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Old 11-15-2008, 09:22 PM   #15
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what would you do? scam?

Greetings Dreadydreame!

A possibility that might be worth considering if you definitely want the coach is an escrow agent. E-Bay Motors suggests through its links -- I haven't used the service personally, but always thought that I would in the case of a vehicle purchase via E-Bay. This technique would assure the seller that you intend to continue with the purchase once he has clear title in his name.

Good luck with your dilemma!


Kevin D. Allen
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:23 PM   #16
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That's pretty annoying. Still Haven't heard where this scoundrel has the trailer. I would be happy to take a look for someone chasing a dream. Post some information and I might be able to help. I'm sure there are others.

Joe DeFelice
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Old 11-16-2008, 05:28 AM   #17
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Ive dealt with 'open titles' on several occasions with cars...Ive never had a real problem...You might also want to check with the DMV in the state you reside...depending on the weight of the trailer you might NOT HAVE TO LICENSE IT...In WI, any trailer under #3000 doesnt have to be tagged...
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Old 11-16-2008, 06:10 AM   #18
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what would you do? scam?

dreadydreame -

What's the old saying? - "There's something fishy in Denmark" (but then, I never fully understood the connection to pore ole Denmark?). But to get back on topic - FWIW - all I can add is BE VERY CAREFUL!! If you are paying a reasonable market price, that amount should compensate the seller for having the clear title, ie registered in his/her name. The old "I'm just selling this trailer for my parents / a friend" can sometimes be the 1st part of the scam. Do your research. Your state's DMV (or whoever in your state that collects the sales tax and handles titles/registrations/license plates) should be able to take the trailer's VIN and tell you the name of the registered owner. Deal with that owner! Or maybe just as good - do you have a buddy that is a cop? Take that buddy with you to meet up with this seller - I'd LOVE to be there for that!! If your seller refuses to register the trailer in his/her name, demand your down payment money back and run. There are LOTS of Airstreams on the market with honest sellers & clear titles. Most states, not all, but most, make it nearly impossible to get a clear title if the name of the seller on the Bill Of Sale does not match the name on the registered title - and for good reason.

Sorry for the long post, but I've been there, done that and lost well over $5,000 despite hiring a good lawyer. You can get judgements from the court in your favor, but that doesn't mean you'll ever see any money (example - child support for starters). In my case, judgements from a court don't mean squat to a full-blooded gypsy!! FWIW - Not all gypsy's live in Romania (or the UK). The bloodline is alive & thriving right here in the US.

Something is fishy. For some reason, something smells. My 0.02? Something stinks.
Oh yeah - Did I remember to say BEWARE??

Please do let us know how you decide to resolve this issue. I wish you the best of luck.
I love that old time rock & roll.
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:02 AM   #19
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I bought a trailer off of ebay too. I met the guy in another state (half-way) to trade trailer for money. He signed off the title (which I didn't really look closely at) and gave me a bill of sale. The title was in another person's name & then he signed it off after that. The BMV wouldn't take it when I went to title the trailer. I spoke with the seller after that (a nice young youth pastor), sent the title back to him & he had it retitled in his name. It took a long time, but everything worked out fine. I know that when purchasing/selling things on ebay we are overly sceptical. I sold the same trailer on ebay a couple of years later. I was more uneasy being the seller than I was being a buyer! Everything went fine on that end too. The people were very nice Christians (which also set my mind at ease, being one myself). Hopefully, you both are good people, but have a lot of mistrust that will be unfounded! Not to say to be stupid, however!

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Old 11-16-2008, 07:33 AM   #20
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You'r overthinking this. If the original owner has signed off the title, what's the problem. I'v done this myself. Why make the guy pay more tax? If you do he'll want it from you.
Take him the money, get the title and trailer and start your journey.
I personally would have not sent the deposit without seeing the trailer. I grap the money and go the next day after the auction, handing it over when satisfied with the trailer.
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:57 AM   #21
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Shacksman's got the right idea. I bought my trailer from a guy in Soddy Daisy, TN. The title was in his father-in-law's name who had passed away. I would have taken the trailer, no porblem, and had it registered in Florida without any difficulty. That did not happen since I needed a tag. The owner changed the title to his name and get the tag at his expense. I towed it to Florida and the rest is history.

I also would not give a retainer without first inspectig the trailer. I drove to Tennessee and took three hours looking at the trailer. I then gave him $500 to hold it for one week. I returned later with new tires ordered from The Tire Rack and had them mounted at Wal-Mart after jacking the trailer and removing. I then drove 5 miles and had the connector upgraded to the round seven pin. All went well.

