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Author Topic: Letter of warning to ("Newbees") on "ANY" bus purchase  (Read 6423 times)
Gary LaBombard
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« on: April 26, 2009, 09:32:15 AM »

Everyone,
This post was forwarded to me by a friend as the sellers are located someplace near us.  What my point is in posting this information, if you are purchasing a bus, motor home or anything from EBay, you could have this same thing happen to you.  I am the first to put out there in public any sour examples in my life that has happened to help prevent anyone else from following in the same circumstance.

My advice and I wish I did this is to always, always Inspect, Inspect, Inspect & also to purchaser to have a clause that if the product you purchase is not as promised on eBay or is misrepresented on eBay or Craiglist that all monies will be refunded to you after inspection.  Perhaps offering $100 only for their time and cost of posting on eBay etc. is sufficient but it seems everyone is just wanting to take advantage of the internet to misrepresent their products for sale and hope you are stupid enough not to inspect, inspect, inspect like I did not do.

Here is the post as written by the purchaser, or near purchaser.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
1993 wanderlodge  bought on eBay for  $51,300----
LEFT IT IN SOUTH Carolina
From: WanderlodgeForum@yahoogroups.com


What I thought could end up being a really good deal on a 93 wanderlodge ended up being a waste of time and money. Being the successful bider on e-bay my son and I left early Tuesday to go to Piedmont SC to pick up the coach. Karolina Koaches wanted me to wire them the full amount before we would arrive, I gave them a $500,00 deposit and told them I would hand carry a cashier check for the remaining amount.

When we arrived at their place in Piedmont on Wednesday morning we were met by Bob the sales manager who told us the coach was plugged in and ready to go. We went out behind the building and there was the 93 plugged in all the doors etc open plus air conditions, radios, light, televisions etc all turned on. Immediately we could see that the coach did not look very clean, covered with red mud and dirt. that part was ok so we started looking beyond this, It had been repainted and who ever painted it did not prep the surface at all, dings painted over instead for being sanded out etc. Lots of paint mission around rivets fiberglass cracked bumpers out of alignment etc. Three of the cargo doors would not close as the hinges were broken on two of them and a third one was missing completely. The generator auto-start control box was torn completely out of the bay wall and lots and lots of great stuff foam was used in the generator fan area to patch or ? something on the floor under the drivers seat. Upon further examination of the paint we discovered that half the paint markings on the side were vinyl decals which were cracking and pealing off. Lots of white rust. The engine compartment door would not latch. The engine compartment was a mess with lots of lose insulation hanging along with dirt and rust.

Now we decide to check out the inside, upon first look it appeared to be ok, some lights out and some drawers with broken hardware. I ask about the water system as there was no water coming from the faucets or in the toliet bowl. Bob said he would turn on the water pump, While we were looking at the safe that would not open although we had the key's we saw water start running down the isle. Water was running from under the cabinets and from under the bed in GREAT amounts. I thought he had turned the city water on and called for him to turn off the hose, but it was the coach water pumps running. The coach is flooded by now with water every where. Several cleaners come in with towels etc and start mopping up the mess. When we go outside water is running out of every crack in the coach and running into all the bay area's on the left side. After the water stopped and the mess cleaned up enough to go back inside and look around we found the broken pipe's under the bed (bacteria filter completely cracked in half) pipes under the sink dripping and the instant hot cracked and leaking. That's on the left side, because of the leaks on that side no water could get to the stool, washer, vanity etc so who knows how many breaks on the right side.

Ok, so now he says I guess the bank diden't get it winterized???I don't know who or what ever but I do know that the plumbing has big problems. He says he did not put that the plumbing was ok in the e-bay ad. and that I had bought it as is. and I replied that he was nuts to think I would take that coach and that it was totally mis-represented on ebay ( pictures of the exterior had to be touched up)
To shorten this story, I told him I would give him $47,000 and take it. He disappeared for a few minutes then came back and said " They would release me from the deal and write me a check for my $500,00 deposit plus give me money for my expenses. All they asked in return was a positive feed back on e-bay.

My son and I got back in the car and started home for Illinois , thinking about what a Junker the once lovely 93 bird had become and glad we were leaving her in SC.

