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private out of state purchase


bill shelly
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I'm thinking of buying my first out of state car. 1200 miles away.  Private sale; no broker, no ebay, etc.  What is the best business procedure to follow to ensure a successful transaction?  Got the money, trucking, title to think about.  Use the sellers local banker as escrow agent?  Wire banker the money once he has the title in hand?  Have car then shipped and tell banker it arrived and he can release funds and mail title to me?    Some other procedure?  Any advice will be appreciated. 

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Depending on the price of the car, I'd consider a round-trip plane ticket to be cheap insurance. Most cars I've bought remotely have had issues I learned about when I got them. It's usually not something that would have been a deal breaker, but it taught me to see things in person whenever I can. Only once did a car surprise me to the good side.

 

 

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As a transporter, I recommend to all my customers that ask...Pay via wire transfer from your bank to his bank. By the way, 90% of my customers Never see their cars before they buy them & I transport them. That includes many of the six-figure + cars I deliver.

 

  You are more than welcome to message me with cities or zip codes & I will be glad to give you cash on delivery prices for either trailer or just to discuss other options if you don't want to pay for personalized single car service.

 

God Bless

Bill Squires(owner)

Bill's Auto Works

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/nationwide-single-car-transport-hauling-open-or-enclosed.614419/

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I've been on both ends of out-of-state sales.  As a purchaser, once we agreed on the price, I wired the money to the seller's account.  I called him to alert him that the wire was on the way.  He sent me the paperwork via overnight mail when the wire cleared his account.  When I received the paperwork, I arranged to have the car shipped here.

 

As a seller, once I received the wire and it cleared in my account, I sent the buyer the paperwork.  When his shipper arrived, I had the car ready to be loaded.

 

On my last purchase, the seller showed me the car on a facebook video call.  He went all around the car and drove it during the call.  I found this satisfactory.  He also texted me pictures of the car as it was loaded into the transport trailer.  This made it easy to look for damage when the car arrived (there was none).

 

I didn't do a facebook call for the last sale, but I sent the buyer pictures of the car just before it was loaded on the flatbed he hired to transport the car.

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I bought 5 cars sight unseen. 36 Cord Phaeton, 60 Fuel injected corvette, 49 Mercury Coupe, 31 Auburn Phaeton and 51 Dodge Roadster.  

Condition wise they all had issues.  I had 4 of them inspected all 4 had issues that the inspectors missed.  2 inspectors were professionals and 2 were friends.  The one Friend actually with the least knowledge did the best job but I just needed them to verify the whole car was there,  Not so much alot about condition as it was a project.    The last the 31 Auburn I just winged it.  I bought all for what were good prices so there is room to absorb issues if you decide to dump the car later because you just aren't happy with it.  For me I'm always looking for another toy and something has to go to buy it so few will ever be life long purchases.  I do get alot of pictures and review them closely so I'm pretty sure of what I'm getting.  I've even missed stuff on cars I inspected that I discovered later but those were usually carefully concealed issues that you only discovered after digging and really analyzing things.  

I like the wire transfer,  though it involves trust in the seller.  It's pretty easy to tell 99.9% of the scam artists out there.  As a seller I would never sell a car with the money in escrow until the other party receives the car.  Too much can go wrong there and I can't imagine many sellers will allow it either.  I usually let the seller determine the payment method, it's their car and they aren't going to do something they don't like unless they really are anxious to dump the car.  Surprisingly many choose bank check.  I sold the 60 Vette and a 59 Tbird Conv't both sight unseen and they did wire transfers. To put the buyer's mind at ease they received alot of photos and one of the paperwork and vin tags so they knew it was legit.  

 

If you are concerned with condition issues you could post pictures here or even PM them to me and I would be glad to take a look.  I'm not in the market for any type of car right now by the way my 31 Auburn I just bought emptied out the war chest.

 

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Last time I bought a furrin (non-Florida) car, it was in Maryland. After exchanging many pictures I wound up flying there with the cash. After inspection and title/cash exhange I drove to the Antrak station in Lorton, loaded on the Autotrain, and slept to within 40 miles of my home. No issues.

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I have bought a number of sight-unseen cars and have only been burned once. The key is to get very detailed information, lots of photos, and personal contact by phone with the seller. If anything seems the slightest bit "off" walk away. For both buying and selling wire transfer is the only way to go, you can synchronize that with the car pickup if all parties are willing. In-person cash is still OK but money can be counterfeited, I do that transaction inside my bank and have them verify the bills before closing the deal. If you are not there in person at some point you just have to trust the seller, only you can decide if you want to do that.

