BBB Warns of Questionable Online Car Ad Company

  
     
January 22, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Vancouver, BC – It seems like a no brainer. Pay a few hundred bucks to have an online company all but guarantee to sell your used car. AutoAds Canada (autoadscanada.ca) says they will publish an online ad for your used car on theirs and several other websites for a fee that generally runs around $499.00. Their process is to contact people who are already trying to sell their vehicles on free websites like Craigslist and Kijiji and hit them with their sales pitch.

However, complaints against the company are starting to pile up.

The company claims they typically sell cars within two weeks but many complainants say they can’t even get a hold of the company to see if any offers have been made on their vehicles. In one instance, a complainant claimed to have put in an offer for his own vehicle to see what would happen. According to him he never received the offer and when he finally got through to someone at the company, the customer insists he was told they had no record of any offers.

“The company stopped responding to complaints and currently has an F rating with BBB,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “The Vehicle Sales Authority of BC (VSA) has this company listed as a scam on their website. Complaints indicate people are getting very little for their money and their car ad is put on websites that are free to do so anyway. Many of the complaints involve lack of action, mistakes in ads or money paid then the company stops answering calls. Some say they can’t even find their ads online. They feel very ripped off.”

Another issue with AutoAds is they need to have a Vehicle Sales Authority license in order to act as an agent for the seller. According to the VSA a license is necessary if a company includes their contact information in the ad. This in effect makes them a part of the deal. AutoAds Canada does this by offering available financing. AutoAds Canada does not have a VSA license, nor do they have a business license to operate in the Township of Langley where the BC office is based.

“There are a lot of red flags on this company. For instance there are no terms and conditions on their website. BBB has reached out to them because of a pattern of complaints and we have received no response,” adds Kelly.

BBB has these tips for selling used cars online:

  • Understand that websites like Craigslist and Kijiji are free to advertise (Kijiji has a paid option to boost awareness of what you are selling)
  • Other sites like Autotrader.ca are also free.
  • Do not give out your home address.
  • If selling to someone you’ve never met, be sure to meet in a public place and take a friend along.
  • Have the car cleaned before the buyer comes to see it.
  • Be honest about the car’s history.
  • Do not accept an offer that is over what you are asking; they could be trying to scam you.
  • Legitimate car dealers do buy used cars from the public, just be aware they want to make a profit on the vehicle so you might get less than you are expecting.
  • Do your research when dealing with any third party seller, check BBB’s database for BBB Business or Customer Reviews.

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Media Contacts:

Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor BBB Serving Mainland BC                                                                                                             604-488-8702                                                                                                                                                                                                                   604-505-2307                                                                                                                                                                                             evan@mbc.bbb.org                                                                                                                                                                                                         404-788 Beatty Street                                                                                                                                                                                                           Vancouver, BC                                                                                                                                                                                                                 V6B 2M1 

About BBB:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB Serving Mainland B.C., founded in 1939 and serving the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Northern, Central and Southern Interior BC, and the Yukon, is one of 112 local, independent BBBs across North America. In 2014, consumers turned to BBB Serving Mainland B.C. more than 1.8 million times for Business Reviews and processed 7,500 complaints.