(too) Cheap car with escrow. What could go wrong?
September 19, 2008 1:56 PM Subscribe
She's selling the Mini for $10k under retail and will ship it out here at no cost for me to inspect. It's just like nice Mr. Oreck and his vacuum cleaners! So what's the scam? Or is it too good and
posted by niles to work & money (30 answers total)
My mom has been wanting to buy a Mini Cooper for the longest time, and regularly looks on Craigslist and other sites for sales. Yesterday, she found someone selling it for under $5,000. The cars retail new for about 4 times that amount. Ostensibly, the seller just needs to get rid of it so it doesn't rot in her driveway while she's deployed in Iraq. I think she could sell in in all of 30 seconds to a dealer for double her asking price. One other weird thing is that the ad was placed locally, but the car is 3 three states away for some reason. I also couldn't find an ad local to where the car is.
So here's the deal. She says she'll set it up though eBay Motors, using their "Business Purchase Protection Program", wherein she ships the car, along with the "title,bill of sale, full service records and more" at her cost. We simply pay eBay, and she ships upon deposit of the money. eBay holds the money "until you receive and inspect the car (you have 5 days for inspection) If you will find the smallest problem with the car you will ship it back on my expense and ebay will send you your full amount back."
This seems like a regular escrow deal. And escrows are supposed to prevent both parties from getting ripped off, right? So is there some loop hole we're missing, or is this really as safe as it looks?