Dosmo

Your preferred method of accepting payment for the sale of an automobile

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Recently, I’ve listed four For Sale ads on different forums for a 13-year old car owned by a relative. She tried selling the car with a FS sign while parked in front of her home, and then she got frustrated with the process of dealing with tire-kickers.  I volunteered to help out, and now I have a question to ask of the experienced sellers on this forum.

 

If the car is sold to someone who isn’t local, should I insist on a cash sale?  I don’t mind insisting on cash from a local, going on the expectation that their banking institution would be reasonably accessible.  What about someone who might travel a few hundred miles to check out the car?  I could see that they might not want to carry that much cash.

 

I guess the question I should be asking is:  What form of payment SHOULDN’T I accept?

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Unless it is a very special type of 13 year old car, I do not see anyone traveling  far enough  to view It to present a problem. 13 year old cars are everywhere usually at a very reasonable price without having to go hundreds of miles to find one. If there is something special about it that would attract a buyer from a long distance then that creates a whole new dynamic. Unless he only uses a local only bank, he should be able to find a branch of his bank close by if he does not bring cash.

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7 minutes ago, Fleek said:

Unless it is a very special type of 13 year old car, I do not see anyone traveling  far enough  to view It to present a problem. 13 year old cars are everywhere usually at a very reasonable price without having to go hundreds of miles to find one. If there is something special about it that would attract a buyer from a long distance then that creates a whole new dynamic. Unless he only uses a local only bank, he should be able to find a branch of his bank close by if he does not bring cash.

I don't know if one could describe it as unique, but it might be a sort of special interest car - a 2006 Mazda MX-5 Convertible.  That is why I decided to advertise it on different forums.

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Cash is always good, although be aware that you'll have some paperwork to fill out if you deposit more than $10,000 in cash at your bank. They will also notice two $5000 deposits, do don't play games. But otherwise cash is always safe for you. We deal in large sums of cash fairly frequently and I always take it straight to the bank--my banker informs me that a very small but noteworthy fraction of $100 bills in circulation are bogus. Unlikely you'll get one for a single relatively small transaction like this, but we have several hundred thousand dollars' worth of cash pass through our shop each year.

 

You can also do a cashier's check if they use a bank with a branch nearby. Go with them to the bank so that you can accept the check directly from the teller--it's good and can't be revoked at that point.


If they bank at the same bank as you (not necessarily the same branch) then you can also just arrange a transfer on the spot if you go to the bank together.

 

Wires are safe and can't be revoked, but there are fees associated with it and in most cases, they can't be initiated over the phone and may take a few hours to clear.

 

Personal checks are always a no-no. Pre-written "certified" checks or any kind of official looking bank check should be a hard pass, too. Even if they say they got it from their bank and they can just fill in the amount, don't do it. Unless the teller hands the check to you at the bank, you can't trust it.

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Posted (edited)

GREAT QUESTION!

 

I agree with Matt, I do like the wire transfer, it is safer for everyone involved. It is just as risky for the buyer as well as the seller dealing with a large amount of cash. As a buyer I really don't feel overly comfortable knowing that a stranger knows I am coming to an area with X amount of cash on hand, and a seller it is not overly comfortable, knowing a stranger just handed me X amount of cash that is sitting in my house. I am guy who grew up in The Bronx and know people who got robbed for $50 bucks  

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
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Prefer Benjamins (thank you LBJ), wire transfer, or local credit union (shared branching is nice).

Money belt is good.

Lots of Miatas of any vintage around here.

 

ps there is a pen that is supposed to detect bogus bills.

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Posted (edited)

 The safest way I think, is to go to your bank and hand the teller a deposit slip for the money and have the buyer hand it to the teller.

 The bank will then count it and verify that it is not counterfeit (the counting machine does that).

 You will then sign and hand him the title.

 

  The only other safe way for both party's is for the buyer to open an account in your bank and he wires the funds into it. Then both of you go to the bank and withdraw the cash or check and deposit into your account. It will require two trips but it could be worth it for both party's.

 

Edited by Roger Walling (see edit history)
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If possible I try to do a cash transaction in the parking lot of my bank. I show the car there, have the paperwork with me, and walk inside to finish the transaction and deposit the cash before turning the car loose. My most common transaction is wire transfer for out of state buyers and I opened a no-fee checking account strictly for that purpose.  They have to trust me and send full payment in advance so that I have it cleared and verified before I release the car to the transporter.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, padgett said:

 

ps there is a pen that is supposed to detect bogus bills.

 

Mr P,

Bogus bills are the least of your potential problems, getting a shotgun pointed to the back of your head is a huge problem, it all depends on the amount of the transaction and the distance between buyer and seller. Everyone has a different idea of what a high dollar car is A few grand is one thing, traveling with over $50 grand is another, or receiving it at 7 PM and keeping it in your house could be equally as challenging. True the counterfeit pens have been around for years, but counterfeit bills are seldom laundered in a large batch, and seldom bills larger then $20. I really don't want to be sitting at my kitchen table counting out a few hundred $100 bills, let alone a few thousand $20

 

Go to your bank and tell them you want to withdraw 50K in CASH and see how that goes, 

 

What does the abundance of Miata's where you live has to do with this anyway?

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
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One thing I learned the hard way regarding cash: take your time and count out the money in front of the buyer. One buyer arrived late when I was pressed for time. He double-counted the money (an old carny trick I shouldn't have fallen for). I was out only $100, but it could have been worse!

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

John348, please don't get back in the habit

of bashing Mr. Padgett's postings.  We noticed previously.

I know your thoughts on cars, and your helpfulness,

are much better than that!

