One day you decide it is time to sell your vehicle, however you don’t know the best site and more importantly how to do this. You do some research, you learn what thousands of individuals like yourself are discovering, Kijiji is Canada’s largest auto site. Now that you have found the site you are comfortable with, a very important question pops up, how to avoid car scammers on Kijiji. With so many scams taking place daily, it can be stressful and a little scary when you think about it.
There are so many transactions taking place daily on Kijiji, one would think there would be no chance of a scam happening. Well unfortunately they do and are even happening as I write this article. There will always be some form of scam taking place daily over the world, but with a little knowledge and detective work you can avoid car scammers on Kijiji. Kijiji has an article on their site that is a good place to start and the title is Avoiding vehicle scams. There are 5 key tips I learned that helped answer, avoid car scammers on Kijiji.
The first and the most important tip is based on cold hard cash. Try to avoid using PayPal or E-transfer when accepting payments!
How can PayPal or E-transfer be something to fear when dealing with large sums of money or even small sums? Well even though they are used by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide to pay for items from clothing to vehicles, the system can be fixed. There are ways a scam can and does happen this way. The one and most popular, the buyer is too quick to purchase, site unseen and they are willing to pay full price or even more.
When a buyer contacts you and wants to purchase your vehicle, but they can’t be there to view it or meet you, put your radar on. How many buyers are willing to spend thousands on a vehicle without viewing it or having someone view it for them? I don’t believe many, as this is not a pair of shoes you can just toss if they don’t fit.
In order to avoid car scammers on Kijiji you have to think like the buyer also and trust your instinct. Make sure you meet the buyer someplace safe and have the paperwork and any pictures for the vehicle on you. A real buyer will appreciate and want these items for their records. A Carfax Canada report will provide the seller and buyer a piece of mind as it will provide the condition the vehicle is in.
Another red flag is the buyer is willing to pay asking price or offer a bit more. You have a really good idea of what your vehicle is worth and you set the price on the top end as it gives you room to negotiate. The buyer sounds like a good person and they offer you a little more than asking price, this could be a great day for the savings account. They let you know they will take it and are sending you the money via e-transfer or Paypal, what can go wrong. The most common scam is the email for these services are fake, it may look like the money is coming but it doesn’t.
The best and safest way to accept payment is either by cash or having the funds directly deposited at the bank into your account, if the buyer is serious they won’t mind.
The second tip has two parts, listing sites and re-sellers are big!
Your ad has been up now for a few days and there have been a couple of inquires but nothing worth accepting. Then a call comes in and it is from a listing site letting you know that you ad is getting a lot of attraction. They call again right after saying they have a positive buyer. For a small admin fee they will take care of everything for you, if the transaction is cancelled you get you admin fee back. How can you go wrong, pay a small fee and all the work is done, so you send the money either via cheque or credit card payment. Now days or even weeks go by and no word, you starting to worry and contact the company, there is no company and no refund.
The next scam is the re-seller one and it is very similar to the listing site. The main difference is the re-seller will put the buyer and seller in touch, so the seller only has to wait for the call. For a small admin fee again and these fees are usually around the $500 mark, the re-seller will locate a buyer. The re-seller contacts you and says they have a buyer and once the admin fee is paid the buyers information is provided, but there is not buyer. And again you send the money and never hear from the re-seller or buyer, and you are now out of a large amount of money.
Do your research on what your vehicle is worth and don’t use an agent or those acting as one on behalf of the buyer. Always ask the buyer to contact you directly and not through a third party, this will help avoid car scammers on Kijiji.
The third tip is a tricky one, certified cheque or bank draft for full price or higher.
In this day and age modern technology is not only being used for good but also for bad. More and more scammers are using certified cheques or bank drafts for their payments of big purchases. One would think this is a form of scam, as both forms of payments are safe, at least that is what we have been led to believe. Both of these payments are forged, duplicated and done so in a way that some bank tellers have a hard time distinguishing the fraud. In a lot of cases the scam is not discovered until days later and in the meantime the vehicle is gone and there’s nothing that can be done.
If the buyer is paying by either of these forms of payment, the best thing to do is go to their bank and have the cheque or bank draft certified. Now sometimes the bank can’t tell the difference as the scammers are really good at what they do. Another good way to go is have the funds deposited into your account by the bank. This way the transaction is done by the bank and both you and the buyer know the funds have been correctly deposited. There is still room for something to go wrong, but if all the bases are covered there is less likely of a scam to occur.
The fourth tip involves monthly payments, test drive and trades!
There are scammers out there that will want to by your vehicle but they can only do it by making monthly payments. They will give you one story or another that will make you trust and feel bad for their situation. You agree to the terms and receive a few payments, another payment comes the following month, then the payments stop. Unless the buyer is a close friend or family member, monthly payments are never the way to go when selling your vehicle.
Another scam that is pulled is the test drive, the buyer like any buyer would want to take a test drive, the only difference is, they don’t want you with them. Whenever you provide a test drive be in the vehicle, to be extra safe have a friend or family member along with you. If you don’t want to go along, hang on to their drivers licence or other form of ID, you can also hold onto their car keys.
The last part of this scam is the trade in, the buyer offers you a vehicle as a form of payment. The type of vehicles that are usually offered are high end and in a lot of cases worth more than the vehicle you are selling. The vehicles that are being used in these trades are either stolen, written off, about to die or even still have money owing on them. The best thing is never accept a trade unless it is with someone you know and trust, and all documents are provided.
The fifth tip your information!
Another popular form of scam is the buyer is more interested in obtaining your private information from your banking to credit card and social insurance number. Now a genuine buyer is more interested in the vehicle and all the information the comes with it, they don’t want or need your personnel information. Be very diligent and protective of your personnel information, any paperwork you provide make sure anything that is not related to the sale is blacked out. Another sign of something not right is grammar and spelling in the replies provided, now this is not always a sign but one to watch for. This could be an indication of an offshore phishing scam for personnel information. By being extra diligent, a little more suspicious, staying firm and true to you beliefs and intuiting could save you money, lots of stress and your vehicle.
If you feel you’re not comfortable either selling or buying through Kijiji, you can start by contacting Canada Auto Experts. We will not only help with your auto needs being it buying or selling, but help you build your credit monthly. Visit Canada Auto Experts or call 1-855-550-5565 to get approved regardless of your credit.