For those operating under their own authority, purchasing trucking equipment is arguably one of the most frustrating and exciting aspects of being a driver. While buying new is oftentimes preferable, it’s not an option for everyone.
We live in the age of buy/sell, where many turn to sites like Craigslist to find pre-owned items at a discounted price. However, sometimes the deals found on these sites really are too good to be true.
How to Avoid a Buyer Scam in the Trucking Industry
When looking for trucking equipment online, it is best to first go to a trusted retailer. However, for used equipment this isn’t always possible.
As mentioned previously, sites like Craigslist are appealing in that real people are oftentimes selling products without traditional retail markups. But, how do you know it’s not a scam?
- Conduct a Google Image Search – If the seller provides an image of the product in the listing, check to see if it’s listed anywhere else using Google Images.
- Read Between the Lines – Does the listing convey a genuine message, or does something about the wording seem fishy?
- Follow Your Gut – If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is a scam.
When buying something online from someone other than a trusted retailer, it is best to avoid paying in advance. It is also wise to offer quite less than the asking price. If the seller agrees with the low-ball offer, it might be a scam.
Also, if the seller is local, ask him or her to meetup with you in person for the exchange. This way, you can guarantee you will actually receive the product.
You’ve found a good product at a good price, and now you’re looking to make the exchange. Where is a good place to conduct this?
A police precinct is virtually the only safe place to make exchanges these days. Try to meet in the lobby, since there is an officer stationed there and lots of cameras to record the exchange.
If you’re purchasing something too large or not allowed in the lobby (i.e., a tractor or trailer), then meet in the parking lot. Most precincts have cameras outside the establishment too.