Receiving full payment for car by Paypal, any pitfalls?

Most Paypal payments have buyer protection for the buyer, but Paypal clearly states that motor vehicles are ineligible under PayPal’s Purchase Protection program. Can they still do a chargeback on their credit card? I thought I read somewhere that titled property doesn’t qualify for that under some law. Talking about a $5-6,000 car.

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So you are the seller and are wondering what could go wrong with receiving a large amount via Paypal?

I know of no specific Paypal gimmick they might be trying to pull, but I think your spidey-sense is correct to wonder. There’s just too much risk. I’d never buy/sell a car to/from someone who wasn’t local so I could meet the buyer at their bank, and transact the money movement with a teller involved.


Yes I’m the seller. Have done dozens of long distance deals like this but only took a $500 deposit with Paypal. I can understand only two legit reasons he would have for using Paypal for the whole amount. Not having the cash on hand, and getting the cash back from his credit card, although that’s only $100 or so.


You can do a chargeback on your card for virtually any reason. Them winning such a dispute may be an issue, but do you really trust paypal (who the dispute will be against) to sort it out on your behalf?


Today I get a message from somebody wanting to see the car tomorrow. He says,…being a Sunday, I won’t be able to get cash. Would Venmo work, should I decide I want it? I say I don’t do Venmo and he could leave a deposit and bring the balance on Monday. Now he emails, So sorry but it looks like we can’t make it down tomorrow. Scammer.


I would be very careful. Personally, I would stick to the methods you have used successfully in the past. Good luck!!


Do not use Paypal for a big ticket item like this. The buyer can initiate a chargeback through their CC company months later. Paypal has no say in this, and will put your account into a negative balance when this happens. Paypal will not take the hit that’s for sure.


Personally, I would accept paypal, but I would create a new account and wouldn’t hand over the title/keys until the cash is in my bank account (not paypal account) and the bank account is unlinked from paypal.

I have no experience with venmo, but its pretty much the same as paypal, so I would tell the guy willing to use venmo to create a paypal account.

Creating new Paypal and bank accounts won’t help, they’ll come after you for the funds when the buyer disputes the transaction. For a small-ticket item it may not be worth their time, but for a purchase as large as a car they’ll likely pursue it.

Agree, this was a scammer and OP did the right thing.


Don’t credit card companies force you to use PayPal buyer protection to dispute a transaction if you did it through PayPal?

Wouldn’t PayPal have to sue you if they had no linked account anymore?

More than likely, the scammer is using a stolen account (Paypal and bank or credit card). The account holder disputes the purchase as fraudulent and they’re off the hook.

I’m guessing that Paypal can first attempt to reverse the transaction and get the money back from the bank account, even if it was unlinked. If that fails, they can attempt to collect through traditional debt collection methods, which may include suing. For $6k, I’m certain they would not hesitate to pursue the matter.

How could a private seller ever be on the hook for being paid with a stolen PayPal account? There is no verification method for the seller to use, unlike a business that accepts credit cards.

That’s why you shouldn’t use Paypal for such a transaction. Paypal has seller protection for many types of sales, but vehicles are an exclusion. Cave venditor.

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Because the private seller is accepting the money from paypal. The buyer is making the purchase from paypal. In the event of a credit card chargeback, it goes to Paypal and is up to Paypal to “defend”. So the seller is at the mercy of paypal deciding to either fight it, or merely pass along the cost of the chargeback. The seller only gets a say if the dispute is initiated within paypal, regardless of how the buyer funded the purchase.

Except that buyer protection doesn’t covered titled property like motor vehicles. PayPal User Agreement - PayPal US

Ineligible items and transactions under PayPal’s Purchase Protection program

  • Vehicles, including, but not limited to, motor vehicles, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, aircraft and boats.

And from what I understand, credit card companies have the same rule. It might take a long time and be a major hassle to get straightened out if a buyer tries a chargeback, but ultimately the seller should prevail.

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Is that where Paypal scammers sell you cars that don’t exist? Your new car is waiting for you in Cave venditor.

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Semper Ubi sub Ubi, yall! :wink:

+1. The internet is full of PP horror stories.

And unwanted PP pics.