Don't get me wrong, I knew there would be problem's with the coach, I've owned 4 bluebirds and feel that I know the birds well, and this bird had problem's that I could not over look or that I was willing to work on for the next year or years.
This coach will probably be back on e-bay when they get the plumbing put back together. What kind of job or repairs they'll do?Huh who knows

I am still looking for a bird and hopefully a bargin but, in the mean time I still have my 06 PonyExpress Super C with the Duramax diesel and 10-13 mpg (anyone want to trade), ha

Hope I didn't bore anyone but felt that this story should be shared with the group. O' both primus boilers were bone dry and the radiator needed water and the generator smoked.......

Regards to the group..Bob..

Always, always, always "LET THE BUYER BEWARE".  I hope this information helps others interested in our hobby to make a good purchase.  Not everyone is out to take advantage but always be on guard.

Gary

« Last Edit: April 26, 2009, 09:45:03 AM by Gary LaBombard » Logged

Gary
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2009, 10:41:58 AM »

Excellent point.  After this has had its full run in the All Topics board, I am going to copy it to the Board Help section so that it will be readily visible for new members to read and learn.
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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2009, 10:59:44 AM »

Great Idea High Tech,

Any help and guidance we can offer to newbees to carry on and joing us with our hobbies I am sure will be appreciated by them in the long run.
I am glad to have helped with this post anyone I may have.
Thanks again.
Gary
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2009, 05:36:58 PM »

Tell your friend there was a 85 Bird advertised on the Minneapolis Craigslist this week that looked decent and was about $40K. It's located a few miles from me and I'd be happy to go inspect if he's interested.

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/rvs/1118780025.html

craig

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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2009, 08:07:17 PM »

Hello Craig,

My friend is not the one that made the post about the Wonderlodge, He just copied it and forwarded it to me but I believe he frequents their bb'd and hopefully will forward your information to the potential buyer.   I am sure the buyer would appreciate your offer if he is serious about wanting a bird.

Thanks for offering.

Gary
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2009, 06:30:41 PM »

why in the world would you have paid 47,000 for something in such bad shape?  You'd be beter off buying a shell for 15-20k and putting 27,000 into yourself wouldn't you? 
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2009, 09:11:52 AM »

why in the world would you have paid 47,000 for something in such bad shape?  You'd be beter off buying a shell for 15-20k and putting 27,000 into yourself wouldn't you? 

Some people prefer to polish a turd rather than make one . . . . .  Shocked  Grin  Roll Eyes  Grin
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2009, 08:56:26 PM »

Interesting post...Wish i would have read it b4 i bought my Neoplan Sight unseen Sad
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2009, 09:20:19 PM »

I once bought a dump truck on ebay sight unseen, never again. I learned my lesson!  I will never, EVER, buy another vehicle sight unseen on ebay.

It looked good from a distance and ran well but the passenger door held the cab in shape, the door frame had to be pushed to close the door. All the cab rust was covered by Bondo and new paint. The dump bed had huge holes in the bottom and ............................etc.

Photos on ebay tell really, really big lies!

I was lucky to actually come out ahead, which is a long story.

On the other hand, I found my bus on ebay, but I went to look at it first after it didn't sell at auction.
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2010, 06:50:55 AM »

I took a tremendous leap of faith buying my bus. It was on Ebay and three states away, but I bought it anyway. As luck would have it, everything has turned out fine. There is much to be said for doing your research and being cautious, but that said not every Ebay deal is a bad one!

Lily
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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2010, 07:21:23 AM »

I bought my first bus on eBay. The seller was brutally honest. Made sure I understood what it was I was getting into. After the fact, everything he said proved out to be completely truthfull - no half truths or misleading implications.

Yes, there are good & honest people selling on eBay & elsewhere, but there are lots cons & thieves out there too. In the end, it is up to the individual to protect themselves.

Buyer beware,
if it sounds too good to be true,
& all that sort of thing.

This board helps provide enlightenment ( when it isn't adding to the confusion  Grin ).
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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2010, 07:32:15 AM »

We buy TONS of stuff on Ebay, and yes, sometimes things are misrepresented, but we have a rule of thumb and if people don't cooperate, we don't buy.  If it's a major purchase, we look at it before bidding. . . and yes, we risk a wasted trip, as we did on a trip to try to buy a bus in Vegas, but the deal with Ebay is that it is not considered to be a "we're going to win the auction and THEN inspect and decide if we want" situation.  It is YOUR responsibility to know whether you want the item BEFORE you bid.

