How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Curbstoning
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How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Curbstoning

In this day and age, due to the internet, there’s a wide variety of ways to buy a car: at a dealership, from a private party seller, and public auctions…or dealer auctions for the best deals (if you have the hook-up J.)

In the last few years, dealer only auctions have become a popular means of purchasing a vehicle for many people because they’re looking for better deals. To meet this growing demand, many small used car dealerships are acting as “brokers” and buying cars directly from the auction on behalf of their clients by bidding via online sales such as Manheim Simulcast, Adesa Dealerblock or OVE. This type of arrangement creates a huge win-win for both parties…dealerships are generating revenue because they charge a flat fee or a percentage of the sale price and the client saves a ton of money because they’re buying at wholesale prices.

Most used car dealerships who do “brokering service” are generally small or very small businesses who need the extra cash because sales from their lot alone is not enough to sustain their overhead. So, this extra income can be a HUGE relief. But, regardless of how you as a consumer decide to purchase a vehicle, err on the side of caution for curbstoners.

You’re probably thinking, what are curbstoners? You’ve probably never heard of them. Don’t worry. We’re here to help you out J

Curbstoners are used car dealers that pose as an individual trying to sell a car and will often sell cars from curbs or a parking lot, just as a private owner would.

Curbstoners usually do this to avoid complying with local laws as well as any federal laws protecting buyers. Curbstoners usually get away with scamming buyers because curbstoners sell bad vehicles then disappear; no address or phone number to track down the scammers in case something happens to the car you just purchased. This sort of shady tactic can frustrate and cause much anger after being scammed.

So, before you purchase your next car, do your due diligence as a consumer and learn how to avoid becoming a victim of curbstoning.

We at DLC understand that people want to make money buying and selling cars. But, there’s a right and ethical way…but, there’s also a wrong way (like the curbstoners).

So, if you’re looking to buy a car and see any sort of cars on the side of the road with a “For Sale” sign on them, be very careful…it’s probably a curbstoner.  

Also be wary of cars for sales on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. While there can be legitimate sellers like ones in our program at DLC, there are many curbstoners who do open-title transactions who will scam you of your money. Here’s a rule of thumb to go by: if it’s too good to be true…run away! One additional tip on how to expose a curbstoner – If there are several ads with the same phone number on an owner section of classifieds, then the person is curbstoning.

Further, when you’re looking to buy a car from an individual online or in person, always ask to see the title. Many customers are being scammed into buying cars with salvage title because they never ask to see it. If you see any sort of marking such as “Salvage or Rebuilt,” this means the car has been through a major wreck.

Finally, many curbstoners will try to rush you through the sale process so you won’t notice the underlying issues with the vehicle. Always inspect a car before buying it. Feel free to bring a mechanic with you before you invest any of your hard earned money into a car for you and your family.

Happy huntin!   

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