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-   -   Potential Buyers asking for VIN #'s (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=778520)

behindtheboat 04-14-2010 7:06 AM

Potential Buyers asking for VIN #'s
I am currently selling my old boat, and all of a sudden this is becoming a trend. Is it normal for someone, right off the bat (first time contacting me), to ask for the boat and trailer VIN #? I know it is beneficial once coming close to the deal, it just doesn't seem like something I want to be giving out left and right, or is it?

Obviously I'm not very experienced with selling a used boat.

slipknot 04-14-2010 7:13 AM

no way dont give it out

wake77 04-14-2010 7:37 AM

Maybe they are wanting to check to make sure this is a legit sale or to make sure the boat is not stolen. Seems a little bit early in the game, though, to be trying to find that out. Unless they live far away, I would think that they would at least come to look at the boat first.

I am not 100% sure, but I believe that information is public record, so I wouldn't think it was a scam, but still I wouldn't just volunteer that information unless they seemed serious about the purchase.

wakeboardin 04-14-2010 7:38 AM

I am be some what naive but I can tell you that if I am serious about a boat I would want to check the vin to make sure it was never a total loss or major claim (to tell the truth not sure how to even do so). I actually planned on purchasing Glens old boat then my wife got hit with identity theft so it just screwed everything up. The boat I ended up getting later I ended up calling Paradise Marine where it was purchased and serviced and they told me that it had a prop and rudder strike and was warranty repaired via the owners insurance and that it was serviced regularly. This was not disclosed by the Police Officer I bought it from.

So I guess why I bring this up is to say that there could be other means out there to get history on a potential purchase. You do always need to protect yourself with all the scams going on now. Maybe instead of saying your not going to give it out state you are not comfortable providing it at this time but will if things become more serious. You may want to ask what they plan to do with it and sit back and enjoy the possible B.S. that they serve up of they are a scammer.
Just remember that if I was interested in your boat and you didn't offer it up right away I would still want to know more about it and it wouldn't send me packing right there. So if they ask and split they most likely are looking to scam someone.

Good Luck,

montana_sanger 04-14-2010 7:40 AM

If its needed for a loan, tell them you will contact the lender yourself. I could stand behind a boat for 3 seconds and get the vin #, all you would have to do is watch where someone parked the trailer to get that. So, I'm not sure what someone could actually do with them. Maybe they are trying to track down a stolen unit.

chris4x4gill2 04-14-2010 7:47 AM

It is to check for damage history or reports. Same as doing a Carfax when you are looking at a used car.

There isnt anything they can do to "steal" your boat with the HIN.

dru1974 04-14-2010 7:50 AM

vin numbers
It is normal as they want to see if it is legit before going through the hassel.

Matt 04-14-2010 7:52 AM

I sold my x-80 ebay last year, they wanted the HIN & trailer VIN... I didnt think anything of it... Sold and havent had any problems...

tyler97217 04-14-2010 7:55 AM

I would not have any problem giving anyone a VIN. What are they going to do with it? I suppose if they were from some very foreign country and had a very foreign accent and just wanted it so they could post a fake posting, I might refrain, but realistically what are they going to do with the VIN. Shows me they are an interested buyer. I say give it to them unless you think something else is fishy.

04-14-2010 8:36 AM

I was recently in the used boat market and asking for the VIN number was the first thing I did. I was checking to make sure it had a valid title and there were no unpaid fees. Also, I needed the VIN to get boat insurance quote. As others mentioned, you can get the boat VIN off the rear pretty easy.

behindtheboat 04-14-2010 9:27 AM

I get why they would need it, the person that asked for it after 3-4 contacts with me is understandable.

It's the people that ask for it right away. Also, if they're checking for history, none of that will be available. Title and everything are fine, I doubt much of the maintenance paid for was registered anywhere on such an old boat, as well as I did the routine maintenance. I'm also up front with any and all work that has been done.

Banks, loans, titles, I understand that. Also, in this state you can go to small claims court and have a title created (or so I've heard). Thank you for the information, I just didn't understand why people would ask that first thing rather than to see additional pictures. Like has been said, it's easy to get and give, I was just apprehensive as to why it was a popular inquiry.

elc 04-14-2010 9:40 AM

I just sold my boat earlier this year. I did not have one person ask me for my VIN number on the first contact unless it was an obvious scam. Those inquiries asked for other information also. Even the guys interested in the boat from Australia and Canada didn't ask for the VIN in the first communication. Every single person that I knew was interested started off with the usual questions... pics, condition, salt water etc. Saying all this, I don't think I would have thought twice about giving the VIN # out.

tyler97217 04-14-2010 9:41 AM

Also, I noticed that NADA is starting to advertise a service to check the history of boats, like carfax, and I am sure general consumers are buying into it. Not sure if the system is legit or not. Never tried it.

dbdan 04-14-2010 1:26 PM


Title and everything are fine,...I did the routine maintenance...I'm also up front with any and all work that has been done.
Of course everything is fine, and you did all the routine maintenance, and are totally up front! And so is every other person who's selling a boat. Why would someone ever lie about that???? ;)

Sorry, not trying to pick on you or be a jerk, but anyone can say anything. Unless you do the research, you can't be sure...

ixfe 04-14-2010 1:43 PM

Don't give up the VIN ever! They might be trying to steal your boat's identity!! :eek:

sidekicknicholas 04-14-2010 1:59 PM

Happens all the time in sales with cars..... Like what Diggs said, if they can "boatfax" it or something

04-14-2010 2:08 PM

I forgot; one other reason why I asked for the VIN upfront was to verify warranty information. Some of the potential boats listed having a "warranty". I remember asking for the VIN number in my initial email to sellers on several occassions so I could verify warranty information through local dealer.

