CanadianEbay Car sale
November 19, 2006 4:33 AM   Subscribe

I am selling a car on ebay, and a buyer from Canada is asking for some terms...

...terms that seem kinda cumbersome. I am wondering if this sounds legit:

They have offered to "buy it now" for the full price.

They will send me $500US via paypal US for a deposit.

They will send me a cashiers check/money order for the balance.

When funds are clear, I would send them the title, signed over to them.

With this they would obtain a "trip permit" to bring the car into Canada.

Then they would fly here, pick up the car, and drive it back.

At no time have they mention Nigeria or sweepstakes winninngs.
posted by alball to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
What seems cumbersome about that? I don't see how that process would change if the buyer were across town from you.

A deposit holds the item, the full payment of funds gives you what you need to sign over title, and until the person has the title to the car, she or he is not able to register a permit, let alone get insurance to cover the trip.
posted by mikel at 4:53 AM on November 19, 2006

Sounds 100% legit to me, as long as the funds absolutely clear before you mail them anything.
posted by SirStan at 6:43 AM on November 19, 2006

What's the year and make of car? There's a book full of restrictions on what cars may be imported into Canada. The issue may be moot.
posted by Neiltupper at 7:28 AM on November 19, 2006

It can take two weeks or more before a money order/cashiers check really clears. Have them give you the name of the person who actually issues the money order and call that person for verification. Apart from that it sounds like a normal transaction.
posted by Ferrari328 at 7:34 AM on November 19, 2006

Just do not deliver the title until the Money Order clears. You are taking a huge risk. Take the deposit and tell them to fly down with the cash balance to get the car and the paperwork.
posted by JayRwv at 8:10 AM on November 19, 2006

Be aware that a cashier's check or money order from Canada, even if in US dollars, can be an enormous pain in the ass to deal with, take well over a month to process, and cost USD20--USD50 to process. Unless maybe you live in Buffalo where transborder banking might be more common.

I would tell him to fly down with US currency that you would go to the bank and deposit. He'd have to declare it at the border but it's entirely legal and, really, probably very common. Or tell him to cross the border and get a US cashier's check or money order -- not one in US dollars, one directly from a US financial institution or the USPS.

Or arrange a wire transfer. This is probably what's going to happen anyway once your bank starts processing a Canadian financial instrument.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:21 AM on November 19, 2006

With this they would obtain a "trip permit" to bring the car into Canada.

I can confirm that by law you're supposed to do it that way, as of last year at least. The US border officials demand to see the title documentation 72 hours (or something like that) in advance of the car leaving the country.
posted by sfenders at 8:29 AM on November 19, 2006

Canadian financial instruments will take four weeks to clear normally, if deposited in your bank account. Suggest a wire transfer, or cash if the amount is small enough.

You can also take normal precautions - ask to see some I.D.! Make a photocopy of his driver's license.
posted by jellicle at 8:41 AM on November 19, 2006

Be aware that a cashier's check or money order from Canada, even if in US dollars, can be an enormous pain in the ass to deal with, take well over a month to process, and cost USD20--USD50 to process.

This must be completely institution dependent. I've paid Americans for countless items with Canada Post Money Orders, they have never had to pay outrageous.

Now there is a problem, the maximum value of a single Canada Post Money Order is $999.99. Also very interesting, don't know why I never thought of it, but:
You can validate a Canada Post Money Order by calling toll free 1-800-563-0444 during regular business hours.
posted by Chuckles at 9:59 AM on November 19, 2006

The "trip permit" isn't really much to worry about. A car has to have plates; they can't get plates from their province until the car's inspected there. A trip permit is how you solve the obvious problem without having to trailer the car.

But it doesn't have anything to do with the financial transaction.
posted by mendel at 10:37 AM on November 19, 2006

They can't cross the boarder into Canada with that car without presenting both the car and the title to US Customs, who have the right to hold the car and title (while they check it's not stolen) for 48 hours.

The buyer is probably trying to shorten that time by getting the title ahead of time to take down to the US side of the border and say "listen, I'll be here with this car in a week, can you check that it's not stolen NOW, so I can export it easily later?".

CDN Customs will not let a CDN resident enter driving a US plated car without importing it, and they have to have the title stamped by US Customs first.
posted by tiamat at 11:21 AM on November 19, 2006

ROU_Xenophobe, for the record you don't have to declare cash or other monetary instruments unless they exceed $10,000 in value.
posted by tiamat at 11:23 AM on November 19, 2006

Things to know: They can't Paypal you large amounts of money. Paypal sets some pretty stupid limits on what you can send between countries. Also, they will have problems if they try to bring more than $10,000 in any form over the border. They will be asked how much they have and will have to do some silly documentation. So they way they're doing it seems to be the most simple way of doing it.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:55 PM on November 19, 2006

Two things to look into:

1. Haven't there been scams where someone PayPals a payment, then gets the item but claims they never got it, and PayPal will then take back the payment (even if the recipient has deposited it to his bank account)?

2. Can you get into trouble where you live for being in possession of a car that you don't have the title to?

Also, if you're going to send the title across the border, be sure you use delivery confirmation or a private carrier (like FedEx). Canada Post is slow. Private carriers sometimes charge extra "brokerage fees" to take things across the border for you; ask about these up front.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:28 PM on November 19, 2006

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