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Old 12-26-2018, 03:37 PM   #1
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Bad experience - Buyer beware.

This occurred to me earlier this month and perhaps may save someone time and/or expense.

A few weeks ago I submitted an offer on Ebay using the "Make Offer" option for item "SUPER CLEAN SOUTHERN CA 1998 THOMAS 90 PASS. A/C 8.3 ISC HUGE 40 PLUS BUS SALE #283266185552" from seller 482dan.
The seller accepted and I proceeded to contact the seller regarding payment. I asked the seller if he would accept payment via Escrow.com (safest method for this long distance transaction). The seller agreed, so I initiated the transaction with Escrow.com. There are a few steps that both the Buyer and Seller must follow to complete the transaction which I will not detail here. However, when first setting up the transaction, there are 3 options to determine whom pays the escrow fee (seller, buyer, split 50/50). The seller agreed to pay half the escrow fee, so I chose the split option. In the event the transaction is cancelled by both parties, the fees will come out of the buyers returned funds (risk to buyer).

I arranged for a Uship driver to pickup the Bus a couple days later but the Seller was very slow in returning my calls/texts/emails and the driver could no longer wait. The driver said they may be able to take the job but it would be several days later when they have a delivery back to that area. I made arrangements to do that but the seller returned my call later and said he did not want Uship to pick up the Bus even though he never mentioned this earlier? He said he did not trust them and had a prior bad experience with them. He also mentioned using one of his drivers which would cost me $1000+ more than the Uship driver I already had. Obviously, I said no and he asked what Uship was charging me. I provided him the cost and he said he would reach out to his driver and get back. I did some research later on the seller and discovered he owns a trucking company which has several drivers (not just one unless they quit). Meanwhile, I contacted my Uship driver to cancel the pickup and apologized again because of the seller.

I did not hear back from the seller for a couple of days and left another message. He responded with ebay message "my driver never responded. I am not comfortable with this type of transaction so I am bailing out and If you want to purchase bus I need payment in full before it leaves my lot.".

Based on the sellers responses from both phone conversation and the message above, it is not clear what his primary reason for cancelling could be? He seemed to be all over the place with excuses ranging from Good Faith deposit to driver pickup to getting funds from escrow. Escrow.com reached out to him several times to reassure him but it appears he may not understand what an escrow is or how it works. The entire purchase amount was in escrow waiting on him to release the Bus, so the funds could be deposited in the account of his choosing. I had no choice but to agree with cancelling the transaction in order for Escrow.com to return my funds.

Several messages were also exchanged afterwards in an attempt to recoup fees associated with the cancelled transaction. Fortunately, I have everything documented (also recorded in Ebay messages) and was able to get him to repay part of the escrow fee but was still out of over $120 in fees. The seller should have never agreed to the transaction in the first place if he was not comfortable with it. Be careful if you decide to purchase anything from Ebay seller 482Dan or his bus lot in Calexico CA.

