View Full Version : Please read and comment - out of state car sale

02-20-2009, 11:28 AM
Please take a look at this thread and let me know what you think.
Just looking for a bit of guidance, so I don't do something stupid...

My Thread in MGB area (https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcforum/ubbthreads.php/topics/549927/Got_an_offer_for_my_70_MGBGT#Post549927)

02-20-2009, 11:53 AM
Hello my fellow friend. DO NOT DO THIS!!! I have learned the hard way on something really similar to this. Today, transactions are only safe face to face with cash in hand. I had a 93 Chevy Lumina and had it posted for sale on the web. I had a lot of people respond saying they wanted it and they could only pay with a bank certified check. Some things that I didnt think about was why is it the guy doesnt really want to see the car or drive it to make sure of what he is buying? The other side was, "Why is he sending extra cash on top of what I asked and requesting for me to send money via wire to a guy which is supposed to pick it up and deliver it to the buyer?" Your transaction is a bit different but there is major scams with certified checks going on out there. Go to the FBI web site and type in "certified check scams" and you can read all different stories on how guys/gals pull this off. The check will come via 2nd day and they look real. The bank will usually put it in the account depending on your moneys that are already in there and in a couple weeks,..Bam!,..they see its a fake. I even called the bank number on the check and they have people there in the loop saying its good or that there is a 3rd party block on it. Be extra careful. I hope that there is still some honest people out there in your transaction case.

02-20-2009, 12:13 PM
Thanks, good information there.
So would a wire transfer to my account be safer?
He actually offered a little less than my asking price. He is willing to wire the money or send a check.
I agree that face to face with cash would be better.
I don't think I'd accept a check under any circumstances, too much could go wrong.

02-20-2009, 12:20 PM
The extra little quirks really to seem a little stinky. I wouldn't mind faxing a copy of the title face, clearly marked VOID. But the rest just doens't seem right.

02-20-2009, 12:26 PM
Hey RickB. After getting ripped off in a car scam I learned a lot when it comes to the things people will do at someone elses expense. I honestly would only see to it that its a hand to hand transaction. If people truly are honest they will do things the right way to protect both parties. I agree with "Bayless" above, there just some of it that doesnt seem right. Take caution with faxing that title and clearly mark it up so it cant be corrected and recreated. I can tell you a story that delt with the title being fake. Just go with your gut. If it doesnt feel right, dont do it.

02-20-2009, 12:28 PM
He's got to be kidding about the bank account number! You dictate the terms, it's your car. Tell him you'll accept PayPal, a bank money order, or a certified check. And, you won't turn anything over until the money clears the bank. This is a perfectly normal business procedure, widely practiced every day.

Sure, fax him a copy of the title, he can't use it unless he owns (or intends to steal) the car. But definitely <span style="text-decoration: underline">do not </span>send him anything with your financial info, bank account or SSN, etc. on it. Remember, HE's the one who's buying, so why does he need YOUR financial info (in fact, he does not)???

If he won't guarantee funds, such as a money order, just wait for another buyer. There will always be willing buyers for a nice LBC.

These transactions are dead simple, no need for nonsense. He wants the car, you want to sell it. He must get the money to your account, then you give him the car and the title. Very simple, don't make it complicated. :nonono:

02-20-2009, 12:33 PM
I agree, keep it simple, the car is in your possession, and it stays that way until you have the money in your account. a paypal transfer is pretty easy. it will take a couple of days to move it to your bank account. after that release the car.


02-20-2009, 12:42 PM
All good thoughts, I appreciate it.

Here is the most recent thing I got:

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]As soon as you fax it to me I'll send out the check or wire it to you.. which would you like me to do?
You don't have to rush.. only thing I'm doing tonight is going out with my fiance and her parents.. [/QUOTE]

Here are the pictures he has sent of his cars, he said he sold the black one.

02-20-2009, 12:45 PM
I also agree. Paypal is easy and he and you have a record of the transaction. I have purchased a few cars thru ebay some for more than 1600 and I never asked a seller to do anything like that. It sure seems like the classic internet car scheme.
Good luck

02-20-2009, 01:04 PM
He really does talk the talk of a true MG idiot.

