Ebay Scams – ATV & Plant Items

If you browse ebay long enough for certain types of items, you become aware of the typical sale price, and items that keep coming up time and again.

I’ve noticed over a 4x month period, a steady stream of UTV/ATV such as Kubota RTV, John Deere Gators and Kawasaki Mule vehicle which are listed well below the average sell price, simply too good to be true, sometimes auction, sometimes buy it now. They also tend to have a very brief description, which makes you ask further questions…but no contact number, so you have to message them through ebay.

Whenever I look at a vehicle, I look at the business information and then the feedback rating as a seller. Most of the time it’s fine, a company which is limited, selling on ebay will have lots of successful transactions of similar types of item. Usually what I find with these rogue listings, are the seller hasn’t sold a single item in months, sometimes over a year, then all of a sudden they are listing this item.

If you use Ebays Contact form, and ask further questions, the email is relayed by Ebay, so the seller doesn’t get your email address, usually the first thing that happens is, they ask you to email an address directly, whatever you don’t do this, as you will get scam messages, and offered vehicles which don’t exist.Ebay, I’ll give them credit, do pick these up and terminate the listings. Typically you get an email, from Ebay stating that the users account has probably been compromised, and not to contact the user. This is conformation, that Ebay accounts do get hacked, and then scammers are trying to complete the transactions outside of ebay.As a negative to Ebay or Paypable (same company if I remember correctly), they don’t protect people for Vehicle sales through Paypal. BUT, what irritates me is, the “Buyer Protection” logos and statements still show under these categories, so you may buy a vehicle, use paypal, then find you are not covered if it went wrong. You’ll back peddle to the listing, to see the “Buyer Protection”, then only to discover in their Terms & Conditions that you are not covered.Things to spot dodgy listings:

    Wants to Complete the Transaction Outside of EbayLack of Account Use as a SellerItem Price excessively low.

Specifically to ATVs & Plant Items such as Tractors, it’s actually quite hard to determine if an item is stolen and being sold on. Without a number plate, you have no real way of tracing who the original owner was at some point in time. Even if you can see the number plate, the vehicle could still be stolen. But they have the V5 document, sorry but that’s not proof of ownership, only a bill of sale(s) from the original purchaser to the current seller who you are buying from is legal proof.

Hopefully though, if someone has an ATV or Tractor and it gets stolen, they will report it to police along with the chassis serial number. If the vehicle is road registered as well, it will show up on an HPI/Vehicle check.

But technically, you could still get court out if the actual owner is slow to report it to the police. If you steal an ATV, list it and complete the sale and vanish before it’s reported stolen, no amount of vehicle checks in the world can stop that. And once again, if you have the vehicle, and the police trace it to you, it will be confiscated and returned to the original owner. Leaving you out of pocket. That said, if you purchased from a business, you can legally get your money back through court, as it’s the sellers duty of care to NOT sell stolen equipment.

How to be protected on Ebay buying ATV & Plant?

  • Buy from Ebay Businesses
  • Ask Questions. I’ll list what I ask.
  • Don’t Trust Paypal to Protect you, they don’t cover Vehicles.
  • Definitely View the Vehicle, find the Chassis number, and Check it before you complete the sale.
  • Don’t buy a Vehicle without History.
  • Follow the Info that Ebay Sent me in the Sample Below.

Questions I ask:

  • Do you have Proof of Ownership? (remember V5 isn’t enough)
  • Do you have any Receipts for Servicing.
  • Are you a business or limited company.
  • Where is the item located or to be collected from, and what involvement do you have with that address (only ask if it’s not obvious, no need from a business really that I can think of)
  • If more than 1x previous owner, do you have the Previous Receipts of Sale (sometimes they will be there in a big stack of paperwork).
  • If I win the auction, can you provide me the Chassis Number for a TER Check before I send Payment.

Online tools to help (and no, I don’t own these sites lol)

I’ve not used the TER Check, but it’s too expensive in my opinion, unless you are committed to buy and it’s a final check for peace of mind. Sellers could always provide one, in fact on a Kubota, one seller did offer which I thought I good. The Instant Car Checks service I used on a Kawasaki Mule, and it wasn’t too expensive as I purchased a pack of vehicle checks. That said, I was willing to travel for 5 hours, so £3 to check it’s not stolen before wasting the fuel and the time is money well spent in my opinion.SAMPLE Message from Ebay (I edited one I recieved):-Dear USERNAME (EMAIL),

We think eBay account USER-THAT-GOT-HACKED has been used without the account owner’s permission, so we’re now restoring it to them. To protect this member’s privacy, we can’t share any more details about their account.

People sometimes misuse eBay accounts by sending emails from them. In these emails, they invite you to buy or sell outside eBay, or ask questions that have nothing to do with eBay. They do this in the hope that you’ll respond and give them your email address.

We strongly recommend you treat emails from this member with caution and don’t respond if you hear from them again.

If you wish to chat to one of our customer service agents through the Live Chat function please follow the below link.

***Safety Tips***

– Don’t respond to the sender, through either eBay or your email provider, if the message is an offer to buy or sell an item. This type of offer is against eBay policy, may be fraudulent, and the transaction won’t be covered by eBay protection programs.

– If you received what appears to be a Second Chance Offer for an item you recently bid on, and it appears in My Messages with the subject of “Message from eBay Member,” it isn’t a legitimate Second Chance Offer.

Real Second Chance Offers appear in My Messages with a blue background and subject stating, “eBay Second Chance Offer for Item…”. Always check for both the blue background in My Messages and the subject line of “eBay Second Chance Offer for Item…” when responding to a Second Chance Offer.

– Never pay for your eBay items using instant cash wire transfer services such as Western Union or MoneyGram. It is against eBay’s Safe Payments Policy for a seller to request payment with these methods, as these types of payments are unsafe if you’re paying someone you don’t know.

***If you’ve Already Sent Payment or Posted an Item***

– If you already sent payment for an off-eBay transaction, or if you’re a seller who already posted an item to a fraudulent buyer, we suggest you take the following steps:

– Contact the payment service you used to make the purchase. If you paid by credit card, most card issuers provide consumer protections in instances of online fraud.

– If you sold and posted an item to a fraudulent buyer, contact the carrier you used to post the item. You might be able to receive additional assistance from the delivery service.

– Report the fraudulent buyer or seller both to law enforcement officials in your area, and in the area where the buyer or seller lives.

When you contact a law enforcement officer, please explain the following:

– eBay will be happy to help with the officer’s investigation.
– For more information on how the officer can contact eBay, go to:


Keeping eBay a safe and reputable place to buy and sell is our top priority. To find out more about buying safely on eBay, open a new window on your browser and copy these links into it:


If you’ve sent payment for an item but not received it, please let us know. You can contact us from any eBay Help page.

As always, if you have any questions, please get in touch.


eBay Trust & Safety

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