On the other hand, if the item is misrepresented, of course, you do not have to take it, and actually, it's possible that the people who listed that bus mentioned actually didn't know they had leaks.  The fact that they were willing to cover the bidder's expenses to go out there, with a full refund, would indicate to me that they actually weren't trying to stick it to him. . . because they could just claim he was a non-paying bidder and not give him a dime.  Maybe so, maybe not.

If someone purposely misrepresents an item, no one is required to complete the auction, and they'd be a fool to try to force you to, but on the other hand, anyone who spends much time on Ebay knows that there are many more buyers who never intend on completing or treat it as a regular sale where they actually "win" the item, then go look at it and try to negotiate the price or decide not to take it. . .  not because it was mis-represented, just because they figure they can.  I've sold items that someone bid on and never once even responded to the requrests for payment. . . I can't figure out why they even bid.  I sold a truck one time, and the guy never came and looked at it, then tried to claim we misrepresented it. . .which is odd since he was from out of state and had never seen it. . . I think he just got "buyer's remorse" and didn't want to admit it.  What's sad is by the time we realized he not only wasn't going to even send the deposit, the 2nd highest bidder had purchased another vehicle because ours was "sold".  

Just as when buying from a dealer or a bank or a private seller, you should know what it is you are looking at, and if you truly can't go look at the item before you bid on Ebay, then ask your questions of the seller, make sure he understands that if things are not as he represented, you will walk away from it, and be realistic at what you are expecting.  If he won't answer detailed questions, provide pictures you request, agree that if he misreprsented it you can walk away with a full refund, or claims he doesn't really know anything about the rig, well, don't even bother to bid.

OTOH, we've gotten wonderful deals on Ebay and know of several others who have done the same.  Christy Hicks
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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2010, 07:37:59 AM »

I also bought our Eagle on eBay sight unseen and  2400 miles from where I was living. We flew out and met the owner, he went over the bus and explained everything he knew. He also said I didn't have to buy it if it wasn't what I wanted. He was very honest about everything. This was in 03 and we are still in contact to this very day. A comment he made to me a couple of weeks ago, they wish they still had it! His wife really liked the ride. They bought a BB Wanderlodge to fulltime in, which they are very happy with.

We are very happy with our purchase, but buyer beware is a true statement!

Paul
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2010, 08:06:54 AM »

I was blessed when I purchased my present work in progress.

With no back-up return plan, I arrived, from Texas, in Missouri to view and close the deal, (money ready to be released on my say-so), and found a good coach with a seller than may have raised the price to cover a personal debt, but everything worked.

On the trip home, I used NO oil, burned NO blue, and found out that 55MPH is the worst speed possible because it shifted down with every slight incline. (Never did that at 60MPH !!)

But I was grateful that the seller had told me all I needed to know, and what he had said was true.

Welcome to those who are just beginning their "career" in bus conversion. You have no idea how rewarding it can become when you are able to go places and see things, and relax, whenever and wherever, after you find a space where it will fit without blocking traffic !!
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« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2010, 08:17:09 AM »

I agree with buyer beware;;Isold my 8 thru busconversion mag...the guy came to pick it up never started it or went inside just got out of car and handed me cashiers ck...I said don't you evenwant to look..he said you told me all the problems you know of! I hope his experience was good..Whitey if your on the bus board...Hi from Bob and Judy. what ever happened to honest people?Huh
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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2010, 08:29:34 AM »

My biggest concern would be with an eBay third party dealer who is not the owner.
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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2010, 09:42:56 AM »

The letter has all the characteristics of an internet myth; it happened to a "friend of a friend", has some "checkable facts" and plays on the readers fears.

Gary confirmed it was not his friend but a friend of.  The plausible facts, there is a Karolina Koaches, they sell on Ebay, they sell a lot of repo's and a smart buyer wouldn't send money ahead.  A shady dealer is a fear of most prudent people.  What doesn't fit, Karolina Koaches has good Ebay feedback and their inventory looks to be clean. 

My Ebay experience matches most people here in that the seller has been completely honest about the condition of the purchase.  Most of the Ebay scams I've encountered concerned money.  Buyers sending checks to be cashed or sellers wanting money before any inspection takes place. 

