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Avoiding Online Scams When Buying a Used RV

There’s always a feeling of great satisfaction when shoppers sniff out a great bargain.  We all love the thrill of hunting down a sale and walking away with a great vehicle, a hot deal, and a little extra money in our back pockets. This makes Craigslist a dream come true for many used RV shoppers.  While it’s a great way to buy the things you want without paying the high prices,  there is one drawback.  Buyers and sellers are trying to get a steal of a deal, even if it means giving others the cold end of the deal. The bigger the object you’re trying to buy, the higher the price, the more you need to be aware of the possibility of fraud.  So when you’re trying to find the perfect RV for your upcoming vacation, you need to be able to detect a fishy situation. Here are two practical steps, from kirkland rv, that could save you:

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1) Keep Your Eyes Open

The saying “if it’s too good to be true, it is” resounds when it comes to the internet today. Be on the alert when you see an RV sale advertised at a price that seems too good to be true. It probably is. Additionally, keep your eyes open for these red flags:

~Spelling mistakes:  This might sound pretty unfair, after all, who has perfect spelling all the time?  But if an ad has bad grammar, sloppy typing, has little or no information, and no pictures, watch out!  Many of the people who run Craigslist scams are from overseas; some of them don’t even live in the U.S. or know English. Watching their spelling will help you know a little more about the person you’re dealing with.

~Sob stories: When a person contacts you and gives you some reason why they can’t meet in person, there’s usually a very good reason, and most of the time it’s not the one they give you.  People who refuse to get together are often out of state, or even off the continent. One of the main tactics people use is to buy your time and sympathy by including sad, personal details in their email. They might say they’re experiencing a divorce or loss of a job, and need to sell a quick, mobile deal. “My husband recently passed away, and I need to settle legal ownership of the RV before I can give you the title” should send an immediate red flag. A lot of unnecessary personal details or requests for understanding or sympathy is rarely a good sign. Don’t ever let these stories affect your decision or pressure you into a quick deal.

2) Know What You Want to Buy

Statistics show that people tend to buy the first vehicle they look at. Don’t do that.  Maybe the first one will be the best, but you should look around a bit all the same. When buying a used RV, an extra step of caution is required.  Before you start contacting someone off of Craigslist, do some research on the features for the model they are selling. Look up how much it’s going for brand new, compared to what it’s being sold for used. See what other customers have said about that particular model.

The danger of buying a used RV is that RV’s are used very little compared to other vehicles. This may seem good, but if an RV has been parked somewhere for a long time and not driven, it can begin to rust underneath.  You’ll be able to see how long an RV has sat in the sun based on how bright and clean the interior and exterior colors are. The plastic parts of the outside will become faded and brittle looking, and the inside will be washed out and patchy. That might not seem to bad at first, but what it looks like on the the surface is an indication of what lies beneath. Be sure you crawl beneath the RV, and make sure the structure is straight and not coated with rust.  Check the roof to be sure it isn’t punctured or cracked in any areas.  Make sure all the doors and windows close and lock properly.  Check the plumbing hoses, look for loose screws, dead brake lights, etc.

Craigslist calls for common sense and a dose of caution, especially when investing in a vehicle that should provide you with good use and enjoyment for years to come. Take the time to pay attention and look for signs of fraud. The only sure protection against fraud is by purchasing your RV from a reputable local dealer. Our staff is always available to answer questions and serve your needs. You can view our RV sales seattle listings here.

Kirkland RV Sales
13111 WA-99 Everett, WA 98204
(425) 710-0064