Thread Number: 72282  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Hey old car guys, how to sell vintage car safely ?
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Post# 955538   9/1/2017 at 02:09 (267 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

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I'm selling a vintage car, and have it listed on local Craiglist. I've never done this before so I'm looking for advice and input.
Since listing, I've received text messages from two different people, one from N.Y the other from N.J (Im on the west coast) one asked if I had a Paypal acct, the other demanded that I "email them now" (I didn't)
For reason, I don't know why, both messages made me uneasy.
My ideal transaction would be done inside my bank, where the cash would be deposited, and the title signed over there, with the car in the bank parking lot for them to take there after.
I'm I being ove cautious here?
Is PayPal a safe way collect $
Any input or suggestions will be appreciated

Post# 955543 , Reply# 1   9/1/2017 at 03:49 (267 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

I'd say not over cautious.  Have read about craigs/paypal scams but since I use neither didn't make specific mental notes.

Post# 955544 , Reply# 2   9/1/2017 at 04:09 (267 days old) by washdaddy (Baltimore)        

washdaddy's profile picture
I personally haven't dealt with those services but a friend of mine has dealt with Paypal and wasn't happy with the way they were treated.

Whatever you decide to do, you are the one that has to be willing to accept the outcome with whatever the deal is that you agree to. If you aren't comfortable with it...than DON'T DO IT...plain and simple. And if the other party involved becomes insistent or adamant to do things they're way....step back and re-evaluate it cause something could be up.

GOOD LUCK with the sale of your vehicle! Wishing you all the best!

Post# 955547 , Reply# 3   9/1/2017 at 04:29 (267 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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PayPal has had many scams going on about changing account information, updating payment info. etc.

PayPal will only address you by your name. And check the email addresses for the reply. It should say @ So if you see "Dear Customer or Dear email address. or anything besides your name...forward that mail to

I hope this helps a bit.

Post# 955573 , Reply# 4   9/1/2017 at 09:23 (266 days old) by cadman (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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I've bought and sold cars on CL and a couple of thoughts...

If we're talking a transaction where it's reasonable a person would pay in cash, meet in a local spot, your bank parking lot or even in the parking near a police station. Lots of people and cameras around. If the payment is by certified or bank check, then definitely meet in your bank/credit union and verify everything inside before handing over the title.

Paypal will take a cut if funds are transferred that way, I try to avoid it unless we're talking about a deposit to hold the car. As a buyer, I've been burnt when a seller has made an agreement with me, only to lose out because I'm a few hours away, or in one case, a second party put a deposit down through PP. The thought hadn't occurred to me.

Make duplicate bills of sale and get both of you to sign each. In our state once you sign over a title, the car is theirs and there's no further action required on your part (plates don't go with it either). If the guy never titles the car, or gets into trouble with it and there's no plates or way to ID it, the cops are going to come knocking on your door. Tough to prove you sold it 6 months ago without a signature.

Post# 955575 , Reply# 5   9/1/2017 at 09:30 (266 days old) by dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        

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I always bring a friend with me when I sell anything.

Post# 955576 , Reply# 6   9/1/2017 at 09:34 (266 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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Isn't there a reliable classic car dealer near you?

Post# 955577 , Reply# 7   9/1/2017 at 09:40 (266 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

ea56's profile picture
trust your instincts, they will never lead you in the wrong direction! All the advice from the other posts is very good advice! You can never be too cautious conducting a transaction like this. Also, if you accept a cashiers check, be sure you do so in your bank, and have the bank verify that it is a legitimate check before closing the deal. I've seen cases on Judge Judy where even bank verification proved to be wrong and the poor seller was left holding the bag. I think that an electronic wire transfer of funds from the buyers bank to yours would be the safest way to go, and if the buyer is on the up and up this should not be a problem.

Good luck my friend!

Post# 955584 , Reply# 8   9/1/2017 at 10:54 (266 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        
Thank guys

stan's profile picture
Since I'm in no hurry to sell it, I'll try to be as patient, and cautious as I can.
I thought it was weird that someone demanded I email them now.. and did so through a text?
Why not call? WTF.. Doesn't anyone talk on the phone anymore?
I'm not trying to rip anyone off, it's a beautiful car..and being sold at fair price, but I don't want to get taken to the cleaners either! The car deserves a good home too LOL

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Post# 955589 , Reply# 9   9/1/2017 at 11:21 (266 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean 1986 YouTube. )        

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Craigslist is a good place if you want to buy, but if you want to sell, I would go to a different website. I am selling a 2006 Kenmore front load washer and dryer in Shopper Square, because I don't want to many unsolicited offers, you can can get a lot of unsolicited offers on Craigslist.

Post# 955590 , Reply# 10   9/1/2017 at 11:25 (266 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        
Hey Stan

ea56's profile picture
the thought just occured to me, why not try Hemmings Classic Cars to sell your beautiful Olds? You'll get a very large audience of people that are looking for what you have to sell. Also, they may have some helpful hints for you to expedite the sale and make it safer for you too.