It would be interesting to know if the letter was written by someone who had their coach repoed, was out bid on an auction or mad at Ebay

Mike

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« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2010, 09:49:32 AM »

I've bought at least a dozen cars on Ebay (plus my bus), and have only once been disappointed with what I bought - and that was a very casual purchase of a cheap car that I only needed for a short period. Buying on Ebay is all about understanding the situation - particularly that a winning bid is a legally-binding contract to purchase, and that the onus is therefore on the buyer to educate themselves about the item in question, and satisfy themselves that they are happy before bidding. Deciding you aren't happy afterwards doesn't cut it - unless the seller deliberately mis-represented the item of course, which is a different thing entirely (and, as far as I can tell, not being suggested in this case).

Jeremy

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« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2010, 11:10:56 AM »

I remember reading this story a few years ago, from the original buyer, and I'm trying to remember which board it was  on!  It was a fairly large thread, I wish I could remember which board it was, I don't remember the sellers name or it wasn't posted!   I'm sure Gary has the best of intensions as he always does!   I purchased my bus on ebay........and it was a piece of crap but I knew it was, ( a total fabrication on my part it was actually worse than I thought it was).   I've bought  4 or 5 vehicles on ebay, most were as represented, some..........well.......were a total fabrication......but I am a grownup(forget that I own a bus)!   No one holds a gun on me and forces me to buy anything!  If you get taken its no one's fault but your own!   Helping a friend hang on to his cash, ain't bad!    Thanks Gary for reminding us that this can happen!
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« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2010, 11:29:05 AM »

I bought a bus before & ended up having to buy it again before it left the parking lot. Yes, I got scammed by the first guy. I chose to ignore the red flags & I also chose to help explain away the warnings . . . .

The second guy I paid was able to produce a clear title, so he was the one that mattered.

Yes I paid way more than I wanted to for that bus, but with the help of some very good friends (that I probably don't deserve) I was able to make some lemonade out of all the lemons. . . .

Yes, I was deceived. But, I consented (& even contributed) to the deception. That can happen when you allow yourself to want something too badly & allow a sense of urgency to have excessive influence on your decision.

I've paid lots more to learn lots less. . . .  Shocked

The best thing to come from that deal was finding out that true forgiveness is the best gift you can ever give (& quite possibly, the most selfish) - because you are the one that receives the benefit of peace of mind & the freedom to move on without bitterness.  Cool
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« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2010, 11:42:14 AM »

Pat, it may be this thread that you recalled.  Gary's post was made in April 2009.

The general theme of "Buyer Beware" is an important one on any purchase, but expecially high dollar ones.  Most sellers are pretty honest I think and it is a shame that the dishonesty of a few taints the image for the rest.  But that is just the way it is.

Beyond the issue of honesty is the issue of bias.  When a selling a bus someone convertered themself, pride biases their perception of its features and condition.  An accute sense of how much time and money went into it tends to bias their assesment of its market value.  In a depressed market, someone selling one they bought already converted is biased by how much they paid for it.  And almost all sellers are biased in how they see their bus by the enjoyment and memories they got from it.

The prudent buyer should always research what similar buses actually sold for recently, weigh that with what they are willing to pay, and inspect it carefully first.  If the buyer is not an experienced bus nut, they should seek one out to help with the inspection.  It is also excellent advice to have a bus mechanic experienced with they type of engine it has take a look at it.

Many of us were blessed with good bus buying experiences without the benefit of professional or at least experienced inspection assistance.  But there are also some out there that weren't so lucky.  So the bottom line for the inexperienced bus buyer is: [Voice=Clint Eastwood] "Do you feel lucky Bus Nut?" [/Voice]
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« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2010, 11:54:51 AM »

I quit dealing with ebay after I got scammed by a guy, I paid but he didn't ship the item and ebay didn't pursue my complaint so I got the local sheriffs department involved after I located the guy, then ebay got upset cause I got the local sheriffs department in the guys town involved, anyway it was a mess over less than 200 bucks.  It took me almost 6 months to get my money back from paypal after all the grief, ebay did terminate the guys account but I'm sure he just made another and is probably still scamming, the sheriffs department took my complaint but the address turned out to be a parking lot and it didn't reach their level of priority to pursue further.
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« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2010, 11:59:45 AM »

The worst thing you can do when buying from a dealer or someone on EBay if they demand cash, certified check or cashiers check is  to forget it.
When I am buying a bus if the person or dealer will not except my check I walk away you can stop payment on a check but you cannot stop payment on a cashiers or certified check without posting a bond for the checks amount.
A guy back east taught me this and he is still asking people for a cashiers check or a certified check.
A decent seller will take a personal check it only takes a few minutes for one clear now.
It is buyer beware but the seller has rights also.  
I hate it when you agree on a price and the buyer starts picking everything to pieces to try and get a better deal that is when I say forget it and walk away.  



good luck


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« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2010, 12:14:15 PM »


A decent seller will take a personal check it only takes a few minutes for one clear now.


