The experience of buying a car has come a long way since the days of scanning a car lot that’s decorated like a child’s birthday party. You no longer have to deal with pushy salesmen in horrible polyester jackets. The internet has not only opened up the market to new buyers with any car they desire, but have also made it easy to purchase new and used vehicles without all the hassle. Though just like the salesman that would try to mark up the price of a car, there are plenty of internet car scams to watch out for to make sure that you don’t get fleeced.

Of the most common Ebay car scams is the “bait and switch”. Just like any bait and switch, the key for the scammers is to present a picture of a car, usually a stock photo from another dealership’s webpage, then attempt to sell you a damaged version of the car or another car completely. They usually want to get your money in their bank or Paypal account as quickly as possible, leaving the customer with little choice but to take the offer from the dealer.

Luckily this car scam is easy to avoid. Look at the pictures that the seller has posted on the page. If they look professionally done like that from an advertisement, be wary! It’s typically a sure sign that you may not dealing with an actual person, nor are you getting a look at the actual car. Look for pictures that appear as if they were taken with an unprofessional camera or with a camera phone. Pictures of cars in driveways or interior photos that do not look professionally taken let you know that the person selling the car actually owns it.

Also, limit your online searches to cars in your area. No matter how good the deal sounds, never buy a car sight unseen. If your seller is trying to squirm out of you seeing the car, it’s time to walk away from the computer. Treat buying a car online just like you were going to a dealership and you will do just fine.

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