1. I've never had a problem giving out the VIN of cars I've sold, to people local or out of town. In fact I usually run the VIN myself and send them the carfax or autocheck report (which lists the VIN)
2. For payment and releasing the title, I've always preferred cash or wire transfer. I've done cashier's checks but only if I could meet the buyer at their bank and witness the teller making the check. But I suppose calling that bank to verify would be just the same.
3. What's ET? You asked about advice for selling a car through ET - at first I thought you might have fat fingered it, and meant LT, but L is no where near E.
My favorite for deaing with the money is to open an account in the other person's bank. Both of you go in with the title in hand. You go to the teller and do a transfer from one account to the other. When the computer is happy that the money moved, buyer gets title on the spot. Bank should be able to notarize the title.
I agree with CharlieX. That is why many Ebayers now have a wait time before shipping of 7-10 on Cashiers Checks just like they do with personal checks. When selling something of high value you must assume the buyer is a ripoff always; that is just the way it is nowadays. A buyer could offer fake ID info, even a 'real' cashiers check and then cancel it over a cell phone as he/she is driving away with your car. The only acceptable option is whatever it takes for a bank to tell you your money is free and clear. Sounds paranoid, but four years ago I got a bum cashiers check on a motorcycle sale. Goodbye Honda 1100!!