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#1 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 05:07 AM
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Selling a car to private party - what payment to accept?

I'm possibly going to be selling my wife's car this weekend. The buyer lives about 3 hours away and he's coming to take a look at it this weekend.

What form of payment would you accept on the weekend considering the banks arent open? I'm a little weary of money orders and cashier's checks. I've read about people getting scammed with fakes. And since the bank's arent open I cant have him meet me at the bank to withdraw funds.

What are my options?

I havent asked him yet, but I know I wouldnt want to drive 3 hours to meet somebody off the internet to buy a car with over $11k (cash) in my pocket. (Although his dad does live in my town and I've met him already and he's test driven the car).

Help me out guys, how do I handle this?


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#2 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 05:23 AM
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Re: Selling a car to private party - what payment to accept?

Cashiers Check or Money Order.
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#3 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 05:29 AM
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Re: Selling a car to private party - what payment to accept?

PRJ, they can both be faked easily. They're the #1 choice of scammers these days. How do I protect myself?


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#4 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 05:39 AM
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Re: Selling a car to private party - what payment to accept?

You could have them wire funds to you, but then you're giving out that account info which is NOT a good idea.

Cashier's check. Event though it's the most counterfeited thing the banks see these days, it's still your safest bet. Most banks won't verify funds for an account, but what they almost all will do is verify the issuance of a cashier's check. If they'll verify they issued it, you should be fine. With that verification from the bank, you can usually get the dollar amount a check was issued for and the remitter and payee info. That should match the check being given to you, obviously. If the check was issued just that day, it might not be in their data systems yet, which means you're going to have to call the actual branch that issued it to get verification.

Don't call any phone number on the check itself. Google the bank and call one of those numbers listed for the bank. Bad guys will and have gone so far as to man a bogus 1-800 number to happily tell you that the check you have is good.

Hope that helps.

Edit to add: US Postal money orders are also very safe. You can call 1-866-459-7822 which is an automated line to verify them.

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#5 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 05:48 AM
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Re: Selling a car to private party - what payment to accept?

Nick,
We just sold my wife's car to a private party. The only form of payment that I accepted was a cashier's check (as I was told this was the safest). Thankfully, it was a good one. I second Carbeaux's suggestion as well. I have dealt with US Postal money orders as well and they have been very reliable. Could he meet you, test drive the car and sign a formal letter of agreement to buy the car. He can give you the check, you wait for it to clear and then you could meet halfway to deliver the car? If your wife's car has a lien on it, he cannot register it in his name until that lein is cleared and the title is transferred to his name anyway.

By the way, are you an ATC? I noticed your screen name.

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#6 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 05:53 AM
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Re: Selling a car to private party - what payment to accept?

Bill of sale is ALWAYS a good idea. It gives you proof that you sold the car should something happen later and absolves you of the responsibility for it. If there's a lien, you'll have to wait until your bank releases it and sends you the title. When you get the title, the bank will have signed off on it and then you can sign off on it and send it to the buyer for them to be able to register it in their name. That's where the bill of sale becomes important, such as if they don't do that in a timely manner and the car's in a wreck, or goes through toll roads unpaid, parking tickets, etc.

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#7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 06:20 AM
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Re: Selling a car to private party - what payment to accept?

Bank draft.. that is what my bank did for my truck. have him get one before hand and bring it with him. or the bank can mail it strait to you. jump on word and write up a bill of sale. (i think there is a template for it) both of you sign that, and you get the bank draft which is good as cash.


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#8 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 06:34 AM
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Re: Selling a car to private party - what payment to accept?

THanks for the tips guys. Shawn, yup, Im an air traffic controller


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#9 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 06:44 AM
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Re: Selling a car to private party - what payment to accept?

I always made them do a wire transfer from there bank and got a receipt. I have sold all my cars that way and never had a problem.

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#10 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 06:25 PM
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Re: Selling a car to private party - what payment to accept?

When I sold my motorcycle on eBay, I accepted a cashier's check from the guy's credit union. I got online, Googled the credit union and gave them a call. I explained the situation, told them what the check looked like, the amount, etc... and they verified that it was indeed real. Then, I had the bike shipped to Colorado. I never actually met the guy in person, only talked to him over the phone a few times. I was wary at first, because he had a foreign accent and I thought for sure I was being scammed but the call to the credit union put me at ease. Plus, he wasnt asking me to make change for him or anything fishy like that. Of course, there's always green cash.

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#11 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 12:11 PM
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Re: Selling a car to private party - what payment to accept?

Simple. Give him the vehicle but keep the title until the check clears. When money clears, mail the title to him.

Just type up a simple bill of sale: put both your names and addresses, date, VIN number of the car, amount sold for. He can show this to the cops if he gets pulled over. I sold 89 honda to joe blow, VIN Number --------- on this date fro $xxx, and both of you sign it
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#12 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 12:45 PM
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Re: Selling a car to private party - what payment to accept?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PSNissanFleetMgr View Post
When I sold my motorcycle on eBay, I accepted a cashier's check from the guy's credit union. I got online, Googled the credit union and gave them a call. I explained the situation, told them what the check looked like, the amount, etc... and they verified that it was indeed real. Then, I had the bike shipped to Colorado. I never actually met the guy in person, only talked to him over the phone a few times. I was wary at first, because he had a foreign accent and I thought for sure I was being scammed but the call to the credit union put me at ease. Plus, he wasnt asking me to make change for him or anything fishy like that. Of course, there's always green cash.

Sorry to hijack, but I sold my bike to a guy in Colorado with a foreign accent too. Nice guy. He sent a truck driver of his that was in my area and picked it up. I was wary as well, but the chap showed up with cash and away it went. I wonder if it was the same guy?

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#13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 01:45 PM
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Re: Selling a car to private party - what payment to accept?

It explains it right on the bills in your pocket.... "In GOD we trust" all others pay cash...
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#14 (permalink) Old 10-30-2009, 07:27 PM
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Re: Selling a car to private party - what payment to accept?

Note that wire transfers can be rescinded for up to 5 days. (try pulling the money out of the account right away and you will see the bank isn't putting itself at risk either) I have transferred money between banks using a cashiers check. The bank itself calls the other bank to verify the validity of it. However, I have also had 50k go missing for a while on this so it is still possible the money won't clear.

11k in cash is nothing. If you can't go to his bank, and have the bank itself hand you the cash or a cashiers check, get cash. The only counterfeit measure that works is the water mark. Hold the bill up to the light and if you can't see Ben's face, it's not real.
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