The Facebook marketplace is great for people who are shopping for a used car. It turns out to be a safe platform for many users who wish to sell or buy cars. The process is quite simple as you just need to check the seller’s profile and message them directly through the messenger feature & it is more convenient than other sites like craigslist for most Brits. You do not actually process the transaction and pay via Facebook. The system simply acts as a way to connect buyers and sellers so you still need to work out a secure way to pay for the vehicle.
Billions of users are getting benefits from the Facebook Marketplace to sell their cars and for the most part, people have become comfortable with the click and buy process during the pandemic. In saying that, you should know how to protect yourself from the potential scammers that operate on Facebook. In this article, you can learn how to shop safely on Facebook.
Buying cars on Facebook Marketplace
The thing people like most about buying a new or used car from the Facebook Marketplace is that the platform is easy to use, a simple service. However, you should know about the pros and cons of this platform so you can make the most of it. Here are some tips for buying a used car on the Facebook marketplace.
Guideline checks before buying the car from the “click & buy shopping”:
1. Pick the car you would like to buy
The foremost thing is to find a car which really attracts you but also has the performance and features that you want. It is unnecessary to have a Facebook account because anyone can browse & find the right & desired vehicle from the listings in the Facebook marketplace.
Use the price filter to select vehicles based on your budget, make & model. You are then shown a list of suitable cars with specifications like transmissions, mileage, price, and age.
There is also a great “comparison” feature. Yes, compare three or four vehicles to see how their prices and features stack up against one another making it easier to spot a duffer or a car that is overpriced.
2. Read the description
Once you have identified a set of good cars from the listings you need to make the time to read about the cars in detail. Ensure you look at the main specs, age, mileage, and any recent repairs or problems. Use other resources like whatcar, autotrader, top gear etc to learn about each make and model and any issues they may have. This will also allow you to judge if the prices you are seeing on your Facebook listing are reasonable.
3. Prepare a questionnaire to ask the seller
It makes sense to establish details like when the last MOT was and if the car failed for anything, get the license plate, establish how many owners the car has had and if it has ever been a lease or rental, what repairs have been done and if it has been in an accident.
You can also consider getting help from the online free car history check reports. It is okay to search the vehicle history from its registration number where the premium reports highlight red flags like a financed car or previous accident history. It makes sense to do these checks before you view the car so you can avoid wasting your time and identify any issues you need to ask the seller detailed questions about.
4. Watch out for scams:
Don’t forget to check certain things like:
Seller information. Ensure they’re located in your area or see if you have a mutual friend on Facebook. If you find the same profile name & photo more than once, then it is a red flag. It is also a good idea to avoid anyone selling from a brand new profile with no history, friends or connections. Some scammers pretend to be reputable dealers so verify they are who they say they are on Facebook by contacting the dealer directly through their website or at their premises.
Do visit the seller in a public place and you can also take a friend or family member. It is a good idea to view the car at the seller’s home address so you verify the vehicle is actually registered to the seller at their home address.
Be cautious during the authorised payment when you purchase the vehicle.
Check the car carefully – the bodywork and under the bonnet and wheel arches. Look for obvious signs of dents or major repairs and welds.
Check the documents if the vehicle has past financing and insurance on the cars.
When everything seems good, but you still suspect something isn’t right, then walk away from the deal.
Is buying a car on Facebook a safe process?
It is as safe as buying second-hand ever is. The most important thing is checking the car is not stolen or has existing finance on it. Carefully examine the bodywork and verify the person selling is the legal owner and the car is registered to the address you view the car at.