Is It Safe To Buy A Car From Ebay?

Today, people turn to online shopping to purchase every product imaginable. Clothing, electronics, groceries, gifts, decorations, books, music, videos, you name it. But what about vehicles? Yes, you can even order your next car online. Even retailers such as eBay now offer users the option to sell big items such as vehicles.

What Is eBay?

Ebay is largely known as one of the world’s biggest retailers of used items, although many eBay sellers also sell brand-new products. EBay differs from retail giants such as Amazon in that anyone can set up an eBay account and start selling their stuff immediately. In contrast, Amazon requires several other steps before you can become an Amazon seller.

Read more: Best 30 Places On The Internet to buy a Used Car

What To Consider When Buying a Car From eBay?

Even though eBay is a huge, reputable retailer, is it really safe to buy a car from eBay? There are actually several things you should consider before buying a car from eBay. Here is a quick rundown of a few things to consider. We will dive more deeply into each of these individually.

  •     Risk of fraud
  •     Difficult to inspect
  •     Impossible to know the seller’s full reputation
  •     No warranty
  •     Difficult/impossible returns
  •     Always do your in-depth research on the seller
  •     Always do your in-depth research on the vehicle
  •     Ask a lot of questions
  •     Purchase a CarFax report
  •     Have an inspection done of the car, preferably live-streamed so that you can see it.
  •     Get a title check to protect yourself legally
  •     Review payment options carefully.

Do You Know?


Pros of Buying A Car From eBay?

Let’s first look at the pros of purchasing your next vehicle through eBay.

Wide range of cars to choose from

When you shop at eBay, you will have access to a far larger range of vehicles than you would if you were just shopping traditionally in your community. Sellers from all over the country post their vehicles for sale through this platform.

Competitive prices

The eBay platform is set up so that sellers can see what prices similar products are being sold for immediately. This helps sellers to set competitive prices. This is a bonus to you as the purchaser since it can help you get a good deal on a great car. 

Rare cars

Another cool aspect of shopping for a vehicle on eBay is that you have the opportunity to find rare cars as well. Because you are shopping from a variety of sellers in different parts of the country, you might be able to find a really interesting car that you would have never been able to find just shopping in and around your community.

Improved security measures

Although buying a car online seems like a bit of a risk, you should know that eBay has been working hard to increase its security measures for purchasers, especially those who are buying large or expensive items. Be sure to read all of Ebay’s policies and protocols regarding purchases. Also, remember that some policies are specifically developed for larger, more expensive orders.

Read more: How to Buy a Cheap, Drivable Used Car

Cons of Buying a Car From eBay

Now, we can’t discuss the pros of buying a car from eBay without also discussing the cons as well. You must consider the downsides of this option so that you can make a good, informed decision. Buying a car is a big deal, so you should consider the following information.

Risk of fraud

Despite Ebay’s security measures, fraud does still happen. If you buy a car online, you must be aware of this risk.

Difficult to inspect the car

One of the biggest bonuses of purchasing a car locally is that you can inspect it hands-on and give it a test drive. You will not be able to do this if you purchase from eBay. If you are uncomfortable with that, you should consider buying a car the traditional way.

No warranty

This is a big one. If you purchase from eBay, you will not benefit from a vehicle warranty. Even many used car dealerships offer customers a limited warranty directly after purchase. This benefit is non-existent with vehicles purchased through eBay. You get what you get. Be sure to read all of the details of the purchase process from the seller to ensure you are informed.

Difficult to return the car

This is another detail that makes people nervous about purchasing a vehicle from eBay. It will be difficult or impossible to return the vehicle. Again, this is why it is so important that you read all of the information that will be included on the seller’s site. You need to know exactly what their policy is concerning “lemon” vehicles and what to do if you want to return the car.

Read more: Buying a Car in an Inflationary Market

tips for buying a car from ebay


Tips for Buying a Car From eBay

Okay, so we have looked deeply at some of the pros and cons of purchasing a vehicle on eBay. If you are not scared away yet and are still considering buying a car through this retailer, we also have some tips to make the buying experience as good as possible. Keep reading to learn more.

Do You know?


Check the seller’s reputation.

This is one thing that eBay has made pretty easy through its platform. There are lots of different ways that you can check up on the seller to see what type of reputation they have built with customers.

First, if the seller has no other records of selling on eBay, no past customers, and no customer feedback, you should avoid that seller. This means that they are either brand new or they are not legit.

If the seller does have feedback to review, take your time studying this information. You might even want to message a few of the seller’s customers and ask about their experience. You can often message other buyers and sellers through the eBay platform.

Read more: Buying Your Next Car Without a License.


Ask a lot of questions.

Now is not the time to be shy. Ask the seller lots of questions about the car. It might even be a good idea to invest the money in buying a CarFax report on the vehicle. This will give you a thorough rundown of everything that has happened to that car.

Get an inspection

Even if the vehicle is in another state, you can still set up an inspection. You just need to contact a mechanic or professional in that area to conduct the inspection. If possible, have the inspection done via FaceTime so that you are watching everything in real time while they are inspecting the car.

Get a title check

This is also important because you could get in trouble legally if there are problems with the title.

Review the payment options- Be sure that you and the seller are on the same page concerning how the vehicle will be paid for. You do not want any surprises to pop up later concerning the payment arrangement.

Read more: How To Buy Wrecked Cars From Insurance Companies?

Hire a friend

If you have anyone that lives nearby to the seller, you might want to consider hiring them to go check out the car and test drive it. This way, you have some objective feedback concerning the car’s condition.

Virtual test drive

Another option might be to ask the seller if they are willing to take you on a virtual test drive. With today’s technology, this should not be a difficult task. The seller would simply get on a video call with you and position the phone in a good enough spot so that you can see and hear what is going on inside the vehicle during the drive. This could allow you to virtually experience the car.

Visit the seller

If you are apprehensive about buying over eBay, you may want to simply go visit the seller and check out the car yourself. If you are investing in a high-dollar vehicle, this is highly recommended. If you are investing in a rare or collectible car, this is also a good idea.

Read more: Which Is the Better Deal: Used Car or Salvage Car?


Although buying a car online is still a pretty new concept, it can be a successful experience if you are careful and follow these tips. Do your research on both the car and the seller. Don’t buy from someone who does not have eBay feedback available or from someone who has a lot of negative feedback. Get a thorough inspection of the vehicle even if you live far away. Read all of the details very carefully before you purchase.

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