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Sold a motorbike last week on Leboncoin.  Two chaps drove up from Spain to buy it.  From the outset I made it plain to the French speaking Spaniard that cash was not an option.  A virement should be made after seeing the bike and before any test drives.  This was all agreed.  In the end, it was two of his friends who arrived with a trailer, not a word of French or English between them (that they would admit to).  I have no Spanish but luckily our youngest was home with his Lycée Spanish (regretfully not including all the  technical motorbike nor banking terms). 

They wanted the bike and (much arm waving and translating) the virement was arranged - or not as it turned out.  Much telephoning, texting, computing and an hour later, no money.  Spaniard one pulled from his pocket thousands of Euros, so I agreed we would go to the (our) local Credit Agricole and get the money checked and paid in.  

We asked at the bank if they could verify that the money was real (the €500 notes had me instantly worried).  Turns out the Bank has no facilities to verify notes of any denomination  The main Nantes one may have, but you have to leave the money there and wait.  

We then went to the post officer (he had a Spanish PO bank account).  I had not the heart at this stage to tell him how effective the French PO bank was.  Yes, he could pay in the money, no he could not transfer it to me until it had cleared 48 hrs later.  Yes PO transfers were allowed 1500€ per day, €3000 maximum to one person.  The PO chap spoke perfect Spanish,  but the bike buyer could not believe how complex and restrictive the banking here is. 

In the end, he asked a friend in Spain to send the money through his bank and all was cleared 2 hours later (not so instant SEPA virement)   Until I saw it in the account I was convinced it was an "arnaque" to get me to take the unverifiable money out of desparation. 

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1 hour ago, Lehaut said:

Sold a motorbike last week on Leboncoin.  Two chaps drove up from Spain to buy it.  From the outset I made it plain to the French speaking Spaniard that cash was not an option.  A virement should be made after seeing the bike and before any test drives.  This was all agreed.  In the end, it was two of his friends who arrived with a trailer, not a word of French or English between them (that they would admit to).  I have no Spanish but luckily our youngest was home with his Lycée Spanish (regretfully not including all the  technical motorbike nor banking terms). 

They wanted the bike and (much arm waving and translating) the virement was arranged - or not as it turned out.  Much telephoning, texting, computing and an hour later, no money.  Spaniard one pulled from his pocket thousands of Euros, so I agreed we would go to the (our) local Credit Agricole and get the money checked and paid in.  

We asked at the bank if they could verify that the money was real (the €500 notes had me instantly worried).  Turns out the Bank has no facilities to verify notes of any denomination  The main Nantes one may have, but you have to leave the money there and wait.  

We then went to the post officer (he had a Spanish PO bank account).  I had not the heart at this stage to tell him how effective the French PO bank was.  Yes, he could pay in the money, no he could not transfer it to me until it had cleared 48 hrs later.  Yes PO transfers were allowed 1500€ per day, €3000 maximum to one person.  The PO chap spoke perfect Spanish,  but the bike buyer could not believe how complex and restrictive the banking here is. 

In the end, he asked a friend in Spain to send the money through his bank and all was cleared 2 hours later (not so instant SEPA virement)   Until I saw it in the account I was convinced it was an "arnaque" to get me to take the unverifiable money out of desparation. 

I'm sure you were right in everything you did. Personally I would have taken the cash, and maybe paid the price!!! The fly in the ointment was that they were from Spain so transferring wasn't, at first, straight forward. A lesson I'm sure is that in such a transaction it should be made clear to the purchaser that the vehicle (bike) is looked at and the sale agreed. they then leave and return with verified bank cheque, or virement is made, before letting the bike go. Your experience does sound unnecessarily complicated.

I have sold two vehicles since being here and purchased one from Spain all with no problems.

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22 hours ago, Ken said:

return with verified bank cheque,

Even these do not have the security you might think they have/had.  The advice is to contact the issuing bank to verify with them they have issued it. So no selling on a Saturday afternoon/Sunday or Monday when the banks are shut. The traps for the unwary are many.  The other problem with a test drive is if they disappear when you have given them the keys - the insurance company takes a dim view of that too!

Anyway it all worked out in the end.

I have sold several cars/bikes before and accepted cash.  The last car we sold here in Nantes I took the cash as the young buyer had brought his grandparents up with him to inspect the car, so made a judgement call 🙂

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6 hours ago, Lehaut said:

Even these do not have the security you might think they have/had.  The advice is to contact the issuing bank to verify with them they have issued it. So no selling on a Saturday afternoon/Sunday or Monday when the banks are shut. The traps for the unwary are many.  The other problem with a test drive is if they disappear when you have given them the keys - the insurance company takes a dim view of that too!

Anyway it all worked out in the end.

I have sold several cars/bikes before and accepted cash.  The last car we sold here in Nantes I took the cash as the young buyer had brought his grandparents up with him to inspect the car, so made a judgement call 🙂

The world is a 'dodgy' place that's for sure. Most of the time it is a 'judgement' call. I have refused several buyers for items. Some wanted to use systems like the Bureau de Post which I'm not familiar with. I always ask for either cash or a cheque, any cheque, I don't care if it is a current account cheque as long as the buyer accepts they will have too wait for it  to be cleared!!! I have had 'angry' buyers as a result and one even threatened legal action but of course was all bluster. Anyway I have never lost a 'penny'.

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16 hours ago, DraytonBoy said:

We sold our car a few weeks ago and insisted on an instant SEPA transfer as payment, I was able to check with the bank that the funds were cleared before we handed over the keys. 

With regard a 'Guaranteed Bank Cheque' I seem to recall that a way around that for fraudsters was to open a bank account and at some point ask the bank for a ''Guaranteed Cheque' to pay someone. Once the cheque was issued the account would be quickly closed but the fraudster still had the 'Guaranteed cheque to give to someone for a car or whatever. Of course once presented it wouldn't have been cashed. I don't know if this practice could still be carried out but that is why even guaranteed cheques have to be confirmed with a phone call.

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In the case of a certified cheque the sum is deducted from the account the moment the cheque is issued. It is then held for eight days to allow for the cheque to be presented after which the sums are returned to the account and the cheque is cancelled.

In the case of a bank cheque the funds are also deducted the moment the cheque is issued but this time they are held for the usual cheque duration of a year and a day.

Of course the cheque itself could be fake which is why it is recommended that the issuing bank is called to confirm it's existence.

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