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Old 12-26-2018, 04:15 PM   #2
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I'll never use UShip again. I hired them to pick up a paint booth. They showed up with a truck too small and had to reschedule. As it turns out the booth was not ready to load when they showed up with the wrong truck. All I had been notified of was the truck was too small. Ultimately, after the delivery, which was paid in advance on my CC, they informed me I was going to be charged $200 for the dead pick up. I was in between the seller and UShip. Seller said it wasn't their fault the truck was too small, and UShip says it wasn't ready for pick up when they showed the first time, even though they couldn't load it. The hit my card for the $200.
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Old 12-26-2018, 06:04 PM   #3
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Thanks for the heads up, I was just looking at this bus again as my last deal fell through and his posting ends tomorrow. I don't think I am going to make an offer on it due to the low ceiling height (72") and the fact that it is 2,850 miles and 44 hours of driving away. Just out of curiosity how much did you offer? How much was the quote from Uship? I have always assumed shipping would be crazy expensive for a 40' bus so I haven't really explored that option much.
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Old 12-26-2018, 06:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Willie_McCoy View Post
Thanks for the heads up, I was just looking at this bus again as my last deal fell through and his posting ends tomorrow. I don't think I am going to make an offer on it due to the low ceiling height (72") and the fact that it is 2,850 miles and 44 hours of driving away. Just out of curiosity how much did you offer? How much was the quote from Uship? I have always assumed shipping would be crazy expensive for a 40' bus so I haven't really explored that option much.
Quote was for a paint booth still in a crate, 4'x4'x8'. UShip charged me around $200, the seller found me a shipper for $1800, 3 times the price of the booth. So it ended up costing me $400. I'm sure you'll pay as much as the bus to have it lowboy shipped
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Old 12-26-2018, 06:56 PM   #5
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Honestly $1800 for a cross country bus shipment wouldn't be too bad for me. I am looking at $1700 and I have to do all this flying and driving and renting cars, and probably taking time off work too. Would gladly pay a hundred or so more to deal with literally none of that. You've got me thinking here. Going to search for shipping posts and see what I can find. I just figured it would be in the 3k range and never really put much work into it.
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Willie_McCoy View Post
Honestly $1800 for a cross country bus shipment wouldn't be too bad for me. I am looking at $1700 and I have to do all this flying and driving and renting cars, and probably taking time off work too. Would gladly pay a hundred or so more to deal with literally none of that. You've got me thinking here. Going to search for shipping posts and see what I can find. I just figured it would be in the 3k range and never really put much work into it.
$1800 would a steal to get a 20K lb bus across country. I shipped a 300lb paint booth that they wanted $1800 to ship from the seller. At local tow rates(I'm sure cross country carrier will be cheaper) $250 to hook up, $3.50/mi. at 2800 would run just under $10k. If you find anyone to do it for around $1800 I would jump on it immediately.
Where did you get the $1700 figure from? I drove mine from Butte to Seattle and then home to Atl. I figured it was 2600 miles. Paid $1500 in fuel alone to get home. I do drive faster than most and thus probably(surely) get worse fuel mileage
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:07 PM   #7
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I'll bet the $1800 quote was for someone to drive it.
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:47 PM   #8
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I was figuring a return trip for my last failed attempt at purchase. Bus was in Gypsum CO and I am in RI, its about 1,860 miles one way. I have devised a formula for figuring cost of bus driving at about .40 mile figuring average MPG to be 9 and average national diesel cost to be between $3.00-$3.25/gallon. I simply take the total miles and multiply times .4 and get an approximation of the cost to drive. In this case I had about $750 in driving costs. Add to that $400 for 2 one way plane tickets from PVD to DEN, $200 for car rental, $25 for car fuel, and $300 for misc costs (food, emergency 1 night lodging in bug infested roadside motel) and I had a total return transport cost of $1675 which I rounded up to $1700. I have always been under the impression that shipping would be crazy expensive and haven't bothered to do any serious research. I think I misread marcs post earlier as it seems that shipping is crazy expensive and not really a viable option.
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
I drove mine from Butte to Seattle and then home to Atl. I figured it was 2600 miles. Paid $1500 in fuel alone to get home. I do drive faster than most and thus probably(surely) get worse fuel mileage
I may be a bit optimistic hoping for 9mpg, perhaps I should adjust my numbers as I would be figuring about $1040 in fuel for that trip
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:57 PM   #10
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I drove mine from Butte to Seattle and then home to Atl. I figured it was 2600 miles.
Just did this route on Goole Maps and its 3,228 miles, about $1,300 in fuel by my math. Not too far off I guess.
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Old 12-26-2018, 08:02 PM   #11
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I may be a bit optimistic hoping for 9mpg, perhaps I should adjust my numbers as I would be figuring about $1040 in fuel for that trip
9mpg is not a bad number to work with if you drive 55-65. I ran one full tank out on cruise at 80 and only got 7mpg. Slowed the next tank to 70 and got 8.9. Compared to your estimated expense, yes, lowboy across the country would be crazy expensive.
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Old 12-26-2018, 08:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie_McCoy View Post
Thanks for the heads up, I was just looking at this bus again as my last deal fell through and his posting ends tomorrow. I don't think I am going to make an offer on it due to the low ceiling height (72") and the fact that it is 2,850 miles and 44 hours of driving away. Just out of curiosity how much did you offer? How much was the quote from Uship? I have always assumed shipping would be crazy expensive for a 40' bus so I haven't really explored that option much.
I was working on a deal for a Crown this past Aug. but the deal fell through. I happened to see this bus and after looking into it, found that this bus has been for sale on different sites (incl.Ebay) since at least March 2018 for something like $9980.

I knew the bus was over priced but thought I would make an offer anyway, so I offered 6K. He turned it down and I countered at 6500 which he again turned down. At the time I did not think it was worth more than that because it did not have what I was looking for and it has the low ceiling height which would require the expense of a roof raise since I am 6'1 (without shoes).

Several weeks went by and I noticed he dropped the price, so I made another offer of $6500. He turned it down again, so I decided to go up $500 to 7K since there was not a lot out choices at the time (things kind of dried up on the auction sites). He countered at $7500, so I countered at $7250 which he accepted.

The lowest Uship bid was not for shipping but a Driveaway and was just under $1500 from CA to KC area.

Btw, he recently dropped the price again but it is still above my last offer which he accepted.
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Old 12-26-2018, 08:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie_McCoy View Post
Honestly $1800 for a cross country bus shipment wouldn't be too bad for me. I am looking at $1700 and I have to do all this flying and driving and renting cars, and probably taking time off work too. Would gladly pay a hundred or so more to deal with literally none of that. You've got me thinking here. Going to search for shipping posts and see what I can find. I just figured it would be in the 3k range and never really put much work into it.

