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Customs Ways to protect yourself in a long distance trade

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by crusin55, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. crusin55
    Joined: Jun 12, 2006
    Posts: 205


    A fellow gearhead and I are discussing an even swap. He lives 800 miles from me. I plan on sending a friend to check the other fellows car.

    If we decide to go ahead, is there ways to protect myself from getting scammed? I cringe at the thought of sending my $30,000.00 car on a transport with a signed off title.

    Very nerve racking as I know of others who just say you'll have to trust him that he will send his car and title. No way am I going to send my car without some assurances he will do what he says he will do.

    All input greatly appreciated.
  2. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 2,994


    800 miles is 16 hours driving plus return trip. It might make for a nice weeks vacation. Keeps everyone honest.
  3. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,563

    low budget
    from Central Ky

    People do it I guess but I wouldnt, That would be too big of a dice roll for me.
    I would want to see his car for myself and do the trade in person.
  4. ol-nobull
    Joined: Oct 16, 2013
    Posts: 1,474


    Hi. The way I vew this is for you to rent a car hauler trailer & take yours to his location & you get to inspect his & he gets to inspect yours & this way both of you can make sure this is what you want to do.
    This way if EITHER of you does not like the other vehicle you have the right to walk away from the deal with no money lost other you risking the expense of your trip. It is very easy for his vehicle "in your eyes" does not agree with what he says just as your vehicle "in his eyes" may not agree with what you said. Beauty & quality are in the eyes of the beholder so neither of you may or may not like what you see once you are really able to inspect in person.
    That risk isnothing compared to the value of the trade you are proposing.

    If you make a trade &send yours without him actually inspecting & if he does the same shame on both of you. Shit happens.

    Good luck, Jim
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  5. iceokie
    Joined: Sep 29, 2010
    Posts: 74


    I've done several long distance trades or purchases. If your are buying or trading an expensive vehicle the cost of a round trip airfare to evaluate the vehicle is relatively inexpensive in comparison. I've also had someone I know that was close look at a car for me.

    The only time I've ever really taken it in the shorts was an old wagoneer I bought on ebay because the guy raved about how rust free it was. It was a rust bucket. He claimed it ran great. It probably hadn't run in years. But this was a $2k deal . . . Thankfully.
  6. Why don't you guys meet 1/2 way -
    400 for you & 400 miles for him.
    Look, inspect, test drive - negotiate.
    i.rant and lothiandon1940 like this.
  7. Is there any chance you both can meet half way? Just a thought!

    Mtw fdu.
  8. As one of the 3 quality transporters here on the Hamb (with BenD & Racinman) I have done more than a dozen trades between Hambers & I do not think there was ever a problem. Having said that, you have to be comfortable with the deal. A cheap flight to see it or have someone you can trust close to the location look at it. Then call one of us to do the transports.
  9. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,361


    ...sign of on the title of a $30k car and 'hope' that everything works out??:eek::eek:

    I'll let you try it out first...better yet, as has been said, rent an enclosed trailer and get moving, unless the trade was his idea then let him come to you.
  10. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,783

    from California

    I have learned in life if you don't give people the opportunity to screw you over then it makes it much harder for them to do.

    I can't believe in this day and age that people buy cars without looking at them or driving them and trust the other guy to be honest. sounds like you are basically shipping your car without any payment in trade for something which may or may not be worth what the guy says it is.

    is the other guy a Nigerian prince by chance?
  11. Unless your friend is a professional appraiser you are asking too much of him. He should be able to tell you if it is worth the trip but to ask him to decide if you make the trade is a good way to lose a friend. What is the other guy doing? If the answer is he doesn't have the same concerns that you have then that should be a red flag. I like the each drive half way and meet in the middle. A $30,000 car should be able to drive 400 miles (each way). If either car cannot drive that far then it is best to find out about it now. I understand there may be good reasons the car cannot drive that far but you didn't give them. Another thought, can you ship your car to your friend and have him make the deal (don't hesitate to pay him for his time)? You still haven't seen the car (I recommend that you do) but it takes one thing out of the transaction.

    Charlie Stephens
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  12. Eliminate the distance :)
  13. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,679


    The only real assurances you have in this deal is your presence at the exchange and your own 2 eyes.
  14. My 2 cents - If you're truly talking about a deal with a $30k value, you should both examine each others cars in person. If your friend fails to notice an issue with the car then you can blame him. If you look at it yourself, you can only blame yourself. It's your deal and your responsibility. I wouldn't want to be that friend on a deal with kind of value.

