The articles in this series are designed to help the prospective eBay vehicle-seller to carry out a successful and low-risk/low-hassle sale. They include:
- Preparing to List Your Vehicle for Sale
- Listing Your Vehicle for Sale on eBay Motors
- Attending to Your Active Vehicle Listing
- Preparing to Conclude Your Vehicle Sale
- Transferring Payment and Vehicle Ownership
They're designed to be read in order, but can also be read individually for tips related to specific stages in the eBay Motors vehicle selling process.
Transferring Payment and Ownership in an eBay Motors Vehicle Sale
So the day is here! Your vehicle goes to another eBayer and their cash comes to you. At least, that's how it's meant to turn out. Here are the things that you need to attend to (and the order in which you need to do them) to ensure that this is exactly how things go. Be very careful about deviating from this list; in most cases, the result will be trouble (or worse).
- Require promptness. A favorite tactic of
scammers is to keep a
seller waiting, arriving just too late to do things like visit a bank branch
for proper payment to be carried out. Don't fall for this; if your buyer is
a no-show at the appointed time, contact them and reschedule.
- Stick to your guns about terms. It bears repeating here: don't
vary from the agreed-upon transaction itinerary. Introducing disorder or
last-minute changes is the favorite way for scammers to confuse you just
long enough to get away with your vehicle and leave you with nothing.
Whatever your policy on checks, never accept a check for more than the
purchase amount and send the buyer away with both the vehicle and the
difference in cash. This is a sure sign that the check will eventually
bounce and you'll be out not only one vehicle but some cash as well, just to
add insult to injury. Be organized and stern, though also friendly, and
stick to your guns about terms.
- Stay in the vehicle for test drives. Don't let the buyer drive
the vehicle or hold the keys without your already being in the passenger
- Secure payment. Before paperwork or vehicle transit happens, get
paid for the balance on the vehicle according to the terms outlined in your
listing and make sure it clears. If escrow is involved, be sure
eBay-approved, since most non-eBay-approved escrow sites are fakes, even
if they display the eBay logo. Better is a required visit to a bank branch
with your buyer and either the deposit of a cash payment
from them or having them remit payment to you by a bank transfer. Remember
that even cash can be counterfeited, so requiring that a deposit be made
into your account before the payment can be complete is good policy, keeping
in mind that this should be done with a human teller (who is equipped to
detect counterfeits) and not an ATM (which is not).
- Get a photocopy of their drivers' license. This is good proof
that you have met them and delivered the vehicle as advertised, and provides
identification in case they do something immediately after the sale with
their new vehicle that brings the authorities looking for you based on
previous ownership records. Don't sell a car to someone without a drivers'
license, since you could be held liable if they drive it away and get into
- Remove your plates. Before completing the bill of sale or signing
over the title, remove your license plates from the vehicle. Never let any
amount of buyer protest prevent you from doing this; it is their
responsibility to ensure that the vehicle is street-legal and to have the
necessary temporary paperwork in place before they arrive to purchase the
- Sign the bill of sale. Have the buyer complete the bill of sale,
providing evidence that the vehicle has changed ownership and
acknowledgement by both parties that responsibility for the vehicle now
rests with the buyer, not with the seller.
- Sign the title. Complete the transfer of ownership portion of the
car title, filling out information carefully and correctly. Once the title
has been signed, hand it over to the buyer and the sale is officially
complete: they have remitted payment, provided acknowledgement that they
intend to take responsibility for the vehicle, and accepted the signed
- Tie up any loose ends. If you've promised maintenance records for
the vehicle in your
item description, remember to hand them over to the buyer. Also hand over owner's
manuals, keys, key fobs, forgotten accessories, or anything else that ought
to go with the vehicle. Call your insurance policy provider and notify them
that you no longer own or drive the vehicle and that coverage should be
terminated at the earliest possible opportunity.
- Shake hands and thank your buyer for their purchase. Even for a
good customer service can go a long way toward minimizing the
impact of any issues that pop up in the immediate aftermath of the sale. If you meet your buyer in person, give them a personal touch.
- Ask for and leave feedback. If the sale went well, be sure to ask your buyer for positive feedback specifically mentioning a car sale and leave them the same in kind, since both of these will be strong feedback assets for future transactions.
Though it's a longer, more complex, and more fraught process than selling other things on eBay, most of the complexity is just a result of the vehicle selling process as it would occur no matter where you'd sold your vehicle. In all likelihood, you've also gained by selling the vehicle for more than you could have received in a local sale.
Congratulations! You've just sold your vehicle on eBay!