I called several transports and they ranged anywhere from $3300 to $5600. The lowest Driveaway I found was just under $1500 from CA to KC area as mentioned in my previous post.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:31 PM   #14
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I purchased my bus from him on ebay last August (2003 thomas hdx Cummins 8.3 90 pass) and the only issue I had was their attempt to get it registered as an RV for me instead of me just doing it myself. Luckily I was able to get it straightened out at the DMV after a bit of explaining. Pick up day went smooth and he even bought me half a tank of gas to get me home! I might have overpaid a little but I needed a bus, and he had what I wanted. I will say that Dan can be a hard man to reach sometimes, I'm not entirely sure he's aware its the 21st century. Very nice guy in person.
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:50 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by randomstart View Post
I purchased my bus from him on ebay last August (2003 thomas hdx Cummins 8.3 90 pass) and the only issue I had was their attempt to get it registered as an RV for me instead of me just doing it myself. Luckily I was able to get it straightened out at the DMV after a bit of explaining. Pick up day went smooth and he even bought me half a tank of gas to get me home! I might have overpaid a little but I needed a bus, and he had what I wanted. I will say that Dan can be a hard man to reach sometimes, I'm not entirely sure he's aware its the 21st century. Very nice guy in person.
Count yourself fortunate. He definitely lives in the past with the exception of understanding that a deal is a deal. People can seem nice but have no integrity and he is one of those types.
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Old 10-07-2021, 08:50 PM   #16
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I purchased my bus from Dan in Calexico. I guess I had a completely different experience.

I found a 2005 Thomas HDX 40ft er on his eBay page but it was a bit on the high side price wise. I added it to my watch list and a week later he came down $1000 on his price. I was lucky I lived in SoCal and I asked if I could come down and look at. He agreed right away and he said there was one other person interested and a $500 deposit would secure it and if I didnt like it upon arrival hed credit it back.

I drove down a couple days later, and checked it out. It was immaculate, I mean I spent an hour crawling around in and under it and found not a single bit of rust, the engine was perfect it had no limiter, it ran smooth and we took it up to 75mph indicated on the test drive. He put brand new batteries and tires on it before I saw it.

I of course, wanted it said Id purchase it, I dropped the cash and he had me out the door on temp plates that afternoon. His guys took out all but a seat or two I asked to be removed and all the bits and bobs that make it legal in Cali to drive.

His secretary (prob his wife or relative) asked for a photo with a bed in it for the title change to RV(MH) I texted her a photo and 3wks later I was titled as RV and registered with new Cali plates.

Personally think he was an upstanding fellow, maybe it helps were both vets??, but it was the smoothest vehicle transaction Ive ever had.

Bus is still problem free and Im raising the roof here a day or two.
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Old 10-07-2021, 10:16 PM   #17
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I used U-ship. The first driver didn't show, which was embarrassing. The second did. They drove my buss 22-2300 miles, payed for all fuel and expenses and charged me a flat $2000. I tipped the driver $100 and drove him to the airport. The seller on my deal was very helpful though and made sure the bus was ready to roll.
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Old 10-08-2021, 06:50 AM   #18
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ive used uShip for smaller things. biut never a vehicle.



every bus ive gotten ive just Hopped in the seat and drove them home.. and ive had a ball doing it.. all 3 of them have been over 1000 miles away.. one bus did break enough for me to stay put for a couple days to fix it. however since i can work anywhere, i made some new friends (learned not to order a "glass of crown royal" at a small holiday inn bar in southern georgia .) ..



in my opinion im buying busses to drive them.. so thats what I do when I get a new one, drive it.. im not going to buy anything that I dont expect to be in driving condition.



transporting a bus is something to Vet out a shipper well to make sure they have actually transported a large vehicle before and understands the weight, center of gravity, length, and has the proper trailer / ramps to load / unload..


right now its just plain going to be expensive to buy a bus clear across the country.. fuel prices are up and going to go higher, much higher, before they settle down.. shippers are in High demand.. pretty much anyone who has a truck and a CDL is out driving right now. . (and thats scary becasue theres some shady characters in the mix)..



any port city / state will be the worst to get somethign transported from.. one of the biggest supply chain issues right now is not enough trucks / trains. to carry freight away from the port, thus the logjam at coastal areas..



if you buy a bus across the country right now, id plan on driving it away..

do some real-world cost analysis when you buy your bus... while everyone here will say "get a bus with no rust".. real-world analysis means will a little rust cost yoiu much $$ in the lifespan you plan to keep your bus. vs the cost of buying in a premium market, getting it home safe and sound..
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