His email address is from his own domain and it has a live and good web site.
He seems to do graphic design, and a large client of his seems to have something to do with the new Mini Coopers.

All the numbers on his site are from a Pennsylvania area code and his zip code also checks out. He does seem to be pretty legitimate and traceable.

My bank gave me an account for this kind of transaction, fire-walled from my normal account. Just has a $1 balance in it, and I can sweep all them money out of it into my normal account whenever I want. He can call my bank and transfer the money to me, I can ask them to verify the funds.

A month or so ago he had offered me a couple hundred less, now he is up to the $1600 mark and I was asking $1750.

It would be pretty easy to verify the funds if he does a transfer into my special "online account" at Bank of America.

02-20-2009, 01:14 PM
He really does talk the talk of a true MG idiot.


Basically with what you have set up with the bank, sounds like you are covered. Have you called one of his clients?

02-20-2009, 01:28 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]Have you called one of his clients?[/QUOTE]

See - that's why I post here, I actually wouldn't have thought of that. Thanks!

02-20-2009, 01:42 PM
As far as a bank account number goes every personal check you right has your account number on it, don't think that it is private.

I have sold cars that were paid for with cash, wire transfer, bank check and paypal. Cash is obviously the best, there is no risk on receiving a wire transfer(the problem is paying with a wire transfer because it can't be reversed), I only accept bank checks from my bank because they can verify the authenticity of the check and it will clear instantly. Fake bank checks are common. For paypal I make the buyer pay the 3% paypal fee on top of the purchase price.

I just sold a vehicle that was paid for by paypal plus the fees, once the money was in my account I fedex'd the title and bill of sale to the buyer and then he owned it. All liability is on them now. They contracted the shipper and I gave them a copy of the bill of sale and title for their bill of lading documentation. When I copied the title it showed a void watermark on it. I would copy the title, verify the void watermark and then fax the copy. I would not fax the back that has the signature lines. I know it shouldn't matter but I guess I'm funny that way.

02-20-2009, 04:11 PM
A money order from the United States Post Office is one of the most secure and safe ways of handling money

tony barnhill
02-20-2009, 06:36 PM
Real good scammer!

Bob Claffie
02-20-2009, 08:13 PM
Get serious. Who in their right mind would pay almost as much for shipping as the cost of the car? Do you realy believe there are no MGBGT's nearer to Pa, that he has to get one from Wa? You are looking to be a VICTIM, FIND ANOTHER BUYER. Bob

02-20-2009, 11:03 PM
I've bought &amp; sold MANY cars using various methods:

-Cash at Delivery/Pick-Up (face to face)

-Cashier's Check, w car delivered after funds clear


-1st Born Offspring (not really, but I considered it...)

-&amp; yes, Wire Transfer. Usually into my "dedicated" account (transferring funds out immediately &amp; keeping balance low so as to minimize any potential future access issues).

All methods can be safe, as long as you take the proper precautions.

Your Buyer sounds legit enuf, and he IS offering you various payment options. So you can choose the method that you are most comfortable with, and be certain that the funds are legit &amp; clear before releasing the car.
(&amp; yes, I've even been known to buy cars from the opposite side of the US, and occasionally even from overseas. This is NOT that uncommon! Cars from certain regions can be in much better condition, primarily due to low "tin-worm" populations, and can be worth the extra effort and cost involved. For example, I currently have 2 Spridgets waiting for me in AZ. These will soon be on their way to GA, &amp; I might opt to grab 1 or 2 more along the way... Transportation costs are really not as bad as one might think... IF you do your homework 1st.)

-IF you do the wire xfer, be sure to ask your bank for advise &amp; use a dedicated account.
-IF you do the Cashier's Check be sure that funds clear before you ship or release the car.
-IF you do Cash at Delivery/Pick-Up be certain that the cash is real &amp; not counterfeit! (Yes, it does occasionally happen! Take large sums to your bank to verify authenticity.)
-IF you do PayPal, decide up front who will pay the PayPal fees. (Circumstances can vary, so adjust fee responsibility accordingly.)
-&amp; IF you barter off your 1st Born Offspring you might want to enter the "witness relocation" program immediately after, as buyer's remorse is likely. :devilgrin:

LOTS of other good advise above! :iagree: Read it all over &amp; you'll have gained years of experience in the process. You should then be "good to go" on making a smart decision after that! :thumbsup:

BTW: I've recently sold 5 cars, in 4 different transactions. 3 of these were paid for via wire transfers, and 1 was paid via Cashier's Check. All 4 involved a faxed or mailed copy of the title (usually with sensitive areas blanked out). 3 of the 4 were done long distance, 1 was face to face. In all cases I took the appropriate precautions to protect myself.

