I must admit, I love to purchase small items on Ebay. However, when it comes to buying large tickets items, such as a house or automobile, I will most likely stick to the traditional realtor or car dealer. My reasoning stems from the concern that if something goes wrong (such as obtaining a lemon house or car), then it will be easier to hold a person or brick/mortar company responsible.
For years now, Ebay has been utilizing the pervasiveness of the Internet to auction vehicles through its website. Used or pre-owned car dealers will list their inventory on Ebay for a fee. The problem stems from the bad press that Ebay has been receiving regarding the vast amount of lemons that are being sold on Ebay’s car auction site.
Just 2 years ago, I sat in on a lawsuit case about a buyer suing one of the car dealers who listed a lemon and wrecked car on Ebay. The car dealer’s defense was that he knew nothing about the car’s history, even though the facts were very clear that there was a history of tamper and accidents linked to the car. The dealer ended up losing and the car buyer was awarded several thousands in damages.
In an effort to avoid problems like the above and to gain consumer confidence, Ebay recently announced that it will offer the AutoCheck and Carfax service to online car buyers free of charge. Autocheck and Carfax are paid for services that gives you a report card on a vehicle’s history. For example, if the vehicle has been subject to a major car accident, then the incident will most likely show up in the report.
One thing consumers should keep in mind is that Autocheck and Carfax is not 100% reliable. There has been numerous cases where tainted or lemon vehicles has shown up clean on Autocheck and Carfax. My suggestion is to be extremely cautious when purchasing large ticket items online. Sometimes, the traditional way of doing business may be the best way.