5 Tips to Sell Your Car Online Safely
There are many obvious things that you may already know to do when they want to sell your car online safely. Some of those include always meeting potential buyers in a public place with plenty of people around and meeting only during the day. There are also a few tricks we’ve learned during our many years of helping people sell their cars that aren’t so obvious. We want to share them with you so that you can have a safe and successful transaction.
1. Talk To the Buyer On the Phone
If a potential buyer emails or texts you about seeing your car, that’s great. Just MAKE SURE TO GET THEM ON THE PHONE WITH YOU BEFORE YOU MEET THEM. Texting is convenient, but a phone call can give you many more clues about who you will be meeting with. Ask them questions like “Do you live here in St. Louis?” and engage them in conversation. Use your instincts and best judgment. If someone does not want to speak to you on the phone before you meet, this is a RED FLAG.
2. Use SafeZones
Did you know that many police precincts around town have a “Safe Zone” for internet sales? Call your local police non-emergency number and ask if they have a safe space set aside for internet meetings. If they don’t, they can probably direct you to a precinct that does have one. Take advantage of this. Serious buyers will appreciate the added security of meeting you in a safe place.
3. Ask for the Buyer’s ID
Before letting a stranger test-drive your car, ask to see their drivers license and insurance card. Take a picture of the cards with your phone. Take a picture of the potential buyer’s car license plate, too. Email those pictures to yourself or a friend. Let the potential buyer see you do this.
4. Never Leave Your Car Unattended
Never leave your car unattended with a potential buyer. If they want to take it to a mechanic, go with them. Anything could happen–from someone getting your home address from your GPS, to stealing your garage door opener, to stealing parts off the car itself. We’re not saying bad things will always happen–the chance is quite small–but please don’t risk it.
5. Don’t Take Personal Checks
Never accept a personal check or a money order if you want to sell your car online safely. When accepting a cashier’s check, always call the issuing bank to verify the funds. Fraudulent or forged payment is one of the most common ways sellers get burned. The best policy is to go to the buyer’s bank with them to secure payment.