellers money!

From Fortune: Through all eBay’s struggles, PayPal has always been a bright spot. The online payment system, acquired in 2002, provided eBay with growing profits and, at times, a much-needed good story to tell investors. Founded in 2000 by tech stars, including Peter Thiel and Elon Musk, the company offered merchants and consumers an easy way to transfer money. To its credit, eBay generally left PayPal alone as it transformed itself from a company offering simple online money transfers into a digital currency powerhouse forging deals with retailers and pushing into mobile payments.

Now, interference by its parent is threatening to tarnish PayPal’s good name. It may even stymie CEO John Donohoe’s effort to finally turn around eBay (EBAY). At issue is a mundane-sounding decision to send out notices to sellers informing them that all payments they receive through PayPal for items sold on eBay will now be put on hold for up to 21 days. The company says the policy is aimed at protecting buyers from bogus sellers and to stem potential losses it incurs from its buyer protection program.

First introduced in December 2009, the policy only applied to a small number of sellers, mostly those with a history of complaints. Last Fall, eBay started applying the rule to virtually all of its members. That move has confused and outraged thousands of sellers – especially ones that have used the site for years, building sterling profiles along the way. “They’re treating me like a criminal,” says Madeleine Calabro, an Avila Beach, California, resident who has been buying and selling on eBay since 2003, garnering 100% positive feedback. Indeed, the PayPal website forum has more than 600 pages of posts from angry sellers protesting the hold. Also a flurry of surly websites paypalsucks.com, and screw-paypal.com, among others – have popped up in response.

Critics contend the new hold policy has little to do with scammers and everything with fattening revenues. The delay, they claim, could allow PayPal to collect interest on eBay sellers’ payments. Worse yet, eBay could potentially even make short-term, small-scale market investments with little risk. Any loss from one particular account, could be repaid with funds from the next account once the 21 day waiting period is up. PayPal – seemingly lending credence to such fears — adjusted the wording on its user policy to specifically state “you will not receive interest or other earnings on the funds that PayPal handles as your agent and places in Pooled Accounts.”

That has customers angry. “It is unfair and I considerate it illegal,” says Doug Black, a Thomasville, N.C., resident who has been selling on eBay since January 2008 and had 100% positive feedback on more than 600 sales when he got notice of the changes. Shortly after, he was approved for an eBay debit card. “If I’m such a bad risk, how did I get an eBay debit card?” he asks. Black stopped using the site, filing complaints with the Better Business Bureau, the Attorney General of North Carolina, the N.C. Banking Commission, and the California Attorney General.

Vexing sellers even more is the fact that PayPal takes its 3.25% fee and eBay takes its 9% fee right away instead of waiting 21 days. Even shipping fees, which are normally covered by the buyer, are put on hold, and eBay goes into the seller’s personal bank account to cover the shipping costs – a move that has caused some surprised sellers to be slapped with bank overdraft fees. “I closed my PayPal account immediately after my last payment was released,” says Lisa Holman, a Miamisburg, Ohio resident who had been selling for four years. “I will never sell on ebay again and I have vowed not to buy on eBay,” she adds.

Ebay spokesman Amanda Miller says the policy is being applied to sellers who “pose a higher than average risk of future transaction problems,” but declined to explain why customers, who had been selling for years without complaint, were suddenly considered risks. Miller confirmed “all PayPal balances are stored in an interest-bearing bank account.” She declined to say how much money eBay earned on sellers’ money, except to say it was “not material to our business.” She also did not respond to questions asking if any of the money was invested in other instruments.

That leaves eBay – and Paypal – under an avalanche of angry sellers who are threatening to close their accounts. Ignored, the problem could become a bruising “Netflix” (NFLX) moment — a reference to the tone-deaf miscalculation the video streaming company made last year when it introduced a price hike that caused subscribers to abandon the company in droves and the stock to lose more than 60% of its value. “I have hoped that this was eBay’s Netflix moment,” says Calabro, who has stopped selling until the hold is lifted from her account. She’s also opting to use credit cards, rather than PayPal, when buying items from other online sites, and is urging friends to do the same. “They haven’t taken into account that eBay’s sellers were also eBay’s most dedicated buyers. When they crush us as sellers, they crush our desire to buy there too.”

And while we are on the subject of PayPal. It’s ironic that Fortune would use the wording “through all of eBay’s struggles” to start their article out. eBay was in fine shape before CEO John Donahoe took over in 2007. Yes there were problems with some members, but nothing major that a solid verification system couldn’t cure.

Had Meg Whitman appointed someone else as CEO of eBay when she retired, eBay would most likely not be struggling like it is now. Donahoe has favored big sellers and ran off  his loyal old school sellers “that also were good buyers” and replaced them with foreign counterfeit and junk sellers that are slowly chipping away at the cornerstone of trust that eBay once cherished.

Is eBay Robbing Peter to Pay Paul? They keep increasing sellers fees, and devise more ways to separate a seller from his wallet. As Donahoe continued his disruption, revenue must have severely dropped. Another reason to force PayPal on sellers, eBay owned PayPal and obviously needed the fees. Now it appears they are floating on sellers money while it is being held.

And i wonder just how many sellers that had their accounts frozen told eBay and PayPal to stuff it?  Obviously a bunch of eBay buyers had their Christmas Severely Disrupted by that deal.

eBay and PayPal might have a chance of survival if the BOD would toss John Donahoe out on his can, and attempt to reverse the damage that his disruption has caused.

Think I’m kidding? Ask any old time eBay member that remembers what eBay was like before Donahoe Disrupted It!

While you’re here, check out Doc’s popular article “Used Car Buying And Selling Internet Advice” Link above. The butt you save just wind up being your own. 😉

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