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Old 12-04-2013, 06:55 PM   #1
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Anyone have any experience buying a car on eBay?

I am finding many low mileage cars being sold from used exotic car dealers in the mid-west and wanted to know if anyone has bought a car from these types of establishments rather than the typical private seller. I am finding a few gems, but when you bid on eBay your intent to buy becomes binding upon winning the auction so when do you actually have time to get the inspection plus I would like to go out and see it. I buy everything online except for clothing, so don't really see why I can't buy a car online, I just need to be able to complete certain prerequisites.

I am currently looking for a 996 turbo with less than 25k miles and finding some nice ones with less than 10k miles. I'm hoping I can pick a 2002 up for less than $45k. What do you guys think.

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Old 12-04-2013, 07:17 PM   #2
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Well, that seems to be the problem for me, you bid, you won, you own it. No chance for an inspection unless the seller states that you can. You can always try contacting prior to a bid to see if an inspection would be possible. As an FYI, I was looking at a pristine, one owner, supposedly well cared for Boxster locally that was also listed on eBay. While the car was getting its PPI, it was sold. Lucky for me, bad for the buyer because the inspection turned up some items that I would not be happy with. I told the seller the results, I don't know if he passed it on to the buyer. The car was to be shipped shortly.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:42 PM   #3
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Bought two Porsches this way. All I have to say is get a PPI before committing in anyway.
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:36 PM   #4
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5 of my last 8 vehicles came from Ebay, including my Boxster. Got them all at bargain prices and had good luck with all except the last one. If you can trust them, there are services that will inspect the car for you and might even be able to take it in for a PPI. They only caution I would advise is if the car is such a bargain, why do they have to revert to Ebay to sell it? This happened on my latest purchase, an '07 Beetle convertible for my daughter. Got it for several thousand, about 20% below blue book. When we received it, I understood why local buyers were turned off. It had and continues to have an overpowering smell of crayons, which I understand is somewhat common, and comes from the adhesive used for some interior pieces. On the plus side, if it's not too far away, flying in and driving it home can be a fun road trip.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:33 AM   #5
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I bought a Nissan Sentra used from a dealer. Low miles one owner clean carfax. Nothing but repairs and problems (probably more to do with the maker than owner). Bought my Box sight unseen and couldn't be happier. What's more is that I went to sell this Nissan on ebay only to find that the experian autocheck report showed a previois crash that was never disclosed to me. Go figure.
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceH View Post
Well, that seems to be the problem for me, you bid, you won, you own it. No chance for an inspection unless the seller states that you can. You can always try contacting prior to a bid to see if an inspection would be possible. As an FYI, I was looking at a pristine, one owner, supposedly well cared for Boxster locally that was also listed on eBay. While the car was getting its PPI, it was sold. Lucky for me, bad for the buyer because the inspection turned up some items that I would not be happy with. I told the seller the results, I don't know if he passed it on to the buyer. The car was to be shipped shortly.
I echo Bruce's sentiments. I once bought a Volvo P1800. Did not know much about cars then and discovered it was full of bondo to hold the rust together. I sold it at an auction because I could not look the prospective buyer in the eye. I see ebay the same way as a way to dispose of a car. However there could be some good buys there but I would never consider buying on ebay unless I could look the car over first before bidding and of course a PPI .
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:40 AM   #7
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I bought my boxster from ebay. It was the smoothest car purchase I've made. Ebay claims some very broad buyer protection, which gave me the confidence to make a long distance purchase. During the bidding process, I clicked a link for financing. They basically sent be a blank check that I was authorized to sign over to the seller, pre-approved up to a certain amount.

