Listing a car for sale on Craigslist won’t be free anymore

Listing a car for sale on Craigslist won’t be free anymore


Work. Buy. Sell. Rent. Live. craigslist – The original online classifieds. Established 1995. Find jobs. Hire employees. Post your resume. Offer your skills/services. Buy & sell cars, trucks, boats, RVs, motorcycles, trailers, auto parts. Offer your services, locate contractors, find short term gigs and odd jobs. Buy & sell furniture, household items, electronics, computers, clothing, bikes, art, any and all kinds of used items. Activity partners, artists & musicians, pets for rehoming, local events. Save your favorite postings for later, save searches, set search alerts. Post, edit, renew your own ads.

Final Word

Always keep your guard up when receiving emails from “prospective buyers.” Craigslist has plenty of potential buyers, but the marketplace is also full of scammers, especially when it comes to buying and selling cars (i.e. common Craigslist scams). If someone offers you more money than you asked for, that’s a tell-tale sign of a scammer. Also, never do any transactions through a money wire service and don’t deal with anyone claiming that they’re international. Remember, “If it sounds too good to be true, then it is too good to be true.” Keep that in mind and stay on guard, and you’ll be fine. Good luck!

Do you have any firsthand experience selling a car on Craigslist? What was the experience like?


Finalize the deal

Even after you and a buyer have agreed on a price, keep your guard up for just a bit longer. Most important: Make sure that you not only have the money, but that the money is real, before you sign over your car title to the buyer. There are several types of scams in which buyers use fake forms of payment to not only get away with a free car, but also cash in hand.

Do not give the buyer any money

A popular online scam is for a car buyer to “accidentally overpay” you with a cashier’s check, wire transfer, or some form of payment and ask you to pay them the difference. Of course, their method of paying you is fake and you just paid them to steal your car.

Even if the over payment sounds legitimate, such as money that is intended to cover shipping or other costs, sellers are often instructed to deposit the check and send the excess either back to the “buyer” or to a supposed shipping agent. In most instances, says the FBI, the money is sent to locations in West Africa. The buyer then cancels the sale and the seller is soon notified by their bank that the check was fraudulent. Fortunately, the buyer in Alabama we mentioned earlier suspected a rat from the get-go and didn’t follow up on the offer of a large check.

Do not give the pickup agent or transport company any money

This type of scam is a spinoff of the one above. In this instance, the supposed buyer is out of town and has an agent or transport company pick up the car. The buyer pays for the car and transport fee by cashier’s check or wire transfer and asks you to then directly pay the pickup agent or transport company. The scammer’s aim is to take your real money along with the car and leave you high and dry.

But what if it isn’t a scam?

If you come across these types of situations with a potential buyer and still want to continue, wait until the payment is confirmed by the issuing bank or the cash is in your hands. Fake cashier’s checks can show as a deposit in your account then be retracted days later when the bank that is supposed to provide the money says that account doesn’t exist. Make sure you have actual money before you “return” or pay any money.

Cash is king

When accepting payment for your car, the surest method of payment is cash. And if you’re worried about counterfeit bills, you could get a marker with color-changing ink that will let you know if the bill is fake. On Amazon, you could get a pack of these types of markers for under $8. You could perform the transaction at a bank and either have the buyer receive cash from the teller in front of you or have the bank confirm the cash is real before signing over the title.

If a potential buyer for your car needs an auto loan, they could fill out an online form at LendingTree where they may be matched with up to five different loan offers from lenders based on their creditworthiness. They could also read more about private party loans and how to find one.

If the buyer refuses or is somehow unable to pay in cash, here are some things you can do to make sure the payment is legit:

Cashier’s check or personal check. Call the issuing bank. Don’t know the number? A quick internet search should help. A banker should be able to confirm that the account exists (the account number will be on the cashier’s check) under the appropriate name (which should be the buyer’s legal name) with enough money in the account to cover the check. Because you are the one providing the information, the bank should be able to confirm. Due to privacy laws, the bank will not tell you about any other people on the account or the total amount in the account, only simply whether the account exists under that name with sufficient funds to cover the check.

Wire transfer or PayPal. Make sure that the money is actually in your account. Do not believe any email you may get saying you received money. To check your account, you could use your bank’s app or call the bank to make sure it went through. PayPal does not protect any transaction done in person.

Clean, photograph and describe the vehicle

Doing these things could help you to sell your car faster and for more money.

Spic and span status. No one wants to get in your car and see your fast food trash from yesterday’s lunch. Clean out, wash, vacuum and wipe down your car. Maybe use an air freshener.

Lots of good photos. Take lots of photos during the day, in good light, with a good background. No one wants to see maybe three half-blurry photos taken at dusk near a trash dumpster. Take photos from the outside of the car — the front, sides, rear, under the hood and in the trunk or cargo area. Take photos of the inside of the car — back and front seats, dashboard and odometer.

Longer description. Don’t simply post “runs good.” Actually describe the car honestly. List the year, make model, trim, mileage and engine size. Talk about any add-ons the car may have, like a sun roof or leather seats. You could say you used it for only a short daily commute or that it has lasted well on longer trips.

Post and repost the vehicle ad. When you’re selling your car on Craigslist, the older posts get pushed down by newer posts. The older your post is, the less people will see it. You may need to repost your ad every few days to keep it near the top.

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