The illegal things that unscrupulous auto dealers do to close a sale

Very few people enjoy the process of buying a new or used car from a dealer. ("Let me check with my sales manager." "How much can you afford per month? I'll make it work.") But while those tactics are obvious and annoying, some dealers will run schemes that are downright illegal just to close the sale. Over at Jalopnik, professional car shopper Tom McParland reveals some of those activities as reported by two consumer protection attorneys. Here's one thing attorney Steve Lehto says to watch out for:

Dealers that curbstone. They have a hard time moving the car off their lot so they advertise it on craigslist and pretend it is a private sale. (This may be legal in some states but it certainly is shady). The key? Beware of a private seller claiming they have a dealer doing the paperwork as a favor.

And attorney Daniel Whitney calls out these dealership tricks:

Inflating income and deflating monthly rent on the credit application.

Finance managers are notorious for inflating income so a consumer will qualify for a car that they cannot afford. At the same time, they decrease the consumer’s monthly rent for the same reason. I have seen many consumers with credit applications that say they pay no rent because they “live with family,” who also are stated as making double or triple their actual monthly salary...

The dealership steals the GAP (guaranteed auto protection) and/or extended warranty money.

The fraud here is simple. The customer pays for GAP and an extended warranty, but the dealership never pays the premiums.

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eBay seller's commercial for 1996 used Honda went viral and drove up bids

The viral success of Max Lanman’s commercial to sell his fiancée’s 1996 Honda Accord forced eBay to shut down bidding for the car after offers reached $150,000.

It was quite a surprise for the writer/director from Los Angeles, considering the car was initially posted with a selling price of $499.

An advertisement filled with a series of sleek camera shots and a storyline establishing a lifelong relationship between the car and driver has the ability to attract consumers to pay more for things worth far less. Lanman says eBay’s fraud department couldn’t understand how a 1996 Honda could fetch such a price and canceled the auction, according to NBC. Ebay told the couple to restart the auction.

As of around Wednesday afternoon, the top bid has reached $5,100 since making its second appearance two days ago.

Watch as aerial views of a car with 141,095 miles hitting turns along scenic routes can transform an old Japanese piece of machinery into a luxury automobile.

Via NBC Bay Area:

Far from disappointed, though, the couple continues to marvel at how “surprising and overwhelmingly positive” their experience has been. “This was definitely an unexpected turn,” Lanman acknowledged, “but we have faith that everything will work itself out. Overall, we're just so grateful for all that has happened with the commercial and the story. It's been truly amazing.”

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