    Then, each of you drive 400 miles to meet each other with the vehicles so that you both are equally invested in the deal.

    This is the only way I would do a deal like this.
  15. 3banjos
    Joined: May 24, 2008
    Posts: 471

    from NZ

    It's a day trip. No brainer. Do both cars the world of good.
  16. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,581

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    I am constantly amazed that these type of questions even come up in the first place.
    I would think that it should be a no brainer to know that you should never do this kind of deal without doing it in person.
    When a question like this comes up it confirms the fact that common sense is not so common.

    This is the type of situation that the scammers love and makes for easy victims.
  17. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,262


    No way I would ever buy or trade for something I haven't seen. I almost did it once as the owner bull shitted me so bad I thought I couldn't get hurt on the deal. The car looked OK in pictures and the price was not bad. BTW, all cars look better in pictures. Owner said it had new paint but never mentioned he painted over dents and rust. At the last minute, I came to my senses and went to see the car. What a POS. I wouldn't have bought it at any price. After that I will never again travel any distance to look at another car. If I can't see it locally or at a show, I'm not interested. Too many asshats will tell you everything but the truth just hoping you'll buy it sight unseen.
  18. daddylama
    Joined: Feb 20, 2002
    Posts: 930


    I've bought/sold over distance, but never traded and never of enough value that I'd be seriously screwed.

    otherwise it's a road trip.
    a higher value trade with a private party would likely involve an attorney, too. worth it (to me) to have some legal fees, in the grand scheme of things.
  19. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,866


    If your car is worth $30k, then it's well worth it for you to spend $1k and make the trip.
  20. If I was going to trade a 30K car I would want both parties to inspect the cars..met half way. HRP
  21. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,179

    Atwater Mike

    Hmmm...400 miles each party, meet in the middle. I can't help thinking about swapper #1 considering:

    '400 miles, that's a drive...what about that nagging problem with the 'Q#Q&Q', liable to go out after those 400. What if we don't trade? I might get stuck on my way back...'

    Swapper #2 has to be thinking about something similar...

    Not that either party would dream of any possibility like this...but it's happened...
  22. Just don't let your desire to own a new toy cloud your good judgement. HRP
  23. txturbo
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,771


    Have him load his car and meet you halfway. Only way I would even consider it.
  24. I am with these other guys. You need to actually go see it. I did a similar trade a few years ago, it was 630 miles between us so we each loaded up our trailers and met half way at a truck stop where we exchanged cars straight up. It was worth it to both of us, as we each thought we screwed the other guy. We we back home by that evening.
    $30,000? you need to make a trip.
  25. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,756

    from vail az

    Its nice you can gamble 30K.
    How many of us made 30K last year. How many would like to make 30K this year?
    Have the ol'lady throw some heels in an overnight bag and take a trip.
  26. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 4,027


    Was selling my 36 Willys sedan in mid 80s Erik Botha from Kenosha WI calls me up and asks about the car, he likes what he hears but doesn't know me from Adam. I give him a list of people I've met across the country at Rod events and Shows NSRA then. He calls back next day and wants the car how can he get it. We agree to meet in Youngstown Ohio about halfway between LI NY and Kenosha WI. I pick him up at the airport we go to a diner he drives car, pays me $5300.00 drops me and my friend back off at airport we fly home I call him several hours later he's home and sending my plates home to me by mail. Both of us were happy as can be. Unlike this congress you have to negotiate and come to an agreement I got my price but had to pay for airfare.


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  27. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,795


    How do you NOT go look at something in person, that you're paying $30K for? And 800 miles is a nice relaxed drive. Get a buddy and take a road trip.
  28. crusin55
    Joined: Jun 12, 2006
    Posts: 205


    Appreciate everyone's feedback on this subject. No trades for me until I lay my eyeballs on it. If they contact me, they will have to bring it to me.

    Tons of great advice...........A BIG Thank you to everyone!!!!

    I hope our little discussion will help others that are contemplating a sight unseen trade.
  29. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M

    A flight would be fairly inexpensive if you cannot take the time for a road trip. Let your own eyes be the judge. Anything else may be risky. A couple thousand dollar car I might gamble on, but not 30K.

  30. 56don pretty much layed down what I was thinking (and what happened for me). I traded a car that I couldn't sell to a guy for a car that he couldn't sell. I'm quite certain we each giggled at the other all the way back to our respective houses. But, 30k? Not a chance.

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