If cars are your passion and buyer’s remorse isn’t something you suffer from, then you probably know how complicated, not to mention risky, selling a used car can be. Your past experiences in this practice may not be entirely bad, but times are changing fast and both payment systems and payment scams are getting more refined with each year.
Getting ripped off for something as expensive as a car is not an option, which is why you have to do everything in your power to make your transactions as secure as possible. Now, private sales are always tricky, even when the product in question is something tiny and inexpensive.
Where do you meet your buyer? How can you tell if he intends to swindle you? Unfortunately, many of these concerns will stay uncertain, and you’ll have to deal with them as they come.
The nature of private auto trade demands alternative payment systems that are mostly inconvenient for both the seller and the buyer, but these tactics guarantee that the entire process runs a bit smoother.
Here’s what’s in store for private car sellers.
- The Bank Meeting
Propose an in-bank meeting! It’s the safest way to tell if your buyer’s intentions are honest or not – if you’re determined to skip this insurance step, the odds are pretty good that you’ve just dodged the scam bullet.
If your potential buyer is indecisive, try meeting him halfway and arrange a trade in his bank instead of yours. Though payment systems can slightly vary from one bank to another, this option is just as safe as the first one. The transaction can be made in a couple of ways, but cashier’s checks are most common. The procedure is simple and supervised, and the paperwork transparent, which makes this option an ideal one.
Then again, cash will always be the most convenient way. Regardless of risk, most auto sellers opt for this options because it is quick, simple and doesn’t require any involvement from a third party. On the other hand, we don’t have to tell you that its advantages can be its greatest drawbacks at the same time, since there’s no guarantee that you won’t get outsmarted in the process.
Interestingly enough, the risk is the same for both parties. Your buyer might distrust you just as much as you distrust him, so negotiate carefully, try to be as straightforward as you can and request the same from your buyer. If your passion has already turned to obsession, and you sell your cars as quickly as you buy them, consider replacing cash for credit cards. In that case, a comparison of credit card processors will save you plenty of additional fees.
- One-Time Accounts and After-Hour Transactions
In case you still prefer a supervised exchange of goods, but neither you nor your buyer can schedule a bank meeting, since most banks are open only during business hours, consider going to a different kind of bank.
One-time accounts can be opened in one of those little bank branches that operate as a part of big supermarket chains. They are open much longer than other banks, but perform transactions of this type in the exact same way.
- Escrow Services
Escrow is a brilliant little payment trick, usually used by those who sell to foreign buyers. As with banks, this online system ensures that the money is held by a third party until the car is shipped and the trade completed. Once that happens, an escrow service will release the submitted funds and transfer them to your account.
Though most convenient for international sales, there’s nothing stopping you from using this system for local arrangements as well. Instead of shipping it over, you can simply drive the car to the buyer and get your money as soon as he confirms that the goods have been received.
Whatever you choose to do, have your paperwork in order and ready for a trade. If, in any case, you can’t provide them, any kind of transaction that includes a bank meeting is not possible. Though some buyers might agree on these terms, don’t expect them to go an extra mile in order to prove that their intentions are fair and square. Also, make sure to consult your accountant before you make the final decision.