eBay is the world’s most popular auction site and can make buying a breeze. But how does it work when it comes to buying a used van? Dan Powell, Editor of Honest John Vans, explains.
Buying a second-hand van can be a time consuming and occasionally nerve racking process, with thousands of private sellers and traders vying for your attention. Wouldn’t it be great if you could simply browse all of the deals in one place?
Well, you can, thanks to eBay. It has more than 30,000 listings, which makes it a great one stop shop for a huge variety of vans being sold by dealers, hometraders and private individuals.
Getting started is easy too. And once you’re signed up to an eBay account you can set-up search alerts, enter your location and specify the type of van that you want. Everything will then appear in the form of a simple notification to your email inbox or smartphone.
How does eBay work for van buyers?
Although eBay is billed as an auction site, vans can be bought in a variety of different ways. These include:
Auction: Where the vehicle is sold to the person who makes the highest bid within a timed bidding process.
Classified Advert: Buyers contact the seller directly to view the van before paying the advertised price.
Buy It Now: Vehicles are advertised at a set price and sold instantly online.
Best Offer: You offer the seller a price on a Buy It Now item and they decide whether to accept, reject, or counter your offer.
Your rights when buying a van on eBay
If you buy from a private seller on eBay then the van must be ‘as described’, and if it does not meet this admittedly-vague description, you can raise a dispute with eBay.
Buying from a dealer on eBay grants you additional legal rights, as you would buying from any other business under UK law. Businesses selling on eBay must provide certain information to you under the Electronic Commerce Regulations 2013, including full contact details, membership of any trade bodies, clear pricing, delivery and tax charges, plus a VAT number if applicable.
Bid to win
With an auction-style listing, timing is everything. Make a careful note of when the auction ends, and be ready a good five minutes before the sale expires. Enter the absolute maximum you are prepared to pay 30 seconds before the end of the auction, but don’t confirm your bid until there are only five seconds remaining. This will mean other bidders won’t have enough time to enter another bid if you have outbid them, and although the same applies if your bid isn’t the highest, it also stops you from going over your budget in the heat of the moment.
Stay safe when paying
If you have won the van it’s important to ensure you take precautions when paying and collecting it.
Paypal payments offer a degree of protection and arguably more so for buyers than sellers, and the fee charged for the service comes out of the seller’s payment, so it is a good option for buyers.
Cash in hand works if you are comfortable carrying the required amount of money – you may be able to arrange the exchange at your bank if the seller agrees. Electronic payments are virtually instantaneous between most banks, but you can also use the Government’s CHAPS system for added security. Payments made via ESCROW are also secure, but only if the associated company is legitimate, so always be cautious.
When collecting the van, ensure all the paperwork tallies and you have organised the insurance and road tax before driving off. Ensure the name and address on the V5C (logbook) matches the details of the seller and location of the vehicle. Always ask the seller for two forms of identification to ensure they are the person that’s listed on the V5C registration document.