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I was looking at a Jag Mark IX in Seattle. Over a 5 or 6 week period the seller sent me a hundred or so pictures. We talked on the phone many times and he seemed like a good guy. My wife always wanted to see Seattle so I said let’s go. The pictures had to be 20 years old. The car was a rust bucket, barely ran, the interior was shot. Not one picture was accurate.  We did enjoy the trip but not the experience with the seller. The next one was in New Jersey, with no interest in seeing NJ I passed on that Jag. 
I did get the next seller to take a picture with a newspaper front page close enough to the car so I was sure it was what they said. Took the trip and bought the car. The two experiences with the Jags taught me you have to see it in person or have someone you know and trust actually see the car not just pics! 
good  luck. Have fun 

Dave S 

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When I'm Asking for photos,  I am always asking for specific detailed photos,  often of obscured areas.  Two things often overlooked on cars are vent windows and interior trim.  Usually if both are very nice the car was in a dry climate and the chance of serious rust much less likely.  If they are all fresh chrome than you might need to dig deeper.  Rocker photos to see if they have the correct seems , pinch welds and drain holes.  Bottom of doors.  That type of stuff tells you more than all the fancy photos of the chrome shining in the sun from 20 feet away. 

Edited by auburnseeker (see edit history)
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On 3/6/2020 at 5:06 PM, bill shelly said:

I'm thinking of buying my first out of state car. 1200 miles away.  Private sale; no broker, no ebay, etc.  What is the best business procedure to follow to ensure a successful transaction?  Got the money, trucking, title to think about.  Use the sellers local banker as escrow agent?  Wire banker the money once he has the title in hand?  Have car then shipped and tell banker it arrived and he can release funds and mail title to me?    Some other procedure?  Any advice will be appreciated. 


Have you talked to the Seller ?

 

If so - any red flags 🚩?

 

If not - then don’t buy the car

 

 You can go look at the car in person if you think it is necessary - but if you do that ...

 

Can you drive the car home ?

 

If so - fly or drive out - pay cash 

and drive it home.

 

Transport money is wasted paying someone to get a car home that you can drive in good weather.

 

 

Jim

 

 

 

Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)
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The cost of a breakdown is much more expensive than shipping.  Even pretty good carts seem to have problems.  Unless it's real fresh or fairly new and proven I wouldn't drive anything home not worth the risk.  Besides the last several cars I bought i couldn't have gone and gotten them for what I paid to have them shipped.  I have an enclosed car hauler I bought 6 months old and have never had a car in it. 

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Go pick up the car in person.  Get a friend to do a road trip with you. That way you are getting what you think you paid for.  Confirmed.  I have driven almost all the way across the country to pick up a car to make sure I got what I paid for.   If there are any problems, you only have yourself to blame.  Just IMO.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, Larry Schramm said:

Go pick up the car in person.  Get a friend to do a road trip with you. That way you are getting what you think you paid for.  Confirmed.  I have driven almost all the way across the country to pick up a car to make sure I got what I paid for.   If there are any problems, you only have yourself to blame.  Just IMO.

Road trip.. I tell the wife do you want to take a trip... How about?? MN..

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The next one was in New Jersey, with no interest in seeing NJ I passed on that Jag

 

I live in NJ and love it- other then the high taxes. Will prob never move.

 

the grass is always greener on the other side- or is it?

 

I did once buy a 31 chevy roadster off of ebay. car looked decent till I got there and yes, the photos had to be 10 years old. the thing was totally shot!

decided to renegotiate in a big way and still brought the car home, but the guys info did border on criminal!

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I have driven old cars home a couple of times.

I have a trailer and a tow rig.

I just figure that if I have problems then I get to enjoy two road trips.

Haven't had to do that yet though.

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On 3/6/2020 at 4:39 PM, padgett said:

I always personally inspect a car I might buy, have travelled over 1,000 miles and was prepared to come right back if didn't work. Carried the cash myself.

 

This may seem like a lot of work up front, but it's really the only valid way to buy an old car, and could save you an incredible amount of grief in the long run. If you're buying from a really reputable dealer who has a long well known history of selling quality high end vehicles (that are priced accordingly) you could be ok. (Some of them frequent this forum and seem like honest people.) You could also be ok if you're buying a 2015 Honda out of state from a dealer who also sells new Hondas. In all other cases be very wary.

 

For the affordable vehicles that I buy I assume the worst, so I no longer buy without physical inspection. Of the four affordable old cars I bought from ebay, three were losers. The one good one I got was a fluke. Most people are flippers or trying to get rid of junk.

 

Make sure that everyone who is listed on the title has signed the title for sale. You'd be surprised how often this doesn't get done. Get cell phone pic confirmation of this before the car is shipped. Common problem is there are two owners and one has died and not signed the title. (Happened to me twice, once with a reputable dealer.) DON'T have them send you an open title (signed by the owner prior to the current owner, but not transferred to the current owner through his state's DMV.) The exception to this is with a dealer. If your state is like mine, both out-of-state title and vehicle will need to be inspected physically by your DMV.

Edited by JamesR (see edit history)
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In Florida if a title has more than one person on the title they will be seperated by OR or AND. If OR either can sign. If AND both must sign. Nice thing about the Florida web site, it will tell you if one or more owners, if the title is branded/Salvage/rebuilt, or if there is a lien on the title with the name of the bank/CU.

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