www.classic-usa-cars.com
                                       EBAY BUYERS..  BEWARE !!!..          Want some Good Advice ?  and it is FREE !!!

                                    ( You may have Better Luck Buying From Hemmings Magazine Site etc..in the USA )

I have had several Buyers here in Australia, contact me for advise on Buying a Vehicle From sellers on " Ebay.com ",
The USA Site ( Also had some Buyers from people who stated they were duded on Ebay Australia ) We have Imported
several Vehicles  for local Buyers who have bought cars over the Internet, Sight Unseen from ebay sellers in the USA.
More Bad Condition Cars have arrived , in comparison to the Good Ones. They Looked Better on Ebay than in the Flesh !!!

For what it is worth I will give you my honest Opinion & thoughts on Buying this way.. this is my Opinion from experience and Shipping Buyers cars here. Not necessary those of others ,, every one is entitled to his or her opinion.  I just don't like to see people loose their hard earned money & end up with a piece of Crap some Slick seller tries to disguise, and sell on an Auction Site
to their advantage, knowing you have Bid, Paid for same, and now own it. So Please read this Article , I hope it helps you in some way to end up with the car of your Dreams , instead of a piece of  Junk. If I can prevent even one person from wasting their money & see a Value for money Car eventually arrive for a Happy Buyer, I will feel good about the fact , that, is one more American classic that will be treasured and enjoyed for many years to come, right here in Australia..  Please read on for some Free advise...

First I don't Believe ALL USA Sellers are trying to Dud anyone, so don't get me wrong.. From all my 30 + years of Travelling back & forth to the USA buying Parts & Cars Etc. It is plain to see the Majority of sellers over there are not that Car Orientated like us Aussies, Sure you have the Big dealers with MEGA BUCKS, who Know their cars .. But Ask Mega Bucks for them all the Time.
You have to remember there has been Thousands of cars Exported out of the USA in years gone by..AND THEY AINT MAKING ANY MORE OF THEM if you get what I mean ? What this means is IF YOU WANT TO BUY A GOOD CLEAN RUNNING CAR or a RESTORED POPULAR CAR like a Muscle Car YOU HAD BETTER HAVE A LOT OF MONEY as the Price of all the Popular High Performance Cars has Gone Through the Roof in the Last 18 Months. You will not find a CHEAP HI PERFORMANCE CAR
" CHEAP "....  The Internet & Web Sites has changed the way People Buy & Sell these days. Sellers are more switched on to WHAT THEY THINK A CAR is WORTH. Even the remote areas of the USA Families have Computers and They Log onto the Internet. Before the internet, hardly any one in the Middle of the USA or in Northern sparsely Populated States ever saw a Auto Magazine , Most are just farmers or Small Communities where Folk are struggling & really not in touch with the outside world.

On a recent Trip around the USA early this year 2004, I noticed the absents of Old Cars in almost every town & State we passed through, different to the same trip we did 6 years ago ( Cars everywhere ).. One really has to ask around & track down Leeds these days or go look for the smart Local Guy who could see some dollars in the Future and has bought up anything good in his area.

By now you should realise the AMOUNT OF CARS  out there is getting smaller by the Day / Week / Month & Year. IF YOU ARE WAITING FOR PRICES TO FALL... YOU ARE KIDDING YOURSELF.. I talked to a lot of Dealers around the USA and they are finding it hard to find Stock to fill their Showrooms and They HAVE SOME BIG BUCKS TO SPEND.. It is Nothing for them to search the internet every day looking for desirable cars, snapping them up, restoring same, & relisting months Later for a higher Price & a good Profit, after all that is why they are in Business in the First place.. this of Cause drives prices up.

Now back to some Info on buying a car from the USA , from an Ebay seller or someone else. If you go to the USA & buy yourself a car & have someone else ship it home, at least you can see what you bought. you only have yourself to blame if you bought a Dud. But not everyone can do that.

Buyers SHOULD BE AWARE THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL SCAMS on Ebay over 2004 . These are easy for some to Spot others a little research can smoke out a bad deal. The funny thing is they slip through Ebay Administration & People get ripped off,

IF YOU SEE A SCREAMING DEAL that IS CHEAP ( To Cheap compared with other not so good deals ) then you should be careful.
Beware of Sellers of Cars that List Restored Cars at Give away Prices because they Need Money in a hurry or their Best Mate died, or the Car is in Europe, Italy, Greece , Fence England etc and they only want 3 grand or so to ship it to you, balance due when they ship the car. Don't Laugh this trick has caught many people .. just like the Nigerian Money Scams. Most times they will ask for Deposit to be paid by WESTERN UNION into an A/C ( CAN NOT BE RETRIEVED AFTER YOU DO THAT or TRACED so Beware ) these are SCAMS.

