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How does ebay Motors' Vehicle Purchase Protection program work?

Because buying a car, truck, or other vehicle on eBay should be safe and fun

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How does ebay Motors' Vehicle Purchase Protection program work?

There are a lot of cars on eBay, and some of them are bound to be lemons. Know how to use eBay's protection program before you buy a vehicle on eBay Motors.

Photo: Martin Green / Dreamstime

For most people, buying a vehicle is a major purchase. For this reason, it always tends to be a bit harrowing and to seem a bit risky—doubly so when buying a vehicle on eBay Motors, which may be thousands of miles away and whose price may be set by auction bidding rather than face-to-face negotiation.

For these reasons, eBay sponsors an independent protection program for eBay Motors buyers that protects buyers on purchases up to $50,000 in value.

The purchase protection program kicks in whenever the following occur:

  • You pay for a vehicle but never receive it.

  • You send a refundable deposit for a vehicle but never receive it.

  • Law enforcement determines you’ve paid for a stolen vehicle.

  • You’ve paid for a vehicle that has an undisclosed lein against its title.

  • You’ve paid for a vehicle whose make, model, or year were not accurately described.

  • No title can be obtained for a vehicle for which you’ve paid and for which a title was claimed to be clear and available.

  • You’ve paid for a vehicle that was not disclosed as, but was, salvaged, rebuilt, unrebuildable, junked, a lemon under lemon laws, subject to manufacturer buyback, or has incurred water damage but was not a water or race vehicle.

  • The vehicle has substantial odometer inaccuracy.

  • The vehicle has an undisclosed necessary repair issue that will cost more than $1,000 (or $1,500 for some vehicles) to repair.

What Vehicle Protection Doesn’t Cover

There are of course a whole host of things that eBay’s program doesn’t cover, but here are some of the most common:

  • Undisclosed damage on vehicles 10 years old or older.

  • Any normal wear and tear or general consumable/maintenance issues.

  • Needed repairs to noncritical/noneccesay systems such as the interior, exhaust, air conditioning, electrics, suspension, and other systems.

  • Needed repairs not exceeding $1,000 (or $1,500 for some vehicles).

  • Cosmetic damage.

  • Damage or needed repairs that you are unable to document/verify for eBay.

  • Nonrefundable deposits in the case of incomplete transactions.

  • Any indirect costs associated with a transaction (loss of work, lost profits, inconvenience arising from a seller’s decision not to complete the transaction, etc.).

  • Any title issues for vehicle listings in which the title was not described as being available, free, and clear.

  • Inability to register a titled vehicle for any reason other than those outlined above.

  • Any issues that were fully disclosed prior to the transaction.

  • Any repairs or expenses incurred prior to the determination of the Vehicle Protection Program.

  • Any transaction or costs associated with a transaction when the transaction was not completed (i.e. through a winning bid, Buy it Now, or Make Offer purchase) through the eBay Motors website.

  • Any costs or damages associated with a transaction whose total value was $100.00 or less.

Eligibility Requirements

The complete set of requirements is outlined on the program website, but the basics are:

  • You must have purchased a vehicle on eBay Motors.

  • You and the seller must both have eBay accounts in good standing with nonnegative feedback ratings.

  • You must not have requested another Vehicle Protection reimbursement in the last 6 months.

  • All parties to the transaction (including any financial institutions involved) must be based in the United States or Canada.

  • You must submit a reimbursement request under the program within 30 days of the end of the listing (not 30 days of payment and/or delivery), except in two cases: stolen vehicles (for which you have 365 days) and missing and unobtainable title (for which you have 90 days).

Filing a Case

If you believe that you have been dealt with unfairly or in bad faith and are eligible under the terms outlined above for reimbursement under the program, use this link to open a case:

Click here to file a Vehicle Purchase Protection claim.

Note: The form must be accessed from the eBay Motors page linked above. To locate the link to the form, scroll to the “Process and Deadlines to Request Reimbursement” and look for the highlighted words “reimbursement request.” Click them.

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