I guess some add responses could be scammers but as an average Joe, I'm not sure off hand what they could gain from having your VIN number. I guess it's best to just trust your intuition!!

krbaugh 04-14-2010 2:52 PM

VIN is the trailer number
HIN is the Boat numbers
You would need the Engine serial number to check on its warranty

rallyart 04-15-2010 12:29 PM

I would quit talking to an owner that was unwilling to give me the serial numbers. I would be able to confirm the year, history, and liens of what I was looking to buy. If the seller was unwilling to get them I would think the seller was scamming.

talltigeguy 04-15-2010 12:37 PM

I didn't have time to read the entire thread, but the HIN has lots of information in it. I once saw an ad for a Nautique that I thought might be a good unit to flip for a fellow wakeworlder. I was thinking of adding a tower and then marketing it to some on this board who realize what a great boat a 2001 Nautique is for a budget minded wakeboarder. Come to find out the boat was not even a Nautique at all. I only learned this after posting some information on this thread when I thought there were some parts of the boat that did not add up. The type of original engine is often part of the hull ID as well.

I would be willing to bet that most total loss boats do not get reported to whoever is supposed to be responsible for monitoring what boats have been totalled.

The HIN should only be necessary to confirm the make, model and year of the boat, and to get a loan.

I suppose I might be concerned if a potential seller won't give it to me, since it is public knowledge anyway. I would be suspicious that the seller is hiding something, and does not want to have it discovered.

cavlxenvy 04-15-2010 1:06 PM

Only give up the VIN to their bank. Thats usually why they ask for it because banks want that information to grant the loan. I would not give my personal VIN to a private buyer. Be sure to contact the bank to make sure they do not share the VINs.

talltigeguy 04-15-2010 1:59 PM

Suppose I see a nice boat parked at the lake....I write down the HIN.

What can I do with that number that could possibly harm the owner? Nothing.

I have even seen some people post a close up pic of the HIN in their selling ad. There is no harm.

shawndoggy 04-15-2010 2:07 PM

Man, some people are extra paranoid. If I'm a buyer, I want the HIN for any number of reasons (run title search, etc). Also, don't understand the "only give it to teh buyer's bank" comments -- people pay cash for boats sometimes too. They shouldn't be allowed to get your HIN?

At least in states where boats are titled, you need that title to transfer the boat.

Or look at it another way... your car's vin is clearly visible through the windshield. Are you paranoid about people seeing it?

99_slaunch 04-15-2010 2:55 PM

They can't do any thing with those #'s. It's like the people who post pictures on forums of their vehicles and then make the license plate #'s all swirly so you can't read it. But they will drive their cars down the road and park them in parking lots for every one else to see. For every who says don't give out the #'s . Please tell me exactly what you can do with that number. Boat shops do not cover the #'s while they are in the show room. You could walk in to any boat shop get the #'s and leav. Same thing at a car dealer. why? because those #'s will do nothing for you.

fuzzball147 04-16-2010 7:17 AM

I'm in the procees of buying a boat and I asked for the HIN for a few reasons. My credit union wants to check it before they'll even discuss a loan, my insurance guy wanted it to give me a price quote, and I ran it through boatfax to make sure it wasn't listed as stolen, damaged, and the numbers matched up to what the boat manf. said it was supposed to be. I don't think you can really do anything malicious with the numbers, just do some checks. Just fyi, I am driving out of state to get it so I could not check these things in person.

wakesurfer08 04-16-2010 12:11 PM

^^ +1

I always have asked for the VIN when looking to purchase a boat, never know what may have happened to it or any other problems with it, insurance,for your loan, and simple piece of mind before traveling to look at and purchase.

trace 04-17-2010 1:50 PM

I've never understood the paranoia about license plates and VINs. You can walk up to any boat or car and collect all of them that you want. I ask for them when looking at buying cars/boats/bikes, and if someone is unwilling to give them out it seems really fishy.

2006maliblue 04-17-2010 6:40 PM

Personally I could care less if somebody knew my VIN or HIN numbers. They aren't going to do any good with out a title. Might seem a little akward somebody coming out and asking for it up front but it helps the buyer weed out all the fraud out there. Once I get a VIN or HIN number I can verify one its the boat I was looking for and two that you are the person who can sell it.

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