Having bought 2 cars on ebay from 100 miles away, I can suggest the following:
1. DON'T – unless you can bring a qualified mechanic with you, and back, and can arrange for a garage in the seller's town to let you use their lift.
2. Don't trust anything the seller tells you, assume it is all lies, no matter how reasonable it might seem.
3. Ignore all notices on ads that say "No time-wasters" and "No tyre-kickers." Plan on taking all the time you need and kick all the tyres you want, and feel free to not buy it even though you have won the bid.
4. Do not pay a deposit on the car in advance of seeing it.
If you buy a car where the seller has not divulged extensive problems or has masked big problems with partial or cosmetic cover-ups, or just has not been truthful about its condition, you will find that Ebay policy will not support you and, in fact, will tell you you should have brought a mechanic who should have inspected it thoroughly, especially underneath. As it is most often going to be impractical or very costly to do this for a car any distance away, it is therefore simply prudent not to even bid on a car more than, say, 10 miles away – basically cars you would see in your local paper.
DONT BUY A CAR ON EBAY UNLESS IT IS IN YOUR TOWN
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25 November 2008
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