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Five Warning Signs You’re Reading a Fake Ad!

"I'm becoming increasingly agitated over the amount of total crap I'm reading.

What is it about this particular vehicle that attracts bad sorts, from sleazy private importers bringing in auction rejects and repairable wrecks... and the full size car yards down Parramatta way...

There are exterior photos of vans with sunroofs, which mysteriously disappear in interior shots. On other sites the vans are so photo-shopped to be almost unrecognisable, and so many with options that don't exist. Rain sensing wipers on a (Nissan Elgrand) 2002 series 1, give me a break!"

I got this email from a RANTING AND FUMING member of the Nissan Elgrand FB group and loved it... couldn’t put it better myself!

There are a lot of dodgy sellers and a mountain of fake ads for all Japanese imports online.

What can you do if the authorities turn the blind eye? You can educate yourself and avoid those "fake news" sellers and yards!

Firstly, what is a fake ad?

🚫 An ad for a vehicle that doesn’t exist and serves as a fat online bait to lure you to a car yard.

🚫 An ad for a vehicle that does exist, but it has a serious problem such as a clocked back mileage or a bad auction grade (due to accident or worn out condition).

Fake Ad

Here's my selection of 5 warning signs for you:

📌 There is no VIN number on the ad or VIN number is too short or the sequence of numbers is just silly — 123456, etc. It means a seller is trying to avoid Japanese history check just like my cat avoids a mandarin peel.

📌 There is no picture of Export Certificate (or “dereg paper”) on the ad: same as above, you can't do any checks of the VIN and mileage.

📌 Inconsistency in pictures: sunroofs on one pictures and no sunroofs on others, different floor mats, etc.

📌 Discrepancy between text and pictures — ad copy lists options that are not visible in pictures.

📌 And this is my favourite one: if a seller advertises a few cars of the same model/year all around 50,000km and cheap

Low mileage cars are VERY EXPENSIVE at the auctions in Japan. They are also not that common after a certain number of years. When a car with low kms shows up, everyone bids on it and that pushes the price up.

So, if you see a seller that puts up a number of Elgrands or Estimas all of them with around 50,000km on the clock — Houston, we have a problem. They are either clocked back or those are ads of non-existent cars designed for you to take a bait and arrive to a car yard, where they'll BS you to death (No, really! You probably know that better than me).

Hope this info helps and happy car hunting! 😉

P.S. I love hanging out on Instagram, so c'mon over and join me if we are not connected yet.

Join my email list to stay connected and be in the know which vehicles are coming and which ones are going, which models are hot, and which are not.

Here’s what else you’ll get in my weekly emails:

  • How to read auction reports and verify mileage with real life examples
  • Differences between the models
  • Popular models
  • Why 7 seats may be preferrable than 8
  • Possible risks and how to avoid them
  • What to expect from the new import law?

Your JDM addict