Just when you thought it was safe to buy pretty much anything online, The Washington Post reports that up to one-third of vehicles sold online have been recalled but never fixed.
More than 3.5 million such light trucks and cars were sold just last year. So we got to thinking about eBay Motors, how it handles recalls and what the site's like these days for online sellers. We spoke to an eBay Motors representative for some answers.
In Part 1 of our series, we discussed the selling opportunity eBay Motors represents. Here, we'll look at how to keep from getting ripped off through a transaction and how eBay Motors handles those recalls we mentioned. We also share some great resources right on the site for learning more.
Sellers are not allowed to list items on eBay that are prohibited from being sold because of a recall
Motors protects buyers
Schepp: A Washington Post article recently stated that a fair percentage of recalled cars sold online have not been fixed. Are recalls something eBay checks for or notes?
eBay Motors rep: Sellers are not allowed to list items on eBay that are prohibited from being sold because of a recall.
If an item can be legally sold but is subject to a recall, sellers must include appropriate information about the recall within the listing. eBay's recalled item policy can be found here.
It's in the seller's best interest to ensure a positive shopping experience for the customer so as to not negatively impact their feedback. We recommend that buyers review a seller's feedback, ratings and comments as part of their shopping process.
Additionally, eBay Motors has developed advanced safeguards you won't find anywhere else on the Web in one place—systems and filters to protect consumers. These include:
- Up to $50,000 in vehicle purchase protection, a proprietary insurance policy safeguarding purchases on eBay Motors if the car isn't delivered or is drastically different from how it was represented.
- Free vehicle history reports by Experian
- Feedback ratings
eBay Motors has multiple steps in place to vet sellers before they're eligible to transact on our marketplace. The My eBay Message Center (also) ensures communications are legitimate.
eBay advises buyers do their homework
We advise buyers to start and finish transactions on eBayMotors.com, so they can take advantage of all the protections
eBay Motors rep: eBay Motors also encourages shoppers to:
- Complete purchases on the eBay Motors site. We advise buyers to start and finish transactions on eBayMotors.com, so they can take advantage of all the protections and assurances eBay Motors offers. They should be aware of ads on other sites that claim to use eBay Motors to complete transactions. Cybercriminals exploit the world's most trusted brands by creating fake websites to create a sense of trust in their victims and gain valuable information.
- Know what they are purchasing. Buyers should take advantage of vehicle history reports to be sure that the mileage and vehicle condition are what sellers claim them to be. Request additional photos of the details like odometer reading, VIN, and any scratches or blemishes if they are not already available in the listing.
- Know the seller. Buyers should examine the seller's feedback on the main site and note ratings and comments.
- Communicate with the seller. By communicating through the My eBay Message Center, prospective buyers can receive answers to their questions directly from sellers and preserve all the protections that eBay offers. All messages coming through My eBay are verified as legitimate.
- Review the vehicle title. If it appears to have been altered in any way, we advise buyers to reconsider their purchase decisions.
- Never send payments through Western Union, MoneyGram or other wire services. If planning to pay in cash, buyers should do so in person and get a receipt.
- Realize that if the deal looks too good to be true, it is. Common sense and patience can be two of a buyer's best buying tools. They should go beyond the information in the vehicle listing to research and inspect the car.
eBay Motors is also the No. 1 site in online minutes spent on automotive and in automotive page views
Motors boosts sellers' reach
Schepp: Getting back to sellers, what else should they know about selling cars on eBay?
eBay Motors rep: eBay Motors provides both buyers and sellers with the advantages of a large marketplace. Buyers can search for available vehicles from around the country to find the exact vehicle that they are looking for.
By leveraging eBay Motors as a complementary sales channel, sellers have the benefit of reaching the more than 128 million active users on eBay marketplaces worldwide (as of the fourth quarter of 2013). eBay Motors is also the No. 1 site in online minutes spent on automotive and in automotive page views.
eBay Motors makes it simple and easy for both dealers and individual sellers to broaden their reach and inventory exposure nationwide through a complementary, transactional marketplace. eBay Motors also empowers dealers to reach customers in the ways they want to shop, including via online and mobile.
An easy, four-step guide to successfully selling vehicles on eBay Motors can be found here for reference.
Essentially, the seller simply needs to gather information and photos for the vehicle, create a detailed listing leveraging the tips provided earlier, keep track of their listing and stay in touch with prospective buyers throughout the sale process. eBay Motors offers a variety of tools to help individuals sell their vehicles. All of these tools can be found at motors.ebay.com.
eBay has provided a lot of information here for sellers to think about if they are considering listing vehicles on eBay Motors. But hearing from sellers who have already used the site should provide some other interesting insights, so be sure to read Part 3 of this series!