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  #1  
Old 04-12-2007, 06:36 PM
Roboto Roboto is offline
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Car Purchase - Cash or Cashier's Check? Process?

Shopping for a vintage vehicle on craigslist (Mustang!) and realized that I don't know exactly what buyers expect in terms of payment. Obviously everyone wants cash, but the car I want costs $12k. Do they really expect me to show up with $12k in cash (120 $100 bills)? Is that even legal? I need to get a car loan, so the best I can offer is a cashier's check (my bank can issue it within a day). Will a buyer be okay with that? Just curious, I know everyone is so concerned (including myself) of getting ripped off.

Also, how does the process work? I hand them payment, then they hand me the title, and then we compose a short purchase agreement that reads "I, John Jones, hereby sell to Roboto my 1967 Ford Mustang, vin #123456789, for $12,000" which both parties sign?

Any negotiation tips? I suck at it. I know some people automatically list their firm selling price, and others are trying to get as much as possible. I've kept my eye on the postings for a few weeks and have a pretty good idea of market prices.

What specific scams should I look out for? I've never done this before and don't want to blindly wander into fool's mate.

Finally, alot of these Mustangs have original black plates. How do you renew those in your name?
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  #2  
Old 04-12-2007, 07:48 PM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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When I sold my Expedition, I was kind of nervous as well. The buyer had a credit union check (draft, I think they call 'em), and gave me the name and number of the loan officer. I never did follow up, and I delivered at his house, so I wasn't too worried about it. The bank draft cleared fine. I realize there are professional con artists out there, but they guy made me feel good about him so I wasn't too paranoid. How do you present yourself ?
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  #3  
Old 04-12-2007, 07:51 PM
MrFloppy MrFloppy is offline
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I've bought and sold a few vintage vehicles.

As a buyer, what I have done in the past is go to my credit union together with the seller so that he/she can see the cashiers check being produced.

As a seller, I would be very wary of any kind of check unless it was produced in the way described above at the bank. Even fake checks can clear initially.

Craigslist is notorious for scammers but they tend to pose as buyers.

In MD, on the back of the title is an area for the owner and buyer to fill in. The buyer then hands that to you and you take it to the MVA where they register the vehicle in your name and charge 5% of the purchase price for the governor

Negotiation: you should be well versed in the year of car you are looking for. Find out the common faults and check the car thoroughly. Make sure the seller is the owner. Find out what similar cars are selling for and work from there.

As for the plate question, I have no idea. What I would do is go over to say www.mustangforums.com and ask there.

Good luck.
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  #4  
Old 04-12-2007, 10:27 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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The best way to handle the cash part is to go to your bank with the buyer, and have the bank produce the check right there. Next to that, is a cashier's check. A cashier's check is possible to forge, however if the check is produced at the bank, the seller can be certain that it is good.
As far as negotiation goes, after checking out the car, you make an offer to the owner. You offer less than he is asking as this car is obviously the biggest piece of shit on the road in California. He counters with you are on drugs, and this is obviously the finest Mustang in all of creation. net effect, he comes down a little, you come up a little and at some point you meet in the middle.
I have offered to check out anything you find, If it happens to work out, I can also help you make an offer.
As far as the title transfer goes, if you are a member of AAA the two of you can go to a AAA office, and do the entire transfer there. If not he signs the back of the pink, and hands it to you. IIRC there is a small part he tears off and mails in to DMV that says he no longer has an interest in the car. You then take the rest to the DMV and do the transfer. (his mailing his part covers his ass in case you are a flake and never register the car, and get parking tickets etc)
As far as the plates go, you just continue to pay the registration and the plates are still good. In California the plates stay on the car, they do not belong to the owner.
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  #5  
Old 04-12-2007, 11:01 PM
nivlac nivlac is offline
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Last time I sold a car on craiglist the buyer gave me cash in hundred dollar bills. I would not had accepted any kind of check. After all, all the interested buyers were willing to pay cash. I filled out and signed the pink slip (certificate of title), handed over the keys, and he drove off. The buyer and I both had people watching the transaction in case one of us tries to pull a fast one. Overall, it was much easier than I had expected.
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  #6  
Old 04-12-2007, 11:30 PM
Santo Rugger Santo Rugger is offline
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I just bought a motorcycle on CL. I set up a meeting, went to the guys house, looked over the bike, and agreed on a price. Then, we drove to the bank, and we deposited my funds directly from my account to his. He signed the title, handed me the keys, and we went back to his place to load the bike in my truck. Very easy, the guy was cool, and there was never any uneasy feelings.
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  #7  
Old 04-12-2007, 11:34 PM
alice_in_wonderland alice_in_wonderland is offline
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I bought an old car with cash once. I wanted to use a money order, but my then bank was retarded (they are no longer my bank.)

