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Third Party Inspections: Verifying Your eBay Purchase

Online commerce platforms like eBay, with over 1 billion listings, are growing fast. There's no denying the massive growth in online shopping since the early 2000's.

With a rise in sales volume, comes a growing interest in selling more valuable products. As people come to trust more and more e-commerce platforms, consumers are at ease with buying larger ticket consumer items such as boats, cars, motorcycles, RVs, and collectibles. 

While many of us started buying or selling old DVDs or video games, clothes, or retro comics; as we move on in life, we’re now prepared to acquire more valuable items.

OK, and by DVDs, I really meant VHS tapes. Sigh!

E-commerce platforms like eBay are a fantastic playground for window shopping, with everything from luxury cruisers (even billionaires like to sniff out a bargain, in 2006, this one scored a $168 million yacht), second-hand jets, sports cars, and rare collectibles.

Whatever you're after, you can find it online.

Except, maybe the Batmobile - Standby, We'll have to check up on that.

But, as the price of an item increases, so do concerns that fake items or dodgy dealers are swamping these marketplaces.

Although claims of widespread fraud are unfounded, misinformation and inaccurate sale listings can derail a seamless consumer purchase.

Some sellers are brazen and put “dummy” or “replica” in the title, others claim to be selling the genuine product, and that’s where you have to protect yourself.


eBay: Trust and Accountability Mechanisms

As buying a dud car, boat or collectible will prove a lot more costly than a scratched Blu-ray, websites like eBay employ powerful trust and accountability mechanisms to help consumers.

This is why eBay employs a Money Back Guarantee on almost all purchases. For vehicles, eBay offers up to $100,000 in buyer protection through their Vehicle Purchase Protection program.

With this program, if your purchase isn't as advertised, or doesn't arrive at all, eBay will offer you your money back.

How's that for service?

But, when making a larger purchase online, you want to ensure everything is covered before you pay the seller.

You don't want to have to go through the process of returning a motorcycle after it's sitting in your driveway.

This is why, alongside the rise in e-commerce powerhouses like eBay, we have seen the creation of the third-party verification industry.

Let us explain. 


Benefits of Third-Party Verification Services (Protect Yourself!)

Before you commit to buying anything of value, there are several considerations that a purchaser needs to be sure of.

First, consider if the auction itself is real. Many are scams, with some groups netting millions of dollars selling non-existent cars. This cloned car scam even happened last week in Machester, England with a gang of sellers passing off stolen cars as legitimate.

Usually, this isn't a problem on eBay, but the sellers in this circumstance pressured the transaction to happen outside of PayPal, which voids all buyer protection. Just remember, when buying on less controlled e-commerce platforms like Craigslist; this can be a real issue.

Assuming the item is legitimate, establishing its condition through a couple of photographs can be tricky. 

Sellers can hide damage, or edit digital photos.

For cars and boats, there is less likelihood of someone selling a fake, but the true state of the item could be different from what’s described in a seller's listing.

So, considering you are about to spend thousands of dollars to buy something you can't yet see or feel, what options are available?


Use WeGoLook: A Small Investment in Verification

Third-party verification platforms can act as a buyer's eyes and ears on the ground when making a large consumer purchase online.

For under $100, a field agent can be dispatched to the location of your potential purchase to report on the condition, functionality, and appearance of the product.

This comes in the form of a written report, photos, videos, and specific answers to any questions you may want to be answered before you click the buy button.

Consider WeGoLook, the leader in the third-party verification industry, with over 30,000 field agents, or what we call 'Lookers,' who can be dispatched at a moment's notice to verify your expensive new eBay purchase.

Growing rapidly since 2009, WeGoLook has tens of thousands of Lookers with diverse specialties who can verify on your behalf cars, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, maritime craft, auction items, collectibles, or other larger ticket consumer items.

Buying a brand new 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS for $18,000? More and more online car purchasers are electing to protect themselves with WeGoLook who will travel to the item's location, and perform the following tasks:

  • 40 Photos
  • VIN Verification
  • Make/Model Verification
  • Odometer Reading
  • Note Major Visible Damage
  • VIN explosion

For more, here is a sample auto report that can be purchased from WeGoLook.

Due to the high demand for WeGoLook's services, eBay Motors partnered with them to offer inspections to customers. Here, eBay Motor customers can request a WeGoLook inspection directly from an eBay Motors listing.

By sending an independent third-party, local to the seller’s address, you can check the reality of the product, and avoid being disappointed by a deal that was too good to be true, or didn't meet your expectations.

If you’re worried that the item may not exist, is misrepresented, or is in good condition, then a small investment with a leader in third-party verification is an important consideration.

Finally, we checked, and are sad to report that the Batmobile isn't available on eBay.

You'll have to settle for the Chevrolet Chevelle convertible.

Safe shopping everyone!