The response we received about this article was great and very insightful. Of the 5,000 people who saw the Facebook post and the 604 people who actually read the article, we received great feedback on both Facebook and Nextdoor. As of 2/5/15, nobody has come forth with an experience that involved any type of scam. A few people reported experiences of actually agreeing to an unsolicited offer, with apparently no issues.
However, we still think it is important to remind everybody in San Marcos (and likely most other cities), that door to door soliciting is illegal, unless you have a solicitor’s license. We know with certainty that the people walking around neighborhoods making unsolicited offers on your car are doing so illegally (read more here). Not everybody minds illegal door-to-door solicitors, so at very least we urge people to simply be cautious in this type of situation and to use common sense.
Recently, various neighbors around San Marcos have reported receiving strange unsolicited offers for their car. Based on feedback we’ve received from neighbors, and a bit of research, apparently these types of unsolicited offers aren’t new. (Example in Orange County).
The details of recent stories of this happening vary, but most sound something like this:
Resident/Homeowner: How can I help you?
Man at door: Hi, any chance you’re selling your [insert car type here] in your driveway?
Man at door: Okay, well if you change your mind, here is my phone number. I am trying to find a car for my [son/daughter].
In some cases, people have come home to a note taped to their door with the question “are you willing to sell your [insert car type here]? Please call [name] at [number].” The photo below is an actual example (with phone number and car model blurred on purpose).
So far we have not heard of any stories that have progressed beyond the resident/homeowner simply saying NO, so we are very curious if anybody else has some insight. We don’t know if this is simply a legitimate offer to buy a car, a lowball offer strategy, a setup for a scam….? It’s definitely unusual, so it’s worth an open discussion.
Please let us know if this has happened to you, and share your story! Share on our Facebook page or in the comments below.
Finally, if you are ready to sell your car, make sure to read some of these safety tips from Kelley Blue Book: Steps to Help Protect Yourself When Selling Your Car
A low tech scam. They do it because it works. Don’t become a victim. Report all suspicious persons and suspicious activity to law enforcement.