eBay Safe Buying Tips

It’s important to remember that eBay is like an online flea market or swap meet. There will always be someone trying to sell things that most people wouldn’t touch. The trouble is that online, when you can’t physically view the merchandise, so these people can be a little harder to spot. Here are some tips to make your eBay experience more enjoyable and safe.

Know Your Seller…

This, by far, is the most important research you must do before placing your bid on eBay. Getting to know a little about your seller before you bid on their item will make for a much smoother purchase.

1) Review the seller’s feedback and member profile.

Check the seller’s eBay feedback before you make a bid. The feedback rating will give you a good idea about the trustworthiness of your trading partner. One or two neutrals or negatives can be overlooked due to the fickle nature of some buyers, however if a trend of poor service or item quality comments is visible you may want to avoid the seller entirely. If a seller has no feedback or negative feedback, contact the seller before bidding to get a feel for their customer service.

2) Ask the seller questions.

Email the seller with questions by clicking the “Ask seller a question” link. If you have won an item, you can request the seller’s contact information to get more information.

3) Review the seller’s policies on shipping, payments and returns.

Shipping and handling – Review shipping and handling charges before you bid, and ask to have your item shipped and insured in a traceable manner. Avoid sellers who either won’t disclose or charge exorbitant shipping charges.

Payment – Consider paying with PayPal or with a credit card, as most offer 100% consumer protection. Be careful when sellers only accept one form of payment, especially when the seller requests cash. NEVER PAY WITH CASH and use caution when paying with cash equivalents such as wire transfers.

Returns – Examine the seller’s return policy carefully before you bid. Contact the seller before you bid with any questions about the return policy. Some questions you might ask include how long do you have to return the item, who pays shipping and handling, and under what circumstances can you return the item.

Know your item…

Read the description fully. Most misunderstandings result from buyers not carefully reading the item description in the auction listing. Use caution if the price is significantly lower than similar auction items. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Review the item condition, whether it is new or used, and any damage described.

Be realistic when purchasing used items. People have different definitions of quality and condition. Remember, just because the seller says the item is in “like new” condition, doesn’t mean you will feel the same way. A 25 year old item is likely to have some wear and tear so don’t be overly critical of the item when you receive it. Take the condition of the item into account BEFORE you place your bid.

Use PayPal…

Take advantage of PayPal for safe and fast funds transfer between you and the seller. PayPal is eBay’s preferred way to pay. It is a system that lets anyone with an email address securely send online payments using their credit card or bank account. eBay members can use PayPal to quickly and easily pay for all the items purchased on eBay. PayPal’s industry-leading fraud prevention measures make it a safe way to pay online.

When you’re shopping on eBay, look for items that are covered by PayPal Buyer Protection. With it, you get free protection of up to $1,000.00 USD on your purchases. To determine if your item is eligible, look for PayPal Buyer Protection in the Seller Information box on the View Item page.

The more that you know about your seller and the items that you are bidding on the safer you, as a buyer, will be. Spending some time doing research before you place your bid will help to ensure a positive buying experience.

5 Tips for Buying a New Conversion Van

Buying your conversion van can save you money if you know how to buy an one and how you want it to be equipped.

Making a large household purchase such as a new van can be a mind-boggling experience. Should you wait for the next big custom van show that’s within driving distance, or should you go to your local dealer?

Arming yourself with some conversion van basic buying knowledge can make a huge difference and make you a savvy negotiator.

With so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to even start. Here are some suggestions for finding your dream custom van while also saving you time and money.

Tip 1:

Arrange for financing in advance of negotiating with the dealer if you will be financing the purchase price. This puts you in the position of knowing exactly how much you can actually spend on your new van.

Tip 2:

Once you have established how much you are willing to spend, search your options on the Internet. Many times, you can purchase the conversion van you desire straight from a dealer or designer and have it delivered.

