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Old 08-31-2016, 07:20 AM   #1
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Buying on e-bay

I’ve seen some pretty good deals close on e-bay and a lot of overpriced “buy now” ones too. I’ve read several folks here have had successful e-bay transactions. So my question is if the coach is miles away and you are bidding on a unit because you like the description and pictures and have not actually seen the unit, what happens if you are the winning bidder and when you see the unit you are disappointed, for whatever reason.
Some e-bay dealers require a deposit from the winning bidder before you can travel to see it. So what happens to your deposit and what does e-bay do about a winning bidder that does not complete the deal?

If you like the coach what do dealers do if you want to have an independent inspector look at it and what will they likely say if you want to take it to say a Freightliner service center to have it inspected and oil and coolant samples taken?

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Old 08-31-2016, 07:58 AM   #2
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It is open market so first is start communicating with seller with your "demands, questions and requests".

Only use PayPal for money handling for deposits as they offer good protection and back that up by only using a personal credit card to pay that.

If your card does not have that amount as a limit call bank to pre load it first.

Pay attention to descriptions and fine print as they may hide details.

Others will provide much more but consider ebay as just a tool to locate and look from a distance but you still need to act as a customer and take all precautions as you would on anything else.

Contract of sale is important as is title in hand...

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Old 08-31-2016, 08:09 AM   #3
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I bought a Bounder several years ago on e-bay from a reputable e-bay seller. A condition of sale was, I had 7 days to inspect and retrieve the Bounder. Upon my inspection, If I found items that the dealer could not remedy, I would receive a refund, minus $250 non-refundable. We agreed to this.

The seller had very good feedback, so I moved forward.

After traveling and inspecting the Bounder, I found way to much wrong with it. The dealer returned my money, minus a $250 non-refundable portion that we had agreed to.
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:17 AM   #4
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Tim, I'm with TQ60. Use your credit card to fund a deposit via PayPal. That leaves you fully protected if the coach is eventually found significantly "not as advertised".

Set up the inspections with the seller - make sure they are "arms length/3rd party" inspections - not something the seller provides.

Prior to bidding, make sure you are fully prepared to visit your purchase within hours of winning the bid. I would want to be present for any inspections - giving me time to do my own. In any case, I would not give the seller a dime (other than the deposit) until I had seen the coach first hand. If you can't arrange to get there soon after the auction closes, my advice would be don't bid.
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Old 08-31-2016, 09:39 AM   #5
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Just stay away from a specific seller in Colton Cali. Most others will probably work with you to keep you happy. Some sellers in .az, .ga and .ky.

And most sellers will not let you take the unit off lot due to insurance. Inspections usually have to be done on premises.
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Old 08-31-2016, 11:13 AM   #6
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I once bought a collector car on Ebay. I had it inspected at a dealer the day after I won the auction. It came back with just a few minor issues. The pictures looked good so I made the 2,000 mile flight to claim it. When I got there I found out that although the ad clearly stated "clear title" the owner didn't have it in hand. The car was filthy inside and out. The dealership missed that the struts were shot. And, the owner pulled the plates so I had no way to transport it legally to the DMV for a trip report. I really wanted this rare (?) car so I did go ahead with the purchase. I had a nightmare getting the title transferred from the seller's state to mine due to the slothlike movement of the Illinois DMV. All things considered, I wouldn't make that mistake again.

Another consideration is how pictures taken and displayed never reflect reality. When we were purchasing our last RV we did lots of travelling to first hand inspect RVs we were considering. Generally we tried to stay within a 200 mile radius of our home. Nearly every rig we looked at was in much worse condition than the pictures showed. It also seemed like the further away the rig was, the greater the discrepancy.

If you do decide to go the Ebay route, I wouldn't put down any more money than I could afford to lose prior to an in person inspection. I also wouldn't buy any used RV without an independent 3rd party inspection.
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Old 08-31-2016, 01:43 PM   #7
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Ebay is not a good way to buy an RV. I personally wouldn't put any money at risk prior to inspecting the unit. There are lots of RVs for sale at RV Trader, Craigs List, local papers, local RV dealers, etc. Putting up a deposit and trapping yourself into a deal prior to seeing what you're buying just doesn't seem like a good plan.
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Old 08-31-2016, 06:32 PM   #8
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I found our current coach on Ebay and was able to inspect it prior to purchase. The Ebay seller had a very accurate description and stated that all systems worked.

After inspection I went home to thing about it, after a couple of days made an offer for the coach which the seller took. i wired a down payment to the seller. I then flew back to pick up the coach.

My Ebay experience was very good, but I would not buy a coach sight unseen.
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Old 09-01-2016, 04:02 PM   #9
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Thanks guys for all your replies. I've copied several and put them in my personal RV buyers guide.

Concerning the e-bay experiences, it almost sounds like most of you that bought that way inspected the unit before the auction closed. I really don't see how that can happen unless the rig is close by. Or maybe I just mis-understood, the unit is not sold until it passes your inspection even though you won the bid. Is this correct?

Is it true most dealers will not let you drive the unit to the chassis manufacturer for an inspection. If so are there mobile chassis/motor inspectors that will come to the unit. I would not want to buy a MH without a chassis inspection. If PPL in Texas doesn't allow an inspection I would never buy from them, I'm surprised anyone would.
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Old 09-01-2016, 07:11 PM   #10
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Tim, it's important to understand that Ebay (and most other) auctions allow for bidding that's subject to your inspection. They realize it doesn't always make sense for an out of state bidder to inspect prior to winning the bid. If you find something significantly "not as advertised" (and it doesn't take much) you can walk away from it. On one of these deals, you'll be out the money it took you to get there. That's it.

I haven't had to deal with anyone that would not allow a chassis inspection off site, but if I did, there are "mobile" guys on the road, that do nothing but work on incapacitated trucks (and MH's) that have quit and are on the side of the road or while sitting in a truck stop/parking lot. Just arrange to show up for your inspection with a guy like that. Generally they're super knowledgeable (in my experience!) and used to getting dirty if that's what it takes. Set up ahead of time, he should be able to gather enough info quickly to get a feel for your deal.... without costing you a fortune.
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Old 09-01-2016, 07:39 PM   #11
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Thanks ahicks, very good info there. Where would you suggest I look for one of those mobile guys? Maybe call a chassis facility and get a referral?
Tampa Bay
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:36 PM   #12
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I attempted to buy one on eBay from out of state. They had tons of good pictures. I spoke with salesman several times with specific questions. Won the bid, sent the money, even paid them to deliver to Phoenix from LA. Wife and I flew to Phoenix. That's when it fell apart. No driver. RV wouldn't start. RV broke down enroute. I eventually got all my money back but was scared for a while if they refused. Lost a couple grand (cost flying to Phoenix.)

Id say if you can go inspect before auction ends, then bid. If you can not, pass on it.

Good luck.
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:38 PM   #13
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I belong to Good Sam for road side assistance. You may want to check with them if they do inspections. They come if we break down and also I can call them for technical help on my RV. They do not always have the answer but often point me in the right direction.
I know in BC, there was BCAA that would do vehicle inspections for people.
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Old 09-04-2016, 06:59 PM   #14
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If eBay intrigues you for bidding on a MH--have you taken a look at Crankyape.com?
Usually has several nice-looking units with a brief description of what is right and what is obviously wrong. Most are located in MN, but also in Georgetown, TX and other places.
Take a look, no cost involved.

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