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Old 11-15-2008, 01:59 PM   #1
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what would you do? scam?

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?
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:07 PM   #2
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Pass........unless you bought it for under 1K; it might be worth the effort. Sounds strange, too.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:10 PM   #3
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but I have already paid $500 in deposit. IF you run a carfax will that tell you who the vehicle is registered to now? current owner? or will calling the DMV help? If it's a scam I have to report it to ebay and need some proof
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:13 PM   #4
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Take the paperwork to the DMV first. If you get title pay him and be off.

If you can't get a title. Get your deposit back.

Up until you pay him you have the leverage. Use it.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:15 PM   #5
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Did you ask for any members to check it out? We do that, for free, you know.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:34 PM   #6
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The idea about get the title first is good, I had just asked him to go to the DMV with me, but he didn't sound very willing. I will just leave my husband with him, while I go to get it registered and we won't pay until it's ok with DMV.
I did not know that members would do that for me, or free.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:45 PM   #7
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This might be an honest sale, but you need to be cautious. Since the trailer is not titled in the name of the seller, tell the seller that you would like to meet him. Also make sure that you get a bill of sale from the seller and demand identification when you meet him.

Cash payment is always a bad idea. I would not feel comfortable driving to a remote location to meet a stranger who asked me to bring a lot of cash with me. Tell the seller that you will be bringing a bank check with you, if that is not acceptable, no deal. I think you should be able to get your deposit back from PayPal if that happens.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:57 PM   #8
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You could also ask your local law officer to be close by, just in case this is a shake down.
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Old 11-15-2008, 03:44 PM   #9
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As they if it is too good to be true pass! WE all get fooled in life, the lesson to learn is to try to be fooled the least amount of times possible as you go through life.
If you gave deposit by credit card you can call your credit card company and say you did not receive anything for the money and they must give you your money back. If not I would steer clear and forget it.
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Old 11-15-2008, 04:10 PM   #10
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Out of curiosity.....what city/state is the seller in? Just curious....I am not in the market to buy but this story sounds familiar.
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Old 11-15-2008, 04:53 PM   #11
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If you are concerned about the trailer being stolen, you can use this link to check the serial number to see if it has been reported stolen:https://www.nicb.org/cps/rde/xchg/ni.../vincheck.html
An "open title" as it is called, is officially illegal, but many hobby resellers use this practice to avoid paying sales tax on a trailer they are just reselling. Sounds like the guy bought the trailer from the previous owner, and is hoping to sell it with an open title to avoid headaches and taxes.
I bought our current tow vehicle (2002 Silverado) with an open title. I went to the DMV the next morning, and got the title transferred with no problem.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:00 PM   #12
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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
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:23 PM   #13
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Sure hope it works out for you. I haven't been (yet!) in that situaution but I can just imagine how you are feeling.

I guess it is for that reason that I have generally dealt with dealers and paid a premium - although that experience has not always been great for me either!

Why can't everyone be as decent and honest as you and me!

Hope it all works out ok!

My motto these days is "plan for the worst and hope for the best!"


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Old 11-15-2008, 08:39 PM   #14
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I was reading the threads and someone else ran into this open title problem. Telling the seller that he must get it titled in his name is an option. I think I will demand that, and that if/when we buy we must meet him at the DMV and can have the title signed over to me there. Then I will pay him the balance. IF he does not agree to doing this I will ask for the deposit back.

I hope this mess does not ruin my dreams of owning. I feel my blood boiling.
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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 escrow.com -- 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
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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.
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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 -
WARNING . . . WARNING . . . WARNING . . . WARNING . . . WARNING . . . WARNING . .

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.
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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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