Pros and Cons of buying Camper on Ebay (Without test driving)

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by FrCrilly, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. FrCrilly

    FrCrilly Read Only Funster

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    Hi All,

    I’m planning to buy a used camper and I have noticed that there is great choice on Ebay, with campers that meet my requirements being based in different countries. (I’m based in Ireland). I’m considering arranging to buy one from the comfort of my laptop, without test driving and only travelling to pick the vehicle up.

    The advantages of this approach include:
    1. I can potentially find a bargain by underbidding on a number of vehicles.
    2. As already stated, the choice would be considerably greater.

    The disadvantages include:
    1. Without test driving, I would lose a deposit if my bid was successful and I decided not to proceed with buying the vehicle.
    2. Without test driving, I am more likely to end up with a crock/banger.

    (I could potentially get around these disadvantages by ensuring the vehicle has a valid MOT (or equivalent) and ensuring the seller is a regular Ebay seller with plenty of positive feedback)

    If anyone has any other information that I should take into account before deciding on this approach, that would be most welcome.

    Thanks In Advance for all responses.
     
  2. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Personaly I dont have a problem buying from ebay.
    Keep your witts about you and you can save a lot of cash.
    On the other hand,if its NOT what it says it is,you are perfectly within your rights to walk away from the deal.
    But always remember BUYER BEWARE, but that also is the case with buying used from a dealer.
    There are a lot of bargains out there at the moment if you have the readies and no trade in.
     
  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    How can I put this delicately ? You must be mad.

    It's just about the most complicated thing you will ever buy.

    There has to be a better plan, like organising a long holiday visit. Maybe even to Germany.
     
  4. eclaire

    eclaire Read Only Funster

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    HPI it!! We have HPI several RV's over the last few weeks. One of these is currently still on ebay and I was assured by the seller that it was HPI clear. We checked it ourselves and it came through as a cat b write off.
    The HPI will also give you an idea of mileage.
    We have bought cars, motorbikes and caravans off ebay and only one was duff - we just walked away when we went to collect.
    claire:-}
     
  5. Gonewiththewind

    Gonewiththewind Read Only Funster

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    IMHO I agree with Snowbird and Eclaire. Do your research, do a detail check sellers Feedback, see what he has been selling and what buyers thought. If you do find that there is outstanding debt, tell seller you are prepared to continue if you are able to settle debt and pay seller remaining cash, if he/she is gen then they will co-operate with you. I have bought Bikes, Cars and and sold same. Paypal is a safe payment system.
    Do your homework, proceed carefully.
    Best of luck

    Don
     
  6. GregM

    GregM Read Only Funster

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    From experience of buy and selling cars on ebay, if you go to view a vehicle before bidding and you like it then generally the seller will accept an 'off ebay' offer and sell it to you there and then. There are obvious the odd few that won't, especially if there are a number of bidders.

    In your position I would think about looking at a few, arrange to view them all, in order of your preference. View the first, if you like then make a fair offer, if not move to the next one.

    You can also do an HPI check over the phone, so you can (Must) run a check once you have viewed the camper.

    That is my personal opinion, but I have only traveled up to 100 miles to view when doing it.
     
  7. Tony Santara

    Tony Santara Funster

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    I've done this myself in the past and although I've saved some money on the cost compared with dealer prices I've also spent money putting right work needed on the vehicle.
    Even if advertised with full MOT that does not take into consideration other problems such as water ingress which could potentially cost a fortune .

    As previous posters have said do your homework HPI and ask questions of the seller about appliances fitted etc, if possible ask a friend near to the seller to have look at it

    Would I do it again yes

    Good luck :thumb:
     
  8. barnybg

    barnybg Read Only Funster

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    Ebay bargains ???

    Dont see a problem with EBAY,read the advert very carefully,ask the right answers,if not answered ,dont bid unless a complete bargain,i never pay 'up front' or even a deposit,as stated there are some 'porkies' told,so if bidding or win,THEN travel to see it,try it,check it over,but tell seller first,as some say no tyre kickers,i couldn't agree more,unless the advert is bull,especially when your handing over £5000 to £20,000 upwards !!!!!
    We went to see a £1000 caravan,pictures looked good (beware they all look good with pics)travelled 100 miles after speaking to sellers,and yes it was a 'bargain' no damp,blah,blah blah,we arrived and thought it was scrap !!My Mrs didn't even get out of the car,my feet stuck to the floor when i walked in it,it buzzed of all sorts including damp,doors where hanging off etc.
    I purchased my 6 berth Eldiss from EBAY,and have been very happy with it,it hasn't missed a beat and done us proud 5 + years on,and we still have her.
    Sometimes,there will be 'something' that needs doing or changing but that's all relative to the cost of purchase,if your saving £5000 and all it needs is say a boiler or a windscreen or even engine/gearbox !!!! its still a saving of £5000 or whatever.
     
  9. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    The logistics of this idea do not stack up.

    Buyer in Ireland, vans in UK and unproven condition, photos always LOOK good.

    Buyer has to come to anywhere in UK......... transport?

    Arrives and finds it OK, has to arrange insurance, ferry, when arrives in Ireland, has to import it wilh all the beaurocratic nonsence that goes with it, import duties?

    Arrives and finds it a 'dog' wasted time and money, has to go back.

    Too much hard work, people spend a lot of time before making a decision as to buying a van, its not like buying a car.

    Peter
     
  10. lebesset

    lebesset Read Only Funster

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    so don't buy from a dealer in uk either peter ?
    see something that sounds good , but a wasted trip ?