This should be a lesson to everyone to control the emotion and practice due diligence even if it comes to an Airstream - it's like dangling a carrot for some. Irrational exuberance.
Joe DeFelice
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:47 AM   #22
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What's the old saying? - "There's something fishy in Denmark" (but then, I never fully understood the connection to pore ole Denmark?)
. . . this paraphrases a quote in Shakespere's Hamlet by the minor character Marcellus:
"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
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Old 11-16-2008, 11:40 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by dreadydreame View Post
well I checked the vin on there and it's not listed as stolen, I think the "open title" you mentioned is probably what is trying to happen. The question is who was the old owner and do they know their vehicle is being sold, this whole mess is making me sick to my stomach
I think you have hit on the problem and the solution. If you have problems with this, I 'd find another trailer. "Not listed as stolen" does not mean the trailer is not stolen-it means it is not reported stolen.

Is NC a notary state? If this sale occurs in a notary state, the owner must have his signature notarized on the title as seller. If your new seller offers to notarize the signature and has admitted he is selling it for a "friend", this is a bad deal.

At the very least, I'd insist on meeting the owner. If he can produce identification you are in better shape. For all you know, the real owner is dead or out of town and does not know where his/her trailer is.

Others have said it:there are other trailers out there.

In the event you buy a stolen trailer with the best of intentions, the real owner can claim it and you are out the money. Sure, you can sue and get a judgment but you have little chance of recovering your money. Additionally, you will appear to be some shaky in this deal if you buy something w/ a skip title.

Look elsewhere-it's better for your blood pressure.
"Turleen", the '57 Flying Cloud
Lone Jack, MO

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Old 11-16-2008, 01:30 PM   #24
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As others have indicated I would be inclined to Demand this guy meet ya at the BMV at which point he signs the title and U write him a check for the balance. If he refuses WALK AWAY no matter how good the deal is. PayPal will refund your deposit thru thier buyer protection Plan,under item not received. There are other Airstreams out there.
Roger & MaryLou
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Old 11-16-2008, 03:19 PM   #25
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Relax it may not be the perfect one for you. Meant to be or not meant to be that is the question.
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Old 11-16-2008, 04:16 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by dreadydreame View Post
I bid on an airstream on ebay, I paid the deposit using paypal. I get an email from the seller saying the day I chose for pickup would be fine and that I could call him. The next email says he would take cash for the balance when we pick it up. Ebay motors only has protection if you pay online I think.
So I call him to get dirrections and work out the day time for pickup. He says if we call him before we get to his town he will tow the airstream out to his wife's place of business near the highway (so it's not out of the way). Then I ask if he can go with us to the DMV to sign and notarize the title. He says his buddy is a notary and he will have the title all signed and notarized when we come, and we can just take it to DMV at that time. That he towed it from the campground and the old owner is still on the title. Do you think this is stolen? I have a really bad feeling. What should I do?
I'll take the opposing view of most of the posts here...(no ofense intended)

What I'm reading between the lines is a helpful seller (albeit probably a "flipper") and a purchaser with a slight case of "buyers remorse" or simply first time buyers nervousness.

If you're getting a signed title with the purchase there shouldn't be any problem. When I purchased my AS (on eBay) I also was supposed to pay a deposit thru Paypal and the balance in cash. I didn't care for paying a deposit sight unseen, and was able to work out with the seller to come pick it up and pay the full purchase price in cash. We drove down (across one state) to pick it up. The seller allowed us to fully look it over and then we paid in full (cash). Trailer and signed title were ours.

I don't know how much your winning bid was, but as a seller I would also require cash on delivery/pickup. I don't know the buyer, or how much they have in their account so a personal check is out of the question. A money order or Cashiers Check would not be satisfactory for me either, as I have a collection of counterfeits I have personally received in the old "Cash this and send me back the extra scams" Paying on-line incurrs a considerable expense for the seller on a big ticket item. I believe eBay motors protection only requires proof of payment. In addition to the title, make sure and get a signed bill of sale detailing exactly how much was paid and in what form. Verify the sellers ID.

Next step drive to the DMV and start the process to have the title placed in your name. Drive home and start the project! Enjoy!
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Old 11-16-2008, 04:31 PM   #27
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I have to agree with the GreatPumpkin. I bought my Sovereign from the grandson of the owner. It was in Michigan, which is not a Notary state. I sent a deposit and took a bank check for the balance and drove to Michigan. I got the title from the grandson and pulled the trailer home. Took the un-notarized title to my DMV where they informed me that most states no longer require notarization (pretty odd) and gave me a new title. The trailer had to be seen and the VIN checked by the agent, but that's all there was to it. If this thing is stolen, I doubt if anyone in Michigan will ever find it down here. It's a great trailer and I have to agree also with a previous post that you may be reading too much into this. Look over the title and take it to the DMV and change it over. If you don't live in the state where the trailer is located, I think you would be wise to pull it to your home state and then go to the DMV. I don't think there is a big market in stolen Airstreams is there? Why not ask if you can call the real owner to verify the sale or meet the seller at the park where the stream is parked. Surely there is an easy way to make this work.
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Old 11-16-2008, 04:40 PM   #28
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If you send me the information on who you are dealing with, I can run a quick check and let you know if you should be suspicious. I have access to all the right databases.


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