Side Note: Yes, there are a few "bad eggs" out there who do their best to ruin the trust and comraderie that surrounds this hobby. BUT most of the guys/gals I've met over the years through this hobby (including via buying &amp; selling) have been absolutely GREAT people! I chose this hobby because of my love for the cars, but the people are a huge part of making this hobby so enjoyable!
TRY to not forget that, BUT do take steps to protect yourself!!

"Cheers!" :cheers:

02-20-2009, 11:22 PM
I agree with Kevin
I have bought a good number of cars from the U.S. and imported them to Canada.
First, a fax copy of a title will only have one side and not both so it will never be used for the wrong purposes.
Two, make sure you have the cash before you let the car go.
My last car was a 64 El Camino from Los Angeles. I had a copy of the title faxed to me so I could notify the American border that I was exporting the car from the U.S. They would only accept a fax as it was a copy that only had one purpose.
As far as anyone buying a car from across the country, if you saw the rust and corrosion here on our cars, then rust free cars from the west are well worth the effort of bringing them across the land.
To be honest Rick, if I had had a little more cash, I would have bought the car from you and drove it home.
Make sure you get your cash, and sell your car.
Good Luck, hope I provided you with some info that will help.

Dave :savewave:

02-21-2009, 02:22 AM
Thanks guys, that's all educational and encouraging!

02-21-2009, 12:29 PM
The good thing about scams is that scammers are usually pretty unimaginative, using the same pattern--the cashier's check for extra money, which you are to refund, always use yahoo or gmail email addresses, often don't even give their names (even a fake one) or location, and so on. Look at the websites on this, and you'll get the whole story. If the guy follows this pattern, obviously don't deal with him.

If you do sell it to him, I'd use a wire transfer. Once the money is wired, it's there. End of story. I would use a dedicated account, however. Dunno if that's really necessary, but it seems prudent. Cashier's checks can be faked so well that they clear, then perhaps months later, you are told that they are invalid. Often the bank will tell you straight out that such a check is OK.

02-21-2009, 12:49 PM
Steve, I agree completely.
I have gotten a lot of the scammer offers and I know just what they look like.

This guy seems legit. I posted pictures of his past cars hoping someone here or on the MG side would recognize them.

Still, I have a special bank account that doesn't carry a balance that my banker set up for me just for these kinds of transactions. This insulates my mortgage, bills &amp; food money from the internet. (I could have said it insulates my money from the internet, but that would give entirely the wrong impression) :wink:

02-23-2009, 12:13 PM
Just an update, he says the money has been sent and his bank said that I should see the money by tomorrow.

It turns out his girlfriends dad is in the shipping business, so he's looking for a truck that's deadheading back from the west coast to pick it up. Or something like that.
At any rate, it makes a bit more sense if you don't have to pay the high shipping fees.

tony barnhill
02-23-2009, 12:55 PM
WHO-Hoo....hope everything works out for you!

02-23-2009, 06:55 PM
Well it came in &amp; I made the sweep - the guy is genuinely excited about getting this car!
Very Cool :wink:

02-23-2009, 06:57 PM
Hey, Congrats Rick

Glad this worked out for you.

Dave :banana:

02-24-2009, 07:14 PM

The car went away a little while ago.


Did I mention that I did a little better than break even?
Now that's a grrrreat MG day!

That's so much better performance than my retirement account I can hardly believe it!!

Ok, we were all a bit sad to see her leaving on that big blue truck.

But - I get to build my shop now! :laugh:

02-24-2009, 10:07 PM
and they didn't leave the pickup? :frown:

02-25-2009, 06:12 PM
Yeah, that IS a nice looking truck!

(Nice looking MG also...)

"Cheers!" :cheers:

02-25-2009, 06:54 PM
yea...i was thinking fair trade for the truck.....