The seller was a high end used car dealer several hundred miles away. I took a bus and the dealer offered to pick me up at the bus stop. A couple hours later I was driving home in my first Porsche!
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:17 AM   #8
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I have bought two cars this way. my first box and a speedster. both were great transactions and was pleased.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:10 AM   #9
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eBay vehicles do have higher risk

As the previous posts report, there are good transactions and bad. Having purchased 3 cars on eBay and sold 1, it is my opinion that it all comes down to your tolerance for risk. If you can tolerate some unknowns and can deal with a few minor mechanical issues (the photos should eliminate most cosmetic issues) then eBay can be a viable source for vehicles. Major mechanical issues do void the transaction (if you want out), UNLESS the seller disclosed those issues in the description. You never have to accept a vehicle that is not "as described."

I promise you - there will be something that was not described, but by then you will have already traveled to pickup the car, hopefully already have it covered by insurance, and have an emotional attachment to your "new" Porsche. So, you have to decide if you can live with the undisclosed flaw.

Now if you have the car shipped, then your ability to void the transaction or reject the car is virtually lost. Still probably possible, but MUCH more difficult and expensive.

To reduce risk ask questions. Lots of questions. You can generally tell by the seller's replies if there is something to be wary of. However, many of the sellers are just trying to flip the vehicle and therefore are not as intimate with its details as a private seller would be.

With all this in mind, the eBay vehicle should be procured at a discount because they have higher risk. You can almost bet on needing to put some money into it to cover the undisclosed flaw(s). This same caveat could apply to a local purchase if you aren't thorough in your pre purchase inspection.

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Old 12-05-2013, 07:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Xcellr8 View Post
As the previous posts report, there are good transactions and bad. Having purchased 3 cars on eBay and sold 1, it is my opinion that it all comes down to your tolerance for risk. If you can tolerate some unknowns and can deal with a few minor mechanical issues (the photos should eliminate most cosmetic issues) then eBay can be a viable source for vehicles. Major mechanical issues do void the transaction (if you want out), UNLESS the seller disclosed those issues in the description. You never have to accept a vehicle that is not "as described."

I promise you - there will be something that was not described, but by then you will have already traveled to pickup the car, hopefully already have it covered by insurance, and have an emotional attachment to your "new" Porsche. So, you have to decide if you can live with the undisclosed flaw.

Now if you have the car shipped, then your ability to void the transaction or reject the car is virtually lost. Still probably possible, but MUCH more difficult and expensive.

To reduce risk ask questions. Lots of questions. You can generally tell by the seller's replies if there is something to be wary of. However, many of the sellers are just trying to flip the vehicle and therefore are not as intimate with its details as a private seller would be.

With all this in mind, the eBay vehicle should be procured at a discount because they have higher risk. You can almost bet on needing to put some money into it to cover the undisclosed flaw(s). This same caveat could apply to a local purchase if you aren't thorough in your pre purchase inspection.

IMO-FWIW,
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Couold not agree more on listening for seller remarks, answers, etc. I sent an email out last night on a 928 I was looking at. Asked what issues mechanically the car has and cosmetic issues as well. Response was cars in great shape. So then I asked if it had ever been in an accident. He wrote back and said - no signs of accident but you can talk to the widow of the owner. Now, no signs of accident is not the same as a Yes or a No. As a matter of fact, I pulled (accidentally bought a few more carfaxs than i needed) a carfax on it and it stated the car was reported with an accident back in 04. So needless to say, I dont trust this dealer/seller. BUT the car is priced decent enough and it is more of the rare 5 speed...

I bought one from a dealer and that guy was cool. did a video walk around, put me on speaker to start the car and listen in for a while, and the Boxster was a non dealer seller who was up front on everything...

My latest box was found on Autotrader but the guy was local so I could go see and drive the car.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:21 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ckrikos View Post
I am finding many low mileage cars being sold from used exotic car dealers in the mid-west and wanted to know if anyone has bought a car from these types of establishments rather than the typical private seller. I am finding a few gems, but when you bid on eBay your intent to buy becomes binding upon winning the auction so when do you actually have time to get the inspection plus I would like to go out and see it. I buy everything online except for clothing, so don't really see why I can't buy a car online, I just need to be able to complete certain prerequisites.

