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From a private individual or company?
 

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Be very cautious. How did you find the car? Have you had it inspected or have someone on the ground look at it? Do not pay for a car that you have only seen pictures of. Then if at all possible use a third party to hold the money in escrow until the car arrives or has at least been inspected for condition. Do a search and be careful.

and to add, never use western union or other such payment methods. And prior to a wire transfer call the bank to which you are transferring and attempt to verify the individual is a regular and not just opened account.
 

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now that that is settled....what ya gettin?
 

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I believe that I would only buy one after going to look at it. I flew from michigan to florida and back in less than 24 hours. Just to look at a car. Barganed and got it cheaper than I thought but when i flew home I had title in hand. I also paid by VISA then got a loan to pay visa off once the car arrived back up here. I paid in advance for the car to be shipped after I inspected it.
 

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I bought a t-Bird Turbo Coupe sight unseen in Texas once. But I had a fellow from a Mercedes forum I was on, go kick the tires for me since he lived very nearby. You might have that kind of luck on a forum like this getting somebody to eyeball it. I bought an old Mercedes out of PA sight unseen and no inspect and got it shoved in my shorts.
 

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All good advice given. If you can't do the deal in person have a 3rd party inspect test the car and then exchange title and keys for cashiers check and take possesion of the car. Some shippers will do COD, and thats cash .
 

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In 2004, I bought a car sight unseen, shipped via freight train, organised by the seller, after I paid in full, via bank transfer. No problems, but 6 mths later saw the guy on TV, being charged with fraud for taking the deposits on 15 cars and not delivering them. How lucky was I. Message in there somewhere!
 

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That is very lucky. It's kinda like I once was involved in a money pyramid, and made it to the top and quadrupled my money. It then crashed down.
In 2004, I bought a car sight unseen, shipped via freight train, organised by the seller, after I paid in full, via bank transfer. No problems, but 6 mths later saw the guy on TV, being charged with fraud for taking the deposits on 15 cars and not delivering them. How lucky was I. Message in there somewhere!
 

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Over the years, I've bought two older cars of eBay, sight unseen. I did ask A LOT of questions, get a lot of photos and documentation, and took the plunge. It helpd that I didn't pay much for either one. I paid partially via PayPal, the rest via cashier's check sent overnight, per each buyer's request. Both sales turned out fine -- each car was slightly better in some ways and slightly worse in others, so overall I was happy. Afterwards, I flew out and drove each one home. And made it!
 

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Good advice all!

My questions...
Lets say you have personally inspected the car and are ready to make a purchase.

- should you have the local police run the VIN to make sure it isn't stolen?
- how is the money generally exchanged these days? Do both parties go into your bank and get a cashiers check so you both know the checks are real?

- Vehicle titles. I know some states don't issue titles for older cars. How do you make sure your purchase is made legally?

- If you are having the vehicle shipped, what paperwork do the shipping companies usually require?
- Is there anything else I should think about if I'm having a car shipped across state lines?

Thanks fellahs,
 

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I bought my '69 in 2003 through talking on the phone and pictures on e-bay. Mailed cashiers check and he sent the car and title. Turned out fine. Bought the camaro in 2005 the same way although the camaro was being sold by the dad of Troy Trepanier of Rad Rides from Manteno IL. Figured that one was somewhat safe I guess. Maybe I was just lucky or things weren't so bad as today.
 

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I sold a nice, clean '68 standard last August to a guy in AL. He had me sign a sales contract and wired me the money once the car transport was on it's way. I would have taken a cashier's check written against a bank that I knew as well, or of course, cash, though that was impractical, since I am in CA.
 

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Oh, one more thing regarding titles. In CA, every car has a certificate of title. In AL, they don't use titles for cars built before the 1975 model year. The seller told me this, which I thought was odd, so I checked out the AL DMV website to verify and be sure. (Not that it was a big deal, but I did want to send the CA release of liability as soon as I sold the car.) I would definitely check out the rules in your state, and the state you're buying the car from.
 

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I'm right now in the process of buying a car that is 1,800 miles away. I have saw videos and some pictures of the car but have not saw it in person. I normally wouldn't buy a car without seeing it first but I'm buying it from a person who is a member of this site and I feel that he has represented the car well and can be trusted. I sent him a cashiers check yesterday and it is supposed to arrive Saturday. I was going to send it registered but the lady at the post office told me that certified was sufficient. I took her advice but now I wish that I had sent it registered overnight. I'll worry until it gets there.

As far as a cashiers check I would think that when a person took it to their bank that they would be able to tell immediately if the funds are in a real account or not. I've heard of people that don't like cash unless they can take it to their bank and verify that it isn't funny money.
 

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I think you'll be ok. There are still honest people out there. Maybe call him Sunday to make sure he got the check.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
dad finaly decided on what car to get, a 77 lincoln mark 5. were going to rent a car and drive out near ceavland friday and then drive the car home.
 
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