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Old 04-18-2011, 11:57 AM
574 posts, read 1,093,911 times
Reputation: 1240


I bought a cheap used car from a private seller on Craigslist. I was assured by the sellers that the car was in good shape, other than a very visible dent, a need for a new door panel and a new windshield. The two guys who sold it to me, swore that the engine was in great shape, that they were selling it for a sister who needed the money for college, etc....

So I bought. Paid cash. Took it to a mechanic, who told me "I want you to get into that car, and go straight to the police, this is a crime."

Turns out the car has over $5000 in body damage, the undercarriage is a mess, and the car really should have been totaled. I called the sellers, wanting to back out, willing to even take a loss on the deal if they would buy it back from me. I got a lot of delays, a lot of hemming and hawing, a lot of BS. But after being patient with them for over a week, they aren't going to work with me.

Do I have a legal recourse? Any idea how I can get at least a little money out of a deathtrap on wheels?
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:03 PM
4,128 posts, read 13,268,210 times
Reputation: 3756
How long was it after you bought it that you took it to a mechanic? Am a little confused b/c usually one takes a car to a mechanic before purchasing it (or not). What did the police say? In some states, you have 72 business hours to change one's mind but it may be different in DE (also if you signed something). I hope you can get your $$ back, good luck.
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:50 PM
Location: Sunny FLA
686 posts, read 1,405,853 times
Reputation: 292
I feel for you Carrie. CraigsList in my opinion is mostly a bunch of scams. Maybe you could post this on a legal forum for more response if you don't hear anything soon. Maybe small claims court would be an option if they knew of the problems prior. Did this take place in DE?
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:35 PM
Location: Long Neck,De
4,792 posts, read 6,766,762 times
Reputation: 4768
Tha is a real shame. Buying from an independent selller if they had a legal right to sell it puts you in a bad position. I'll bet somewhere in the bill of sale it even say "sold as is". Did you drive it before you bought it?
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:53 PM
574 posts, read 1,093,911 times
Reputation: 1240
This all took place in Delaware. The bill of sale did indeed state 'Sold as is'. I contacted the sellers less than 24 hours after the purchase, and many times since, each time, before today, being told that if I'm 'patient' they would fix it. Now, he just hung up on me, after I proved to him I knew he was lying to me about other things.

I did drive it before buying, but only around a small residential block, as it didn't have legal plates. I could report this to the police as the mechanic advised me, but my gut feeling is that this falls under Caveat Emptor, and I walk away from this wiser but poorer.
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:21 PM
8 posts, read 13,117 times
Reputation: 10
I'm really sorry you got screwed.. As another poster mentioned, you normally take a car to the mechanic before you purchase it. I bought a mini van a few moths ago from some on CL. My first quesion to him was, can I take it to my mechanic. He was a bit taken aback, thought it was odd. Told him straight out that it was to ensure I wasn't going to be taken.. Everything worked out great.

I hope someone can give you advise and that you are able to get your $$ back.
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:29 PM
1,030 posts, read 2,995,562 times
Reputation: 961
I got screwed into a salvaged car when I was a teenager. It happens to the best of us.

You would have to prove that they falsely advertised the car to be different than how it was delivered to sue.

I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Best Western the other night.
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:35 AM
356 posts, read 737,876 times
Reputation: 280
I don't know if there are any specific DE laws that could help you.....but generally it's simple. It is an as is sale weather it says it on the bill of sale or not (unless there is a warranty written on there specifically), no one forced you to buy it. You should have had it looked at by a mechanic first. You probably lose.
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