Dealer Fraud: Research Vehicles On-Line; Don't Buy Online

I get more and more calls about vehicles purchased on-line. Especially through eBay or Craigslist. In my experience, if a vehicle is offered for sale on eBay or Craigslist, this alone is a red-flag. This is especially true, if a dealer is offering the vehicle through either of these sites. Dealer fraud is rampant on these sites.

You have to be very careful. It's often difficult to determine if and when the vehicle is really being offered by a dealer. Although PA law requires dealers to identify themselves and their address clearly in all advertisements, dealers often do not on eBay and Craigslist.

If you are interested in buying a vehicle you see on eBay or Craigslist then your investigation should go into overdrive. You should have the vehicle inspected yourself. You should insist on seeing all inspection and service records, including the Repair Orders, in particular, and the backs of all of the records. It's on the ROs, and often on the backs of the ROs, that mechanics put their hand-written notes about their observations and findings.

You should also be aware that on eBay there are a number of click-thru agreements that may severely limit your rights. You may be forced into arbitration. And the arbitration may have to take place in California.

All in all, what may look like a good deal on paper, or the Internet, may not be a good deal at all in the real world. Remember, when you see a vehicle list from across the country or several states over, if it was such good deal, then someone would have probably scooped up the vehicle locally.

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of Dealer Fraud, then a qualified attorney should be consulted right away.

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