The Internet has grown into one of the better ways to buy and sell a used car. From the convenience of your home computer you are able to easily and quickly put your car up for sale on one of the many auction and classifieds websites available. Auction sites like eBay allow people to bid on your vehicle while classifieds sites like the classifieds section of allows you to sell your vehicle in a news paper classifieds style format for free.

One of the major advantages to using online classifieds and auction sites is the increased visibility your ad gets. Instead of just reaching people in your own town like a typical newspaper does, you can reach people in towns over a much wider region.

Often people are looking for a specific vehicle. Instead of only having a few vehicles to choose from when looking in the local paper, by searching the Internet they can have hundreds of vehicles to choose from if they are willing to drive to neighboring towns to see them. Putting your vehicle in a classifieds site like the one at NorCalCars puts your vehicle “On the Net” allowing people from all over the state to find your car by searching in search engine sites like Google.

Unfortunately, the main advantage to using auction and classifieds sites is also one of the main drawbacks. Unscrupulous people use this same search feature to find unsuspecting people to try to scam.

In the excitement of selling their car people often throw caution to the wind and scammers use this to their advantage. Therefore it is important to be aware of some of their methods so that you are able to protect yourself. Remember that they rarely want your vehicle. Normally the scammers are located a distance from where you are, in most cases they are in another country. They want your money, not your vehicle.

One of the easiest ways for them to do this is to send you a fake Cashiers Check, Bank Draft or money order, and then try to convince you to send money back to them or to someone else. While this isn’t the only way they can try to scam you, be assured that anyone willing to send a stranger more money than what they are asking for, trusting them to send money back is trying to scam you!

You can view a typical scam email here.

Also, rarely will someone send more than a small deposit to get you to hold the vehicle for them, before the actually view the vehicle.

Being that there is little that can be done to scammers in other countries it is typically best to just ignore any emails coming from scammers, unless you have reason to believe the scammer is more local. In that case save the information and contact the local authorities to see what can be done.

One Major Advantage to using sites like the classifieds at NorCalCars is that the scammer does not have access to your email address unless you put it in the body of the ad. When they click on the “Reply to Ad” link in your ad, they leave a message and NorCalCars sends that message to your email address. They never see your email address unless you reply to them. When you reply, you are then giving them your email address. So, don’t reply to suspected scammers!

Scammers are usually very easy to spot, so there is normally no greater risk when selling a vehicle on the Internet than there is selling in the newspaper. Watch for the signs that the person may be trying to scam you and have fun selling your car!