I am currently looking for a 996 turbo with less than 25k miles and finding some nice ones with less than 10k miles. I'm hoping I can pick a 2002 up for less than $45k. What do you guys think.
I have seen many cars listed on there as re list because buyer did not come through. As a matter of fact ...it happened to me. There really is nothing that can be done. If the people big but have no money...it really is not that legal binding. scares you into thinking that and I would never ever suggest doing that as it really takes away from the purpose of the site (and from someone that this happened to it sucks)...but it is not as legal binding as you might think.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:19 PM   #12
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I've purchased two cars on ebay...a 99 M Roadster in late 2001 and an 03 Z4 3.0 in late 2003.

I flew to Dallas to pick up the '99 after winning the bid online. There was something about the car upon arrival that turned me off...rear bumper gaps agains rear quarter panels. No issue on carfax reported (big surpirse). Car was otherwise very clean and looked great. I had flown out with the intention that I would fly home if not satisfied.
I talked to the seller (dealer) and explained that I was having second thoughts. The dealer was more than accomidating, offering to discount the car etc. I declined his offer and he ended up writing me a check for $500 toward my airfare and offered to pay for a hotel overnight. He had excellent feedback on ebay and didn't want an unhappy buyer writing something negative.

I ended up flying to OKC from Dallas and purchased another M roadster that bidding had ended on but the reserve hadn't been met. IIRC, I purchased the car for $26.8K and sold it in Fall of 2003 for $23.5K.

The Z4 came out of New Jersey in late December of 2003 with 5300 miles. Z4's were love it or hate it at the time coming on the heels of the retro look of the Z3. The car was purchased new in May of 2003 with a sticker price of $47K. I paid $30.5K plus $700 to have it shipped to FL.

The car was great but did have minor curb rash on one wheel and more rock chips on the front than I'd have liked. I spent $75 on the wheel and pulled the front bumper off for a respray ($300). The car ran and looked great and still had 3.5 years of warranty. I drove the car until fall of 2007 and sold it to a coworker for $25K.

Overall, I wouldn't hestitate to use ebay as a place to purchase a car but would be more inclined to buy newer cars with less history. I agree that the car should be under market value due to the risk of buying site unseen.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:22 PM   #13
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I love eBay as a place to sell a car - especially something rare or specific collector appeal - because it opens up markets. I've sold several cars to folks in Europe and the Middle East through eBay. I give very thorough descriptions, photos, and I encourage inspections. That said, once you've won it, it's yours unless I failed to disclose something. The fact is, you will likely find something about my car that you don't like, but didn't get my attention and so I did not say anything about it. Cars are very subjective, as are buyer's hot buttons. Caveat emptor, get a PPI, and so on. If you're spending your money it's up to you ultimately to make sure you're getting what you think you're getting.

At the same time, I have bought a lot of cars on eBay too. For cheap cars, I'm willing to take risks. I have gone to pick up cars and found substantial undisclosed problems and walked away - usually with a check from the seller for my trouble. But I have been burned, too. Some people just suck - and so do some cars. If you absolutely MUST have a car and absolutely can't go see it yourself and get it inspected, at least protect yourself with extensive Q&A in writing. If a seller won't respond in writing - I walk away. It's a hassle sometimes to answer detailed questions, but they want to sell the car. If you still absolutely have to have it despite a relatively uncooperative seller, then it's ultimately on you.

And that's why I like to buy local and sell internationally!

My two cents, FWIW.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:39 PM   #14
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I actually found my car on Ebay. It was a trade in with 9K miles located just down the road from my house. Go figure. Ebay had a special promotion at the time with HSBC if I purchased it on Ebay Motors. The auction ended without hitting the reserve. I negotiated a price with the dealer sales man for them to re-list the car so that I could take advantage of the promotion.
I closed the deal hitting the 'buy it now' option from a laptop in their showroom. The car was so pristine they had it parked inside instead of out on the lot. I sold my old car two weeks later to a guy in FL who spotted it online. I picked him up at the airport and he drove me back to the dealer to pick up my Boxster S and he drove right back down to Florida with my old car!
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Old 12-05-2013, 02:52 PM   #15
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I've bought 2 Cayman S's, 2 Audi TT roadsters, and a 370Z off of ebay. The Audis and the Z (bought for my sister) were all great cars, actually better than I expected. But my bids reflect the possibility of needing something repaired.