But keep in mind, a personal or even business check can still charge back days or weeks later, long after the money has already been paid into your account.  BTDT

And if you withdrew the money or spent it already, your own bank will come after you for it and leave it up to you to go after the person that issued you the check.
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« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2010, 12:55:47 PM »

I've heard that postal money orders will provide you with an additional layer of recourse if fraud is involved. Fortunately, I've not had the pleasure of finding out first hand. . . .

However, I do have first hand experience with a bank to bank wire transfer - it is essentially the same thing as handing cash to someone in a parking lot. If fraud is involved, the banks won't do anything to persue justice, & if receiving party doesn't return it, you aren't likely to get it back.

The justice system talks a good game, but the fact is it takes a lot of zeros to the right of the number before the decimal point before it can justify manpower for an investigation.

Also, if you find yourself the victim, you aren't likely get much help from the police. The result of the way the system is set up is to basically place the burden of proof on the victim & provide all benefit of doubt to the con man. You as a victim must also be present every time the case is in court while the thief only has to have his lawyer present. Usually they will ask & get continuances which means another court date. If the victim fails to appear, the thief will be acquitted since there is no witness to testify.

So, you are best served by being cautious up front & as others have said, if something ain't right, walk away.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 01:12:48 PM by kyle4501 » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2010, 01:05:50 PM »


But keep in mind, a personal or even business check can still charge back days or weeks later, long after the money has already been paid into your account.  BTDT

And this is something that is apparently happening more and more as banks take aggressive measures to recover overdrafts that have gone bad. I didn't know until quite recently that it was even possible for cheque payments to be reversed in this way.

Jeremy
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« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2010, 09:32:53 AM »

As first pointed out the most important thing is to first check things out before handing over ANY large sums of $ in any way of doing so!

Now I personally have bought and sold cars, trucks, buses, and many other things on EBAY! (shoot once I even bought a limo on Ebay from LA sight unseen!)

But anytime I buy ANYTHING on Ebay I check out ALL of the sellers feedback, and if it is a major purchase, I make personal contact with the seller and discuss various things with them before any $ is "sent".
I always leave an out that if it is not what it is supposed to be, that I'll be returning home empty handed, but with my $ in my pocket!

First thing I do is make sure they understand I will have a company check with me at time of pick up. (I make sure they understand I ALWAYS use company checks to pay for anything. If they won't accept it I tell them thank you and have a great day!)
If they agree to my terms, then we proceed and I will bid to  win!
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2010, 11:15:37 AM »

I have purchased a lot of stuff off of eBay.

My rules:

Seller has to have great feedback
(Not foolproof but helps, watch out for someone selling cheap items to bolster up there feedback)

Listing has lots of information on item
(protects me if misrepresented)

Pay by Paypal with a credit card
(My bank has and will protect me in a fraudulent transaction)

Remember, Ebay is only the auction house.  But your relationship with them is more like a newpaper with classified ads, every transaction is at risk.

Don't allow the illusion of safety to lure you in, you are dealing with strangers, they are just the medium that connects you, act accordingly.

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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
Mark Twain
Antknee
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« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2010, 11:18:44 AM »

I Bought my Prevost from eBay, I think I got a good deal, eBay is a mixed bag at best now a days, Used to be lots of honest people, seems to be less now..Inspect, inspect, inspect.....
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Anthony Brown
82 Prevost Le Mirage
Jewell, Kansas

http://prevostconversion.blogspot.com
niles500
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« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2010, 11:51:28 PM »

**** Now I personally have bought and sold cars, trucks, buses, and many other things on EBAY! ****

The strangest thing I've bought off E*** is my Hovercraft - Not a huge market for them  Grin
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- Niles
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