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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure if there is a better location for this post, but here it goes. I'm looking for an Exige and I have a general question: What is acceptable protocol for a buyer to pay for a car found on this forum, or any other for that manner, if the buyer wants to set himself apart. What I mean by that is a seller with multiple comparable offers would likely take the one with the least risk to him. Ideally, this would be someone that immediately wires all of the money. One dealer told me this is how he buys most of his Lotus inventory off ebay, and their ability to pay quickly is their main advantage. But ebay has built-in protection for the buyer. So what is the acceptable practice for an "eager" buyer that is a reasonable risk balance?


Thanks,
Mike
 

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This depends a little bit on if you're buying from a respected dealer or a private party.

I think its foolish to send any private seller money ahead of seeing the car in person. An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure!

Tnumber one differentiator is how much they are willing to spend and that beats out all other things typically. Risk to the seller isn't much of an issue, if I think you're "risky" at all I'd be out of my mind selling to you. Being no risk as such is pretty much a requirement. Ease of the transaction factors in last. Really, its almost a requirement - if you're not ina position to act quickly, you're really not in a position to buy the car.
 

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A cash offer usually will get first response, but NOT a lowball offer. A fair cash offer with a refundable deposit (based on condition being as stated by seller) with the ability to close the deal FAST!
 

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Are you guys serious? As a buyer, I will only pay the second all the paperwork is done and I hold the keys. Most buyers will only hand out keys once fully pad, hence cash or bank drawn cheques are the only instruments.

Gets a bit different for people you know well, my Lotus dealer accepted a wire after I got the car, but it was not the first car I bought there. And when we sold my wife's "shopping cart", the buyers wired the money in advance, because the didn't want to carry cash, fine if the trust us. I would have never done that...
 

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I won't ever do a deposit again. Anymore, you either have the capital or you don't. YMMV

A cash offer usually will get first response, but NOT a lowball offer. A fair cash offer with a refundable deposit (based on condition being as stated by seller) with the ability to close the deal FAST!
 

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Going to the seller's location with a stack of $100 bills. I've done this with other cars (not the Lotus). Sellers are sometimes so shocked to see a stack of cash after getting lowballs, offers of trades for other buyer's 82 Chevy Celebrity and requirements to do payments......that you not only knock out any other buyers, you can negotiate other things. The most recent car I bought (for my son), the seller drove the car a couple hours and delivered it to me. He went home with a stack of hundreds. I did tell him in advance that I was paying in cash, no check, no BS.
 

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Cash or Cashier's check, exchanged after inspection. My expectation is the seller will have the title physically in hand. A promise of "I will use your money to pay off the loan, then send you the title" doesn't work for me at all. The seller can get sick, get robbed, not be the actual owner, probate issues, etc. As a buyer, it is not my duty to assume those risks. I once got very annoyed with a seller who was an hour and a half away. I showed up with a cashiers check, his car did not have a clear title, would not start, had no tags, hood would not latch closed. No title, no test drive, *no sale*. needless to say, he failed to disclose any of those issues before I headed his way. I drove home, cashed the cashiers check back in, and bought the Lotus in my avatar.
 

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DO NOT Wire money & beware of 2nd chance offer

Whenever you lose a bid and get a 2nd chance offer, its almost always fraud. The messages look totally legit, but they are indeed scammers. If they ask for a wire you can be 100% sure its a scam.

BEWARE!!! I almost wired this loser $36k for an Elise. Luckily I went with a bank check that requires the depositor to prove he is a legit auto dealer. Thats when the alarms started sounding.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the replies. I'm most concerned about what Addertooth mentioned. While I can show up with cash, I will most likely have to do that from a distance. This means one of two thinkgs...either getting on a plane with cash (scary) if I am going to drive it back, or wiring if I'm going to ship. In both cases I'm mostly only concerned with a private party transaction. In the second case I might not even be in a position to see the issues Addertooth mentioned. It sounds like I should limit private transactions to fly and drive, risking only a flight.
 

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Best option to go with, and how i did mine:
We were both USAA members. We took the car for a PPI, and when the time was right, we went to USAA and they handled everything.
If you approach a buyer properly, iron ALL the details out initially (meeting day, place, amount selling for, location of title, how the cash will be transacted, ppi etc), a seller may be more inclined to sell to you.
DON'T BUY A CAR YOU HAVEN'T DRIVEN!!!
Talk to your bank, they can usually just overnight the seller a bank cheque, so you get the car the day after you inspect it
 

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When I bought mine I also didn't want to have to deal with carrying cash a long way or have to carry anything that I could lose.

I created a checking account with a national bank and deposited the money I had into that account. When I finally found the one I wanted I flew out to see the car and the seller and I met in the bank parking lot. There I performed my inspection and the test drive. Following the test drive, the seller showed me that he had the title in hand with no liens on the car.

Now that the stage was set, we walked into the bank together and I initiated a wire transfer to him. We stayed in the bank and when the wire cleared, we signed all the papers and he handed me the title and the keys. Transaction complete!
 

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When I was looking for mine I drove all over California and even to Vegas to look at cars. I have some absolute HORROR stories about how sellers represented cars and tried to hide conditions and defects. I was just getting ready to fund on a car when I got a pm from another member here who told me to ask about some issues that were not disclosed. I asked three times and he sidestepped and would not answer the questions. I told him deal was off and called the bank to stop the money transfer. For four days he hounded the bank to try and get the money after terminating the deal. I found mine 3000 miles away. The seller emailed all reciepts for upgrades (over $35000.00 worth), gave me the number to the dealer and performance shop he used, and sent over 100 detailed pics of the car. I bought the car sight unseen and it was even better than expected. I gave him $1500.00 deposit to show good faith while paperwork went through.
My point is an honest seller will work with you to disclose any questions you have. A clean offer with a deposit of good faith to hold the car a day or two while paperwork gets in order shows the seller you are a serious buyer especially if he has a bank holding title. Being open and up front between both parties makes buying the car a fun and exciting experience.
On another note when I bought my truck from a dealer I brought $24000.00 in cash. He never saw my face. He could not take his eyes off the pile of cash. He did ask where I got the money. I told him I just got back from Columbia, don't worry about it. Heh-heh-heh! That was fun!
 
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