Dan was great to work with and I am happy with my purchase. I bought a 99 F250 from him sight unseen from out of state, sent a check in the mail, and had it delivered. Dan was communicative and helpful in facilitating the deal end to end.
The above being said, I did my research prior to sending payment. Here I'll outline how the deal went and where I'd do things a bit differently next time:
I found the add on eBay and gave Dan a call. He answered more questions about the truck over the phone including potential shipping arrangements. He said he could have it shipped to NC for $400-$500. Good price. I did not bid on this auction as it ended before it's expiration. The next day I noticed the truck was relisted as a buy-it-now so I called Dan again. I offered him $x and he agreed to the amount. I told him I would work on getting a cashier's check mailed to him from my bank. Before I did, I dug in and did some last minute research about the truck and Dan. This included a CarFax report on the vin which checked out and Googling reviews of Dan and his business. What I found on Dan was unsettling and concerned me. There were reports that Dan was a "scammer" and a "terrible salesman" and to "never buy anything from Dan". This worried me but I had already verbally agreed to the offer I made. I want to keep my word.
First, I ask Dan to do a video call and he agrees. I think we use WhatsApp. He shows me around the truck, underneath, behind the seats, under the hood, etc. I heard it run and saw everything operate as it should but the audio/video quality was not great. Still concerned, I start calling mechanics and dealers in Jackson, MS to try to get someone to inspect the truck for me (I live in North Carolina and didn't want to fly in). The dealers were of no help and didn't want to assume any liability on an inspection. Some agreed to check it out only if it was brought to them. I did not expect Dan to drive it somewhere to get it inspected. Luckily I landed on a local mechanic that specializes in this specific type of truck. I paid him $150 to go over and check out the truck (took CC over the phone). **You should always get a 3rd party to go look at a vehicle before purchasing if you can't inspect yourself. The mechanic gave it a thumbs up so I decided to move forward with the deal. While speaking to the mechanic, I asked him if there was anything that I could/should do for maintenance on the truck. He suggested the "hutch mod" which takes the fuel filter from inside the tank an mounts it outside the tank on the frame. Old fuel filters tend to clog in these trucks. Awesome advice.
At this point, I told Dan that I'd write him a review once everything was settled.
I called Dan back wanting to secure shipping arrangements and let him know I wanted the mechanic to do the hutch mod before it's shipped. Dan agreed and said he'd post it for shipment after the hutch mod. Before sending the check, I was sure to purchase through eBay to leverage their buyer protection. This supposedly guarantees (up to $100k) that you will receive the vehicle and the title. Look into it. I then sent the check and sent Dan the tracking number. Once Dan received the check, he emailed me a bill of sale which I signed, scanned, and emailed back. He then sent me the title via mail and sent me the tracking number. **Make sure that you insist on getting a tracking number on the title / check! Dan did this without asking and I'm glad he did. Also, make copies of everything just in case. At this point I called the mechanic and Dan kindly agreed to drive the truck to the mechanic for the hutch mod. Once it was done, I paid the mechanic and I believe the mechanic drove it back to Dan.
At this point, Dan posted it for shipping. It may take a few days to two weeks to get a shipping bid accepted based on the offer. Basically Dan posts "To: NC, From: Jackson, MS for $400" and waits for bids. I was not in a hurry so we kept it at $400 for a week and a half before someone offered to do it for $450.. I accepted. Again, Dan did the right thing here without me asking/knowing. When the truck was picked up, he collected a "certificate of loading" which is a document that records it was picked up, by who, and where it's going. **Make sure you get a copy of this document. Dan saved me there.
Once the truck was loaded, I waited or further instructions. I mistakenly did not secure the phone number to the shipping company and they were overdue to call me so I got worried. Eventually they did call and let me know they were late because their truck broke down. xxxx happens. Stay calm. But I should have secured the "cert of loading" and a cell number of someone at the shipping company.
They probably won't deliver right to your door as they may need a lot of space to unload. Find a big, accessible parking lot in your area and agree to meet there. The truck arrived in one piece and I gave the $450 cash to the delivery driver right then and drove the truck home. I'm happy with my purchase and the truck was not mis-represented by Dan.
It sounded like a lot of the negative reviews were surrounding used camper sales and customers being unhappy with certain parts of the campers. If you think about it, it's pretty easy to be picky or disappointed about a used camper that was probably abused and then sold by it's previous owner, or repo'd.
There's a lot of stupid people out there who may get angry about the wrong thing. This was my account of a positive interaction buying a truck from Dan.