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eBay offers free vehicle-history reports

Wed, 11 Nov 2009

All vehicles built since the 1981 model year listed for sale on eBay now include vehicle history reports from Experian Automotive at no cost to vehicle buyers or sellers.

Starting Wednesday, the reports are available on all vehicles sold in eBay auction and classified formats, as well as for vehicles sold by dealers or by private parties, said Nicolas Franchet, senior director of U.S. vehicles at eBay Motors.

“We're interested in being the best place to buy and sell your car online,” Franchet said.

He said the report helps eBay foster a level of trust between vehicle buyers and sellers.

The reports are automatic. Sellers cannot opt out.

Vehicles built before the 1981 model year have vehicle identification numbers that are not unique and therefore are not included in the program.

Edie Hirtenstein, senior product manager at Experian's AutoCheck service, said the company's research indicates that consumers have more confidence in a used vehicle and the dealer selling it when the vehicle is accompanied by a history report.

“It's important for dealers to know all vehicles they list on eBay have free AutoCheck information available to their shoppers,” she said.

Odometer tampering

Experian's AutoCheck reports detail whether the vehicles listed on the site have been involved in major accidents, have salvage titles, have been repossessed or stolen or have had their odometers tampered with.

It also notes if a vehicle had prior special use, such as a police vehicle or in a rental fleet, and if there is a loan with a lien on it.

Terms of the eBay-Experian agreement were not immediately known.

Franchet said eBay previously offered vehicle history reports from Carfax Inc., when pre-purchased by dealers. Web shoppers had to click on a tab to get the information. The new method highlights key areas of concern in a shaded area below the vehicle in the middle of the listing.

Sellers who purchase vehicle history reports from Carfax will continue to have links to that site included with their descriptions, Franchet said.

Wayne Ussery, director of Internet marketing at Jim Ellis Auto Dealerships in suburban Atlanta, said his group has always purchased Carfax vehicle history reports with the vehicles it sells on eBay Motors and other third-party sites and will continue to do so.

He added: “We want to be able to control that the reports exist and they they're on every site.”

By Arlena Sawyers- Automotive News