Walt the Curber Mugshot

My next vehicle came from a used car wholesaler.

There was nothing wrong with it, but he couldn’t find a dealer who wanted it. I gladly took it off his hands.

How hip was I?  I had a new source of newer vehicles that would come right to me.

Two-year-old car for sale. No previous accident history reported, only 35,000km on it. Call with offer.

Shortly after, I got a call from a young man. His car had just broken down, and he needed a new one fast. He agreed to meet me at the local construction site where he worked.

He was just finishing up his lunch when I arrived. He was wearing his construction uniform and I immediately noticed his tired eyes.

I felt bad for the poor fellow, and I was glad that I was selling him a reliable vehicle. He didn’t need another headache on top of everything. I even knocked $500 off the price I wanted.


*def’n Wholesaler – Vehicle sellers may call themselves auto brokers or wholesalers to sound legitimate and cheaper. But if they’re selling to private buyers, they must be licensed as a dealer. Like any curber – an individual posing as a private seller but selling vehicles as a business – wholesalers and brokers offer none of the protection the law provides for purchases from a Vehicle Sales Authority licensed dealer. Walt learned that lesson, but his buyer paid the price.

Check it out online: WatchOutForWalt.com


It was a smooth transaction. The guy looked happy and thanked me immensely for all the help. I beamed back at him.

Around 5:00 a.m. the next morning, I got a call. It was the construction worker, yelling so loudly that I could barely understand him.

“THEY TOOK IT AWAY,” he said over and over again.  “REPOSSESSED!”

I hung up on him and tried to make sense of the situation.

Why would the car be taken away in the middle of the night? Who’s “they”?

Liens. Of course. The car had a lien on it. That’s why it wouldn’t sell on a lot. The bank must have seized it due to an unpaid balance.

As before, I panicked. I didn’t want to get involved in this right now. Sure, I sold him the car, but how was I supposed to know it had a lien on it? I realized the wholesaler had scammed me! If that fellow had asked for a CarProof history report or even a provincial lien search, I’d be the one screaming.

Over the next several hours, I kept letting my phone go to voicemail – I couldn’t bear speaking to the young man. I knew I had to switch phones again.

I felt a bit ashamed. But I needed to be selfish about this. At this point, the best thing for me was cash.

And lots of it.


Check it out online: WatchOutForWalt.com

Walt the Curber Footer


The Vehicle Sales Authority of BCCarProof Vehicle History Reports and ICBC are combining forces to help keep car buyers safe. Follow our series on Walt the Curber to learn how much you risk when you buy a used vehicle without proof of its history or condition. The price of buying a car from a curber can turn out to be much higher if you have nowhere to turn. Learn what you can do to protect yourself.

2 thoughts on “Part III – Confessions of a Curber: Watch Out For Those Liens, Walt

    Dan McGladdery says:

    Interesting reading ‘watch out for Walt’ – what happens when a licensed dealer sells a motorbike with an existing lien that we find out about 10 months later? What are my rights?

    Mira says:

    Hi Dan,

    Licensed dealers are required to sell vehicles that are free of liens.

    Please file a complaint with the Vehicle Sales Authority for this concern.

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