As an RV owner, there may come a time when you decide you’re ready to put your vehicle up for sale on the market. You may be ready to upgrade to a bigger motorhome, want to downsize to a smaller RV, simply need the money from a sale, or have finally decided to retire from the camping life. Whatever the reason, you’re about to embark upon the process of selling your pre-owned RV. While that can be very exciting, some private sellers can find it stressful when it comes to debating the price of the for-sale RV with potential buyers. To help you feel more comfortable, RVT is sharing tips for how to negotiate pricing when selling your used motorhome.

Selling to a Dealership vs. Selling Your RV Yourself

Selling to a dealership is usually the fastest and easiest way to part with your current RV. However, keep in mind that the effort to sell the unit then transfers to the dealer, who will have marketing and sales expenses as they try to turn a profit themselves. Those expenses will usually be taken into consideration when they quote you a price and they will likely have a firm ceiling during negotiations.

Going it on your own means you may be able to get more money for your motorhome, but you’ll also have to put all the effort into prepping your RV for sale, marketing it, negotiating the final sale, and taking care of the proper paperwork to make the transfer of title legal. While there may be higher profit potential with a private sale, negotiations can be more vigorous. Your comfort level with a sales negotiation might guide whether you sell to a dealer or private buyer.

RVT’s Helpful Resources for Selling

Selling your RV on your own doesn’t mean you don’t have valuable resources available to help you with your effort. First, you may want to have your local dealer do a thorough inspection of your rig before you start to market it. This will provide you with a list of potential issues that may need to be acknowledged during any price negotiation.

Second, RVT’s Price Checker tool utilizes the combined insights of the RVT and J.D. Power databases, allowing you to input your pre-owned RV details, review and compare prices of similar units currently listed, and determine today’s market value of your rig.

Get the Best Value for Your Vehicle

Checking the current market value—and where your competition is pricing their units—is crucial to your negotiation strategy. Take into consideration any unique features your RV has that other vehicles don’t have and factor that into the equation. Be sure to list those value-added items in your description when you write up your listing. Of course, you do need to be honest and transparent about any damages or other flaws, but think about all the benefits to your RV that make up for those lived-in qualities, such as regular maintenance that you’ve meticulously performed over the years.

It is important to set a price for your vehicle that takes everything into consideration. If you set the price too low, your vehicle will probably sell faster, but you’ll lose out financially. If you set the price too high, it will take longer to sell your vehicle and it will continue to lose value over time.

Know When to Sell Your RV

Think about when you want to place your ad. Obviously, you want your used Class A RV or other pre-owned motorhome to sell as quickly as possible. However, there are some things to consider regarding seasonality:

  • The best time to sell is when people are eager to buy. Most people aren’t thinking about making an RV purchase in November or December because they are getting ready for the holidays.
  • Advertising at the beginning of a new year targets people who have made a resolution to travel more or are starting to make plans for spring and summer vacations.
  • RV sales are usually most prevalent in the late winter and early spring when people are starting to get stir crazy and want to hit the open road for adventures.
  • Study the market and know what shoppers are looking for throughout the year. For example, you should know the most popular Class C RVs to help you set your price and understand what shoppers are after on the current market.

Putting It All Together

Before you take photos and list your RV, you’ll want to thoroughly clean it. Once you have it sparkling clean, you may want to “stage” the inside, so it looks comforting without looking lived in. Feel free to add some personal touches but be careful about making it look too personalized to your own style. Once you have photos and put together your ad, listing with RVT will expose your RV to thousands of buyers.

As potential buyers start to contact you and come out to tour your RV:

  • Be sure to reinforce all of the added benefits your rig offers during the introduction/tour.
  • Have the RV connected to a power source so you can demonstrate that everything is in working order.
  • Be prepared for questions.
  • Keep all of the price considerations discussed at the beginning of this blog in mind. Decide ahead of time what your absolute lowest-acceptable price will be so someone doesn’t surprise you with a question such as, “Would you consider taking less?”

Most of all, remember that you are in control of the situation. If you don’t want to sell to someone, you can just walk away. If someone tries to make you an offer that is below what you are willing to accept, tell them no. It is likely that you’ll have more than one interested party, so don’t feel obligated to jump on the first offer unless it meets your criteria. And be sure to consider the affordable listing packages from RVT when you’re ready to sell your RV.

By Barrett Baker

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