There are thousands of used cars for sale on eBay every
single day. In fact, eBay Motors is the most profitable
sales division on eBay and naturally there are many
entrepreneurs who are interested in jumping into this
market. For instance, eBay claims it sells an SUV every nine
seconds and is the biggest online car dealer in America,
exceeding the traditional car companies. In fact, there are
15 million cars sold over the Internet each year – and
The recent rapid growth of the consignment business model
has made the used car market even more enticing. Many
sellers are able to sell cars they have never even seen and
with no more risk than the cost of the auction listing. Some
negotiators even persuade the car owner to pay for the ad,
thereby risking no more than their time.
The biggest single issue for this business model is the
trust of prospective buyers. After all, paying thousands or
tens of thousands of dollars for a car sight unseen is an
awesome leap of faith. Even buying for a plane ticket to go
see a car before paying causes buyers to be uncomfortable.
The best way sellers can overcome this fear is to use an
escrow service. The one chosen by eBay is Escrow.com, which
handles eBay auctions in the US and Canada.
An escrow service acts as a neutral third party. In an
exchange of merchandise, the buyer sends his money to
Escrow.com and the seller ships the product to the buyer.
The buyer usually has two days to inspect his purchase, and
if he is happy, he notifies the excrow company who releases
the money to the seller, minus its fee. If the buyer is
dissatisfied, he returns the undamaged merchandise to the
seller, and after the seller receives his merchandise back
(in satisfactory condition), the escrow company returns the
buyer’s money. Thus both sides in the transaction are
protected. The buyer almost always pays the fees for this,
although sometimes buyer and seller split the cost.
Escrow.com has created its “Vehicle Services Division”
specifically for dealing with the used cars, trucks, SUVs
and almost anything else with wheels and a motor. The buyer
can have a 160 point inspection performed before agreeing to
the purchase. This is an inexpensive service and certainly
will save the buyer any headaches.
* The buyer pays a $125 fee that is non-refundable
* The seller is contacted and the inspection is carried out
* The buyer receives a report
* The buyer chooses to go ahead with the purchase – or not
Another choice for the buyer is to deposit his payment with
Escrow.com and then take delivery of the vehicle. The
seller ships the car after he knows the money is secure with
the escrow company. The seller must provide tracking
information, which is verified by Escrow.com.
The buyer has between one and 30 days to thoroughly inspect
his new purchase (the period is negotiated between the two
parties ahead of time). If this time expires and the escrow
company has not heard from the buyer, it assumes he is happy
and gives the purchase price to the seller.
The buyer may return his vehicle if he isn’t happy and
sometimes buyers and sellers work out partial payment
agreements, the buyer being satisfied with some parts of the
transaction, but not with others. If a dispute arises, it is
settled by the American Arbitration Association.
The fee for this service is:
* $0 – $7,500 = value of vehicle: $125
* $7,500.01 to $15,000: $170
* $15,000.01 to $30,000: $200
* $30,000.01 to $50,000: $275
* $50,000+ = 6% of the value
Once both parties have agreed, the title transfer process
begins and Escrow.com will guarantee this too, for a fee of
$95. Title transfers are handled by Centerpoint Diversified
Services which works in all 50 states. The fee, naturally,
doesn’t include any transfer costs – it is only insurance
that the title will be expedited to the satisfaction of both
Escrow.com also offers a service that will ship cars almost
anywhere in the world and will gather an auto history report
to inform sellers if their new chariot has been salvaged or
stolen, suffered flood or hail damage, been in a fire or
accident, has had an odometer rollback or has been used as a
police car, a rental or a taxi.
Anyone considering offering used cars for sale on eBay would
be well advised to thoroughly learn the services available
through Escrow.com and offer those to prospective buyers.
The trust factor will skyrocket and your chances of
completing sales will dramatically increase.
About the author:
Learn how to sell on eBay with 16 hours of online instruction taught by a 10 year eBay veteran. Own an eBay business instead of an eBay hobby.