Each year in the UK, thousands of trailers are stolen. Many are stolen 'to order' but its a safe bet that some end up for sale on ebay.
You are always careful when buying a car and the same care should be taken when buying a trailer. This guide gives a few tips on buying a trailer safely.
Beware of sellers with no/poor feedback scores, who have recently changed their usernames, or are secretive of their location.
Before you place any bids, ALWAYS contact the seller and view the trailer. If the seller is reluctant, or arranges to meet you at a location that is not their home or business premises, are they hiding something?
Ask the seller what they have been using the trailer for and why they have now decided to sell? Genuine sellers will give a plausible reason.
Most trailers have a data plate (unless they are homemade) giving seriel number, weight etc. If this plate is missing, damaged, defaced, WALK AWAY. nb be very careful when buying homemade trailers, they may well not meet current safety regs', you dont want to be stopped on the way home and have your new trailer impounded and a big fine! Also, if you have got your driving licence within the last ten years, check the weight as there are limits to what you can tow without taking a seperate test, (roughly the rules are that the trailer and load must be lighter than the tow-vehicle and the whole rig must be under 3500 kgs but CHECK THE VOSA WEBSITE!!
Most trailers have a lock consisting of a barrel through the handle to prevent the coupling being opened, if this is missing, has it been genuinely lost or has it been drilled out?
If you buy a trailer that is later traced as stolen, even if you bought it in good faith, you will lose the trailer AND your money! Don't take the risk.
Above all, TRUST YOUR INSTINCT if something feels wrong, it probably is, you dont have to buy the first one that comes up, take your time and you will find the right trailer for your needs.