Dos and Don’ts of Buying a Truck Online

buy pickup onlineIt’s vitally important to know what type of truck you need before you start your search. Do you need something that can haul a large trailer or something more economic? New or used? Diesel or gas? What about comfort, performance, safety, price; how do those factor in? There are lots of choices to consider when looking for a truck, it’s best to research these options before looking at auto listings.

Is an established dealer better than an individual seller? Don’t be too sure, both have pros and cons to consider. For dealers who have a dealership they have to juggle both consumers online and off. Because of this, sometimes you might lose out on a vehicle that you’ve already put a deposit on if they find a customer that buys it at the dealership before you get to it.

Also another thing to consider is the fact that some dealers might try to keep that deposit either by getting you to purchase a different vehicle or just flat out refusing to give you a refund. Emails might help with getting a deposit back by acting like a buyer’s order, which shows the agreed-on price and which truck you intend to buy. However, anything that is agreed to over the phone or through email cannot be considered binding because there are no signatures.

As to individual sellers, it’s key to do your research. Make sure to read feedback that has been posted by other customers. Don’t be afraid to ask to see the truck in person — if they resist it’s possible that the vehicle doesn’t exist. Ask for more photos, specifically of areas not shown previously. Ask for the vehicle identification number (VIN) so that you can look the truck up yourself with companies like AutoCheck and CARFAX. See if you can find a mechanic to inspect the truck; this is especially important if the vehicle is far enough away that you can’t get to it yourself.

Regardless who you go with, it’s key to ask questions to make sure that they are reliable; always trust but verify. This is particularly vital when paying online because if you go with the wrong seller then it might be difficult to get your money back. The best ways to pay are through credit cards or Paypal. Both have ways of protecting your money if you don’t get the vehicle you were promised.

Photo credit: misterfnygy / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

 

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