 

I was not bashing Mr P, I was just pointing out that counterfeit bills are seldom if ever passed in large amounts, and certainly not large bills. Counterfeit bills could be a problem, not likely in reality. I don't really see anyone passing off a bag full of bad $100 with a paper trail on the purchase of a car 

I was and am still  confused why Mr P brought something up that has nothing to do with the topic that I can see, (which has been done multiple times in the past by Mr P) so I questioned it? That is not bashing  No more then I would if we were having a conversation in person and he brought something up that was non related I would question it. Questioning things that i don't understand the reason for bringing up, it might be a good habit to have

I am glad the "we" noticed, and it is great that you are the spokesperson. Maybe a suggestion for the group you are representing ('we") is that they should also publicly point out when someone goes off the thread topic. A perfect example of this is the 4th post on the following thread https://forums.aaca.org/topic/328094-history-of-a-sign-in-my-collection/?tab=comments#comment-1889666 Someone researching the history of an old Ford Dealership in Ohio, which was a real interesting thread but then we have to be told about an unrelated sign which had nothing to do with the topic, other then it was a sign.  I did not comment on that thread. 

A PM might have been a little better option for you to have addressed this, but that is my opinion, thanks for giving me the opportunity to clear things up

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
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cash cash and then cash..........................

 

wire next for long distance.

 

no checks of ANY kind. they can ALL be easily forged.

 

ps and meeting at any bank is an xlnt idea. safeguards you and the buyer.

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4 hours ago, John348 said:

 

Go to your bank and tell them you want to withdraw 50K in CASH and see how that goes, 

The OP is selling not buying so why would he need to withdraw cash????

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Tinindian said:

The OP is selling not buying so why would he need to withdraw cash????

 

To point out the difficulty in a large cash transaction for both the buyer and the seller and the safety of a wire transfer, I am sorry I was not clearer. There is a risk for the buyer as well as the seller with a large amount of cash 

 

Read this about a couple who were killed because of a cash only car purchase

https://abcnews.go.com/US/bodies-vehicle-found-georgia-case-missing-craigslist-car/story?id=28526184

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
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Had missed my glee club.

a) Guess you missed Dosmo's second posting (what happened to posting numbers ?)

b) Most I have ever paid for a used car was less than $15k  For large amounts I use other means.

c) I only deal in $100s and believe we should bring back the McKinley and Cleveland. Fagedabout $20s

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Just sold a car yesterday.We used a wire transfer . I was amazed how easy it was.

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Had a long conversation with one of my bankers yesterday. Fake 100 dollar bills are getting more common and the quality is getting excellent. The pen check is useless. If you accept a bogus bill or bills it is your loss. 

I,m just sayin.........bob

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You know, I hop on these forums every day - sometimes, more than once.  I do this because I'm interested in not just antique cars, but cars in general.  Reading about people's experiences in buying and selling cars is a pretty good way of making myself aware of things that I don't know or haven't considered.

 

I appreciate the varied responses - since I'm selling this car for someone else, there is even more to consider than usual.  I do realize that, on the face of it, it might not make sense to advertise a 13-year old car nationally.  This particular 13-year old car - in my opinion - fits into a somewhat different category than simply being a used car.  A two-owner car from new, it boasts less than 50,000 original miles, has never been in any sort of accident, and has always been stored inside.

 

The owner, my sister, found out pretty quickly that the business of selling a used car is pretty much a male-dominated world.  Her experience with a few tire-kickers was such a turn-off that she considered taking the vehicle to someplace like CarMax and taking whatever they would give her for it, just to be shed of it.  I told her I thought we should give it one more try by trying to find a wider market on the Internet.  I must say, there have been precious few inquiries in the time it has been listed, but the car is priced in the upper range of value.

 

Great input from everyone so far - thank you so much. 

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 Quote from   John348

 

 " Go to your bank and tell them you want to withdraw 50K in CASH and see how that goes,"

 They will tell you that they do not have that much cash, they will have to order it for you. It will take a few days.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/7/2019 at 12:44 PM, John348 said:

Go to your bank and tell them you want to withdraw 50K in CASH and see how that goes,

They cry the blues when you go in and try to get a few thousand to go to Hershey with. 

I know larger amounts require just short of an act of god. 

 

I went in on a Monday afternoon after a Holiday weekend when all the local businesses were making their deposits.  I wanted I believe it was 5G.  They said boy you really need to call ahead to make sure we have that much on hand before coming in.  Meanwhile the guy in the window next to me was waiting while they were counting and entering  his very large cash deposit.  

That's why I waited until I figured it wouldn't be a big deal.  I didn't hit them up Friday afternoon a 2PM. 

All the while I'm thinking to myself,  why do I even use a bank?   Especially with the .5 of a % they were offering on savings accounts at the time. 

Edited by auburnseeker (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

If cash, buy the pen to check the bills. It works. I got them at Walmart or Staples. Be careful with large sums. Or wire funds to your bank and wait for it to clear per your bank before releasing the car. 

I was in Real Estate/Title and Escrow for 17+ years and wired funds are worth the small fees. Get directions from your bank. 

Edited by victorialynn2 (see edit history)
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10 hours ago, Roger Walling said:

 

 

 Quote from   John348

 

 " Go to your bank and tell them you want to withdraw 50K in CASH and see how that goes,"

 They will tell you that they do not have that much cash, they will have to order it for you. It will take a few days.

Very true!

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21 hours ago, Bhigdog said:

 The pen check is useless. If you accept a bogus bill or bills it is your loss. 

I,m just sayin.........bob

It is? Yikes. My bank said they work. How did you find this out?

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