Jul 8, 2018

Craigslist ATVs: Red Flags to Watch Out For


Craigslist scams: Signs that should tell you that something isn't right

It’s riding season, though I’d like to think that every season is worthy of riding. This is especially true in the ATV sector, where you really can’t get any better time of year for riding. There are a variety of owners that might not be up to the thrills of the four-wheeler and are looking to sell their ATV fast. That’s where you come in!

The trails are open, the scenic views are photo-worthy, and it’s time for you to find a ride to call your own. But the hardest part is still ahead. Yep, I’m talking about finding the vehicle you want and buying it without much hassle. Sure, we’ve talked about the best all terrain tires for your ATV, and how to make an ATV trade in here with RumbleOn, but let’s be honest, that’s not what you’re worried about. You’re concerned about a headache and potential scamming that comes when you buy and sell ATV online, especially on infamous listing sites. If you're trying to locate used dirt bikes for sale, Craigslist might have your work cut out for you.

online scammers

Without further ado, here are the red flags you need to watch out for when looking to buy or sell an ATV online:

It's all about the money!

When you’re buying or selling on a platform that doesn’t have a ton of damage control set up, you’re going to run into people that make money as if it were an arts and crafts project. And by that, I mean to say that they get very creative when it comes to creating fake money, or checks, that look realistic. Honestly, there are not many safe ways to exchange money on sites like that. Even when you think that you’ve come up with a way to be sure, there are always new schemes to get around it all. You need to always stay away from cashier’s checks or money orders. Selling and buying on platforms like Craigslist turns into a game of constantly having to stay on your toes. Your best bet is to use currency transferring platforms, like PayPal, to ensure that you’re not being given fake money.

money cat

Will the real owner please raise their hand?

Yeah, this is an actual problem. There is an endless stream of people out there that will claim to be the owners of Craigslist used quads when in reality, they’re not. And trust me, they know how to walk the walk. They’ll be able to tell you the whole story of the ATV as if it was their child, but until you actually get to see the ATV for yourself physically, you can’t know for sure that what they’re claiming to be true is, well, actually the truth.

baby raising hand

Don't you hate flaky people?

We’ve all pretty much been there-you’re trying to buy or sell something, and the other person involved in the transaction apparently can’t come up with a solid time that works for them. It’s annoying, to say the least, and at most, it could be hinting at slightly more sinister things. If you’re interacting with someone that continues to cancel on you, or can’t settle on a time, day, and place that works for them, it’s usually not a good sign.

It could mean that they’re trying to involve other people to assist in scamming you, they could be busy scamming other people, or at the very least, their disrespectful of your time. And honestly, none of those are winning qualities that hint at a serious buyer or seller. So if they’re constantly trying to reschedule with you, time and time again, you should see that as flashing red lights.

sorry I'm late

A picture is worth a thousand words!

A picture can tell you a story that the owner might not want to tell. So, this is the time you’re going to look for consistency. The owner could be thinking, “I need to sell my ATV, but there’s a lot of damage to it. I just won’t mention it.” And while you might think that could never possibly work, the fact that it’s a recurring issue means that it does work on some people.

When you see an ad for an ATV, make sure that the description of the ad matches the images. If not, it could hint that there’s lying going on, and you really don’t want to be anywhere near that. If the description doesn’t match the picture, that could mean the images are fake, or even the other way around. Put on your best reading glasses and be careful!

Oh where, oh where could the title have gone?

Don’t do it. Just don’t even waste time thinking about it. Do not, under any circumstances, buy an ATV off craigslist without the proper documentation to go with it. If the seller isn’t able to supply you with the legal paperwork you need, that’s usually a pretty good nudge that there’s nothing legitimate about the situation. I know that I like to think the best of people, but if someone tried to sell me an ATV with the bogus excuse that all the paperwork was “washed away in flood” or “my pet llama ate it,” I wouldn’t consider it as honest.

Make sure you’re knowledgeable on what is a VIN, because the more knowledge you have, the more you’ll be able to determine if it’s stolen or not. Plus, who actually owns a llama? If they don’t have the paperwork, that means it could be a stolen vehicle, and you really don’t want to end up on Cops because you’re not dressed for running.

pet llama

Grammar is your friend, people. Let's use it!

Okay, I know not everyone is as poetic and mindful as Edgar Allan Poe. But if you come across a posting that is just riddled with so many grammar and spelling errors, that you’re having a hard time determining if it’s even English, just slowly back away from the post. I’m not saying that their spelling has to be perfect because, well, we could all use a grammar lesson. But if it’s so incorrect that it’s giving you a migraine, just assume the transaction process will be just as difficult.

dr. phil confused

Someone call Bob Barker, because the price is NOT right...

You’re going to run into different price variations when shopping for an ATV, and that will depend on the brand, along with the KBB ATV value that the seller might thing is accurate. Which, newsflash, I’d hate to be the breaker of hearts, but it’s not. If the price of the ATV is way too low, that should raise some suspicion. And if it’s too high, just pay no attention to it, because you don’t have the time to rant to someone about how their ATV isn’t worth half as much as they think it is.

And there you have it, folks! You can either take notes and try to keep this all in mind when buying or selling your ATV on Craigslist, or you can do it the safe and secure way with RumbleOn. We’ve got the NASDAQ spot and BBB ratings to prove we’re safe, not like those other guys. Come Rumble with us!  

Note: RumbleOn is an Amazon Affiliate, dedicated to reviewing the best and safest gear and more, for riders everywhere. We may receive commissions if products are purchased from them.

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