Online car auctions - Opal Sun Ltd, Cardiff

antivirtel
antivirtel Posts: 9 Forumite
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Hi, 

I've found a car on an online auction website, the buy it now price is less than 50% of similar cars, a bit below for the current bid price. The other cars priced more reasonably though. Other basic checks for the cheap car come back fine, I just find literally 0 reviews/feedback about the online auction company. It's Opal Sun Ltd, Cardiff, https://opalsun.co.uk - they only accept bank transfer or debit card payment, so the section 75 doesn't protect me either. So far all ticks for a scam... The company exist from 2003 though, that's why I find it very weird that I can't find them anywhere for reviews. Literally 0 here https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/opalsun.co.uk 

Did anyone use them before? Worth taking the risk? It feels like it doesn't. 

Thank you! 
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Comments

  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 72,135 Ambassador
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    I am not overly familiar with car auctions but this looks more like those sites that are constantly being advertised on the TV where you buy a car unseen but can supposedly return it if you don't like it. I really don't like the idea of buying a car without any description at all.

    I'm also concerned that they talk about membership and have pricing for different levels , do you have to join as a member in order to buy if so have you factored that cost in?

    Opal Sun Limited
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales, Boost Your Income, Praise, Vents & Warnings, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning , UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com.All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • I've got a free 7 day membership, as I contacted them via Gumtree (normally £2000/year). That site has description of the car though, so I'm feeling more confident.

    I've driven that type of car before, so I'm happy with that. They explained the reason for the 50% price, DVLA auction. I suppose it's valid. However I would be feel better if someone would have experience with it. 
  • Try a motoring forum. I used to go on honestjohn.co.uk when I was driving about 15 years back. You can do a forum seach on there.
  • k3lvc
    k3lvc Posts: 4,174 Forumite
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    Hi, 

    I've found a car on an online auction website, the buy it now price is less than 50% of similar cars, a bit below for the current bid price. The other cars priced more reasonably though. Other basic checks for the cheap car come back fine, I just find literally 0 reviews/feedback about the online auction company. It's Opal Sun Ltd, Cardiff, opalsun.co.uk - they only accept bank transfer or debit card payment, so the section 75 doesn't protect me either. So far all ticks for a scam... The company exist from 2003 though, that's why I find it very weird that I can't find them anywhere for reviews. Literally 0 here uk.trustpilot.com/review/opalsun.co.uk 

    Did anyone use them before? Worth taking the risk? It feels like it doesn't. 

    Thank you! 
    I'd do some more digging and be very wary - the last 3 sets of company accounts show assets/liabilities almost identical across the 3 years and zero employees

    IMHO either the site has been hacked or it's been a semi-dormant company to generate longevity (trading since 2003) and now out of the woodwork to make a quick buck

    Where did you find them ? 
  • antivirtel
    antivirtel Posts: 9 Forumite
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    edited 10 October 2022 at 10:49PM
    Thanks, that's why I'm a bit undecided. I've found them on Gumtree. 

    Thank you, I've posted https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/163680/online-car-auctions 
  • Belenus
    Belenus Posts: 2,548 Forumite
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    edited 11 October 2022 at 2:35PM
    Hi, 

    I've found a car on an online auction website, the buy it now price is less than 50% of similar cars, a bit below for the current bid price. The other cars priced more reasonably though. Other basic checks for the cheap car come back fine, I just find literally 0 reviews/feedback about the online auction company. It's Opal Sun Ltd, Cardiff, https://opalsun.co.uk - they only accept bank transfer or debit card payment, so the section 75 doesn't protect me either. So far all ticks for a scam... The company exist from 2003 though, that's why I find it very weird that I can't find them anywhere for reviews. Literally 0 here https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/opalsun.co.uk 

    Did anyone use them before? Worth taking the risk? It feels like it doesn't. 

    Thank you! 
    Trust your instincts. If it looks too good to be true then it almost certainly is. 

    Why would any company sell something for 50% of its value?

    This is far more likely to be a scam or a car with hidden faults that you will only discover after parting with your money than a genuine deal.

    The other cars listed at normal prices may not exist and may be there just to sucker people in.

    It may be a genuine company but I would not take that risk.

    Can you visit to see the car for yourself?
    A man walked into a car showroom.
    He said to the salesman, “My wife would like to talk to you about the Volkswagen Golf in the showroom window.”
    Salesman said, “We haven't got a Volkswagen Golf in the showroom window.”
    The man replied, “You have now mate".
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
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    I'm with Belenus, above.

    Your own instinct is that it is not worth the risk. I wouldn't do it. There have been more posts on this forum about people buying 'dodgy' cars and regretting it bitterly than I've had hot dinners.

    Not worth it. You need to look at a car, test drive it, check it online. Has it passed all the MOTs? If not, were the problems serious? 

    For my current car I went with a Toyota dealer about five miles away. They said that if I had any problems initially, or wasn't happy for any reason, I just had to phone them and they would collect the car and sort things out. Fortunately that didn't happen. I have to say that I do prefer buying from dealers nearby and would recommend it to anyone. Sometimes people are lucky and there IS such a thing as a bargain car buy. But in my experience of driving (over 40 years) they really are very few and far between.

    Your gut says no. So do I. 
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • antivirtel
    antivirtel Posts: 9 Forumite
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    edited 12 October 2022 at 3:14AM
    Thanks for the replies, I won't bid/buy. If someone else does, I'd love to hear some feedback. On Trustpilot too!

    Ps, no, I don't think I can visit/test drive the car in person.
  • They're clearly scraping AutoTrader for pictures / details from private sellers & putting them up as their own.
    Look at the images- Nowhere the same, outside houses, carparks etc.

    Thier numbers for completed sales quoted on the site totally fail to add up (Divide the total cars sold by the number of years in business & observe the dramatic difference to cars per year), and bear no relation to the accounts.

    Blocked on a VPN too.
    Blatant scam....
  • cymruchris
    cymruchris Posts: 5,139 Forumite
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    Living in Cardiff, and knowing most of the big motor retailers/auctions/forecourts etc. Never heard of them - considering they claim to be so big. Website looks like it was designed by a cheap template. Nothing adds up at all. The 'fees' are ridiculous - and are meant to think that you've got yourself an amazing deal by getting a week's free access. Barge and pole come to mind. Keep your money safe, and buy from a reputable outlet. 
    An ex-bankrupt on a journey of recovery. Feel free to send me a DM reference credit building credit cards from the usual suspects :) Happy to help others going through what I've been through!
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