    I wanted a left hooker , saw dealers advertising them at sensible prices , came to the uk and did a lot of miles to look ...nothing offered the value for money that was suggested

    went back to france , paid a little more but got something I was happy with
     
  11. evans88

    evans88 Read Only Funster

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    The biggest potential problem in buying a motorhome from the comfort of your armchair is damp. Mechanical problems are easily repairable but damp is a whole new ball game. I know as I've experienced the problem in caravans - twice and boy did it cost me.

    So whatever you decide please bear in mind damp issues: a dealer might not buy a damp van so the only and best way to get rid is on ebay.

    Be careful.
     
  12. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Buying in UK has the same problems in some ways as most vans need servicing etc before handover.

    Very few vans are up to full spec on a forecourt and an insurance based warranty in Ireland?...........................

    Peter
     
  13. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    have you looked into the customs and excise and import duties if importing to southern Ireland.

    if i remember correctly a van of less than 3500kg will cost €50 and over 3500kg its a percentage of market value...much more expensive!!!!
     
  14. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    I'm in the 'you must be mad' camp I'm afraid. You simply cannot get a 'good' van without doing the 'legwork' (or ferry/car/flight work). Photos certainly do lie and unfortunately owners do too, whether purposely or not. What they think of as being in A1 condition could be, to you, a heap of junk with loads of problems ...

    A good few years ago, before 'ebay', we went to look at a Fiat 126, on the phone the lady owner said it was in very good condition, no rust at all, just odd marks where the pain needed touching up (ie as in scratch etc). As it was some distance away we 'interrogated' her at length, we then travelled there to see this wonderful car ... what a load of cr*p! It looked like it has massive measles as there was that much rust on it - if there was such a thing as a machine gun that created rust, it would have been a 'victim'! :Eeek:

    When I asked her why she had said it didn't have any rust, she still insisted it didn't ... amazingly she thought unless it had HOLES it wasn't rust!!!!!:Eek!:

    The only sure way to get what you want, in the condition you expect, is to go and see any potential campers personally, check, check and check again their condition. Don't be embarrassed to have a really good old poke around inside/outside and ask question after question, spend as much time on it as you need, don't be rushed or swayed by the seller, as its probably not peanuts your looking to pay, so until you are satisfied, either to buy, or not, in which case walk away, there will be others.

    If you are serious I suggest you arrange to have a 'working holiday' and come over for a couple of weeks but be prepared to travel and be realistic, visiting dealers and also private sellers - there are bargains to be had but sometimes such 'bargains' don't end up being so in the longer term.

    Be careful out there!
     
  15. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

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    buying a van is hard work finding what you want if you think you can buy one from a photo then I also think you are mad and agree with the above
     
  16. Bryan

    Bryan Read Only Funster

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    Hi,

    We have bought motorhomes from ebay without seeing them, and sold them to people who bought without seeing them. One of these was in fact sold to a gentleman from southern Ireland.

    They paid their deposit and then saw the vehicle 'in the flesh' before paying the balance.

    Yes, there may be things that need attention that you were not aware of after all, they are not new vehicles. Of course, new vehicles have faults too.

    We have never bought from a dealer because the savings by buying from ebay more than cover any minor faults that exist.

    Would we buy blind again? Definitely. As long as your bid is based on buying blind, you can't really go wrong.

    There is a cracking motorhome for sale on ebay at the moment and it is located near Heysham so easy to get it to Ireland.

    Here's a link to it :Smile:

    Best deal on motorhomes on ebay :Wink:

    Regards
    Bryan
     
  17. dealgan

    dealgan Read Only Funster

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    I've bought a few cars on ebay, blind. All have worked out fine, but I'm talking sub 2k.

    I'd be worried about damp as well. As someone said above, mechanical problems are fine and most can be fixed relatively cheaply. Damp in a motorhome ? Potentially huge cost.
    - Can you get an inspection done ? Surely someone does a callout inspection service for a MH, similar to the AA/RAC inspections for cars ?


    I would have thought some obliging funster nearby would go and have a look, at least to say "its a pile of crap" or "its exactly as described" .. but I guess funsters are all too busy having fun :Laughing:
     
  18. ourcampersbeentrashed

    ourcampersbeentrashed Funster

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  19. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    Buying from eBay is fine and you can certainly get a bargain.....but you could also end up with a 'lemon' if you are not careful.

    I would recommend you view before buying. Any genuine seller will not have a problem with this and if they do, then it's far too risky to bid on.

    When I was looking around for a campervan I looked at a few on eBay and believe me there are some right shockers. I drove a round trip of 120 miles to view one which the advert description read fine, but when I got there it was quite a different story. It had stood for years in a field, there was no battery so couldn't even start the engine, and it was full of damp and mould.

    View first......or pay with heavy regrets later.
     
  20. WESTERNSTAR1

    WESTERNSTAR1 Read Only Funster

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    HI.WE BOUGHT OUR MERCEDES HYMER 720 FROM EBAY.
    IT WAS LISTED AS A BUY IT NOW.
    CHAP PUT 12 MONTHS TICKET ON IT AND TAXED IT FOR US.
    HE COLLECTED US FROM THE STATION AND GAVE US AN HOUR WITH IT TO MAKE SURE WE WERE HAPPY WITH THE PURCHASE.
    IT WAS AROUND HALF THE PRICE OF OTHERS GENERALLY.
    EBAY IS SUPERB BUT KEEP YOUR WITS ABOUT YOU.
    HAPPY HUNTING
    DON.:thumb:
     
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