1. Never be desperate
The path to losing your hard earned money or your valuable car starts by you being desperate for one reason or the other. Conmen are adept at appealing to your desires and more so when you’re desperate. This is usually seen in people who are looking to sell quickly due to financial distress. Any offer of cash is usually received with enthusiasm without due regard to risk and the conman will wet your appetite with offers of instant cash. Its never the best time to sell your car when desperate. If the situation dictates it, then the best option is to sell your car to a trusted dealer. They will give you an offer way below the market value but better take that than lose your car.
2. When the deal is too good think twice
This adage is more relevant today than it was ever before. Conmen are becoming smarter and they are devising new ways to swindle you out of your money. One of the most common gimmicks we’ve seen on Facebook is where a seller advertises a very neat car for a price way below the market. They will sponsor the advert and people will fall over themselves to get the deal. When you contact the seller, they will promptly inform you that someone is on the way to buy the car and the best you can do is put a deposit down immediately to reserve it. They will ask for a substantial amount like 100K but will accept anything as low as 10k if you push it. They will pressure you to move quickly. Once you send the money, your goose is cooked. At the initial stages, they will receive your calls but take you round in circles to buy time as they swindle other gullible people. Finally when they hit their target, the Facebook page will be deactivated and the mobile phones switched off. At this stage, there’s nothing you can do other than accept you’ve been screwed.
3. Take your time
A conman’s worst enemy is time and many fault lines are exposed over time. Let the deal play out over time but don’t be indecisive. There’s nothing as annoying as dealing with an indecisive person and you can lose out on a good deal by being one. A period of 2 to 3 days is enough to iron out the kinks and get a good deal. Anything above this is an unnecessary waste of time for everyone involved unless there’s a compelling reason to take longer than that.
4. Be careful with Facebook and other social media platforms
Social media is a good place for people to socialize and share information but not really to trade especially among strangers. They have weak controls and anyone can basically sell anything without any oversight. Of course there are plenty of honest sellers in there and you can occasionally get a good deal but chances of getting shafted are pretty high. Facebook Pages that are a few days old and are advertising crazy deals are most suspect. If you are selling your car, be careful of some websites that generally tend to attract conmen.
5. Do your homework
To be informed is to be empowered. Before you decide on buying a particular car, it’s important to research and understand everything about that car. Besides the external looks that are more obvious, there are important details underneath. Just because a car looks like a 4×4 does not mean its actually a 4×4. Do yourself a solid favor by reading our detailed reviews before heading out to buy that car.( Find the reviews here: https://topcar.co.ke/vehicle/)
6. Check the paperwork
Before committing to anything, make sure that you thoroughly go over the paper work. Check the logbook and ensure that; the owners name, registration number, engine size, engine number, VIN number and color of the car match.
7. Countercheck details with NTSA
Make sure the details are counterchecked with NTSA and everything is as it is in the logbook. Never rely on the seller to do the search for you. Do it yourself or use someone you trust.
8. Seek second opinion
If you are not a seasoned car buyer or seller, seek second opinion from someone who is and let them accompany you along the way. Trust their judgement and never go with your emotions.
9. Sign an agreement
You don’t need a lawyer or a complicated agreement. Just state the terms of the agreement as elaborate as possible and get both parties to sign. The document should also be signed by a witness who can be relied upon to testify if the deal goes south.
10. Pay through the Bank
Never pay or receive money in cash. If the buyer or seller is avoiding a bank transaction, then they may have something to hide. A bank transfer is the safest way to pay as it leaves an irrefutable trail. Back this up with a signed agreement and