Tip 3:

Purchase your new customized van from a reputable company that has been in business for years and has a solid hold in the market. Check out their website for comments from prior customers. Another good place to look is with the Better Business Bureau. If they have a good rating, then you are on the right track. If they have a bad rating, stay away, far, far away.

Tip 4:

When you hear “the price we are giving you is good for today only,” it generally means business is slow. It’s a tactic to make a sale today. If they truly want to sell you a new conversion van, you will still be able to get the same price on the same unit within a reasonable amount of time after that day. Have realistic expectations, but you should have some negotiation room when buying a new RV.

Tip 5:

Ask questions. Make sure you understand what comes with it and what costs extra. By establishing a good understanding of your expectations, you begin building a relationship with the salesperson. When you are happy with your purchase and the service you received, the company builds countless future customers every time someone admires your new custom conversion van. This is priceless advertising, so a reputable dealer is motivated to do business.

Tips For Buying a Used Golf Cart

Buying a used golf cart can be a very confusing undertaking. There are many variations and types of carts available these days, from the very basic to wildly modified. Buyers have many options, but caution should be used to ensure you don’t inherit someone’s albatross. Knowing what to look for, could save big expenses later. The first decision to be made is whether you want a gasoline or battery powered cart. Each has its strong and weak points. Gasoline powered carts can be more powerful, making them well suited for utility service or hauling loads. They do consume the precious fossil fuel though, and can be noisy with an undesirable exhaust odor. Battery operated carts are stealthy quiet and odorless, but have a limited range between charge cycles. When the batteries are drained, you’re done until they can be recharged, which can take 8 hours or more. After you decide which fits your needs the best, and you’ve found the candidate, determine if it is really what you are looking for. Know what you are buying before you write that check.

  • Tire Wear – Take a general assessment of the tires and their condition. Are they all the same brand and do they have similar and even wear? Uneven wear can be indicative of serious alignment problems, a bent frame or worn out steering components. Tires of mixed brands is an indication that the cart may have seen excessive use or be a rebuild of junk parts. This may not necessarily be the case, but keep it in mind as you continue looking over the candidate cart.
  • Steering – Never buy a cart without taking some time to drive it. Take it over some rough terrain as well as a solid concrete driveway. Sloppy steering should be an immediate concern for you. Worn “rack and pinion” steering boxes are expensive to replace. If the rack and pinion is worn, you can also reasonably expect the steering “rod ends” and spindle bushings also need attention. None of these components are necessarily cheap to replace. The steering wheel, pulling to the left or right can be caused by uneven pressure in the tires or unmatched sizes. If the cart pulls, check the tire pressure first to see if the problem corrects. If it does not help, the spindle (on the same side that it pulls to) may have a bad wheel bearing causing dragging. You can jack up that corner of the cart and see if the wheel rotates freely.
  • Battery age – Most golf cart battery manufacturers stamp the date of manufacture on the top of one of the battery posts. You can easily see a “08” or “09” etc, even with the battery cable connected. Be aware that batteries that are more than three years old will require replacement sooner than later. Expect to pay $600 or more for a new set of batteries, no matter what the configuration or voltages are. Never assume that the batteries are of the same vintage as the model year of the cart either. Also, batteries of mixed years in the same cart could be a clue that the cart has seen some serious use in a fleet environment.
  • Brakes – Be sure the brakes are firm and stop the cart quickly without grinding or squealing. Brake shoe replacement is not usually a big deal unless service has been neglected to the point where the brake drum is gouged or otherwise damaged. Excessive rust and corrosion around the brake backing plates behind the rear wheels can be an indication of possible neglected maintenance.
  • Integrity of the frame – Steel frames are very susceptible to rust and corrosion, especially under the battery compartment. I have seen carts that otherwise look great, actually break in half due to battery acid seeping on, and eating the frame. Some manufactures, like Club Car, are now using fully welded aluminum frames which do not rust, but are still susceptible to corrosion in the form of aluminum oxide (instead of iron oxide). Corroded aluminum has a heavy layer of white fuzzy powder, which is equivalent to rust. Stay away from any cart that you suspect has a frame problem. The cart could end up being totally useless to you later.
  • Smooth ride – A well maintained cart should roll along smoothly and quietly. A wobbling or lumpy motion when driving on a smooth solid surface indicates a problem. A bent wheel, or worse, a bent axle will cause the cart to bob up and down with a frequency proportional to the speed. An “out of round” tire can also cause a similar symptom but is usually not the case. Worn front end components will exaggerate the symptoms dramatically.
  • Wiring – Wiring should be neatly routed and protected from chaffing with factory clamps and terminations. Be wary of modified wiring if it does not look professionally done. Cobbled up wiring can cause you big headaches if you are not savvy with electrical systems. A shorted wire on an electric cart can be devastating. The tremendously high current capability of the batteries can turn a shoddy wiring system into a giant cigarette lighter. Look for splices and taped up connections that do not seem to belong, and then pass on the purchase.
  • Odd Noises from drive train – Turn off any radios and the like when you take your test ride. Listen for any odd noises that may be present. Grinding, excessive whining or clicking sounds can help you identify problems with the cart. The sounds a vehicle makes can tell you quite a bit if you take the time to listen.
  • Gasoline engines – Be sure to look at the engine. Although you may not be an engine mechanic, you can still evaluate a few things easily. Gross saturation of the engine with oil and grease probably indicates a leaking crankcase or gearbox, or worse, a cracked crankcase or gearbox. Check for large amounts of sooty residue in the exhaust pipe, which is indicative of an oil burner (worn out piston rings). Be sure to let the engine warm up before you take a test ride. An engine will only reveal if it smokes a lot, after it is sufficiently hot. Take your time and check it out. Popping sounds in the exhaust or backfires can be caused by poorly adjusted carburetors, but more commonly by burned intake or exhaust valves in the engine. An engine rebuild can cost you dearly if you need one down the road. Be sure to give it the appropriate attention.

