Beware Using Escrow For Motor Vehicle Transactions

This post is regarding a recent high dollar collector car sale that went horribly bad when the seller accepted escrow to handle the transaction payment.

Legitimate escrow-services are not fraudulent. But sellers that use any escrow-service for an expensive vehicle may not realize that the buyer pretty much holds all the cards.

This fake escrow service example was uncovered by Internet Scammers blog.

Vehicle Sellers Beware Of Escrow
Sellers of automobiles beware of accepting escrow as payment.

This article is very good reading for anyone selling a car that is considering using escrow to get paid. A buyer could get jammed up by a scammer using a fake-escrow service to steal your money. Or in this case “buyers remorse” declined the sellers car. Car was returned on an open carrier and suffered damage in transit back to it’s owner.

Escrow was originally intended for expensive items like jewelry or watches etc. But a used car is an item that different people will no doubt have different opinions of it’s condition. A car is a part of a persons personality. What may look exceptional to you and i might not please it’s buyer, especially after a few weeks waiting for it to arrive.”

At the big collector car auctions like Barrett Jackson the impulse buying and awe factor is quick and easy. A buyers love at first sight is quickly bought and the transaction is quickly finalized before the buyer can suffer “buyer’s remorse”. It’s a done deal and it’s the buyers new baby whether he falls out of love at 2nd sight or not it’s his with no backing out!

Using escrow gives the buyer plenty of time to ask his friends their opinion etc. And to find some excuse to back out of the deal and return the car to the seller. 

This is a story of one of those kind of transactions gone bad.

Escrow Automobile Transaction Gone Bad
Collector Car Escrow Sale Gone Bad – Sellers Forum Posting

Also be aware there is no such thing as eBay or Amazon Agents that use Escrow to facilitate vehicle transactions. It’s a SCAM! You will lose your money! While you’re here be sure to read my popular article Used Car Internet Car Buying Selling Guide. 😉

4 Thoughts to “Beware Using Escrow For Motor Vehicle Transactions”

  1. Paul Peretic

    Doc, I’m looking at buying a well taken care of 2006 GTO in Florida. The problem is that I live in Las Vegas. I’ve spoken to the owner several times and we both have hit it off. But being realists, we are both leery about making a transaction that is not safe for both of us. I can’t get to Florida for the purchase, and obviously don’t feel comfortable just wiring money and trusting I will get the vehicle. On his end, he obviously doesn’t feel comfortable shipping the car and trusting that he will get the money. I looked at one of the most popular escrow companies and he had some reservations about them. Any suggestions on how to get this deal done so we are both satisfied?

    1. There are inspection companies that for a few hundred will give a vehicle a thorough inspection.
      Otherwise best bet is to forget it and buy local.

  2. Rosalia

    i am a buyer the seller did not do his homework (did not know) i paid down payment as agree, after that i receive an email telling me i have to pay for container shipment, i wanted to cancel the whole deal i get my money back not possible problems why i did not want to pay anymore, no second hand car can be imported without the receiver paying duty, seller promise the car will be shipped and deliver without any extra charges what can i do

    1. Doc

      Duties and Import Taxes is the buyers responsibility. Anyone importing a vehicle into their home country would have to pay import duties (tax) at their port or customs authority.

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