How to Buy a Used Car on eBay
April 30th, 2009
Even if you have never bought or sold anything on the website eBay.com, you are bound to have heard of it. This mammoth auction and shopping website handles sales of just about anything you can imagine, from books to designer clothes to automobiles. There are three basic types of eBay sales:
1. Auction-style listings. With this type of listing, the seller offers an item or items for sale for a certain number of days. The seller can establish a reserve price, which is the lowest price acceptable to the seller.
2. Fixed price listings. These listings allow the seller to offer items for a “buy it now” price. If a buyer agrees to pay the “buy it now” price, he or she wins the auction immediately without bidding.
3. Dutch auctions are for sellers who want to offer more than one identical item in one auction. Bidders may bid for one item, or more, up to the total number of items offered.
The main advantage of buying a used car on eBay is setting the price above which you will not bid. In addition, auto insurance on used cars are generally less expensive, and since you pay for your used car all at once, you won’t have monthly car payments. There are several things to consider before bidding on a car on eBay, or buying a used car elsewhere.
Choose a used car with as few miles on it as possible. This indicates that it hasn’t been subjected to excessive wear.
With gas prices either high or threatening to go high, consider what kind of gas mileage you want in your car. If you’re on a tight budget, choose a model that gets good mileage.
Blue Book Value
The Kelley Blue Book, whether in book form or online is a trusted repository of used car values. On the website, kbb.com, enter the make, model, and year of the car you are interested in, and you will get a range of prices for which that car is selling. Copies of the actual Kelley Blue Book can often be found at your local library.
Get a CarFax report on any car you are considering buying. A CarFax report will cost you $25 for one report or $30 for unlimited reports for one month. Clearly, if you are going to be comparing several cars, you should spring for the monthly deal. This report will tell you important things about the car’s history, such as whether it has been in an accident, the number of previous owners, and whether the car has ever been flooded. This is a good investment.
Your insurance agent should be able to give you a rough estimate of how much a certain year, make, and model car will cost to insure. You can also get rough estimates online through various insurance company websites. It is also recommended to think about good motorist coverage.
These considerations will stand you in good stead whether you’re buying a car online through eBay, or whether you’re buying it from a neighbor or car dealer. Forewarned is forearmed.