I wound up paying the seller with $6,000 cash which felt weird and he felt weird and he had to count it in the back of his mini-van and it was like a drug deal or something. It worked in the end, but I would go for a cashier's cheque if at all possible.
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  #8  
Old 04-13-2007, 12:46 AM
Barbarian Barbarian is offline
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bank drafts and certified cheques are the way to go-- because the bank has already verified you've got the money in your account. Everyone should accept them for the amount you're talking about.
Heck, that's what I'm using for my new motorcycle that I'm buying direct from the dealer.
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  #9  
Old 04-13-2007, 01:37 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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It is legal to pay cash for any transactions. Those cash transactions over $10,000.00 must be reported to the IRS.

As Rick said, I also suggest you do the transaction at CSAA (I assume one of you is a member) where both of you can be right there and make sure all the paperwork for the sale gets in.

Try Edmunds for a fair price.
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  #10  
Old 04-13-2007, 07:31 AM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth
It is legal to pay cash for any transactions. Those cash transactions over $10,000.00 must be reported to the IRS.
But as my dad likes to day "You only get one chance with cash"
So if you are paying him $7800 and you walk away and realize you gave him $8700, you're screwed.
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  #11  
Old 04-13-2007, 07:34 AM
Uncommon Sense Uncommon Sense is offline
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When I sold my AMX I wanted the guy to pay in cash. He insisted on two cashiers checks. I forget how the 'payable to' was made out on the checks, but we both had to sign each check and then take them to his bank to verify and cash. In the end I had the money in my hands and he had the car. Kind of a weird round-about way of diong it though.
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  #12  
Old 04-13-2007, 08:55 AM
vetbridge vetbridge is offline
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I sold my gf's truck for her. I insisted on Benjamins. After he handed over $7,500 we went to AAA and did the title/plates.
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  #13  
Old 04-13-2007, 10:07 AM
Lionne Lionne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbarian
bank drafts and certified cheques are the way to go-- because the bank has already verified you've got the money in your account. Everyone should accept them for the amount you're talking about.
Heck, that's what I'm using for my new motorcycle that I'm buying direct from the dealer.
Just a note...stops can still be put on cashier checks and money orders.
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  #14  
Old 04-13-2007, 02:21 PM
Will Repair Will Repair is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth
It is legal to pay cash for any transactions. Those cash transactions over $10,000.00 must be reported to the IRS.
Can you cite for this? The IRS allows a one time non-taxable gift of $11,000. The amount which banks must report to the IRS is $10K. I do not believe that there is a limit on cash tranactions.
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  #15  
Old 04-13-2007, 04:14 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Can I buy a vowel here? What is Will Repair asking for a cite on? The size of tax status of gifts is not under discussion here.
The legality and reporting of cash transactions is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth
It is legal to pay cash for any transactions. Those cash transactions over $10,000.00 must be reported to the IRS.
compare that to:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Repair
The amount which banks must report to the IRS is $10K. I do not believe that there is a limit on cash tranactions.

Other than the two statements in the two quotes being in reverse order, what is the difference between them?



