In the current downturn in the used car market we are hearing regularly about so called “car matchmakers” and the dubious service they offer.
These scams have, however, been going on for quite a while.
I have a friend who, believe it or not, is as sharp as a knife and he rang me after he’d been trying to sell his car with Autotrader with no success.
He really was quite desperate, he told me that a representative from some company had contacted him and told him he had a buyer for his car at the agreed price but he could not action this contact until he had been paid a £75 “finder’s fee”.
I, of course, told him that in my opinion this was a scam and that if there really was a buyer waiting why not suggest signing an agreement to pay a commission on the successful transaction. Of course this was not acceptable to the “matchmaker” as it was basically a scam.
However my ‘sharp’ friend needed to sell his car urgently as he had to buy another car that he had already committed to so decided to take a chance as the representative sounded genuine. Of course when he had paid his fee the scammer became increasingly more difficult to contact until finally my friend realized he’d been had.
I had a similar experience myself a few years back and decided to string the guy along. He made approximately 20 calls to me and I kept saying that I had a buyer for my car but could he keep in touch just in case. It was very enjoyable knowing that this shyster was wasting his time and money trying to con me whilst I had no intention of ever doing business with him
Motor Trade Insider Tips:
If you have advertised your car on an internet car website and someone calls to say they have a “customer” but wants money upfront it will always be a con. If this person/company has seen your car advertised then the chances are a genuine customer would have also.
There are no guarantees. No matter how desirable or cheap your car may seem it doesn’t mean it will sell quickly, there is a massive choice of cars out there and the best way to sell it is to advertise on the biggest site, currently Autotrader and remember the 3 “P’s” Preparation, Price and Presentation. If you follow these guidelines and have as many pictures as possible you will have a good chance of making that sale (Your car is 6 times more likely to sell with at least 1 picture than just a description)
Lastly never, ever give your details to someone claiming to have a buyer for your car, if it was that easy to match someone with an exact car we would have done it years ago.
All secondhand cars are unique and no one will buy it from you until they have seen it, touched it, driven it and haggled over it.