Cars For Sale By OwnersJust because the advertisement on the community bulletin board reads cars for sale by owners does not mean we needn’t be cautious. And besides, intelligent consumers will read the whole add, among numerous ads, and come up with a consensus of those that are legitimate, those that are offering used cars for sale by dealers (and which the dealers directly identify themselves in), and, finally, those listings that purport to being cars for sale by owners but turn out to be b.s..
For example, I had to shop for a used car about six month ago, and stuck with the most useful and effective category, “cars for sale by owners,” on the most wonderful of no-charge community bulletin boards online, Craigslist. There, I discovered appealing deals I couldn’t afford, affordable deals that included cars with no engines, no pink slips, or no responses after I went out of my way to visit the owners, test-drive and check the vehicle, and call back as requested with an offer.
Among those ads, too, were those that were clearly for automobiles and trucks offered by a dealer and confirmed by the dealer’s business information. No problem. However, consider how an ad for a 1970’s Chevy Truck (I was looking at trucks from my teen years) had the contact information, four phone numbers (!), and a distinctively misspelled detail. Then consider, in the search of over 1,000 cars for sale by owners, how another, separate, ad for a Ford F-250, a separate one for a Chevy Nova, and a listing for two commuter cars had the same contact information, those same four phone numbers (!), and that same distinctively misspelled detail.
Now, that guy was fraudulent. Sure, the cars and trucks existed, and they were presented with photographs, but the background in every one of the photos was the same (a suburban neighborhood, the vehicle parked at an angle on the patch of lawn), and, again, the contact info and details were the same, so the supposed cars for sale by owners, or one owner, were really listed in the wrong place—either accidentally, by a less than fully upright-walking guy who couldn’t figure out the exceptionally easy steps to posting ads…or intentionally, by a guy who wanted the benefits of a used car salesman but did not want to pay taxes, or wanted to fraud people. I mean, this guy was NOT Jay Leno, suddenly deciding to sell off five or six of his collectibles. This person was also not a brainy one, for he used the same identifiable info and just smashed it all into the wrong category, cars for sale by owners. This act or set of acts did/does no more than waste serious buyers’ time and energy and give the already dubious characters of the used car business a more besmirched identity. The operative phrase, here, then, though I likely need not reiterate it, is caveat emptor—buyer beware.