If its a car on ebay...Be sure to ask the sellers a whole heap of questions and ask for as many photos as you can get out of them
If they are not willing to send this info back to you to Digest , take some advise, either they have something to hide, or they are not that much into cars. Or have limited knowledge of the Vehicle, they are trying to sell.

What to Look for if you are keen to buy a car you have seen listed on Ebay or elsewhere ?

WHAT MOST PEOPLE FORGET is Most Cars will be 15 - 50 Years of AGE.. Think about that for a moment ? 15-50 years of Bad Winters & Salted roads in most states East of the Rocky mountains. When people bought these cars new they Purchased them to Drive them every day, NOT TO STORE & SELL YEARS LATER.  Finding or Believing a seller when he tells you he is Offering a rust Free car should make you ask a ton of Questions before Parting with your Money. They look good in the Photos But are They ??

I have seen many cars on web sites including Ebay with cars so rusty they are beyond restoring, let alone trying to drive. Yet the seller says " A GOOD INVESTMENT AFTER RESTO ? "

Most Owners over there, like a car that looks Good , Goes & Stops , they in General don't know what a good paint job is, or if there is any Plastic filler, Bog, bondo etc under the Paint. ( Did you know you can get a ONE DAY PAINT job over there from USD $ 199 )
Hell you can not Buy the Paint here for that.. Don't be afraid to ask about the Paint Job, and if they are aware of any Bondo.

Apart from the sellers description. Don't be afraid to ask Questions, as I said earlier.

Ask for the sellers Address or State & Phone Number.
Ask how long he has owned the Vehicle.
Is the Title in his Name ?    If not Why Not ?  ( No Title don't Buy walk away )
Does the Vin Numbers on the Title Match the Numbers on the Vehicle  # ID Plates. ?
Does it run & Drive ? If so how good, ask about, engine, trans, rear end, brakes etc.
ASK IF ANY RUST IS IN THE VEHICLE.. IF SO WHERE and HOW BAD IS IT in his opinion..Can he take Close up Photos of Rust ?
HAVE ANY of the FLOOR PANS or TRUNK FLOORS or Rear Qrt Panels Been Replaced ? If yes , the Most Common reason is they were so badly Rusted Areas they could not be repaired, can you be sure they actually did a good job / or is there hidden rust ?
IF THE SELLER IS CLAIMING A HI QUALITY RESTO PAINT JOB.. ask for CLOSE UP Photos of The Door Hinge Openings on the body Pillars these should NOT HAVE ANY DIRT PAINTED OVER  THEM.. Also Check to see if the Screws around door Catch Locks are Painted over, and the Striker Plates , all indications of a Good or lousy Paint Job.

NOTE... I intend to add a Link soon to this web Site that will show you how bad some of these vehicles Offered look up Close.

Ask if they Can obtain for you a Quote to ship your Car to California by  a Vehicle Transport  Company. This can be expensive in some remote areas etc. You need to figure these costs into what you think you can Pay for the vehicle.

If you Buy it or are Lucky to be highest bidder How will he accept Payment? , seeing your located in Australia, THIS CAN BE HARD TO DO as most wont give out Bank Info these days because of all the Scams taking Place, a lot will not take any International Bank Cheques either due to Forgeries of same, some will take these but they have to wait up to 4 weeks to get clearance from their Banks after they deposit same. anything over $ 15 Grand USD & most Banks will not pay the seller until the Cheque is returned to the Issuing bank in Australia to verify it is not a Fake. ( Blame the Nigerians etc for Stuffing up this Payment method. The safest way is to Electronic transfer into the sellers Bank A/c if you can convince him you are not a Scammer?

Ask for Photos of Under the Car...What you need to see is the Condition of the Chassis or frame , Front & rear Suspension, fuel tank Area and behind the Rear Qtr Panels as this is where the Most rust & salt Corrosion will be found in most cars that have lived most of there life east of the Rocky Mountains and Eastern States, Chicago, Detroit. New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Most eastern states even Florida one should be Real Careful , Southern Texas & the Gulf states is another Bad for Rust area..High Humidity.
In General if a Vehicle is from some Northern central USA States with Many Dirt Roads the rust is not always Bad.
From my experience if the seller is not willing to take some photos of under the car, he may be hiding something ? Just ask him to Put the Camera on the Ground and aim it up at the areas you want to see, if he says he does not have a Lift ( Hoist )

Even cars on the West coast can be Rust Buckets in Disguise.. States Close to the Coast Like Washington State, OREGON & around San Diego in California, these are High rainfall Areas and lots of salt comes in off the Pacific Ocean, so you need to ask the same Questions above. Mid west states Kansas, Missouri & Northern Oklahoma are Areas where there are Many Salt Mines

Feel free to contact me if you need some more info. I hope I have enlightened you on some Pit falls in the Buying Game.
To be Honest the best buys in Classic Cars are the Ones here in Australia.. at least you can go see them first.
Good Hunting  I hope you Find Your dream Car sometime in the Future. thanks for Dropping by & Checking out our site.


   
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