I must not have had enough coffee today.
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  #16  
Old 04-13-2007, 05:01 PM
Billdo Billdo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Repair
Can you cite for this? The IRS allows a one time non-taxable gift of $11,000. The amount which banks must report to the IRS is $10K. I do not believe that there is a limit on cash tranactions.
Here is the IRS FAQ on Reporting Cash Payments over $10,000.
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  #17  
Old 04-13-2007, 07:29 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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If you are in a business, any business, and $10,000 changes hands, whether in cash or a money order, it must be reported.

If you as a private citizen, are buying a car from another private individual, I don't believe you are required to report that.
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  #18  
Old 04-13-2007, 07:41 PM
Triskadecamus Triskadecamus is offline
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You don't have to report money that you pay to anyone to the IRS. It's still the internal Revenue Service, not the internal transaction service.

When you get the money, you are required to eventually own up to it with the IRS, but unless you are in business that's a matter of your normal filing requirements.

Tris
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  #19  
Old 04-13-2007, 08:17 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triskadecamus
You don't have to report money that you pay to anyone to the IRS. It's still the internal Revenue Service, not the internal transaction service.

When you get the money, you are required to eventually own up to it with the IRS, but unless you are in business that's a matter of your normal filing requirements.

Tris
And, unless you make a profit when you sell an item, you have no obligation to report anything, as an individual. If you owned a Farrari, for which you paid $125,000 new, and you later sold it, wrecked, for $30,000 cash, you would owe no taxes, nor would you have a reporting requirement.
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  #20  
Old 04-14-2007, 02:43 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
And, unless you make a profit when you sell an item, you have no obligation to report anything, as an individual. If you owned a Farrari, for which you paid $125,000 new, and you later sold it, wrecked, for $30,000 cash, you would owe no taxes, nor would you have a reporting requirement.
But you might have a nice Casualty loss!

However, dudes- if you get audited and the Auditor goes over Income- they will ask you to explain every large income item, such as a $20,000 deposit. If you have no explanation, that $20,000 might well become Taxable Income.

You do not report that you paid someone $12,000 in cash for a car. But they might well have to report that you paid them said $12,000 in cash. Then the IRS can ask you where you got that $12,000 in cash. And, if you pay $9999 in cash, that person might file a SAR on you, and you might find yourself answering very nasty questions posed by a dude with a little gold badge.

My Brother does taxes for a living. Every so often he has a client that has had several CTR's reported on their SSN, and the IRS asks very pointed questions about where and why all that cash.
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  #21  
Old 04-14-2007, 12:21 PM
Astroboy14 Astroboy14 is offline
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I just recently sold a car here in CA. After reading so much about all the scams from Craig's list, etc., I was very paranoid regarding personal checks/money orders/cashier's checks. Fortunately, the buyer was cool with cash (and the amount was $4100, so it wasn't too onerous to carry that amount in $100 bills).

On your title, there is an area that you will need to fill out an have both buyer and seller sign; this gets mailed to the DMV to attest to the fact that as of the date of the sale the seller no longer has responsibility if the car is in an accident.

You will also want to print out a bill of sale from the CA DMV here. This needs to be filled out as well.

I don't recall if there is anything else that needs to be done, but browsing around the DMV's site should answer any proceedural questions you might have.
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  #22  
Old 04-16-2007, 02:26 PM
Barbarian Barbarian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaV
Just a note...stops can still be put on cashier checks and money orders.
You sure? The money's already been taken out of my account, and the draft is still pinned to my bulletin board...
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  #23  
Old 04-16-2007, 03:15 PM
Roboto Roboto is offline
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I bought my Mustang! 1964 1/2 Wimbelton White, blue interior, 170 ci engine 6 cylinder, all stock everything except for the cd player. It's absolutely beautiful! Pay $12k, all cash. Easily the nicest Mustang out of all the ones I looked at. Will post pics once available.

Thanks for all of your advice!
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