Buying a caravan online is becoming increasingly popular. This revolutionary way to purchase your next caravan saves time, offers more deals in one collective space, and is hassle-free as long as everything goes to plan. However, it does come with its downfalls. Buying a caravan online provides more opportunity for scammers to take advantage of innocent potential buyers. So, if you're ready to sell your caravan and buy the next one online, take a look at some of the few tips we've listed below on how to avoid online scams.
Common scams when buying a caravan online
There are plenty of scams to avoid when buying a caravan online, but here are a few of the most common ones.
Shopping abroad may offer an even bigger range of great deals and a variety of caravans to choose from, which can sound quite appealing. But, it doesn’t come without its risks. First of all, there’s no chance of seeing the caravan to check it is exactly as it has been described before making the purchase, unless you’re willing to make the trip , ramping up the overall cost of the caravan. Once the deal is done and the money has been transferred, you are relying on the seller to ship the caravan to the UK for you to pick up. However, should the sale turn out to be a scam, the caravan probably doesn’t even exist and you won’t see your money again.
Buying a stolen caravan
When buying a caravan online, it is important to check all of the relevant documentation that provides proof of who owns the caravan. If documentation listing the previous owners of the caravan i.e Cris documents is missing or incomplete, then approach with caution. Another way to spot if the caravan is stolen is when you visit the caravan to check that all the window and chassis serial numbers are present.
Buying a rental caravan
Another scam that buyers can often fall for is unwittingly purchasing a rental caravan. Scammers can lease a caravan for a short period, and then advertise the caravan for sale, often only accepting cash payments or deposits. If in any case the caravan seller seems overly keen to only accept cash payments or deposits, this might indicate that they don't want to be traceable after the sale.
Buying a caravan with outstanding finance
This is a tricky one to spot. The seller will have all the right documents to prove the caravan is theirs, and may even let you visit the caravan to check it is as described. However, what they fail to reveal is that the caravan was bought on finance, and therefore, isn’t theirs to sell. If you buy a caravan with outstanding finance, it is most likely that your caravan will be repossessed and you won’t have any rights to claim back as the deal was illegal.
How to avoid being scammed
Although scammers are clever at the way that they trap their victims, there are a couple things you can do to make sure you aren’t suckered into a dodgy deal.
See the caravan in person
Don’t buy if you haven’t seen the caravan. If the seller refuses to make an appointment for you to visit the caravan, or if you are buying from abroad, then approach the deal with caution or don’t make the deal at all. If you can’t see the caravan, there is no way for you to check if the caravan exists or if it’s exactly how it has been described.
Check all documents
There’s no rush when it comes to buying a caravan. Well, that’s the impression you would like to present the dealer at least anyway. If they think you’re desperate for a caravan they could become more stubborn with their offer, but if they think you have time to walk away and shop around, they will want to keep your custom. Also, you'll be parting with a lot of cash so you would like the decision to be right for you, so take your time .
Don’t be afraid to keep asking questions. This will test the seller to see if they know all the right information about the caravan and what an owner should know about. If they don’t know the answer or they don’t respond, then it could possibly be a scam.