From the aptly named cars.com to autotrader.com, vehix.com and even eBay, there are more ways than ever to buy cars sight “unseen” online.
Here is the funny thing: While most American consumers arenâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢t 100 percent trusting of used car lost lizards wearing spray-on hair and clip-on ties, apparently they are trusting of strangers whose hands they canâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢t even shake before sealing the deal.
ItâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢s one thing to buy a Mercedes Benz online, but another to buy yourself a winter beater or a âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨Ã€Ãº93 Corolla for your daughter in college. ThatâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢s why carsforagrand.com works. The sheer convenience of car shopping online can outweigh the odds of getting shafted for $350.
While the cheap car shopping portal says it searches for sweet deals all over the Net, our randomly selected vehicle listings were onlyâˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ linked from eBay motors, which is an efficient business model but poses a problem for shoppers. Just because the current bid for a car is less than $1,000 doesnâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢t mean it will sell for $1,000 or less.
I found 15 used cars in my backyard, including an âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢85 Oldsmobile Regency ($605) and a 2006 Mini Cooper ($710). And that brings us to one more hitch with buying a car from a virtual parking lot: Getting it home. If your dream machine is on the other side of the country – even if it is $1,000 or less -âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ most car shopping sites leave getting it homeâˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ to the buyer. And if you take a plane to pick up that new ride and it turns out there was some voodoo worked with the pics and the odometer has Duct tape over it, that lonely return planeâˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ ride will be a tough pill to swallow.