A well maintained cart can literally offer decades of reliable service. Taking time to select the right cart to fit your needs now will pay dividends later. After you purchase your cart, visit some of the vendors that offer great aftermarket products to personalize your vehicle. If you want to speed up your cart a little, visit Digital Overdrive Systems on the web for some more great tips.

Choosing The Best Way Of Selling Cars

Owning a car will involve a lot of important responsibilities. Bringing home your car does not stop there. You have to make sure that it is always up and running. You might need to bring it to a car service on a regular basis.

There may come a time when you need to sell it. Know that there are different ways for selling cars and choosing the right option is not easy. Good thing, experts have put together a simple guide to help you choose the best way to go about it. Regardless of whether you want to get the best price or trade-in on a new car, one of these options can be the right for you.

How To Sell A Car

Selling Privately – Selling a car privately will give you the power to better negotiate so you can get the best price. Prior to advertising it, you must set your asking price depending on the market value of your car. Also, you need to photograph it in order to show it off to possible owners. It is also very crucial for you to document all the details prospective buyers would want to know. Fixing any damage will likewise help you get more for your car.

Selling to a Dealer – This is an option for those who do not have time to do so. This is indeed the fastest and the most stress-free way of disposing a car. But prior to approaching a dealer, you have to do your research so you can get an idea about what your car is worth. If you choose to trade in the car, the dealer often has some cushion in the pricing for negotiation; hence, you must be prepared to bargain. Alternatively, you can just sell the car to the dealer when you want to sell fast and is not very much concerned with achieving the maximum sale value.

Car Buying Service – This is likewise another great option for people living busy lives or those who need money fast. There are services giving customers a free instant valuation online. This is indeed a great place to begin the selling process.

Auctions – This allows you to get the open market price for your car. Auctions load images of the car for viewing online and help generate wider reach and exposure. With more and more people attending different auctions every week, the car will definitely get plenty of exposure and interest. Be reminded though to perform your research as well as set a very realistic price for a quick sale.