It may be time for an upgrade, or time to downsize. Whatever the reason, you’ve decided it’s time to sell your RV. As a private owner, selling your RV is a little like selling a car and a lot like selling a home. There are a few things to keep in mind as you navigate selling your RV to have a successful experience for both you and your buyer.
Preparing the RV for Sale
You may do regular spring cleaning, but cleaning your RV to prepare it for sale is like cleaning for a visit from royalty. You’ll want to thoroughly clean both the interior and exterior, paying special attention to storage areas, the bathroom, kitchen area, even under cushions—especially for dinettes or sofas that convert to sleeping areas.
Another tip on how to sell an RV is to remove any personal items so buyers don’t feel like they’re walking into your space and can envision it as their own. Stage it in an attractive setting and put the welcome mat out. Create an inviting atmosphere with a bouquet of flowers or a strategically placed houseplant (use silk ones in case of allergies) will add a welcome touch to your RV, as will the smell of freshly baked cookies!
Make sure that routine maintenance has been recently performed and any repairs have been addressed. Provide a log of repairs and maintenance if one has been kept. Nothing says well-cared for like a record book, fact-sheet, and owner’s manual handy and ready for buyers to review to help answer any questions they may have.
Determining the Selling Price
While Kelley Blue Book—the go-to for determining your car or truck value—doesn’t value used RVs, J.D. Power has an RV section that lists prices and values.
Determining a baseline price is the first step. The condition of your RV, it’s features and any upgrades you may have added, as well as the age of—and the demand for—your specific RV, will come into play as you set your selling price.
There’s a delicate balance to setting a competitive price: set it too high and it will likely sit as the pool of potential buyers looks elsewhere, set it too low and buyers will either be suspicious or it’ll get snapped up so fast you won’t have time to realize you lost out on a fair return until after it’s gone.
Creating an Effective Advertisement
Attractive ads stand out and the first thing that catches a potential buyer’s eye is a high-quality photo. You don’t need to hire a professional photographer as many of today’s cell phones rival the quality of traditional cameras. You do need to take several pictures from different angles, at different times of day (preferably late afternoon for the best lighting without the harsh midday sun), and don’t forget all the interior features like kitchen, beds, and storage. If you have slide-outs and awnings, take photos with them extended. Anything that’s highlighted in the written description should have an accompanying photo.
While a picture is worth a thousand words, you still need to write a clear and comprehensive description of the RV. Be sure to highlight key features and selling points like a bunkhouse for families or if your RV has solar point it out for those who enjoy dry camping on public land or have a focus on sustainability and eco-friendly power options.
Choosing Where to Advertise
There are various online platforms and marketplaces to advertise your RV. The RV-specific sites can be helpful and help narrow down your audience. You can check for trending makes and models, current prices, and even list your RV on places like RV Trader. It’s a good option if you are looking for serious RVers and not just anyone who may be scouring social media, though if you’re looking to sell locally, selling via Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist are helpful.
Other local ways to advertise include utilizing local newspapers and community spaces. Some local radio stations even have call-in advertising segments for the community. Don’t forget to put a For Sale sign on your RV and park it in a visible location. Let your friends, neighbors, and coworkers know you’re selling your RV. Let the power of personal networks and word-of-mouth advertising work for you.
Handling Inquiries and Showing
You can lose a sale simply by not responding in a reasonable timeframe. If someone has to wait days to hear back, chances are they’ve moved on to another RV. Answering inquiries within 24 hours is a good rule of thumb, but the sooner the better. Confirm that your voicemail box isn’t full so interested parties can leave a message. It’s also a good idea to keep an inquiry log of when inquiries were received and when you responded. If you don’t hear back in a day or two, follow up in case they missed your original response.
When scheduling viewings, meet in a public place and don’t meet alone. If a buyer wants to test drive, go with them, and make sure it’s a serious inquiry and one of the last steps in the buying journey.
Selling an RV to a Dealership
Generally, the biggest difference between selling privately and selling your RV to a dealership is the higher potential for profit in a private sale. While you’ll likely be able to fetch a higher price in a private sale, you also will be putting all the time, effort, and work into the sales process.
For simplicity and convenience, selling to a dealership is the most quick and straightforward procedure. The dealer, who has sales and marketing experience, will quote you a price that still allows them to make a profit when they sell the RV. You will have an instant transaction, avoiding the time and effort of advertising and dealing with private buyers.
Negotiating the Sale
Effectively negotiating the sale price doesn’t have to become haggling. If you are firm on your price, be sure to list that in your ad and confirm that the price isn’t negotiable when you set up a time to show the RV.
Take your time to respond when someone makes an offer. If they make an extreme low-ball offer, say no. If it’s close to your price, work with the buyer. Ask them if they have any other questions; if they’re ready to make a deal. Request a non-refundable down payment to once you’ve agreed on a price.
Managing the Paperwork
If you still owe on your RV and don’t have a clear title, you may need legal assistance. Otherwise, if you own the title outright, have it ready to be able to transfer ownership once payment has been received. You can also use a standard template or write up your own bill of sale. It is advisable, even if selling your RV to a family member or friend, to have a signed and dated bill of sale for your records and a copy for the buyer. Check your state and local regulations for private vehicle sales to be sure you’re complying with all the legal requirements.
Handling Payment and Delivery
Cash and certified checks are safe and secure payment transactions and the most advisable methods of payment to avoid any financial issues. Don’t accept personal checks! Also beware of signs of scammers who may request your bank information for a wire transfer, or claim to be buying for a friend.
Once the payment has been received, you can sign the title over to the new owner and give them a copy of the bill of sale, along with any other documentation, manuals, and records for the RV.
Are you ready to buy your first RV and travel the country? The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the perfect RV for your budget! Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH.
Connect with us on Social Media!