My burgundy Cayman S was bought from an individual in Houston. He forgot to mention the windshield was cracked in the auction. We negotiated a $400 discount and I was on my way.

The other Cayman S had a clean AutoCheck report (free on ebay). I didn't bother spending $35 on a CarFax because of that. Bad mistake as I found out after I bought it the CarFax mentioned a minor rear end incident. I also had trouble with the title on that Cayman - the seller sloppily wrote the mileage on the title and my DMV rejected it. The seller was a small used dealer in L.A. and getting another title from him was extremely difficult. I had several sleepless nights over that one. I don't know if it was my discussion with my state's Attorney's General or my discussion with the California DMV in LA, but someone got to him and he finally sent me a title.

BTW... I still have the 2010 Audi TT for sale. It's one of the nicest, cleanest cars I've ever bought. Inquire within if interested.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:39 PM   #16
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Sounds like most folks have had good experiences. I need a ppi for the amount of money I'm spending and the cost of repairing a turbo. It no longer costs as much as a super car but repairs are not as cheap as what I am use to on my boxster. I'm willing to spend a little more to buy a cleaner low mileage car not to have future problems.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:14 AM   #17
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I can't believe I forgot this but besides the Z4 and the M Roadster, my current 2000S was purchased off ebay!
Why did I forget (besides getting older)? Well, I found the car on ebay, on a Sunday night in July of 2008, with about 15 hours left in the auction. After searching for close to a year, this car was priced right, listed by private owner and located about 10 miles away!. I contacted the owner Monday morning through ebay prior to the auction close and was fortunate enough to be able to look at and drive the car prior to the end of the auction. What I found was a garage kept, two owner car with 76K miles. Although not flawless, the car appeared to be well cared. The test drive revealed no wierd noises or issues and of course, the car was a blast. I didn't do a PPI but I was able to talk to the indy in town that maintained the car. He assured me that the owner took good care of the car and there were no outstanding issues (to his knowledge).

Since the auction was no reserve and within 12 hours of ending (by the time I'd driven the car), the seller wanted to let the auction play out to the end. Given our location, I was fairly confident that there would not be a huge rush of activity right at the close and I ended up buying the car for just over $15K.

Today, five and a half years later, the car has 115k miles and is currenly a DD. I enjoy it as much as when I bought it and it has been essentially trouble free. Maintenance is up to date and repairs have been limited to wear and tear items that typically need to be replaced on any car given the age and mileage.

I currently own the 2000S, an '84 Alfa Spider and an '04 350Z Roadster. Having sold a 98 Boxster just a few weeks ago. Monday night I was back on ebay looking at my usual suspects. I was almost the high bidder on anothter M Roadster Monday night located in Pensacola, FL. Somebody outbid me in the last 30 seconds (thank goodness!).
What was I thinking bidding on another ragtop??
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ckrikos View Post
Sounds like most folks have had good experiences. I need a ppi for the amount of money I'm spending and the cost of repairing a turbo. It no longer costs as much as a super car but repairs are not as cheap as what I am use to on my boxster. I'm willing to spend a little more to buy a cleaner low mileage car not to have future problems.
Wise strategy! I bought my Box on E-bay but it had a year left on factory warranty & I didn't put down any money until I flew in the next day & did my own PPI & test drive. I would love to own a 996tt someday & if that day comes I will get a PPI 1st by someone that knows the cars very well.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:03 PM   #19
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I've bought and sold cars on ebay. It is like everything else when buying a car, be careful and do your homework.

Nothing like flying off and driving your new love back home over the course of a couple of days.......VERY COOL!!!!

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