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Before Making That Ebay Bid: Get An International Car Shipping Quote
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As consumers are becoming savvier, more and more are turning to ebay to buy their cars. Buying through ebay cuts out the middleman car dealer and allows for a direct seller-to-purchaser transaction. Furthermore, the car selection on ebay is staggering. Buyers can find anything from old time cars to hot sports cars to limousines to buses. And since ebay is now a global operation, more and more foreigners are buying cars on ebay in the Unites States and then shipping them overseas. Of course the hardest part about buying a car on ebay is figuring out what to bid. Not only does a buyer have to take into consideration the value of the car, but also the cost to ship it. This is why buyers should consult with an international car shipping company before clicking on the “bid” button!
Let’s say a buyer has his eye on a 1956 Ford Mustang for sale on ebay. The car is located in Dallas, Texas and the buyer is located overseas in Europe or Africa. The first thing the buyer should do is contact a reputable overseas car shipping company in the United States and ask for an overseas car shipping quote. A shipping company will be happy to quote a potential buyer, even if the buyer does not yet own the car (and may never do so!).
The international shipping company will first ask the potential buyer for the make, model and year of the car and for the destination to which the buyer wants it shipped. This is necessary to determine whether the car should be shipped in container or by roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) method. Shipping a car RoRo is the cheapest and most efficient way to ship overseas. Rates are based on the dimensions of the car – the bigger the car the higher the rate. The down side of RoRo shipping is that not every port accepts RoRo vessels and the car will be exposed to the elements during the voyage. Further, as the car is driven on and off the vessel, it is more susceptible to dings and scratches. But RoRo is just the thing for shipping, say, a 2003 Honda Civic. Shipping a car in a container tends to be a bit pricier, but the car is protected from the elements. It is blocked and braced in the container to prevent damage. Container shipping is often preferable for luxury or valuable cars. Containers can also be used to ship multiple cars to defray shipping costs. Containers come in two standard sizes, 20 feet and 40 feet, so several cars can be shipped at once, depending on car size. In any case, an international shipping company can give you a quote for the overseas shipping cost.
The next question the car shipping company will ask is whether the car can be delivered to the U.S. export port. So using the Mustang example, Houston would be the closest port to Dallas. The buyer will need to know if the seller can deliver the car to the port. In the case of an ebay sale, probably not. The car shipping company can arrange to have the car transported by car carrier from the seller’s location on Dallas to the Houston port. The shipping company can quote this cost as well.
The third thing the buyer will be asked is whether insurance is needed. This can also be arranged by the international shipping company. Depending on the type of insurance, this would cover the total loss of the car (if, for example, the vessel sinks) or damage to the car during transport (always excluding minor dents and scratches). The insured amount is the value of the vehicle, the cost of shipping, plus 10%. The rate for this can also be quoted in advance.
The only costs that cannot be quoted are the import costs at the country of destination. There are usually port and other fees payable at the destination port. Further, if the car is shipped in a container there will be unloading and stripping chargers. Of course, there may also be duties and import clearance charges payable. The car shipping company may be able to direct the buyer to an agent in the destination country to help in estimating these charges.
Any reputable car shipping company will provide a quote in advance. Buyers should request such a quote in writing and be wary of any shipping company who does not do so. Generally, quotes are valid for 30 days, but the expiration date should be provided with the quote. So with a comprehensive quote for the cost of shipping a car from the seller’s location to the port of destination, a buyer now knows how to budget an ebay car bid!
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