Thursday, 22 May 2008
Dont get caught out by online auctions
Internet auctions are becoming an ever more popular route to buy and sell new & used cars online. Car buyers, particularly those in the market for used vehicles, have flocked to online auctions in ever increasing numbers. With thousands of people every day searching for that elusive bargain or "must have" car it has quickly increased the visibility of this sector making it one of e-commerce’s brightest success stories.
While the vast majority of online car deals go through without a hitch, the sheer volume of transactions performed on online auctions mean that it is inevitable that some auction users will be far from happy with their purchases.
Obviously buying a vehicle through an online auction site can present the buyer with problems not associated with buying from traditional auctions. However it can also provide the buyer with a wider range of vehicles, lower prices and much more accessibility.
You can negate some of the problems that may be encountered by following the simple 10 Step Safety Guide to purchasing vehicles supplied by AuctionAutoTrader:
# Check The Vehicles Details
Thoroughly review the description, pictures, model and price of the vehicle - it may be an idea to print this out. Ensure you know what you are buying prior to placing a bid. The old adage "if the price is too good to be true, it usually is" applies especially on high value/desirable vehicles.
# Check The Seller's Feedback
Feedback is a way for previous customers to rate the seller and this is worth checking prior to bidding on an item. Most online auction sites have a feedback system and it's a great way to see if your seller has a good trading history.
# Ask The Seller Questions
If you are unsure about any aspect of the vehicle you are considering purchasing then contact the seller. Good sellers will always be happy to answer reasonable questions. Can I have a test drive? Can I collect or will you deliver? Better to ask now than to leave it until it is too late.
# Vehicle Suitability
Consider the vehicles total running costs such as: Insurance, Servicing, Fuel Consumption, Replacement Parts etc How old is the vehicle? How many owners? Has it been regularly serviced?
# Vehicle Documents
If you are buying a car in the UK does it have its V5 Vehicle Registration document usually known as the "log book"?
# Vehicle Value
Nobody wants to pay over the odds for a car so to prevent yourself from bidding too high you may want to check what the cars usual sale price is. Prior to bidding you can seek out comparable used car pricing on sites such as Parkers or your local auto trader site - set a price you are prepared to bid to and stick to it.
# Vehicle Reports
When purchasing a car or any other vehicle you may wish to consider obtaining a report on it prior to bidding. As an example eBay UK motors offers potential bidders the opportunity to purchase a Vehicle Status Report. Specially designed for eBay Motor users and powered by HPI® the UK's most trusted independent information source for the motors industry this report offers the buyer peace of mind.
# Check The Small Print
How will the vehicle be delivered and is there a cost? A ploy by some unscrupulous sellers is to inflate the transport costs. Will the vehicle be insured in transit? How long will delivery take?
# Check How To Pay
You need to check what form of payment the seller will accept and whether there will be any associated costs. Never Pay With Cash!! The best methods of payment from the viewpoint of the customer are via Credit Card direct or through companies such as WorldPay. Alternatively an online payment service such as Paypal or NOCHEX is another secure way of making payment. Using the companies above will also ensure that the seller will not see your credit card number and details. By paying via Credit Card you may be entitled to additional protection subject to your card issuers Terms & Conditions. Finally as an additional option you may wish to consider using a reputable Escrow service to make payment.
# Check Your Bid
How much are you willing to pay? Consider any additional costs such as delivery etc and then if you are still happy with it place your bid. Remembering that if the bid is accepted then you will be expected to complete your side of the deal and pay.