Post# 955615 , Reply# 11   9/1/2017 at 14:36 (266 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        
That is a nice ride.

goatfarmer's profile picture

Your way sounds like the best way. Meet at the bank, exchange payment and title, everyone happy. Someone that want's to do everything over the Internet, or demands a call would never hear from me.

Are there any local car clubs that might assist, or know of a buyer?

Post# 955619 , Reply# 12   9/1/2017 at 15:18 (266 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

iheartmaytag's profile picture

Hate to be the poop in the pool, but if there is a dishonest person out there trying to do something dishonest; there are no safe ways.


As you mentioned the safest scenario would be meet at their bank (locally) get funds delivered to you by means of certified check or cash.   Sign instrument of transfer. 


If they insist on any other means, especially if they are using out of state funds,  you hold said vehicle and title for a minimum of 10 days, I would suggest longer, closer to 20 to insure funds are secure before signing transfer and granting possession. 


Don't forget to copy their driver's license, and proof of insurance.  This varies by state, of course, but in Kansas, a no-fault state.  If you sell a vehicle to someone that does not have insurance, you can be held liable if they are involved in any incident that involves physical or property damage. 


ALSO, I watch Judge Judy, Fill out a bill of sale outlining your terms of sale, "AS IS" No implied warranty, or guaranty of condition  etc.  Just in case the fool blows the engine and tries to come back on you.   PSST--take pictures. 


After years of being a Credit Union Loan Officer, and a Collector. I have seen quite a few try to pull tricks. 


Post# 955649 , Reply# 13   9/1/2017 at 18:48 (266 days old) by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        
Me and my mom may have to deal with this...

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My brother is hospitalized with severe alcoholism and liver damage and we may have to sell some of his property if he passes or if he agrees to it. He has a 1966 orange Ford Mustang in her garage. People who have seen the car want to buy it. I am thinking when the time comes to use The Mustang Trader (I don't know if there is something like that for Oldsmobile). Unfortunately, some time back, one of his friends got drunk and took the engine apart and then caught pneumonia and passed away, so the engine is apart and the car is on jackstands. How might this be handled?

Post# 955654 , Reply# 14   9/1/2017 at 19:35 (266 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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sell the Mustang as a project, AS IS.

Post# 955683 , Reply# 15   9/2/2017 at 00:21 (266 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        
Thanks guys

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For all the good suggestions. I've since altered my ad, and stated how I want the transaction to go, and have added "as is" to the ad. I have typed
(with a old typewriter) out a bill of sale that can have names dates and price filled in, and stated "as is" on it as well. Hemmings is a good idea! (Thanks Edde) Maybe Hagerty? And there is a local car club.. I'm not a member but could find out where they hold up. Hadn't thought of Shopers Square! Not sure if I know how to post the craigslist link there, but il try.
Oh and yes, I've had two unsolicited offers from people that want to "sell the car for me"
I shouldnt care...but I'd like to have the car go to the right person. The original owner was a member of the Oldsmobile Club of America. His briefcase still sits in the trunk of the car with his original sales receipt and all his service receipts. He obviously loved his car and took good care if it, as I have since I've had it. It would be nice to have the next guy do the same. It may sounud kinda silly but I hope that's what happens.
Thanks again guys, keep em coming

Post# 955685 , Reply# 16   9/2/2017 at 00:47 (266 days old) by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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Lovely car, Stan.

I'm a member of a couple of old car clubs, and their publications always have free classified ads for members. Its likely the Oldsmobile Club does this as well. If you're not a member you'd presumably have to pay to insert an ad, but it would improve the chances of the car going to someone who'd cherish it, not restomod it ( or worse.)

You can also put "No dealers" in your ad if you don't want them to contact you.

Post# 955753 , Reply# 17   9/2/2017 at 13:01 (265 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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Good for you that you're concerned that the car goes to the right kind of owner. That is one very beautiful and desirable collector car and it would be a shame if it got turned into a low-rider with low-profile tires and a low-class paint job. The car club I belong to, Great Autos of Yesteryear (GAY), has a publication with vehicle ads. They have a Bay Area chapter too. Many of the members are crazy for convertibles.


Best of luck selling your car. It must be difficult saying goodbye. cry



CLICK HERE TO GO TO twintubdexter's LINK

Post# 955774 , Reply# 18   9/2/2017 at 17:07 (265 days old) by 48bencix (Sacramento CA)        
DMV online

Be sure to go to the California DMV online site and see the information there. Last time I sold a car we met in the bank parking lot to look at the car. I accepted cash and took it into the bank and filled out the DMV forms and made copies.


Post# 956327 , Reply# 19   9/5/2017 at 20:33 (262 days old) by lotsosudz (Sacramento, CA)        
Auto Trader Magazine

lotsosudz's profile picture
Check in the newsstands for this magazine. Its a great place to advertise a vintage car. They also are fairly structured with some safety's built into their system. Just Sayin! Its also Free to pick up.

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