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We all know about the revolutionary online shopping behemoth that is eBay. It has changed the way people buy and sell both new and used goods and has set new standards for mutual trust, integrity and professional relationships online.

The idea of eBay, an online auction community which operates on a system whereby payment is received by the seller before the purchased goods are sent out would still be branded as a ludicrous if pitched today, but the proof is in the pudding and the fact is eBay works and it is here to stay.

The feedback system is the oil that lubricates the inner cogs of eBay; every time a buyer receives their goods they are able to leave a feedback rating for the seller, meaning that if the seller consistently fails to deliver goods or if the goods are faulty, the seller will have a bad feedback rating and other buyers will avoid them.

It is not just obsessive Leyton Orient fans looking for a 1976 away kit that use eBay, it also plays host to respected ‘power sellers’ who peddle high volumes of valuable goods. The internal structure put in place means that eBay provides a unique ecommerce opportunity for budding retailers to set up their mini shopping sub-sites that are subsumed within the popular, intuitive user interface. Of course the ‘Motors’ sub-site also falls under the eBay umbrella; buying a car however is somewhat different from making a spur of the moment bid on those sure-to-be-fake ray ban sunglasses.

When buying a car online there are specific considerations to take into account. Not receiving the goods is not a concern in this instance as you will almost always go to collect the car yourself, but is important to treat the transaction just like any other second hand car purchase. If you can, view the car before making a potentially winning bid. Many sellers stipulate that upon winning the auction, there is an obligation to purchase the item regardless of the condition you find it in, although most will confess to any scuffs and scrapes early on.

When you travel to view, buy, or indeed to sell your own vehicle, ensure that you meet the seller in a neutral location in an open space that is easily visible to the public. There have been numerous horror stories in the press over the past few years about people going to pick up cars with thousands of pounds in cash on their person, only to be ambushed and robbed upon arriving at a prearranged, secluded meeting point.  Always make sure you know exactly where it is you are going, and take someone along with you if possible.

If you are using your own car as part-payment, ensure that the seller is happy with the condition of it beforehand, either by arranging a viewing or emailing photos. eBay Motors can be a dangerous environment for those with more money than sense. The fact that online purchases are less painless to make as you are not parting with physical cash means that the burning desire you have for that BMW X6 with leopard skin upholstery will be more likely to manifest itself on a site like eBay Motors. Be considered and controlled with your bids, you may come to regret it if you win…

On the whole, eBay Motors is populated by trustworthy, genuine buyers and sellers. As with any aspect of life however there are those that will try to catch you out, or worse still, steal from you. You can access eBay Motor’s safe buying guide here. Be aware, communicate effectively and don’t make wild gambles. Happy motoring!